Killing an afternoon in San Jose

I’m flying into San Jose tomorrow around 2pm. I’ve got an evening meeting in Santa Clara at 7pm. I was supposed to have a meeting in Santa Cruz in the afternoon, but it looks like its fallen through, so I’ve got about 3 hours to kill in Silicon Valley before dinnertime.

Any suggestions for a decent place nearby to have a cup of coffee and work on my laptop? I can always find a Starbucks on Google maps, but if there’s someplace better I’ll go there instead.

It looks like strip mall hell.

Why not go straight to Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is awesome, and full of great local coffee shops.

Because my evening meeting is in Santa Clara, about 5 minutes from the San Jose airport. I don’t want to drive all the way to Santa Cruz for coffee, then turn around and drive all the way back.

I can promise if you try to go to Santa Cruz at that hour, you’ll spend the better part of the 5 hours in traffic.

Guys, the point is I’m NOT going to Santa Cruz.

That’s why I have time to kill in San Jose/Santa Clara.

I’m, not sure why you’d want to go to Santa Cruz. Why not got to San Jose instead since it’ll be closer?


There’s rain in the forecast tomorrow, so driving anywhere and getting back in time could be problematic. There are several coffee/dining spots in the vicinity between Skyport Dr. and Airport Pkwy, but I don’t know about wi-fi availability. You could catch the Light Rail (there’s a shuttle bus that will drop you off at the station) and head downtown–it’s a 20-25 minute trip one way.

Go to San Pedro Square Market. It’s downtown, and full of a bunch of different food truck-type eateries, along with some bars and other shops. Should be ample seating, either inside or out, and there are many excellent snacking and drinking options. Fancy tacos, crazy good ice cream (Treatbot), drinks, whatever. Check out both buildings, I believe they both have free wifi.

Lol. Ok, I missed the “no Santa Cruz” thing.

Rosicrucian Eqyption Museum. Open until 5pm.
ETA: Oops, sorry, didn’t catch that you had your heart set on going to Santa Cruz. Well, maybe you’ll change your mind. :slight_smile:

Don’t bother even trying to move. Traffic is rock-solid for just about the entire time you will be there before your meeting.

The good news is, there is no short supply of good restaurants. I would take surface streets and seek out a good Asian restaurant, of which San Jose has a great profusion. Vietnamese would be my recommended cuisine, but in truth, anything is good.

Well, as long as you insist on trying to squeeze Santa Cruz into the plans you won’t have time to do anything else anyway so forget it.

One alternative, if you can budge a little bit on the Santa Cruz trip, would be Los Gatos. It’s only about 20 minutes from the airport but far, far away from the strip mall and tech company motif of Santa Clara/San Jose. Lots of nice coffee shops, bookstores, art galleries, etc.

You know, Santa Cruz has a lot of great coffee shops. Just saying.

Seriously, don’t even think about Los Gatos during rush hours. It’s on the way to Santa Cruz, so . . .

Actually, the Rosicrucian Museum is a good idea. There’s even a Starbucks right across the street! The Los Gatos suggestion has merit, especially since one of the main drags is SANTA CRUZ Avenue.

It depends how adventurous you’re feeling, but I wouldn’t suggest trying to drive anywhere. You could take the CalTrain north for an hour to San Francisco and have a nice few hours downtown (last stop) before heading back to Santa Clara for your meeting. Or take it for half an hour and enjoy University Ave in Palo Alto. Or 20 minutes north to Castro Street in Mountain View for pretty much the same experience.

The thing is that San Jose itself is kind of sketchy and boring, as are several towns btwn SJ and SF, but some of them are nice and would be a much better way to fill the time. So going north from SJ in order of nice would be Castro Street (Red Rocks Coffee on Castro & Villa), University (Philz on Forest btwn Alma & High St), then maybe Burlingame (pretty town but I have no idea where to get coffee) and then a bunch of don’t bother until you get to SF.

The CalTrain station is right near the airport (I’m sure there’s a shuttle) and it will take you all the way up the Peninsula quick and easy. There’s also a station right across the street from Santa Clara University if that helps figure out your meeting travel.

If you do decide to stay in San Jose it’s possible to have fun, just get yourself downtown and maybe check out the SJ Museum of Art or the Tech Museum, both are really great and I’m sure they have coffee spots.

Or, you know, zoom over the hill to Santa Cruz :smiley:

He gets in at 2 PM. There should be plenty of time for a coffee in the scenic hills of Los Gatos and still arrive back in Santa Clara in time for the 7:00 meeting. But OK, Mountain View might offer a nice compromise too. A bowl of Pho and a coffee there would be way better than trying to get all the damn way to Santa Cruz and back in time.

Well, besides Santa Cruz…

Rush hour traffic in Santa Clara can be slow. I used to occasionally commute along the Lawrence Expressway between 101 and 280 and it could take three turns of the light just to turn onto it from the side street at the beginning of rush hour.

I’d get near your meeting place, wherever that is as meeting time approaches. There’s a big Mall complex on Stevens Creek Blvd and 880 not that far from SJC, IIRC. You could also just drive up El Camino Real and look for something.

This, and yes the wifi is free. There is an awesome coffee shop in there (pour overs), tons of great good, and lots of space to spread out. I would host you, but I won’t be back at the office until next week.