Places of Interest

Here you will find information about downtown and other areas of San Jose, local transportation options, and getting to other Bay Area locations such as San Francisco, Berkeley, Stanford, and Santa Cruz.

Downtown San Jose
downtown SJ walking map

The website of the Downtown San Jose Association has all the information you need to explore the immediate area. To explore downtown by foot, check out the Downtown San Jose Walking Map and Scan Jose: A Downtown Walking Tour.

Scan Jose is a mobile website and augmented reality browser that allows you to experience San Jose's history like you never have before. Using this website, you can view historic images from the collections of the San Jose Public Library and the Sourisseau Academy while actually visiting the locations those pictures were originally taken in. We invite you to write comments and add to the collective history of these important parts of San Jose's past. You can also view any of these stops in 3D with the Layar augmented reality browser. To do this, visit the iTunes app store or the Android Marketplace, download the Layar app, and search for 'Scan Jose'.

Top spots of interest in downtown San Jose include:

SJ Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum of Innovation
201 S. Market St.
(408) 294-8324

The Tech Museum is a must-see, must-do Silicon Valley experience for all ages. Explore how technology and science affect the way we live, work, play and learn. Over 100 hands-on exhibits, an 8-story IMAX dome theater help bring science and technology to life.  A short walk from the Fairmont Hotel, across Chavez Plaza. 

SJ Museum of Art
San Jose Museum of Art 
110 S. Market St.
(408) 271-6840

Contemporary art that makes you think and have an emotional reaction. Since establishment in 1969, The San Jose Museum of Art has grown from small civic art gallery to a museum in the 10th largest city in America. A very short walk north of the Fairmont Hotel across Circle of Palms Plaza.

SJ Museum of Quilts and Textiles
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
520 S. First St.
(408) 971-0323

This museum celebrates the art, craft and history of quilts and textiles.

King Library, San Jose
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library
150 E. San Fernando St.
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 808-2000

A joint project between the university and the city, the library offers some 1.5 million volumes of work – it is the largest all-new library west of the Mississippi. The library is so much more than a feast for the mind – its public art, interesting architecture and unique gadgets on every floor engage all senses. Among its cherished prizes are special rooms devoted to The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies and The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies.

San Pedro Square and Market, where you will find cafes, pubs, restaurants, theater, live music, and more.

Shopping for Essentials in Downtown San Jose

 Drug Store  Copying & Shipping  Clothing

The Market by Safeway
100 S. 2nd at San Fernando

5 S. 1st at Santa Clara

The UPS Store
88 S. 3rd at San Fernando

12 Paseo de San Antonio at 3rd

Zanotto’s Express
80 S. 1st at San Fernando

FedEx Office Print & Ship Center
93 E. San Carlos at 3rd

27 S. 1st at Post

Getting Around San Jose

Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH). The free DASH shuttle runs in a continuous loop through downtown San Jose from the San Jose Diridon transit station (Amtrak / Caltrain) on Mondays through Fridays,

VTA (Light Rail and Buses). The Fairmont Hotel is across from the Paseo de San Antonio stop on the Mountain View-Winchester and Alum Rock-Santa Teresa and Alum Rock-Ohlone/Chynoweth light rail lines of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). One way fares on these routes are $2. Day passes are available for $6. Convenient bus service to other locations within San Jose and other South Bay communities are also available. For more information, see the VTA website.

