45 miles SE of San Francisco
The San Jose of yesteryear -- a sleepy town of orchards, crops, and cattle -- is long gone. Founded in 1717, and hidden in the shadows of San Francisco, San Jose is now Northern California's largest city. Today the prosperity of Silicon Valley has transformed what was once an agricultural backwater into a thriving network of restaurants, shops, a state-of-the-art light-rail system, a sports arena (go Sharks!), and a reputable art scene. And despite all the growth, a number of surveys declare it one of the safest and sunniest cities in the nation.