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Guide to the best parks in San Jose

San Jose Parks | 🏞️ Explore the Best 6 Parks in San Jose, CA

Last Updated on: 31st May 2024, 10:21 am

San Jose is known for its amazing weather and natural beauty. With over 200 parks and 60 miles of walking trails throughout the city, residents will find everything from award-winning golf courses to dog parks. So whether you’re looking to take a Sunday morning job or plan a picnic with the family, you’ll find amazing San Jose parks.

The best parks in San Jose, CA, offer hiking trails, sports courts, picnic areas, botanical gardens, zoos, skating rinks, and so much more. Parks in San Jose run the gamut from small urban green spaces in the heart of the city to sprawling nature preserves on the fringes.

The mild weather in the Bay Area means you can visit any of these destinations virtually any time of the year and still find something fun to do. But with so many options, it can be tough to know where to go first and which San Jose parks offer the activities that interest you most. So, to help make it more manageable, here is a list of the best San Jose parks.

Kelley Park | A Centrally-Located San Jose Park Full of Fun Attractions

Located minutes from downtown San Jose, Kelley Park is a 172-acre public park known for its wide variety of attractions. The Happy Hollow Park & Zoo of San Jose is a small zoo inside Kelley Park that features exhibits of various animals, as well as a petting zoo and puppet theater.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is a 5.5-acre Japanese garden inside the park with a glistening koi pond and an iconic red-arched bridge. History Park San Jose is a family-friendly local history museum within Kelley Park that recreates what life was like in San Jose in the late 19th Century.

For sports fans, the park features a disc golf course and close proximity to the Sharks Ice San Jose skating rink, Excite Ball Park (home of the San Jose Giants), and CEFU Stadium (home of the San Jose State football and soccer teams). Emma Prusch Farm Park is also just down the road and offers more opportunities for fun.

In addition to all these exciting attractions, Kelley Park also features hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, and an amphitheater. So, if you’re looking for fun parks in San Jose, CA, with a wide range of activities, Kelley Park is the place to go.

1300 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95112 (408) 794-7275

Municipal Rose Garden | A San Jose Park With Over 3500 Flower Species

For those who love flowers and gorgeous views, the Municipal Rose Garden is one of the best parks in San Jose, California. The 5.5-acre botanical garden features over 189 different species of roses with over 3,500 individual plants. Visitors will see a mixture of hybrid varieties, clusters, single-stem roses, bushes, shrubs, and a wide selection of different types of roses.

The blooming season lasts from April through November, although the best time to visit is usually in May when the roses are at their most fragrant. Just down the road from the Municipal Rose Garden, visitors will find the Rose Garden Branch Library, Hester Park, the Historic Hoover Theater, and the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. So you have plenty to do in the area if you’re planning a day trip.

Although it isn’t the largest green space in the city, the Municipal Rose Garden is a great destination for those in search of the best park in San Jose to spend a sunny afternoon.

1649 Naglee Ave, San Jose, CA 95126 (408) 794-7275


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Alum Rock Park | A Historic San Jose Park with Panoramic Views

Situated on the city’s northeastern fringes, Alum Rock Park is one of the best San Jose city parks for outdoor adventurers. Founded in 1872, it’s one of the oldest municipal parks in California.

It’s positioned within the foothills of the Diablo Mountain Range, making it a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and other fun activities. Visitors will find plenty of trails, picnic tables, barbecue pits, restrooms, and playgrounds. Alum Park also hosts a wide range of educational programs for school kids and adults, including a summer camp for kids 5-14 that includes hiking, bird-watching and wilderness exploration.

It’s also a protected wildlife sanctuary, and you’ll see many species of birds, reptiles, and other critters roaming the park. However, it isn’t one of the dog-friendly San Jose parks, and your furry friends must stay home.

