Top 5 Free Things to Do in San Jose

United States San Jose Destination 03

San Jose has been dubbed the "Capital of Silicon Valley" since 1988 due to its close ties to the high-tech sector, but it is also known for its cultural diversity, many sunny days, and affluence. The city has several contemporary connections steeped in a rich historical background and is only an hour's drive from San Francisco.

SAF partners with top ranking universites in the region such as San Jose State University and is set right in the heart of town. Fortunately, there are many free attractions and things to see in the city when students aren't busy with their studies. Here are the top activities to do without breaking the bank.

Municipal Rose Garden

Roses and flowers

The San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, situated at Naglee Avenue and Dana Avenue, is a gorgeous oasis perfect for a leisurely walk or a quiet afternoon picnic. It is spread over over 5 acres and has over 3,500 rose plants. Bring a blanket and a lunch, or relax with a book amid the stunning flora at this serene, free location. Additionally, there are several BBQ grills and accessible toilets.

Los Gatos Creek Trail

Walking on a path

The roughly 11-mile Los Gatos Creek Trail connects San Jose to Los Gatos and beyond; along the route, you'll see folks enjoying the sunlight, walking their dogs, sipping their coffees, and relaxing with a stroll. It's a great place to people-watch while exercising in a natural urban setting. Most of the trail winds through the western part of Santa Clara County, making it an ideal route for bicyclists and pedestrians. The path offers travelers great views through parks, towns, and attractive landmarks.

History Park Museum

Park and bench

A trip through San Jose's past is possible at the History Park Museum, which has exhibits detailing the city's rich past. With its paved roads, cozy cafe, and rideable trolleys, this 14-acre spot feels like it's from a different time. There is a festival almost every weekend at this pet-friendly attraction, which is open daily and costs nothing to enter. In addition to historic homes and automobiles, the 32 structures include a school, a church, a pharmacy, a fire station, a dentist's office, a bank, and several offices.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Bridge in Japanese Garden

San Jose's Japanese Friendship Garden is a tranquil and charming oasis that honors its relationship with its sister city, Okayama, Japan. Sit back, picnic, and take in the sights at this stunning 6-acre garden. Its features, including a koi pond, serene ponds, and picturesque bridges, are meant to capture the spirit of classic Japanese gardens.

South First Fridays

Outdoor artwork

South First Fridays are a must-see if you like walking through eclectic art collections while getting fresh air. This San Jose event takes place in the SoFA sector on the first Friday of each month, except January and July, and during June, the "SubZero festival" is an exciting event. Along with showcasing the neighborhood's top museums and galleries, South First Fridays also boasts an outdoor market, live music, and food and drink options for sale.

Keep this list of free San Jose attractions close at hand for some fun and relaxation when it's time to take a break from your hard work.