Situated in the heart of Silicon Valley in San Jose, Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is Silicon Valley's new airport that serves Northern California. It sits 2 miles northwest from downtown San Jose and close to Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google, Apple, Cisco, Intel, Adobe, eBay and Hewlett Packard. Going off of the city's pioneering spirit, the airport is named after San Jose native Norman Mineta, transportation secretary for two U.S. presidents. When flying from Mineta Airport, many airlines recommend arriving at the airport at least two hours early for domestic SJC flights and three hours before international flights. In the terminals, there is a public art program that showcases the creative artwork that defines Silicon Valley. Travelers who need to use the Internet can take advantage of the free Wi-Fi in all terminals.
After your plane lands, you can choose from the one of the 45-plus San Jose airport hotels. Staybridge Suites ranks among the most popular thanks to its large apartment-style rooms and accessible location; it sits only 1.5 miles from the airport and 4 miles from the downtown area. Holiday Inn Express San Jose International Airport makes for another easy-access stay since it's right off Interstate 880 and Highway 101. For something more upscale, check out DoubleTree by Hilton San Jose.
Welcome to San Jose
San Jose is the largest city in Silicon Valley in Northern California and a major component of the greater Bay Area. Founded in 1777 as El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe, San Jose was the first civilian town in the Spanish colony of Nueva California. When California was officially recognized as a state, San Jose served as the first capital. Since 1990, the city has been a major player in the booming technology industry of Silicon Valley, earning the nickname, "Capital of Silicon Valley." Besides the tech scene, a major draw is its climate. Visitors can bask in temperatures in the 80s during the summer and averages of 50s during the winter.
It's no surprise that San Jose is a popular destination for business travelers, with a revitalized downtown area and surge in start-up companies. In terms of navigation, getting around downtown is convenient with or without a car. The light-rail system links downtown to the rest of San Jose and Santa Clara County. There is also a free Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) that connects bus and light rail service with Diridon Station, which is a major transportation hub.
Things to Do in San Jose
San Jose packs plenty of attractions. Head to the California Theater, a renovated venue that hosts top-notch symphony, opera and films. Learn about the visionary achievements of Silicon Valley at The Tech Museum of Innovation, which is one of the nation's premier science and technology museums. Throughout the year, many music and sports events are held at HP Pavilion. Sports fans might want to catch a San Jose Sharks hockey team game here, but watch out - when the Sharks play, the pavilion is known as the Shark Tank.
Those on leisure vacations might want to visit one of the many vineyards in the neighborhood. Archie Dog Vineyard, J. Lohr Winery and La Rochelle Winery are some of the closest. If you're traveling with kids, be sure to check out the Children's Discovery Museum, filled with hands-on exhibits and climbable attractions. Happy Hollow Park and Zoo is another popular draw, since it's home to more than 140 animals, family rides and a puppet theater. To experience the San Jose nightlife, make your way to Loft Bar and Bistro, Tres Gringos Cabo Cantina and Fahrenheit Restaurant & Lounge among other spots in the neighborhood.