Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Stroll Around Downtown San Jose

Downtown San Jose is actually very walkable. Within the downtown area, there is a trail system that runs along the Guadalupe River. The trail passes through several parks, and goes past the Children's Discovery Museum.

The San José Water Company building  was constructed in 1934. The San José Water Works building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a City Landmark. The building is the oldest privately owned water utility in California and combines both Moderne and Spanish Colonial Revival architectural elements. You can see the high walls in front of the building - flood control was a major design requirement when constructing the Guadalupe River trail.

I pass the very pleasant Guadalupe River park on my way through downtown, which is across from the Shark Tank (HP Pavillion, soon to be SAP Center).

The City has done it's best to preserve a wooded environment along the river wherever possible.

This is the AXIS Condo, which I pass on my walk - gorgeous design.

I make my way past the historic Hotel De Anza, an Art Deco gem - specifically, Zig Zag Moderne. The hotel opened during the Depression, in 1931.

This is the Britannia Arms, a watering hole for homesick Brits.

The South First area (SOFA) is filled with restaurants, clubs, galleries and shops.

The local Muji outpost is in the SOFA area, directly accessible by VTA Light Rail.

Unlike BART, VTA Light Rail is clean and pleasant.

Many people don't realize that many of San Jose's Native American and immigrant residents lived along the banks of the Guadalupe River. The local Italian community got it's start here.

San Pedro Square contains one of Spanish California's oldest settlements, the Peralta Adobe, was built in 1797 and is the last remaining structure from El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. Across the street, early San Jose mayor Thomas Fallon built his large house in 1855. San Pedro Street is lined with historic buildings dating from the turn of the last century. 

The San Pedro Square area also is filled with restaurants and entertainment venues.

The San Pedro Square Market Building has numerous restaurants serving Tapas, Middle Eastern, Continental, brewpub fare, Asian, Italian, Cuban and retro American style food.

The old Fallon House, with a brand new condo looming in the distance.

This is the Peralta Adobe, the oldest structure in San Jose. The City of San Jose was founded in 1777, and is one of the oldest cities in the U.S.

San Pedro Square sponsors free live music and entertainment during the summer months.

This is the view of the Britannia Arms from the San Pedro Square side - plenty of outdoor seating.

Amazingly, Salmon spawn in the Guadalupe River - I even saw a jumping Salmon the evening that I took this photo.

 The City has done it's best to landscape the areas under the freeways, providing walkers, runners, and cyclists with paved trails.

 This is the back of my old office building at 333 W. San Carlos. During the 1995 flood, the Guadalupe river came all the way up to the back door of the building - hence the flood control measures now built into the trail system.

The Guadalupe River Trail is an island of tranquility in an otherwise very urban area.

I walk past the Shark Tank on my way home.

Sometimes, I'll cut through San Jose Diridon Station instead of walking around.

San Jose Diridon was built in 1935 and designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival Style - the interior is quite beautiful, with a trussed, wooden ceiling.

San Jose enjoys sunshine 300 days a year, making solar-powered parking meters possible.

The VTA Light Rail Station is directly in back of the main train station. I can walk out of my parking garage and take the Light Rail or Caltrain - it's very convenient.

I'm very grateful for the great year-round weather which makes my daily evening walks possible.

Hope you enjoyed my mini-walking tour!



  1. Ahhh, just when I thought I can't get more jealous of you (after seeing all the Asian food!) then I saw the weather...

    1. Citrine, I cannot complain at all about the weather - although it did sprinkle with rain last night :)