San Jose is a geeky, geeky town. Established high-tech companies like Adobe and tiny little start-ups make downtown San Jose their home. Flying into Mineta San Jose International Airport, you’ll see many more tech company headquarters and facilities. What you won’t see from your window, though, is San Jose’s fun geeky side.
San Jose has a great convention scene. Whether it’s Further Confusion, Big Wow Comic Fest, FanimeCon, or Clockwork Alchemy (Fanime’s “steampunk annex”), there’s events for every sort of fan in San Jose. There is also BayCon in neighboring Santa Clara, Convolution in Burlingame, FogCon in Walnut Creek, a calendar of great gaming conventions throughout northern California and a really great annual Lego conference.
San Jose’s SF club scene is also thriving. BASFA engages in genre discussions over dinner with a side-order of recreational parliamentary procedure every Monday. PenSFA is a lot less structured, but very, very social. The Legion of Rassilon has monthly meetings, focusing on Doctor Who and British genre television. And then there are all the ad-hoc weekly fan gatherings.
Arts & Entertainment
San Jose is a great town for the arts, and downtown San Jose is a growing arts area. South FIRST FRIDAYS is a monthly downtown art walk showcasing local galleries and venues only blocks away from the San Jose Convention Center. SLG Publishing created Art Boutiki, a comic shop that is so much more than just a comic shop.
We’re very solid in the museum department. The Tech Museum of Innovation, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose and the San Jose Museum of Art are all right downtown. We’ve also got the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Gardens, a quirky little place with a seriously amazing collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Of course, if “quirky” is your thing, Sarah Winchester’s Winchester Mystery House holds the record on taking “quirky” over the top. And there are plenty of other museums (Computer History Museum, anyone) nearby.
If live music and live theater is your scene, we’ve got you covered. Live music is common at many of our downtown bars, clubs and cafes. We’ve got some amazing independent theater companies, and quirky little theaters that they call home.
Food & Beverage
Downtown San Jose is very proud of its restaurant scene, featuring a wide range of prices and cuisines. Our downtown restaurants cater to high-tech office tower workers, San José State University students, and everyone in between. Our taquerias are diverse and very authentic, but Mexican cuisine here isn’t limited to taquerias. Vietnamese options abound and not just phō and bánh mì. Japanese of every sort is available, both within walking distance and a few light rail stops away in San Jose’s Japantown. The Brittania Arms provides traditional English pub fare. I could go on, but I don’t need to.
The bay area’s art scene, geeky culture and high-tech expertise was a natural cradle for the “maker” subculture that has grown up over the last few years. Burning Man, RoboGames, Maker Faire, the TechShop, all have driven enthusiasm in creative arts and crafts.