5.7 out of 10

San Jose

Ranked 90th best city in California
37.2992657816574 -121.861216990367
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Schools
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"The heart of Silicon Valley"

One of the third largest cities in all of California (tenth in the nation), San Jose is a bustling urbanized metropolis of tech industries, industrial development and rapid growth. It is rightfully coined the “Capitol of Silicon Valley” and is even well-recognized on the global scale. Geographically speaking, the city is part of the greater Santa Clara County and located at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay. Not only that, but the city is also within proximity of the vast Pacific Ocean. It encompasses about 17 different neighborhoods, totaling 180 square miles and incorporates more than 950,000 people.

The town of San Jose is most notable for its large concentration of tall industry buildings, well-recognized companies and widespread business campuses/complexes. It is known mostly for its booming technology industry of Silicon Valley which include software giants, internet enterprises and financial and technical enterprises, most notable, IBM and eBay. It’s largest employer in San Jose is Cisco Systems, hosting over 11,000 jobs. People from various well-known schools such as University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Stanford University pump thousands of computer science and engineer degrees into the local economy every year. While its rather large influx of new job seekers started during the tech bubble, it continues to flourish in dramatic numbers.

With so much commerce, comes so much traffic and congestion. In fact, there have been plans in the near future for the extension of Bart, which looks to combat the dense transit logjam. The rail looks to be up and running within the next couple years. For now, people commute using Amtrak, the large freeway system (three Interstate freeways) or the vastly popular CalTrain which connects residents to and from San Francisco.

San Jose has been and continues to be one of the safest cities in the country with populations over 500,000, making it great for all diversities Its wide variety of middle to upper middle-class neighborhood aesthetics give perspective home buyers plenty of options. With it rather impossible to define the city’s residential quarters in just one way, there is a wealth of opportunity here for its residents. For numbers sake, median household incomes are estimated at $76,000/year, while the bulk of your housing options are priced around $566,000. And with the city being a popular destination for business travelers, San Jose offers dozens of luxury hotels while median rents are estimated at $1,300/month.


San Jose is a thriving and sophisticated area not only because of its influx of tech industry entrepreneurs, but because of its own public education system. The city is host to a large number of schools, community colleges and colleges, its most notable is that of San Jose State. It is located within the heavy downtown scene and enjoys a respectable academic reputation.

For recreation, the city of San Jose provides a wealth of outdoor recreational sites and attractions (museums, libraries, cultural sites, sports venues, hiking trails and a water park). More specifically, the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival hosts an annual event put on by San Francisco, Berkeley and downtown San Jose. Thousands of locals come to enjoy the over 40 films that are screened at Camera 12 Downtown Cinemas. Elsewhere, the community is home to two well-recognized professional sports teams: San Jose Sharks (hockey) and San Jose Earthquakes (soccer). You can find them playing their home games at HP Pavilion at San Jose. And finally, with acres of popular bars, coffee houses and fine dining restaurants, there’s really no need to leave.
Pros
  • Financial Engine of the Bay Area
  • Moderate Crime
  • Relatively Affordable Homes
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Lots of Traffic
  • Not as Attractive as SF
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"This is the Way"

You might be surprised to learn, as I was, that San Jose is actually the 10th most populous city in the United States and the third most populous (behind LA and San Diego) in California. San Francisco is actually the 4th (13th nationally). It is just shy of 1 million people in population.

Put simply, San Jose is a much larger metropolis than we are used to thinking of it as. Like any city of this size, it is hard to sum it all up in a simple review—there is just too much to it to get it all in one place.

Of course, San Jose is the home of Silicon Valley, so it is really the heart of technology. San Jose State and Santa Clara University are the big colleges here (though Stanford in Palo Alto is actually more associated with the technological progress we find here).

For the third largest city in California, the crime rate is impressively low. It is below the national average. (Whereas SF is twice the national average and Oakland is three times that amount.) It is also lower than both LA’s and San Diego’s.

The median home price in San Jose is about $450K, but this doesn’t really tell you much since a lot depends on what neighborhood you are talking about. Neighborhoods near the Downtown area tend to have higher crime and be a little less livable than neighborhoods on the outskirts.

Like all the other major cities that I have mentioned, San Jose also has restaurants and nightlife. There are steakhouses like the Grill on the Alley and Arcadia, and sushi places like Bluefin. There are even more exotic places like Menara (a Moroccan place) and Gojo (an Ethiopian place). So you definitely will be able to sample cuisines from around the world.

There is also quite a bit in terms of nightlife, including Hookah bars, dives and dance places.

San Jose also has a fairly thriving arts scene with multiple live theaters and museums to boot. This aspect of San Jose is one of the least appreciated aspects of the city.

Overall, this is a pretty great city where to live, especially if you work in the tech industry. Although a lot of people choose to live up in SF and commute here, those who know the area well already, know it makes a lot more sense to live here and go to SF on the weekends for fun rather than live in SF and have to face the unbearable commutes every day.
Pros
  • Moderate Crime
  • Relatively Affordable Homes
  • Financial Engine of the Bay Area
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Lots of Traffic
  • Not as Attractive as SF
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"You get what you pay for!!!"

I lived there with my step father for 6 months and i hated it compared to home in Illinois. I would definatly not choose this city to raise children in. Its noisy and there was groups of gangs on every corner. I mean you get what you pay for.
Recommended for
  • Singles
5/5
2yrs+

"Neat place to visit"

There is a neat place off of this highway near the Childrens' Discovery Museum. You can find a place called Monopoly in the Park. This is a real life board game as you can rent and reserve the board and equipment to play. We watched one small group play and it looked like a blast!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Travelling to San Jose?

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Best Neighborhoods in San Jose

1

Willow Glen

4.5/5
"My Fond Memories"
37.2960364566032 -121.90718291177
2

North Valley

4/5
"Nice neighborhood for families"
37.3762688395578 -121.873338468421
"Picture perfect"
37.2852449024725 -121.774891153388
4

Downtown

3.5/5
"vibrant downdown area, but still small town feel"
37.336029083315 -121.897566280755
5

Blossom Valley

4.5/5
"Beautful Blossom Valley"
37.252474407964 -121.848518877938
6

Cambrian

3/5
"Great For Tech Workers with Families"
37.2591734057249 -121.922384226
7

Evergreen

3/5
"The Far Tentacle of Suburban Sprawl"
37.3124066995925 -121.786885023561
"Best Bay Area Airport"
37.3922488919316 -121.937697720201
"Too ordinary to impress"
37.2985422285044 -121.986487489901
10

Burbank

3/5
"Blue Collar and Below"
37.322601756924 -121.92290320011

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