Some of San Jose’s best views can be found at the top of the ridge trails of Alum Rock Park. The Bay Area Ridge Trail is a notable example, which is a 550-mile multi-use trail that surrounds the San Francisco Bay Area. So, if you’re looking for a spacious park with the best views in San Jose, Alum Park is the perfect spot.

15350 Penitencia Creek Rd, San Jose, CA 95127 (408) 259-5477


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Hellyer County Park | A City Park in San Jose with Top-Notch Amenities

Hellyer County Park and the Coyote Creek Parkway is a 178-acre park within the Santa Clara County regional park system. Located West of Hellyer Avenue alongside Highway 101, it’s one of the best parks in South San Jose.

Visitors will encounter a 15-mile paved trail, picnicking spots, a disc golf course, a dog park, and a velodrome (an area for track cycling), which is used to stage amateur and professional biking events. Coyote Creek passes through the park, and Cottonwood Lake can be found in the center, making Hellyer County Park a popular destination for fishermen.

It’s also a popular spot for pet owners, as there’s a dog park in the northeastern corner of the grounds. For those with kids, you’ll find a newly built playground with a 30-foot-high play structure that features enclosed slides, bridges, swings, a climbing course, and a splash pad with jets, waterfalls, and sprinklers. There is also an area for toddlers to play with sand, climb, swing, and even create music.

Hikers will also find a one-mile self-guided trail along Coyote Creek, where you can catch a glimpse of a wide variety of flora and fauna. Visitors are also invited to play Agents of Discovery, a free educational mobile game that teaches you about all the natural, cultural, and historic resources found in the park as you navigate the trail.

As a result, Hellyer County Park is one of the good parks in San Jose, CA for those who want easy access to a range of outdoor activities.

985 Hellyer Ave, San Jose, CA 95111 (408) 225-0225

Almaden Quicksilver County Park | A Beautiful Park in San Jose with a Rich History

Almaden Quicksilver Park is a sprawling county park located just south of San Jose. It’s located on the grounds of a former mercury mine that operated between 1847 and 1976.

The mines played a pivotal role in the California Gold Rush as mercury was used to extract gold ore. By the time they closed in the mid-70s, close to 84 million pounds of mercury had been extracted. The grounds were then converted into a public park, although structures left over by the original miners are still present in the area. The park still features a mining museum with exhibits on the history of the industry and the communities that sprang up around it.

The massive San Jose park covers 4,163 acres of land with over 37 miles of hiking trails, 30 miles of equestrian trains, and 16.6 miles of biking trails. Visitors will find some of the top San Jose picnic spots in Almaden Quicksilver County Park, which is open to pets. Custom nature walks, history walks and tours of the museum are also available upon request.

Fishing is also permitted, although only for catch and release, as some of the reservoirs are known to have high mercury levels. But if you’re searching for parks near San Jose, CA, that offer spectacular views and unfettered access to nature, Almaden Quicksilver Park is the place to go.

21785 Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA 95120 (408) 535-4070

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park | A Cool Park in San Jose for Bikers and Fishermen

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park is another one of the top parks in San Jose, CA for those in search of outdoor adventure. The hilly park is a popular destination for cyclists who want challenging trails and beautiful terrain.

It covers about 62.7 acres and features numerous picnic spots, playgrounds, trails, public restrooms, and more. The park is situated in between Guadalupe Creek and Almaden Lake, a 32-acre fishing lake surrounded by trails, bocce ball courts and an amphitheater.

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park is also located directly off the Almaden Expressway, which offers direct access to downtown San Jose. The park is a bit more barebones, and you won’t find as many state-of-the-art amenities and unique attractions nearby. But if you’re looking for a quiet place to ride your bike or enjoy a picnic with your family, it’s one of the best parks in San Jose, CA.

5982 Thorntree Dr, San Jose, CA 95120 (408) 793-5510

Map of Parks in San Jose, CA

Thinking about moving to the San Jose area? Let our reliable West San Jose movers make your journey easy and affordable. Call (650) 284-2931 today for a free, personalized moving quote.


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