Museums are the cultural hubs of San Jose. Whether you’re looking to learn something new about the great 408 or plotting a way to spend your Saturday afternoon, here are 13 museums to visit in our city.
Note: Be sure to check museum hours while planning your visit.
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, 1660 Park Ave. | $8-$10
This museum boasts the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on display in western North America, and has a beautiful peace garden, planetarium, and rock labyrinth.
History Park, 635 Phelan Ave. | Free
Learn about the origins of our great city at this sprawling 14-acre park that features 32 original and reproduced homes + landmarks that tell all about the Santa Clara Valley’s past.
Don’t miss: "Valley Memories: Curiosities & Treasures from History San José's Collection,” a rotating exhibit displaying our region’s historic artifacts.
Gonzalez/Peralta Adobe - Fallon House Historic Site, 175 W. Saint John St. | $8-$12
Sitting in the middle of San Pedro Square Market is an original structure from El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, the first settlement established in Alta California under Spanish rule.
Japanese American Museum of San Jose, 535 N. Fifth St. | $5-$8
Established in 1987, this museum chronicles the Japanese American history within Santa Clara Valley, telling stories of their agricultural roots to their incarceration during World War II.
Don’t miss: The Barracks Room which takes visitors into a recreation of a family’s living quarters in the Tule Lake incarceration camp.
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, 520 S. First St. | $5-$10
Claiming to be “the first museum in the U.S. to recognize fiber arts as a respected artform,” its galleries bring you through 1,200+ textiles, historic and contemporary quilts, and other garments across cultures.
Don’t miss: The SoFA Pocket Park murals that celebrate textile art located right next to SJQMT at 540 S. First St.
San Jose Museum of Art, 110 S. Market St. | $8-$10
Hosting 9-12 exhibitions a year, you can find a wide range of artwork here from traditional paintings to new-media works.
Don’t miss: Every First Friday of the month, the museum offers free admission and a “lounge-like” atmosphere with music and drinks.
Institute of Contemporary Art San José, 560 S. First St. | Free
Prepare to examine and reflect on the “conceptually challenging” art displayed in this museum, where its goal is to present visually compelling pieces that spark discussion.
Children’s Discovery Museum, 180 Woz Way | $16-$18
For kids and kids-at-heart, explore interactive exhibits that inspire creativity. Dig up mammoth fossils, play around with bubbles, or play cashier in the mini Rainbow Market.
The Tech Interactive, 201 S. Market St. | $22-$27
As the center for all things science, technology, engineering, and math, find yourself analyzing real human specimens, designing a roller coaster, or tinkering with algae string.
Don’t miss: The Tech’s IMAX Dome Theater that gives you an immersive experience showing films from National Geographic and more.
Computer History Museum, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View | $6-$23.50
Chronicling the history of Silicon Valley’s origins, this museum has the largest computer chip in the world, an emoji exhibit, and demo labs that show how the earliest generation of computers worked.
Intel Museum, 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara | Free
Learn the history behind scientists Robert Noyce + Gordon Moore’s vision that resulted in the multi-billion-dollar company. Interactive exhibits take you through microprocessor history, silicon chip design, and more.
Winchester Mystery House, 525 S. Winchester Blvd. | $19.99-$41.99
The quirkiest mansion on the block tells it all. See original artifacts from Sarah Winchester’s mansion + learn about why she chose to construct a house with stairs leading to nowhere and a door that opens to a plummeting drop into her garden.
Don’t miss: The mansion’s various tours and events that educate... and haunt.
The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, 150 E. San Fernando St. (fifth floor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library) | Free
Step into the world of Ludwig van Beethoven and learn about his life, works, and accomplishments in this MLK Library collection.
What did we miss? If you know a museum that’s not on the list, let us know using this survey.