San Jose, located in the heart of the booming Silicon Valley, offers residents an average of 300 days of sunshine annually and plenty to do – whether working or playing. Even though San Jose is the third-largest city in California, with a population of 1.9 million, it prides itself on its small-town charm and diversity. Here are seven more reasons to move to San Jose:
1. Rain or Shine, There's Always Something to Do
Attractions in San Jose cater to anyone looking to enjoy the outside world. For outdoor recreation, check out Alum Rock Park – one of the state's oldest municipal parks. The park's 740 acres provide visitors with places to picnic, hike, bike and view wildlife. You may even see a mountain lion or bobcat!
If nature isn't your thing, the city has nearly a dozen museums to explore including the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA) and The Tech Museum of Innovation. SJMA features a permanent exhibit of more than 1,400 works from the 20th and 21st centuries, with a special West Coast focus. The Tech Museum offers hands-on technology and science exhibits for all ages and hosts a design competition and specialized programs.
2. If You Crave It, San Jose Has It
California is well known for its diversity, so it's no surprise San Jose has an eclectic food scene. Restaurant menus include everything from American to Indian and everything in between. Yelp reviewers rave about Back A Yard, a Caribbean/American hot spot; Arcadia, which is a little fancier but has great steaks; and 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence recipient Falafel Drive-In. Other must-trys include SingleBarrel (speakeasy, cocktails and cigars), The Boiling Crab (Cajun/Creole) and Bill's Cafe (breakfast/brunch).
3. Cheer on a Team and Show Your Spirit
Sports fans will find a home in San Jose, which made our Top 10 list for Minor League Baseball Stadiums in 2010, and playing at this notable stadium is the San Jose Giants. Other sports teams include San Jose SaberCats (Arena Football League), San Jose Sharks (National Hockey League) and San Jose Earthquakes (professional soccer). The city also has a women's roller derby team (Silicon Valley Roller Girls) and hosts events such as the Rock n' Roll half-marathon.
4. Get to Work
When picking a place to live, you probably need a job. San Jose has those and lots of them. In 2013, a Gallup survey named the city No. 10 for job growth nationwide and strong job-growth prospects, and Forbes ranked San Jose No. 19 for job growth and No. 7 for education. Companies range from giants such as Adobe, Apple and Google, which has its headquarters in nearby Mountain View. Startups find support through such events as Startup Weekend or the city's incubator network. And more projects are undergoing, too. Samsung's North American headquarters is currently under construction and will house 2,000 employees, with no employee being more than one floor away from green space.
5. Neighborhoods for Singles and Families
Great neighborhoods are easy to find and also represent the city's diversity. Of course, downtown is a hopping place, but if you want to get away from the hustle but still stay close, be sure to check out Willow Glen – a family-friendly community with a small-town vibe. Tree-lined streets are filled with coffee shops, boutiques, and dogs can even stop for a drink of water at one of the many water bowls. Downtown Willow Glen also offers free parking on the street and in public parking lots, and has been rated as the No. 1 neighborhood by StreetAdvisor.com. Other residential neighborhoods include Japantown, Campbell and Los Gatos.
6. Schools Work to Create Bright Futures
San Jose State University is one of several good options for higher ed students in the area. The university offers more than 134 bachelor's degrees in 110 concentrations, and helps train the area workforce that feeds into the Silicon Valley – a hub of innovation and development. Other colleges prepping the area workforce include Evergreen Valley College, San Jose City College and Silicon Valley University. Parents also can choose between more than a dozen schools from elementary to high school level, ensuring a good education starts early.
7. Location for Day Trips, Fun and Entertainment
San Jose's proximity to other cities and outdoor recreation is hard to beat. In less than two hour's drive, residents can take a day trip to San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, and the world-renown Napa Valley wine region. The city is also a quick drive to area beaches and only four hours from Yosemite National Park. Located within 75 miles of the city are Monterey, Pebble Beach and Santa Cruz, so exploring the entire region is easy to do.