Things to do in Santa Clara County, CA

The City of Santa Clara County, CA is a vibrant and diverse region located in northern California. It is known for its rich history, thriving economy, and numerous attractions. With a population of approximately 1 million residents, it is the 10th-most populous city in the United States and the third-most populous county in California.

Santa Clara County is home to the city of San Jose, which serves as the county seat and is the largest city in the county. The county is named after Mission Santa Clara, established in 1777. The region offers a wide range of opportunities and amenities, including educational institutions such as Santa Clara University, scenic attractions like California’s Great America Theme Park, and a bustling tech industry in Silicon Valley.

Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park

10840 Coyote Lake Rd, Gilroy, CA 95020, United States
Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park is a breathtaking outdoor destination nestled in the hills east of Gilroy, California. Covering an expansive 6,695 acres, this regional recreation area offers a stunning natural landscape for visitors to explore. The park features diverse ecosystems, including oak-studded canyons and grassy-ridge lines, providing scenic views of the South Santa Clara County region. With over 15 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, outdoor enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Coyote Lake, a centerpiece of the park, offers opportunities for fishing and boating. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park provides a captivating outdoor experience.

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Henry W. Coe State Park

Morgan Hill, CA 95037, United States

Henry W. Coe State Park, located in Santa Clara and Stanislaus Counties, is a sprawling natural oasis in Northern California. Encompassing a vast expanse of 87,000 acres, this park is the largest state park in the region. Nestled in the Diablo Range, south of San Jose, the park offers a diverse landscape of scenic hills, mountain ridges, and oak-studded valleys. With elevations ranging from 710 to 3,849 feet, visitors can embark on hiking trails that reveal breathtaking vistas. Home to abundant wildlife and flora, Henry W. Coe State Park provides a serene escape for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude and connection with nature.

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Anderson Lake County Park

19245 Malaguerra Ave, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, United States

Anderson Lake County Park, situated in Morgan Hill, Santa Clara County, is a scenic oasis that offers a multitude of outdoor activities. With its 4,275-acre expanse, it is the largest reservoir in the county. The park boasts stunning views of Anderson Lake, surrounded by picturesque hills and trees. It provides opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking along its two family-friendly trails. Nature enthusiasts can explore the Coyote Creek Parkway and enjoy the diverse wildlife and plant species that call the park home. Anderson Lake County Park is a serene retreat where visitors can immerse themselves in nature’s beauty and indulge in recreational pursuits.

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Mt. Madonna County Park

7850 Pole Line Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076, United States

Nestled within the Santa Cruz Mountain range in Santa Clara County, CA, Mt. Madonna County Park spans 4,605 acres of natural beauty. This park is renowned for its majestic redwood forest, which dominates the landscape and creates a serene atmosphere. Hikers and horseback riders can explore the park’s extensive trail system, including the popular Ridge, Blackhawk, and Sprig Trail Loop. From the trails, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of southern Santa Clara County and the inner Coast. With its tranquil setting and diverse recreational opportunities, Mt. Madonna County Park offers a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

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Calero County Park

23205 McKean Rd, San Jose, CA 95120, United States

Calero County Park, located in the eastern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in Santa Clara County, CA, is a sprawling natural retreat spanning over 4,471 acres. This expansive park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can explore the park’s diverse trails, perfect for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and enjoy panoramic views of the South Bay area. The park is also home to Calero Reservoir, providing opportunities for fishing, picnicking, and boating. With its vast open spaces, scenic beauty, and abundant recreational activities, Calero County Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking tranquility and adventure.

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Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve

Mt Umunhum Rd, San Jose, CA 95120, United States

Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, is a vast wilderness spanning over 19,000 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Santa Clara County, CA. This expansive preserve offers a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Visitors can embark on scenic hikes and walks along the numerous trails, enjoying panoramic views of Mount Umunhum, the Santa Clara Valley, and the Coast Ranges. The preserve also provides opportunities for birding, with diverse species to observe. With its stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and tranquil ambiance, Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve is a treasured natural retreat.

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Joseph D. Grant County Park

18405 Mt Hamilton Rd, Mt Hamilton, CA 95140, United States

Joseph D. Grant County Park, located in the Mt. Hamilton foothills, is the largest regional park in Santa Clara County, CA, spanning 10,882 acres of natural beauty. This expansive park offers a diverse range of recreational opportunities amidst stunning landscapes. Visitors can explore numerous hiking trails, traverse grasslands, oak woodlands, and even an ancient bay-tree forest. The park also features Grant Lake, which provides a picturesque setting for outdoor activities. With its remote location and vast open spaces, Joseph D. Grant County Park offers an escape into nature, where visitors can enjoy panoramic views, engage in outdoor adventures, and embrace the tranquility of the surroundings.

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Blue Oak Ranch Reserve

16070 Mt Hamilton Rd, Mt Hamilton, CA 95140, United States

Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, located on the western slopes of Mount Hamilton in Santa Clara County, CA, is a sprawling 3,280-acre biological field station and ecological reserve. Managed by the University of California, Berkeley, this reserve is a part of the UC Natural Reserve System. The reserve boasts diverse biodiversity and offers a unique opportunity for research and education. With its scenic beauty and expansive trails, Blue Oak Ranch Reserve is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. Visitors can explore the stunning west-facing slopes of the Diablo Range and immerse themselves in the natural wonders of this protected sanctuary.

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Loma Prieta

California 95037, United States

Loma Prieta, standing at an impressive 3,790 feet (1,160 meters), proudly reigns as the highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California. This magnificent mountain, named after its dark and hilly appearance, offers breathtaking vistas and exciting outdoor opportunities. While not a county high point, Loma Prieta entices adventurers with its allure. Hikers can access its summit by starting at Uvas Canyon County Park, embarking on the Knibbs Knob Trail, and traversing Mount Madonna Road. Moreover, Loma Prieta is renowned for its role in bird migration, making it a captivating spot for birdwatchers. Discover the magic of Loma Prieta in Santa Clara County and immerse yourself in its natural splendor.

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Almaden Quicksilver County Park

21785 Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA 95120, United States

Almaden Quicksilver County Park, nestled in the southern end of San Jose, California, is a sprawling 4,163-acre park that holds a rich historical legacy. Once a site of mercury mining for over 135 years, the park now offers visitors a chance to explore the remnants of this fascinating past. With its extensive trail system, including the popular Deep Gulch/Mine Hill Trail, visitors can hike through scenic landscapes and take in panoramic views of the Santa Clara Valley. The park also houses the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum, which provides insight into the area’s mining history. Almaden Quicksilver County Park is a true gem within the Santa Clara County Park system, offering both natural beauty and historical significance.

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