Consistently voted one of the sunniest, safest, and most popular places to live in the country (provided you can swing the rent), San Jose and the surrounding area are rapidly gaining the name recognition enjoyed by more famous West Coast neighbors. In addition to its connections with big technological industry – this is, after all, the "capital" of Silicon Valley - San Jose, one of the state's oldest cities, can also claim fame for its heritage and offers cultural sights to offset it sometimes congested thoroughfares.
Though San Jose is one of the nation's largest cities (ranked tenth), it's highrise buildings and interwoven interstates are lent at least a natural backdrop in the Diablo and Santa Cruz mountain ranges, whose green slopes freshen this destination's otherwise urban aura. Add to the proximity of wild landscapes and open water San Jose's agreeable climate (with a year-round average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and more than 300 days of sunshine) and it's not hard to see why this area has long been a choice spot in which to settle. Though the weather may be what first attracted thousands to visit or relocate to this amenable area, it's the expansion of Silicon Valley industries that keeps the permanent population high. With this explosive growth have come art galleries, museums, sports teams, and other cultural accoutrements to join the churches, vineyards, and spectacular scenery that defined this sprawling city in earlier epochs.
Colonized by the Spaniards in 1777 and then dominated in turn by more than a century of a farm-oriented rise, the language of San Jose these days tends more towards programming code then crops or conquistadors, thanks to the presence of top computing industries like Hewlett Packard, Intel, Apple, Yahoo and Sun Microsystems, who made their start here. Visitors can learn more about bits, bytes and super computers at local attractions like the The Tech Museum of Innovation, though there are also more arts-oriented sights on hand (including the San Jose Museum of Art and the Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana – MACLA), Egyptian artifacts (at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum) and a number of urban parks to explore.
San Jose is located about 45 minutes south of San Francisco in west central California.