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Top Best Parks to Visit in San Jose

1. Municipal Rose Garden, 2. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, 3. Los Gatos Creek County Park, 4. Almaden Lake Regional Park, 5. Alum Rock Park, 6. Japanese Friendship Garden, 7. Hellyer County Park, 8. Guadalupe River Park and Gardens, 9. Emma Prusch Farm Park, 10. Campbell Park. San Jose provides a wide range of parks to choose from, including one of California's oldest municipal parks and other co-managed county parks around the region. A wide range of activi are available in these parklands. Playground climbing, hiking to a view, or stopping to admire flowers are all popular activities in San Jose parks. Below are some of the Best Parks to Visit in San Jose!

  1. Municipal Rose Garden
  2. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
  3. Los Gatos Creek County Park
  4. Almaden Lake Regional Park
  5. Alum Rock Park
  6. Japanese Friendship Garden
  7. Hellyer County Park
  8. Guadalupe River Park and Gardens
  9. Emma Prusch Farm Park
  10. Campbell Park

Municipal Rose Garden

The Municipal Rose Garden in San Jose is the city’s most well-known outdoor amenity. From late April to May, this blooming attraction is at its most colorful. Even between April and November, something is always in flower thanks to approximately 3,500 plants.

The garden spans over five acres and is surrounded by rose shrubs and other landscaping, providing plenty of space for visitors to stretch out. Especially during peak bloom season, it’s a popular area for strolling or taking photos. Commercial photography requires a permit. Picnic spots and facilities are also available in the Municipal Rose Garden. The garden also features a fountain, an arbor, and a rose garden stage, making it an ideal location for big events such as weddings. Every day from about sunrise to a half-hour after sunset, the park is open. All of the streets surrounding the park have parking.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Municipal Rose Garden

top best parks to visit in san jose

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

On the north end of Kelley Park in San Jose, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo covers 16 acres. This city parkland and zoo are famous tourist destinations, offering a variety of animal activities and other park amenities to keep you occupied for the day.

Many visitors come to Happy Hollow because of its AZA-accredited zoo. A fox, tortoise, wallaby, and larger animals like jaguars and American alligators all live here. The zoo also offers a variety of educational and hands-on programs for kids. In addition to seeing the animals, Happy Hollow is a favorite spot to play and explore. Rides like the carousel and kiddie swings keep kids fascinated for hours. A Dino dig, crooked house, and the expansive Redwood Lookout play structure are among the other attractions.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

top best parks to visit in san jose

Los Gatos Creek County Park

Los Gatos Creek County Park is a popular public place that offers a good starting point for exploring the city’s Los Gatos Creek Trail. The park is located southwest of downtown in the neighboring city of Campbell, about a 15-minute drive from downtown. San Jose cyclists may reach the park through the Los Gatos Creek Trail, which begins at Meridian Street and runs for 3.5 kilometers.

Parking requires an admission charge. Visitors have access to plenty of open space, including five ponds at the entrance gate, in addition to the large parking area. Swimming is prohibited, although the scenery is beautiful, and fishing is permitted with a valid license. The paved Los Gatos Creek Trail runs through the park from north to south. It connects several cities and communities along the way, making it one of San Jose’s top urban bike trails. Vasona Lake County Park is located a short distance south of Los Gatos Creek Trail and offers similar open space amenities.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Los Gatos Creek County Park

top best parks to visit in san jose

Almaden Lake Regional Park

Almaden Lake Regional Park is a popular recreational destination in San Jose’s southern reaches. The 65-acre park is centered around the lake, which is popular for fishing all week (permit required).

The park’s popularity comes from more than simply angling. Several sporting facilities may be found in the park. The park’s basketball courts and volleyball nets are often used, as are the horseshoe pits and bocce ball courts. Visitors must bring their own athletic gear. On a first-come, first-served basis, all amenities are available. Almaden Lake is a great area for picnics and admiring scenery. There are various reservable and non-reservable picnic areas at the park, as well as group facilities. Many picnic areas overlook the lake and provide a stunning view of a designated bird sanctuary.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Almaden Lake Regional Park

top best parks to visit in san jose

Alum Rock Park

One of California’s oldest municipal parks is Alum Rock Park. It spans about 700 acres in a canyon on the city’s northeast side. With around 13 miles of trails, it’s a popular spot for a variety of activities, including hiking. Some of these trails are also suitable for horseback riders and cyclists.

