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  • Overview

    San Jose is the third largest city in California and can be found in the northern region of the Golden State in the Santa Clara Valley, about 50 miles (80km) south of downtown San Francisco. With the proliferation of high-tech corporations in the city, San Jose is known as the capital of Silicon Valley, and contributes impressively to the San Francisco Bay Area's reputation as a business powerhouse.

    Although often overshadowed by its neighbour San Francisco, San Jose has plenty to offer visitors. Travellers, whether visiting on business or leisure, can appreciate a variety of attractions. San Jose has serious outdoor allure and many of the city's tourist attractions can be enjoyed out in the sun, such as the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, the Raging Waters Water Park, or the San Jose Flea Market, the largest open-air market in America.

    Located in an agriculturally rich region, San Jose is also home to many fruit farms and some spectacular wineries, some of which offer vineyard tours and wine tastings; a clear favourite among tourists.

    If stopping in San Jose on business, travellers should consider some cultural sightseeing in between meetings as the city offers many world-class museums and galleries. The San Jose Museum of Art, the History Park, the Tech Museum of Innovation, as well as the many theatres and the Centre for the Performing Arts are highlights on the cultural to-do list. The Rosicrucian Park, with its Egyptian Museum and Planetarium is also a feature to San Jose for visitors.

    The revitalised downtown region of the city is always abuzz with vibrant restaurants and boutique shops to explore and enjoy. While often visited for more commercial purposes, San Jose is a lively city with much to see and do all year round, making it a great spot for top class art, culture and recreation.

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    San Jose is located in the San Francisco Bay area, sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by mountains, providing relief from the rest of the area's typically high rainfall. It has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, with temperatures varying from 43°F (6°C) to 82°F (28°C) year-round, and rarely dropping below 34°F (1°C) or rising above 91°F (33°C). The warmest months fall between June and September, which is a good time for summer holidaymakers to visit. For the most part, temperatures in this season range between 56°F (13°C) and 82°F (28°C), and the area receives minimal rain. Winter, which falls between December and February, is colder and brings with it more cloud cover and rain.

    Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
    Location: The airport is located four miles (6km) northwest of San José.
    Time: GMT -8 (GMT -7 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
    Transfer Between Terminals: A courtesy shuttle connects Terminals A and B and the parkings lots, running every 7 to 10 minutes from 2.30am to 1am.
    Getting to the city: The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) operates a special Airport Flyer service, on Route 10, which links the airport to the Metro Light Rail Station and the Santa Clara Caltrain Station. It runs every 15-30 minutes between 5am and 11.30pm. There are two Route 10 bus stops, one is located at the Ground Transportation Island across from Terminal B, while the other is located at the Ground Transportation Center across from the International Arrivals Building. There are also limousines and taxis available, and several hotels offer door-to-door shuttles for their guests.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies can be found at the Rental Car Centre, which is serviced by a blue shuttle bus from Terminal A, and is within short walking distance from Terminal B. Companies represented at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, Fox, National, Payless, Thrifty and Zipcar.
    Airport Taxis: Both on-demand and pre-arranged taxi services are available from San Jose airport, from both terminals. Expect to pay a minimum fee of $15, which includes the first three miles (5km) and the airport surcharge of $1.50. Beyond that, the metered rate is $3 per mile.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include several restaurants and cafés, wifi access, a gift shop, ATMs, bureaux de change, lounges, massage chairs and phones. Facilities for the disabled are good.
    Parking Short-term parking at San José International Airport starts at $2 per 20 minutes and goes up to $30 per day. Daily parking has a flat rate of $30 per 24 hours, and Economy Lot 1 has a flat daily rate of $18.

    Useful Contacts:

    The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) operates an extensive local bus network covering San Jose and surrounding areas, many of which connect to the VTA light rail or Caltrain stations. Standard fare is $2.50 for regular buses. Rail service to and from San Jose is provided by Amtrak, Caltrain (the best option for getting to San Francisco), ACE, and a light-rail system operated by the VTA. Bike and pedestrian routes are also available throughout the city. Many visitors to San Jose find that the city's sprawling layout is best explored by car, and hire vehicles from one of the companies located in town and at the airport. Ride-hailing taxi services, like Uber, are available.

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    Companies flying to San Jose