Arts & Culture
A city of surprises, San Jose even has its own Little Portugal, a colorful neighborhood in the eastern district tucked between 33rd Street and Highway 101. A thriving conclave since Portuguese settlers began homesteading in the Santa Clara Valley in the 1850s, here you’ll find the beautiful Five Wounds Portuguese National Parish, the heart of the local community and a landmark since it opened in 1919. Authentic Portuguese fare is well represented at Adega, where the fresh fish and seafood from executive chef David Costa has helped the place earn San Jose’s thus-far only Michelin star; the wine cellar has some 500 varieties, all from the mother country. For sweets after the meal or any time of day, head to Padaria Poplar (“Popular Bakery”), where all of the treats — like an array of orange, coconut, almond and bean tarts — follow authentic Old Country recipes.
The city has a number of interesting museums ripe for exploration, including the following.
• The Japanese American Museum of San Jose chronicles the early immigration of Japanese to America, their impact on the local agricultural community, their incarceration during World War II and more.
• The Computer History Museum in nearby Mountain View presents a historical panorama of computing, from the abacus to the smartphone, and its impact on the world.
• The San Jose Museum of Art features an eclectic collection winnowed into exhibits such "Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art," which will run Aug. 2020 through January 2021.
Getting Active & Outdoors
• Corporate team building doesn’t get any more fun than as practiced at Monopoly in the Park, a 930-square-foot permanent Monopoly board using giant game pieces and properties. Located in Discovery Meadow on San Carlos Street, a short walk from downtown hotels and the McEnery Convention Center, this larger-than-life version of the perennial favorite will have contestants competing for real estate, building hotels and, of course, vying to get out of jail free.
• A top downtime activity in town is the Operation City Quest Scavenger Hunt. The quest starts with an app, which provides a list of some 140 objects or city sites (e.g., historic landmarks, sports arenas, etc.). Intrepid participants must seek these things out and post a photo. En route, players are given tricky assignments and asked trivia questions to help keep things lively. Corporate and team-building iterations of the hunt can be arranged.
• Attendees who wish to stop and smell the roses should head for the Municipal Rose Garden. Here, on 5.5 blooming acres of a former prune orchard, grow 189 varieties of the fragrant flower, planted along scenic winding pathways. The site is an official All-American Rose Selections test garden, which receives award-winning roses from the AARS before they’re made available to the general public.
• The San Jose Brew Bike Bar Tour
features a colorful bar on wheels visiting some of the city's best
saloons, breweries and brewpubs for 2-3 hours of pedaling, quaffing and
• Amusement-park aficionados will enjoy California's Great America
in Santa Clara. These 100 acres
of fun include attractions such as the iconic wooden Gold Striker
roller coaster, the dizzying Railblazer rail ride, assorted barbecues,
fireworks and more.
• In Santa Cruz, a half-hour drive south from San Jose, Roaring Camp offers a slate of activities and tours, most enjoyed aboard a vintage steam train.
• Also in Santa Cruz, Chardonnay Sailing Charters offers leisurely cruises off the Northern California coast themed to various F&B concepts, including champagne brunch, afternoon pizza, Pono Hawaiian grill and winemaker sailings. Private charters (for up to 38 people) on gorgeous Monterey Bay also are available.
• In nearby Felton, Mount Herman Adventures takes zip-lining and hiking to new heights via its Redwood Canopy Tour (zipping through a redwood forest canopy) and Sequoia Aerial Adventure (by foot on plank pathways suspended high above the forest floor).
San Jose's Top Restaurants
Like any great American city, San Jose offers a rich sampling of the world's best cuisine, as exemplified below.
• Le Papillon. This fine-dining French outpost garners raves from locals and visitors alike. Chef Scott Cooper's "duet entree" offerings let diners choose any two among dishes like Roasted Breast of Mary's Organic Chicken with Thyme Scented Jus and Mushrooms; Slow Roasted Halibut with Corn Anglaise, Cherry Tomatoes and Grapes; and Grilled Noisettes of Lamb with Cabernet Jus and Dried Sour Cherries.
• Dan Izakaya Restaurant. Centrally located off Saratoga Avenue, authentic Japanese is the theme here: One of the specialties here is "hormone-yaki," or cooked beef innards. But there's also plenty of sushi, sashimi, delicious salads and vegetarian dishes and mini hot pots such as pork and tofu, duck and vegetables, chicken and kimchee and much more. For dessert, try the green tea sundae.
• Nemea Greek Taverna. You can't go wrong dining on Santana Row in downtown, but this entry stands out for its especially delicious Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, brought to full flavor in dishes such as Lavraki (whole mediterranean bass, braised greens, roasted potatoes and lemon vinaigrette), the Moschari Souvlaki (filet of beef, Nemea potatoes, watercress and yogurt) and the Garides Linguini (shrimp, linguini, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, basil, white wine and lemon sauce).
For more good eating in town:
- Adega (Portugese)
- Elyse (French-Vietnamese)
- Falafel's Drive-In (Middle Eastern)
- Firehouse No. 1 (American gastropub)
- Il Fornaio (Italian)
- Morton's The Steakhouse
San Jose, California
Guest Rooms - 805
Meeting Rooms - 22
Largest Conference Room - 1,236 sq. ft.
Total event space - 65,000 sq. ft.
Room Rate Range - $270-$617
San Jose, California
Guest Rooms - 214
Meeting Rooms - 24
Largest Conference Room - 6,600 sq. ft.
Total event space - 33,000 sq. ft.
Room Rate Range - $149-$509
San Jose, California
Guest Rooms - 505
Meeting Rooms - 33
Largest Conference Room - 9,940 sq. ft.
Total event space - 30,535 sq. ft.
Room Rate Range - $155-$299