Tech, business, and old California charm come to mind in regards to San Jose, but no trip to this diverse city is complete without experiencing its lively art scene. Discover lesser-known treasures of the Bay Area and enjoy live performances with an artist’s getaway in San Jose. Enjoy public art, which enlivens the streets, and delight your creative senses with dance and theater performances.
By Nikhil Misra
For a wide array of art including paintings, sculpture, photography, and drawing, plan to visit the San Jose Museum of Art. This is the go-to destination for exploring fascinating works by California and West Coast artists and its proximity downtown to the Tech Museum of Innovation means you can hit both cultural hotspots in one go.
Bring science to life at the Tech Museum of Innovation, where you can find hands-on activities and exhibits for all ages to enjoy. The Tech boasts scientific exhibits in biotechnology, past technological innovations around the world, social robots and more. Their IMAX Theater hosts a variety of rotating exhibits as well.
SAN JOSE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
When you’re trip planning for San Jose, check out current performances at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. Home to the venerated Ballet San Jose and Broadway San Jose, this venue hosts spectacular performances in theatre, dance, music and more.
The acclaimed Anno Domini Gallery in San Jose is all about contemporary art, specifically urban contemporary art and culture. Despite being founded as recently as 2000, the gallery has already been listed within the top 100 art galleries worldwide making it a must-visit for art lovers and a prime destination if you are looking to see something you likely never have before.
MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana) showcases the Chicano/Latino experience through visual arts as well as exhibitions. A sleek and well-designed space, the MACLA offers everything from art exhibitions to classes to book readings and more.
Repeatedly getting national attention for its wonderful performances, this regional center for the arts is unique in its diverse range of productions. Check what’s happening here when you’re in town to enjoy the gripping performances and high level of talent that this theatre consistently features.
SOUTH FIRST FRIDAYS and the SoFA DISTRICT
You certainly must not miss the South First Friday art walk if you are in the area on the first Friday of the month (except for January and July). This is perhaps the best way to immerse yourself in the creative community of San Jose. The streets of the SoFA (South First Area) district are alive and bustling as galleries open their doors and live performances take place. Take your time to duck in and peruse the exhibits and collections. In between stops, enjoy a cocktail at one of the many interesting bars and cafes that sprinkle the area, like The Continental Bar or Cafe Stritch.
Want to explore San Jose some more? Make a personalized day-by-day itinerary using your interests and budget in moments at tripplan.sanjose.org!