Key findings

  • San Jose has a Livability Score of 66/100, which is considered average
  • San Jose crime rates are 6% higher than the California average
  • Cost of living in San Jose is 28% higher than the California average
  • San Jose real estate prices are 61% higher than the California average
  • Rental prices in San Jose are 30% higher than the California average

Best Places to Live in and Around San Jose

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      San Jose, CA

      San Jose is one of the country's top hubs for the tech sector, and the city has seen a dramatic transformation since the birth of the Internet. It is a large city that is surrounded by the hills of the Silicon Valley. Before the Internet put the city on the map, Spanish colonizers set up shop in the 1700s. The city also held the title of California's first capital city, although it was a short run that only lasted a few years. Home prices in the city are out of this world, but those with jobs in the tech sector may be able to find a wonderful home at a price that works for their budget.

      Cisco Systems and Adobe are a couple of the largest employers in San Jose, and they and the other leading tech companies in the area offer employees competitive salaries and great benefit packages. San Jose does not suffer from the traffic problems that plague Los Angeles, but it has seen a steady increase of traffic as more and more people come to the area with dreams of founding the next Facebook or eBay. San Jose is home to just over one million people. VTA offers public transit options all around the Silicon Valley with full-service bus routes that operate in San Jose.

      When the tech geniuses are not hard at work making the websites and apps that are going to change the world, they spend time at the San Jose Sharks hockey games cheering on one of the most popular teams in all of the National Hockey League. Tech Interactive is a fitting attraction for the area that showcases all of the wonders of design and entrepreneurship on a giant IMAX screen. The city's Egyptian Museum is one of the best in the country, and a visit to the museum is a great way to introduce your family to the wonders of the ancient world. Happy Hollow Park and Zoo is a fun place to escape with your little ones who will fall in love with the lions, tigers, and bears.

      San Jose is a great place for families thanks to its low crime rate and amazing educational system. The city is home to San Jose State University and several other private schools. Blossom Valley, Japantown, Overfelt, and Piedmont Hills are areas of the city that are popular for transplants that are looking to buy their first home in the city. While housing costs are high and the cost of living may be higher than other cities in the state, the salaries that the tech sector pay are some of the highest in the entire state as well.

      Top Rated Schools in San Jose

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Sacred Heart Nativty Schools6 - 8106n/a
      Steindorf Steam K-8 MagnetKG - 8479n/a
      Leland High9 - 121,923n/a
      Cherrywood Elementary SchoolKG - 5314n/a
      Ocala Middle6 - 8477n/a
      Valle Vista Elementary SchoolKG - 5348n/a
      Discovery CharterKG - 8567n/a
      Foothill High11 - 12330n/a
      See all San Jose schools

      San Jose Reviews

      Write a review about San Jose Tell people what you like or don't like about San Jose…
      Lived here my whole life and have always liked it
      I was born and raised in San Jose and have lived all over the South Bay in my 31 years. Like any town, it has its good and bad areas.
      The Good: It's such a large city that has no shortage of things to do. You can go downtown (San Jose, Willow Glen, Campbell areas) for drinks and food or you can go up to the hills for some hiking/biking trails, lots of shopping malls and no shortage of cool spots to visit (The Tech Museum, Rosicrucian, The rose garden across from the Rosicrucian, and the list goes on).
      Many neighborhoods are family-friendly and are typically close to shopping centers.
      Lots of animal lovers - I'd say most of my neighbors have cats, dogs, or both. Many hiking trails are dog friendly and there are tons of dog parks.
      Many great schools and city colleges.
      It's super diverse with over 1 million people and growing. Lots of different languages spoken here.

