Downtowners enjoy an active lifestyle and a variety of choices.

Guadalupe River Park and Gardens cuts a swath through downtown, providing jogging and biking trails that extend to the bay, tennis courts, public art viewing and wildlife. In 2013, a family of beavers set up house in the river, joining egrets, herons and other beauties of nature.  And where else can you play a game of life-size Monopoly with your friends or ride a shark on a carousel?

Downtown offers several indoor and outdoor fitness options. A number of fun 5k and 10k races each year begin and end downtown. The culmination of the running season is the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon, which attracts more than 10,000 runners. Several health clubs – including those inside the new high-rise developments themselves – allow residents to get their hearts pumping for the requisite 35 minutes a day. And as the center of San Jose, people downtown are never far away from golf, swimming and other sports.

If cheering from the sidelines is your game, the NHL Sharks hockey team provides the hot ticket in town. The MSL Earthquakes soccer and Arena Football Sabres also offer excitement. The San Jose State University Spartans deliver top-level collegiate competition. And for the past several years, San Jose has hosted the Tour of California cycling race, gymnastics and ice skating championships and March Madness.

For music and events, SAP Center, The Center for Performing Arts, Civic Auditorium, California Theater, San Jose State Events Center and a number of smaller theaters bring world-class entertainment to their stages. Plaza de Cesar Chavez and St. James Park are home to outdoor concerts and events.


Guadalupe River Park and Gardens offers 2.6 miles of trails and 150 acres. Landscaped with more than 15,000 trees, 9,000 shrubs, and 60,000 groundcover plants, the park serves double duty – providing 100-year flood protection for downtown San Jose. Downtown is also home to several other parks and playgrounds.

GRPGBikeTrail_1Guadalupe River Park and Gardens
Friends of Guadalupe River Park & Gardens (View Photos here)
(408) 298-7657.
Trail Tourism Map

Arena Green, Santa Clara and Autumn Street
McEnery Park, San Fernando Street and Almaden Boulevard
Discovery Meadow, San Carlos Street and Woz Way
Parque de los Pobladores (Gore Park), First and Market streets, SoFA
Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Market and San Carlos streets
Ryland Park, San Pedro and First streets, 3.2 acres, restrooms, picnic tables, barbecues, playgrounds, basketball courts, exercise course and dog park
St. James Park, St. James and Second streets, benches, chess tables, fountains

Near downtown:
Backesto Park, 13th and Empire streets, 13 acres, restrooms, 11 picnic tables, three barbecues, two playgrounds, two basketball courts, eight tennis courts, handball court, lighted softball field
William Street Park, 16th and William streets, 15.9 acres, 32 picnic tables, 4 barbecues, one playground, and one basketball court.
For more information visit  City trail info is here.

Family Fun

Favorite outdoor activities for the kids include splashing about in the fountain at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, taking the carousel in Arena Green for a spin and climbing on the play structures in Arena Green. For indoor fun, the Children’s Discovery Museum and Tech Museum provide hours of inspiring, enriching and interactive amusement.

Tech Museum – Open 10 am-5 pm daily. Pricing for regular galleries is $15 adults and $10 children. Add on IMAX for only $5 more each.
201 S Market St.
(408) 294-8324

Children’s Discovery Museum – Open 10 am-5 pm Tues-Sat and noon-5 pm Sun. $11-$12. 180 Woz Way
(408) 298-5437

For additional family friendly activities, try:
Downtowner Online


San Jose Sharks
San Jose SaberCats
San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose Spartans
San Jose Giants
Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon
Amgen Tour of California
Santa Run Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

Community Centers

Gardner520 W. Virginia St.(408) 277-2474
Grace484 E. San Fernando St.(408) 293-0422
Hoover1677 Park Ave(408) 292-5871
Jacinto "Tony" Siquig488 N. Sixth St.(408) 277-2686
Roosevelt901 E. Santa Clara St.(408) 794-7555

Senior Centers

Alma136 W. Alma Ave.(408) 277-5202
Roosevelt901 E. Santa Clara St.(408) 794-7555
Willow Glen2175 Lincoln Ave.(408) 448-6400

Youth Centers

Gardner520 W. Virginia Ave.(408) 277-4761
Washington United921 S. First St.(408)938-6731

For more information on the City of San Jose’s community centers, click here.

Health Clubs/Gyms

Bally Total Fitness150 S. First St, # 119 (408) 924-0500
San Jose Athletic Club196 N. Third St.(408) 292-1141
City Sport Physical Therapy196 N. Third St.(408) 287-8881
YMCA1717 The Alameda(408) 298-1717

Tennis Courts

Guadalupe River Park and Gardens
River and Santa Clara street – 4 courts with lights (not reservable)

Backesto Park
13th and Empire streets – 8 courts with no lights (reservable)

Click here for additional information about San Jose recreation activities.


San Jose State University Aquatic Center1 Washington Square (408) 924-6350