San Jose is preparing to host RCMA's 34th World Conference and Exposition, which will be held January 31-February 3, 2006.
With a population of 925,000, San Jose is the third-largest city in California and the West Coast, and the 11th-largest city in the nation.
San Jose is larger than San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Miami, and Denver. San Jose also has been the “safest big city in America” for three consecutive years, according to FBI crime statistics.
Located between the Diablo and Santa Cruz mountain ranges, San Jose encompasses 170 square miles at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay and is about 45 minutes south of San Francisco and 70 minutes northeast of Monterey.
With nearly 300 days of sunshine, San Jose averages 70 degrees in July and 50 degrees in January. “California casual” dress is appropriate for daytime and most evening outings. A sweater or light jacket is suggested for evenings, with coats advisable for November through March.
San Jose was founded in 1777 and is the oldest civil settlement in California. It was also the state's first capital (before California became an official state), with the first legislature convening in a two-story adobe in December 1849. Primarily an agricultural-focused city in the early to mid-20th century, San Jose is now known as the Capital of Silicon Valley because of the area's many high-tech companies.
Symbols of the city's long history can be found in the complex known as History Park, which includes the preserved and restored Peralta Adobe, built in 1797; the Fallon House, built in 1855; and a historic working trolley and 25 acres of turn-of-the-century landmark buildings at Kelley Park.
Getting to and Around San Jose
The Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport is 3 miles from downtown San Jose. SJC is served by more than a dozen major and regional airlines. The airport averages 388 commercial and 335 general aviation departures and landings daily.
American Airlines is the major long-haul carrier, with direct flights to Tokyo, Paris, Taipei, New York, Honolulu, Austin, Boston, and Washington, D.C., in addition to several daily flights to its hubs in Dallas and Chicago. Southwest Airlines and Reno Air offer the most regional flights.
Easily accessible by ground, the Bay Area's four major freeways — Interstates 280, 680, and 880 and state Highway 101 — converge in San Jose. A modern, light-rail transit system operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority ranges from South San Jose's residential and shopping areas to Paramount's Great America theme park in Santa Clara, and up to the City of Mountain View to the north. A network of buses links San Jose with other Santa Clara County destinations, and historic trolleys share a portion of the light rail line, circling downtown hotels, restaurants, nightlife, attractions, and shopping.
Caltrain, the Bay Area's modern railroad, is available for visitors interested in touring the entire Bay Area. Caltrain has 76 weekday trains that pass through San Jose's Diridon Station, and serves more than 30,000 passengers daily.
Accommodations and Facilities
San Jose has more than 8,400 guest rooms, with accommodations ranging from four-star hotels to bed-and-breakfast inns.
There are 2,200 guest rooms within walking distance of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. San Jose's full-service convention hotels include: The Fairmont San Jose, Clarion Hotel San Jose Airport, Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott San Jose Airport, Crowne Plaza of San Jose, Hotel De Anza, Hyatt San Jose and Hyatt Sainte Claire, Radisson Plaza Hotel, Doubletree Hotel, Wyndham Hotel, Hilton San Jose & Towers, and the San Jose Marriott.
The Hilton San Jose & Towers and the San Jose Marriott are connected to McEnery Convention Center.
Convention, Cultural Facilities
Considered the cornerstone of downtown San Jose's revitalization, the San Jose McEnery Convention Center opened in April 1989.
Offering 425,000 square feet of flexible function space, the center welcomes delegates with a dramatic 125-foot tile mural. Inside, sun streams through soaring glass walls, accenting archways and patterned terrazzo floors. Other highlights include a 22,000-square-foot ballroom and 143,000 square feet of contiguous, column-free exhibit space.
Across the street from the convention center is the Civic Auditorium Complex, featuring the 3,060-seat Civic Auditorium and the 30,000-square-foot Parkside Exhibit Hall.
The Montgomery Theater and the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts (designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation), located kitty-corner to the convention center, offer the finest in theater, musical, and cultural entertainment throughout the year and can be used for stage presentations and special events.
Also located downtown is the HP Pavilion, home to the San Jose Sharks and major entertainment headliners. The HP Pavilion is also available as a meeting venue for groups with general sessions of 10,000 people or more.
Attractions and Things to Do
Points of interest and activities for San Jose visitors range from the mysterious to the intriguing.
The Tech Museum of Innovation, a 132,000-square-foot facility, includes an IMAX Dome Theater and four themed galleries with nearly 200 hands-on exhibits; the Children's Discovery Museum features more than 150 hands-on exhibits and is the largest facility of its kind on the West Coast; the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum includes 3,000-year-old mummies and houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on the West Coast; the Winchester Mystery House is a beautiful and bizarre 160-room mansion once owned by Winchester Rifle heiress Sarah Winchester; Paramount's Great America, Raging Waters, and Bonfante Gardens theme parks offer thrill rides and other entertainment for the young and young at heart.
Visitors can also explore the city's eclectic arts and entertainment district such as SoFA (the South First Area), as well as its quaint neighborhood districts, including San Pedro Square, Willow Glen, Japantown, and the Rose Garden.
Sports fans have many choices as well: Sharks (hockey), Giants (minor league baseball), Earthquakes (men's soccer), CyberRays (women's soccer), SaberCats (arena football), or San Jose State University (men's and women's collegiate sports). Sporting events are held at the state-of-the-art HP Pavilion, San Jose State University's Event Center and Spartan Stadium, and the San Jose Municipal Stadium.
Cultural and Performing Arts
Works by local, national, and international artists are on display at the more than 30 galleries and museums within San Jose. The San Jose Museum of Art features a changing exhibition of 20th-century American art.
San Jose is also home to world-class performing arts companies, including the San Jose Repertory Theatre (which opened in November 1997), Opera San Jose (founded by 20-year Met star Irene Dalis), the San Jose Symphony Orchestra (with renowned director Leonid Grin), American Musical Theatre of San Jose (the highest subscribed musical theater in the nation), Ballet San Jose of Silicon Valley, and the Children's Musical Theater of San Jose.