Profile: San Jose, California

Learn about San Jose, CA with this visitor guide that includes relocation information, top local destinations and more.
By: Kim Boatman Nauman

Population: 900,000

USDA Hardiness Zone: 10

Major Airport: Mineta San Jose International Airport

Major employers: Cisco Systems, IBM, San Jose State University, eBay, Hitachi, Adobe Systems.

There’s little doubt tech drives the nation’s 10th largest city. But while cutting-edge innovation spurs San Jose’s economy and makes international news, Northern California’s largest city has more to offer. Located a 45-minute drive south of San Francisco, San Jose was long considered something of a sleepy sister to its cosmopolitan neighbor city. Orchards once dotted the wide valley where San Jose sits, set against foothills that turn golden each summer. Suburban sprawl has replaced those orchards, but San Jose still retains something of a small-town feel. The city consistently ranks among the nation’s safest and most livable in surveys. It’s also noted for its harmonious ethnic diversity, with a rich Latino history and the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. It’s no wonder the population is nearing a million. Residents also love San Jose’s proximity to San Francisco and the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz mountains. Beaches are a day trip away, and there’s always weekend skiing in Lake Tahoe. In the past, staggeringly high housing costs have been the only downside to life in what most residents call Silicon Valley. The good news for would-be buyers is that home prices have dropped almost 40 percent in the past year. The $457,000 median price of a single-family resale house in Santa Clara County, San Jose’s home county, still reflects the desirability of California’s oldest civil settlement.

City limits are relatively meaningless in Silicon Valley. Folks moving to the area often look in both San Jose proper and surrounding towns and cities for the neighborhood that suits them best.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Profile: San Antonio, Texas

Here, a cheat sheet on the city's demographics and history.

Profile: San Diego, California

There's a lot to love about this West Coast urban beach town.

San Jose's Technology Obsession

Learn all about why this city calls itself the capital of Silicon Valley.

San Antonio: Like No Place Else

Learn about the attractions that put San Antonio on the map.

San Diego: Like No Place Else

Zoos, Legos, ComicCon, oh my! Find out what makes this California city unique.

Lingo Life and Lore in San Jose

Negotiate this Northern California city like a pro with these insider tips.

San Diego: Beach Bums, Biotech and the Military

San Diego is much more than a beach town! Find out what else makes California's second largest city thrive.

Local Life and Lore in San Diego

Get to know the ins and outs of San Diego with these local insider tips.

Fiesta in San Antonio: A Celebration of Culture

This 10-day festival honors San Antonio's history and makes sure a good time is had by all.

Local Life and Lore in the San Francisco Bay Area

Before you visit San Francisco's Bay Area, brush up on these facts to fit in with the locals.

On TV

Mega Decks

9am | 8c

Mega Decks

9:30am | 8:30c

Mega Decks

10am | 9c

Mega Decks

10:30am | 9:30c

Mega Decks

11am | 10c

Mega Decks

11:30am | 10:30c

Mega Decks

12pm | 11c

Mega Decks

12:30pm | 11:30c

Mega Decks

1pm | 12c

Mega Decks

1:30pm | 12:30c

Mega Decks

2pm | 1c

Mega Decks

2:30pm | 1:30c

Mega Decks

3pm | 2c

Mega Decks

3:30pm | 2:30c

Mega Decks

4pm | 3c

Mega Decks

4:30pm | 3:30c

Mega Decks

5pm | 4c

Mega Decks

5:30pm | 4:30c
6pm | 5c
7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight
8pm | 7c
9pm | 8c
10pm | 9c
11pm | 10c
12am | 11c
1am | 12c
2am | 1c
3am | 2c

Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

Sundays at 8|7c

Living Alaska

Mondays at 9|8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.