Santa Clara (population 109,000) is located in north central California, 8 miles north of San Jose and 45 miles south of San Francisco. It is just off State Highway 101 and ringed by Interstates 280, 680, and 880. Santa Clara is best served by San Jose International Airport, but the airports at San Francisco and Oakland are both within easy driving distance.
Santa Clara has a moderate climate. During the winters the average low is 41 degrees. In the summer months the average high is 84 degrees. It receives approximately 15 inches of rainfall a year with its wettest time being in January.
Despite its low rainfall, Santa Clara and the surrounding Santa Clara Valley are very fertile. It was first discovered by Spanish scouts in 1769. The first Spanish mission was founded in 1777. During the gold rush, many failed miners settled down and began to farm in the Santa Clara Valley area. The town was incorporated in 1852. Immediately, it became a center for seed and fruit agriculture, as well as the manufacturing involved in canning and preserving. By the 1990’s, the Santa Clara valley was unofficially rechristened Silicon Valley. It is now the world leader in designing and producing semi-conductors and other computer related products and services.
Santa Clara has many museums, shopping centers, and excellent restaurants. Silicon Valley’s reputation brings in the best and brightest from around the world, so the city as adopted a bit of an international flare. Nearby universities include Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, and Stanford University.