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San Jose, California

27 Mar, 2009

San Jose, California: America’s Little Known Playground

San Jose, California

America is relatively a big country. Although not as big as Russia—the world’s biggest country—it offers variety not seen in any other country in the world. Therefore, it can be said that a quick travel to the United States is sufficient enough to give any tourist the best of what the world can offer. After all, America is the melting pot of culture and arts in the western world, as it is home to Broadway in New York (and, of course, other theaters that produce productions outside the famed Great White Way) and the SoHo (once a popular hangout place for artists), for instance. Those who are fans of American movies can go to California and visit studios in Hollywood, where one can live the life, or so they say, and party in popular bars and clubs. America, while said to be highly urbanized, is also home to some of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world, such as the Grand Canyon. This combination of modern attractions and simple sights make the country one of the most beautiful diverse tourist playgrounds in the world.

Of course, being a very big country and all, it is possible to miss out some of the smaller, less popular attractions. One of these attractions is San Jose in California.

San Jose, California may not be the most popular attraction in America, but it certainly isn’t far behind the others. The fact that San Jpse is in California (a very diverse state, when it comes to tourist attractions and great, spectacular sights) also adds to this supposed anonymity. But San Jose is only unknown outside the country—as one of the biggest cities in California (the third) and also among the biggest in the country (the tenth), San Jose has some reputation. If America is one of the world’s biggest playgrounds, then San Jose is probably the swing seat or playground slide—considered as classics, they are often neglected over flashier and glossier attractions; but people tend to rely on them for dependable enjoyment. This is what San Jose in California offers: a dependable and simple draw in a country filled with intoxicating attractions.

The city of San Jose was founded in 1777. Named El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe, the city is known as the first town of Nueva California, during the Spanish colonization in the country. Remember that while the discoverer (or re-discoverer, depending on how one looks at history) of America, Christopher Columbus, arrived in the country during the late 1490s, the Spanish Empire took its time before actually taking hold of the country—a hold that was completely removed during the 19th century, after a number of independence movements. In any case, Nueva California (or New California) is the northern part of the state. After several years, these divisions were united to form the state of California. This happened in 1850, and San Jose became its first capital. It served as an agricultural center for the Spanish, and became in-demand as a housing location, mainly by the soldiers who came home after the Second World War. The expansion of the city started during the 1950s, culminating in the 1990s with the boom the Silicon Valley experienced.

San Jose is typical of any American suburban area. It is filled with lush greeneries; something that is evident when one goes to Silicon Valley and sees the expanse of the city. The city is also known for being sunny—a weather that most American prefer, in contrast to the cold and torturing climate of some cities like New York. But while sunny, it isn’t as humid as desert states like Arizona. This balance makes San Jose such an enjoyable neighborhood. That it is also one of the oldest countries in California gives it a nostalgic charm, far from the sickening cold and dark atmosphere of some American home cities. This is not to say, of course, that San Jose is a backward city—after all, with Silicon Valley at its peak, this once Californian capital cannot afford to be behind the times. Many criticize the city for not having any striking architectural focal points, mainly because of the development it experienced during the 1950s. However, while the residential areas remain simple (although not frugal or overly basic), this simplicity actually lends it a charm unusual to America.

With this, not only did San Jose became a popular economic and housing center, as it now boasts of a number of attractions tourist would not hesitate to travel to despite the distance.

A number of notable sites that San Jose offers include a number of natural attractions and parks (such as the Almaden Quicksilver County Park and the Emma Prusch Farm Park, a testament to the agricultural past of the city); museums (such as the San Jose Museum of Art and the Portuguese Historical Museum); other significant structures. Of note here is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, a minor basilica that is the oldest in the whole of the state.

Then, of course, there are the universities in the state, placing the city high on the list not only in technology but also in education. Included here is the renowned Stanford University, among the best not only in the country but also in the world.

This isn’t to include the entertainment sites and attractions in the city. As a popular tourist destination, the city isn’t so far behind more popular nightspots. After all, with several universities within the area, the city is sure to be lively to accommodate the needs of the thousands of students.

San Jose, California is not a destination you would see in a tourist’s travel guide or tourist manual. This is because they probably place more importance on more famed attractions. But isn’t only about the gloss and the glamour; it is also about little things. San Jose is like that soft, comfortable armchair in a big living room—it may be familiar, but it also very dependable and safe.

San Jose, California

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