Neighborhoods in and around downtown offer a range of lifestyles.

On the one hand, those who choose to live in apartments and condos in the heart of the action will experience a busy, energetic and sometime pulsing experience. Just a few blocks away, in 100-year-old homes, residents enjoy a blend of serenity and calm, mixed with just the right amount of city swagger. Here’s a closer look:

St. James Historic: The Saint James Historic District is representative of the new downtown: historic sites and homes sit side-by-side with new high-density condos. An area of hidden treasures, a walk through St. James Park reveals protected historic architecture and gems such as a German beerhouse, all surrounding a shaded park with lush, cool grass that serves as home to free summer concerts and outdoor movie screenings. In 2013, residents initiated an all-out effort to improve the safety, vibrancy and activity in the park.

Convention and Cultural District: Residents in the Convention and Cultural District live in new condo complexes such as Paseo Plaza and Paseo Villas. They enjoy true urban living with shopping, dining, cultural amenities and the greenery of Plaza de Cesar Chavez located within a few walkable blocks of their homes.  San Jose is proud of its newly expanded Convention Center, the anchor of the district.

SoFA: SoFA continues to redefine downtown’s arts and entertainment experience, with restaurants, art galleries and the California Theater lining South First Street. Denizens of SoFA will include residents of 360 Residences future coming residents in a couple of large apartment buildings.  One of the highlights of each month (except January and July) is the South First Friday gallery crawl.

Historic District: New, stylish condos such as TheGlobe and The 88, along with refurbished turn-of-the-century apartments, are where residents of the Historic District call home. The Historic District offers unparalleled entertainment and dining options tucked inside some of downtown’s oldest and grandest buildings, plus transit services steps from the front door.

San Pedro Square: Residents of San Pedro Square live above stylish restaurants in refurbished historic apartment homes and will soon move into new high-rise condos such as Axis and the Carlysle. San Pedro Square is San Jose’s dining destination, and with HP Pavilion a few blocks away, entertainment is never far.

Little ItalyLittle Italy is a fledgling neighborhood tucked between San Pedro Square and Guadalupe River Park.  The walkable district has a few anchor businesses already such as Paesano’s Italian Ristorante.

Market/Almaden: The Market/Almaden Neighborhood ishome to many turn-of-the-century historic homes. MANA residents live in a designated conservation district in the southwest quadrant of downtown, where they are a short walk from attractions and amenities.

Hensley: The Hensley Historic District,one of San Jose’s oldest neighborhoods, is located directly north of downtown. The area was designated a National Historic District in 1982 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has the largest concentration of Victorian homes left in the central city area, according to the Preservation Action Council. The district features many various architectural styles including Queen Anne, Italianate, Dutch Colonial, Colonial Revival, and Stick-Eastlake.

Horace Mann: The Horace Mann neighborhood, north ofCity Hall, includes stately Victorian homes as well as amenities such as Le Petit Trianon Theater and Horace Mann Elementary School.

Naglee Park: Beautiful homes developed on the estate of Brig. Gen. Henry Morris Naglee, a Civil War veteran and prominent California pioneer, comprise Naglee Park. The historic neighborhood is southeast of the downtown core.

South University: Students and downtowners share the South University Neighborhood, home to large Victorian single-family residences as well as apartment living. The neighborhood provides easy access to downtown amenities and San Jose State University.

Spartan KeyesThe Spartan Keyes neighborhood is close to outdoor recreation at Kelley Park, the Coyote Creek Trail and the Guadalupe River Trail. Also within walking distance is San Jose State University and all the restaurants, movie theaters and entertainment opportunities of downtown San Jose. It was established in the turn of the century and has many architectural elements that show this heritage. While touring the Spartan Keyes neighborhood you’ll come across beautiful Craftsman and Victorian architecture on every block. The streets are shaded by mature trees that enhance the beauty of the neighborhood and give it an old neighborhood feel.

Vendome: The Vendome neighborhood, named for the Vendome Hotel that graced the area from 1889 to 1930, is a charming, walkable neighborhood immediately to the north of downtown. Bordered by Ryland Park, George, San Pedro and First streets, the Vendome neighborhood is home to many of the city’s Victorians, andSpanish- and Craftsman-style homes built in the 1930s.

San Jose Downtown Residents Association:  Get involved in your neighborhood.