      The Bad: this city has been dubbed "Man Jose" because the man to woman ratio is not great.
      Cost-wise, even the most run-down homes, in not-so-great neighborhoods can cost well over $800,000. It's expensive and full of techies which continue to raise prices.
      Traffic is pretty bad in the Bay Area, especially if you work in tech since most tech companies are North to San Jose. If you live in San Jose and have to drive North during rush hour, prepare to be in traffic for at least 45-60+ min each way for a 15-mile drive. Anything more than 15 miles, you may want to consider moving closer to your place of work.
      On the topic of traffic, I hate to say it, but many drivers are either rude or lack common sense around here. It can be very frustrating.
      I've had my fair share of porch pirates in my neighborhood and I know this is a common problem around the area. The problem peaks around Christmas time, of course. Lots of people now use front door cameras for this reason.
      3 0
      San Jose is def. a town to look into. I was raised in diff. parts of San Jose. From the East side to the very desired area of Willow Glen. Over all I will always love San Jose, my heart will always be in San Jose.

      It has all you want, the malls, the restaurants, the movie theaters, and so much more! It is a a really nice BIG city now, that continues to grow. It is a very diverse city that has great parks and schools.

      Great Climate and great places to go out! Santana Row, Lincoln Ave "WillowGlen", Evergreen, and Blossom Valley and Downtown Campbell areas you would want to look into. If looking to buy Real Estate and need helping with your home search I will be more then happy to help!

      I am a Realtor at your serviceA that has been raised in San Jose :) If there is anything I can do to help please do not hesitate to contact me. Best of luck with your area search!

      Maria Angeles Lomeli, Realtor.
      [email protected]
      0 -7
      San Jose is Not a City of Boredom
      I lived in San Jose, California for 3 years. San Jose is a large city. There are only 2 cities in California that are bigger. I loved San Jose for the variety of activities that are available. You never get bored. San Jose has great museums, outdoor activities, shopping, and restaurants. The only thing I did not like in San Jose was the traffic and the large population.

      If you go to downtown San Jose, you will find some wonderful museums. My favorite one is the Tech Museum. The Tech museum is a learning experience for both young and old. It is a museum with interactive technology. There are exhibits on the human body and the internet that are open every day. If you are downtown you can also visit the San José Museum of Art. This museum is known for its collection of modern art. They specialize in art from the West coast. San Jose has a variety of shopping and restaurants. One popular shopping area is Santana Row. Santana Row is has a European feel of shopping. Santana row is very popular area for residents. Another shopping area is the Valley Fair Mall. Valley Fair has over 250 stores and many good restaurants.

      Since the weather is very nice and mild in San Jose, you will want to get outside. A fun place to go is Alum Rock Park. Here you can enjoy hiking, jogging, mountain biking, and picnicking. Visitors at the park like to view the canyon, creek, and the small waterfalls. The highlight of this park is the view of Mount Hamilton, which is the high peak of the Bay. You can view Mount Hamilton at the Lick Observatory which has a telescope. Another beautiful park that you won't want to miss is the Municipal Rose Garden. This area is over 5 acres with 4,000 rose bushes. The beautiful roses are in bloom for a long time with the mild climate.
      0 -4
      Our Day in San Jose, CA
      Whenever we fly to northern California, we always use the San Jose airport rather than San Francisco's torturous, congested terminals 45 miles to the north - it's smaller and more efficient. So on our last trip, we decided to spend a day exploring the city of San Jose.

      In the morning we went to the Winchester Mystery House, a weird old mansion built by the heiress of the Winchester Gun Company entirely without an architect - apparently she built it according to the directions of the ghosts of the people slaughtered by Winchester rifles over the years. Very spooky place. We spent the afternoon at the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation which was truly awesome with an earthquake simulator and an IMAX theater - we watched a 3D movie about deep sea animals. San Jose also has a pretty cool Children's Discovery Museum and an Egyptian Museum run by the Rosicrucians.

      I will say the downtown San Jose is a bit shabby and rundown, and the San Jose restaurant choices there were not so great. We looked for clubs or attractions where we might want to go but didn't see any that looked inviting. Also there's one mall with the usual big box stores, but we didn't see any small, interesting, unique retail shops or restaurants in downtown San Jose.
      2 -2
      Source: The San Jose, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).