Most people know San Jose, California, as the leader of the Silicon Valley and the internet revolution. There is a lot going for this amazing city, from sports stadiums to museums and historical sites like the Mission San Jose, to the bar and club scene that keeps the town hopping well into the night hours.

San Jose has something for everyone, and is quickly becoming a center of activity for sports events and concerts in the Bay Area. This thriving city plays host to several sport teams including the Earthquakes (soccer), the Giants (baseball), the world famous San Jose Sharks (hockey), and is even said to be enticing the famous San Francisco 49ers out of their traditional home and into the heart of Silicon Valley.

The city grew up as an agricultural town near the Mission San Jose, which was founded by Spanish settlers in the hopes of converting the natives. The town grew steadily over the years, becoming a thriving city even before the dot com boom drove it to become the heart of what is now Silicon Valley and the internet revolution.

The history of the city is still there if you decide to look, and is housed in museums all through the city. If you want to take a real step into history, visit Mission San Jose for yourself and imagine what life was like far before the gold rush swelled the ranks of California.

Thousands of people commute into San Jose every day by car, bus and plane for business and pleasure, but by day the well-executed freeway system is mostly free and clear of traffic and problems, and a driver would have no trouble navigating the streets of the city either. Unlike other big cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, the road system of San Jose is easy to follow and understand.

If you are looking for a day of fun, look into seeing a movie in Imax at the San Jose Tech Museum, have dinner at one of the city’s many fine restaurants, and follow it up with a trip to one of the many local theaters that dot the city. San Jose may be known more for commerce than for entertainment, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t excel at both.

From San Jose, you are also poised to visit several local cities that will be glad to show you a good time, from Santa Cruz and miles of beach to San Francisco in the north, and even Gilroy to the south, the Garlic Capitol of the World (just ask them!) Spend your day touring the area, and then head back to San Jose at night for relaxation and fun.

Looking for a little more excitement during your trip? Then don’t forget about Paramount’s Great America theme park with rides like Top Gun and Invertigo to shake you up and have you screaming for more. If you get tired of those rides, unlikely as that is, drive an hour to Six Flags in Vallejo or to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and scream the day away.

From children demanding excitement to couples looking for sophisticated romance to singles looking for a swinging time, San Jose has something to delight each crowd. The stadiums that attract sports teams and concerts alike will have you jumping up out of your seat, or the theaters will find you standing to applaud.

The rich cultural mix of white, Asian and Mexican influence comes together in the Silicon Valley to show us what we really can be if we put our minds to it – and that is a beautiful thing. It might not be first on your itinerary for California… but it should be.