There are various reservable and non-reservable picnic spots throughout the park. Appreciating the natural environment is a top activity since Upper Pentencia Creek runs through the bottom of the canyon with diverse landscapes on either side. One of San Jose’s top hiking trails, Eagle Rock Trail at Alum Rock Park, is a must-see. There are several trailheads that climb uphill to this famed vantage point. Climb to the top for one of the best views of Santa Clara Valley in the park.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Alum Rock Park

top best parks to visit in san jose

Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose was established in 1965 as a symbol of the city’s friendship with Okayama, Japan, which is San Jose’s sister city. It’s close to the town’s center, near Kelley Park and Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. The garden’s tranquil settings are easily accessible from its central location.

Japanese bridges, waterfalls, and a community teahouse are among the park’s outstanding architectural features. The Japanese garden is a favorite place for photographers, though commercial photography requires a permit. The Japanese Friendship Garden, including the beautiful Koi Pond, was devastated by the Coyote Creek floods in 2017. Although the large koi pond is empty, the garden is still open as of 2022 and is still beautifully landscaped. Until the necessary filtration systems are installed, the park’s fish are housed in a smaller pond on-site.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Japanese Friendship Garden

top best parks to visit in san jose

Hellyer County Park

Hellyer County Park, located southeast of downtown and accessible by the 101, is a popular urban park. Coyote Creek and the nearby Coyote Creek Parkway run through the park, providing opportunities for adventure in both ways. However, the park itself offers enough entertainment for a full day.

Cottonwood Lake is the focal point of the park’s beauty. Aside from simply where the numerous birds that gather there, it is also a favorite fishing spot all year. Anglers above the age of 16 must have a fishing license. The lake is surrounded by other amenities such as group picnic areas and sitting benches. A unique Olympic-sized velodrome may be found in Hellyer County Park. Throughout the year, professional and amateur bicycle races are held on this banked track. Two nine-hole disc golf courses with a varied tee and pin locations are available at Hellyer.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Hellyer County park

top best parks to visit in san jose

Guadalupe River Park and Gardens

Guadalupe River Park & Gardens is a three-mile parkland ribbon that spans from Highway 880 in the north to Highway 280 in the south along the banks of the Guadalupe River in the center of downtown San Jose.

By foot, bike, or even Segway, you can enjoy the fresh air, wildlife, and sunshine at Guadalupe River Park and Gardens. On the 3-mile “Urban Trail Experience”, a park that goes through the center of the city and up behind Little Italy, enjoy nature and explore San Jose at its best. Concerts, 5K runs, classes, and festivals are all held at the park on a regular basis. Throughout the scenic area, you can see the birdlife and public art, and if you’re lucky, you can even see the beaver family that lives in the river. A Heritage Rose Garden with over 3,700 varieties is located farther north of Rotary PlayGarden in Guadalupe River Park.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Guadalupe River Park and Gardens

top best parks to visit in san jose

Emma Prusch Farm Park

Emma Prusch Farm Park is a unique city park in San Jose’s downtown area. Emma Prusch, a native of San Jose, deeded her dairy farm to the city in 1962 in the hopes of preserving its natural environment. Even today, this 47-acre park in the heart of town maintains a rustic vibe.

Emma Prusch Farm Park is free to visit, including parking. The farmhouse, which now serves as the park office, is one of the few surviving remnants of the site’s dairy history. A large livestock barn is also on the property, which is sometimes occupied by 4-H farm animals. Next to the barn is an open pasture goat and sheep area. Several community engagements, such as after-school programs and summer camps, are held at the park. In addition, two playgrounds at Emma Prusch attract a lot of adolescent attention. There are several designated picnic spots in the park, some of which may be reserved.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Emma Prusch Farm Park

top best parks to visit in san jose

Campbell Park

Campbell Park is one of the largest parks to be laid out in England in the 20th and 21st Century. Campbell Park, located south of downtown on the banks of Los Gatos Creek, is a small but popular community park. Campbell is connected to other parks and downtown by the famous Los Gatos Creek Trail, which runs through the area.

Campbell Park is a great, clean open park surrounded by a busy part of town. The park’s amenities, which include basketball courts, horseshoe pits, and lots of picnic area, are often used by visitors. It also has a large playground area that is popular with kids. Campbell’s large grassy area is excellent for relaxing and laying out a blanket. This area is next to the paved Los Gatos Creek Trail, which sees a high amount of walkers, bikers, and other pedestrians.

top best parks to visit in san jose

Campbell Park

top best parks to visit in san jose

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