Places of interest outside downtown San Jose include:


To get there:
Catch the light rail train an Paseo de San Antonio toward Alum Rock
Get off at the Japantown / Ayer Station
Travel time: about 20 minutes

Or walk 1.5 miles one way
From the hotel, go to First Street and turn left
At East Empire Street, turn right
At 6th Street turn left

West San Jose, including the Winchester Mystery House, and shopping and dining at Santana Row and the Westfield Valley Fair Mall

To get there:
Walk to bus stop at San Carlos & Market
Take the VTA #23 Bus west bound toward De Anza College
Get off at the Valley Fair Transit Center
Travel timE: about 45 minutes

Winchester Mystery House
525 South Winchester Boulevard
San Jose, CA 95128
Phone: 408-247-2101

This is the house that Sarah, the troubled Winchester rifle heiress, built. Seeking a way to rid herself of the spirits of those killed by the “Gun that Won the West,” Sarah sought the advice of a medium. That consultation resulted in Sarah spending decades, as well as her $20 million inheritance, obsessively building onto the house. With its architectural oddities designed to disturb, confuse and evade these restless spirits that haunted her (such as stairways leading to nowhere, a chimney that rises only 4 floors and windows opening to walls) millions of visitors agree this beautiful historic treasure is among the most haunting and haunted places on earth. Santana Row and Westfield Valley Fair Shopping Center, across the street and 2 blocks away respectively, offers post-tour options for retail, restaurants and relaxation.

Municipal Rose Garden and Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

To get there:
Walk to the bus stop at San Fernando and 1st Street
Take the 81 bus westbound to Vallco
Get off at Park & Randol. The museum is ahead on the right.
The Rose Garden is a block away at Naglee Ave. and Dana Ave.
Travel time: 20-30 minutes

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium
1660 Park Avenue
San Jose CA 95191

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum began with one small artifact, a Sekhmet (lion goddess) statue, which stood on the desk of H. Spencer Lewis, the founder of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. Since then the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium has become an educational institution that uses trans-disciplinary approaches to increase knowledge about the past, present, future, and learning for greater public understanding and appreciation of the world in which we live, drawing on the wisdom of ancient traditions and modern science.

Willow Glen Neighborhood

To get there:
Walk to the bus stop at San Fernando & 1st Street
Catch the bus 64 southbound toward the Almaden Light Rail Station
Get off at Lincoln & Willow

Getting to Other Bay Area Locations

San Francisco

The easiest option is to take free DASH shuttle to the San Jose Diridon Station and catch CalTrain. The DASH runs approximately every 15 minutes from 6:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on weekdays only. On weekends (and weekdays after 7pm) you may want to walk or take the VTA Light Rail Winchester-Mountain View Line to Diridon Station. The VTA platform is located 2nd St., a block from the Fairmont and the fare is $2.

Transfer from CalTrain to BART at the Millbrae Station in order to travel to your desired San Francisco (or East Bay) location. Alternately, you may wish take CalTrain to its South of Market terminus in San Francsico. 


Catch DASH to the San Jose Diridon Station and take Amtrak on the Capitol Corridor line to Berkeley. To reach the UC campus from the Berkeley Amtrak train stop, take the 51B AC Transit bus to downtown Berkeley and get off at Allston Way and Shattuck Ave (approx. 20 minutes; fare: $2.10). The campus is one block east (toward the hills).  You could also travel past downtown Berkeley to the corner of Durant and College (approx. 25 minutes). Walk north (left) one block and you will see a campus map near Kroeber Hall.  More information on visiting the UC Berkeley campus. 

Alternately, go to the VTA Bus 181 stop at First and Santa Clara (3 blocks from hotel) and take VTA Bus 181 to the end of the line (Fremont BART station): 30 minutes. Take a BART Richmond bound train to downtown Berkeley.


Catch DASH to San Jose Diridon Station and take CalTrain to Palo Alto Transit Center --OR--take VTA Bus Route 522 (express fare) from Santa Clara & First Street to the Palo Alto Transit Center. 

From the Palo Alto Transit Center catch the free Marguerite shuttle to campus. Allow at least 75 minutes to get to Stanford on public transportation. More information on visiting the Stanford campus.

Santa Cruz

Take the Hwy 17 Express Bus. The closest stop is at Santa Clara & Almaden (weekdays only). On weekends, catch the bus from the San Jose Diridon Station. Travel time: 60-70 minutes. One-way fare: $4  Please note that the buses run less frequently on weekends.

Bay Area Transportation Agencies & Information please consult 

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