San Jose, California is the tenth largest city in the country and is a major city in the state of California. It’s also a bay city, offering many of the benefits of a near-coastal location with few of the downsides. Immortalized by Dionne Warwick, we now live in the capital of silicon valley and are the envy of many.
History of San Jose
Like most Californian cities, San Jose began as a Spanish settlement in 1769. They pushed the Native Americans out and settled the region with a series of Franciscan Missions. Our first full name was “Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe” which was shortened later to the much more manageable San Jose.
The early settlement did well under Spanish rule, moving once to what is now downtown from where Guadeloupe Parkway. In 1797, the region came under Mexican control and was the second city to be officially recognized after Sacramento. It wasn’t until 1846 that California became American and the region was accepted into the union.
San Jose has long been an agricultural city, with the Del Monte plant providing much of the early employment in the 20th century. The coming of war saw more prosperity and troubles as the Food Machinery Corporation was involved in producing landing craft for the Second World War.
Some of these defense contractors remained after the ending of hostilities, bringing more defense contractors with them. Through the late 20th century, the area known as Silicon Valley grew thanks to schools such as the University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Cruz, San Jose State University and San Francisco State University churning out thousands of highly qualified students.
While we did suffer during the dot com collapse, the city retained many tech employers and is still regarded as the front line of technology in the United States.
We have a lovely Subtropical Mediterranean climate with over 300 days of sunshine per year and average temperatures of around 73F. We do get some rain, from November through April, but it turns the gardens green and ensures our beautiful city remains that way so we don’t mind a bit.
Getting Around San Jose
Getting to San Jose by plane is easy if you use the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. The airport is relatively close to Downtown and several shuttles run to and from the center. You can also get here by using San Francisco International Airport or Oakland International Airport as it doesn’t take long to transfer.
Caltrain runs train services from San Jose to San Francisco while Amtrak runs to Sacramento, Auburn, Seattle and Los Angeles. There is also the Altamont Commuter Express, a local commuter train that runs for the benefit of the suburbanites to get to work in the morning.
We are quite well served by buses too, with CA Shuttle Bus, Greyhound, Hoang Express, InterCalifornias, TUFESA and Megabus running services in and out of the city. We also have local buses, the VTA.
The car is our main mode of transport. Use the US-101 and Interstate 280 to get to and from San Francisco. Use the I-5 North to CA-152 West to US-101 North for LA and from the East Bay, use either I-880 or I-680 South. Inner city routes get busy at rush hour but no more so than other metro areas.
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