San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

San José – One city, two faces

Located in the south of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, San José is the unofficial capital of Silicon Valley and epicenter of the digital revolution. As such, it is a mecca for nerds and geeks, but also has lots of beautiful scenery to explore. We show you both sides of the city

San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

Birthplace

Where it all ­began: The garage that served as headquarters for a startup named Apple in 1976 is located in Los Altos – and has been designated a historic site.

San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

Gaming history

Play Spacewar, one of the world’s first video games, on a DEC PDP-1, a dinosaur of a computer from 1959, at the Computer History ­Museum in Mountain View.

San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

Meeting point

Looking for partners to help set up your new startup? The place to go is Hacker Dojo in Santa Clara, where ­techies also come to play a little ping pong.

San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

Electric experience

Hop in, step on the electricity and off you sail on ­silent wheels. To take a ­Tesla for a test drive, stop by the company showroom in San José.

San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

Pilgrimage site

For many IT nerds, there’s nothing more exciting than a visit to the headquarters of Facebook or Google. A selfie with the company logo will prove you were there.


San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

Straight from the vine

So, for wine we have to go to Napa Valley, right? Certainly not. California wine grows in Silicon Valley, too. The best vineyards are near Saratoga, west of San José.

San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

California fruit

Until well into the 1960s, this area was ­primarily known as a fruit-growing region. Today, farmers’ markets in San José still abound with fresh, local produce.

San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

Water sports

Here’s a terrific idea: Explore San Francisco Bay in an ocean kayak! Or rent a paddle boat or sailboat for a jaunt on Shoreline Lake in Mountain View.

San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

Wilderness adventure

We recommend a day trip to Henry W. Coe State Park. Even better: Pitch a tent and wake up the next morning in the middle of a stunning nature reserve.

San José Illustration
© Cristóbal Schmal

Wildlife

Want to see a bull elk? Go into the mountains of the Diabalo Range southeast of the city. If you’re lucky (views may differ…) you might see a black bear or puma, too.