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The Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, nestled just two miles from San Jose, is often referred to as the Silicon Valley Airport, as it’s located close to where many of the technology giants have their headquarters. As such it’s the perfect destination if you’re here on business, but San Jose – and nearby places such as San Francisco and Monterey – also offers much to the tourist.
San Jose is a fascinating mix of the new and the old. It buzzes with Silicon Valley invention, but also has roots dating back to America’s foundation and the gold rush to the West. And, of course, you’re in California, with great cities, beautiful coastal roads and amazing beaches only a drive away.
A glimpse of the future
The airport itself is strikingly modern, very much a hub for the digital age. You may well be greeted by the sight of the Space Observer, built in 2010 and looking like something straight out of a science fiction film. It sets the tone for the futuristic side of San Jose, which you can explore further at The Tech museum. This state-of-the-art visitor attraction is proudly hands-on, aiming to inspire the innovators of the future. Learn about robots, virtual reality and alternative energy before heading to the on-site IMAX cinema for awe-inspiring visuals.
More than a mystery
At the other end of the spectrum is the Winchester Mystery House, a piece of late 19th and early 20th century whimsy built by a true eccentric. Sarah Winchester started building the house in 1884 and conducted séances so that the spirits could guide the development, which went on until 1922. The spirits were clearly in a playful mood – this is a house with 40 bedrooms and 40 staircases, but includes doors that open to reveal walls, a staircase leading nowhere and chimneys that don’t reach the roof. The furniture and glass are inspiring, but so are the parquet floors – one craftsman alone dedicated 33 years of his life to them.
Make the most of that famed California sunshine by exploring the Kelley Park in San Jose. Sprawling over 156 acres, it houses a park and zoo, a Japanese friendship garden and several museums, but also the wonderful History Park. The latter is full of historic buildings that have been relocated to the park in an attempt to recreate what San Jose once looked like. Houses, banks, stables, a print shop and fruit barn, all from the early 1900s, are sympathetically arranged with exhibits. It’s a reminder of life before the tech explosion.
You may be visiting for business in Silicon Valley or starting out on a road trip around California and the west. Either way, car hire at San Jose International Airport brings it all much closer.
With a wide range of travellers passing through our locations every day, we've got a wide range of vehicles on offer to suit your needs - from smart executive saloons to compact family hatchbacks. ***
***Specific cars may not be available when booking
Please note that from 15 Nov to 15 Apr many cities are required by law to restrict the circulation to only vehicles equipped with snow chains or winter tyres. For a summary of the orders, please visit www.poliziadistato.it. To comply with the regulations, in specific locations subject to this requirement, vehicles are equipped with snow chains - the price is included in the rental charges through the cost of "Winterization Fee". At pick-up if you decide to bring your own snow chains or do not intend on driving on the roads subject to this requirement, you may decline the equipment by signing the appropriate release form. This change will be reflected in the rental charges. For more information on the fees, please click here. In all other regions, we recommend that you check before renting if your journey includes one of the roads subject to this requirement and therefore request the snow chains, if necessary.