Downtown Walking Tours Led by Guides Who Did Their Homework About the City of San Jose


photo: Patrick Lydon | soceicity

Our Walks

In addition to our signature tours described here we offer a range of public and private tours. We can tailor a tour for your school group, corporate event or social organization. Our past guests include groups from local K-12 classrooms, Cisco Systems, The Tech Museum, Match.com, and Sister Cities International.

Door to Door

South First Street, the gateway to San Jose for our first pioneers, continues to open doors and minds as a central arts district. Our Door to Door tour takes guests through this neighborhood popularly known as the SOFA District. We start this walk from California’s first public artwork and then note a missing statue, before following a trail of murals and “Downtown Doors”. Along the way we introduce unique museums and a few entrepreneurial efforts that add their own business artistry to SOFA.

Adobe to Adobe

It is hard for many of our guests to imagine San Jose as a sleepy Spanish pueblo. How did a few mud brick homes evolve into this global center of technology? Follow us on our Adobe to Adobe tour and learn about our Spanish and Mexican roots, which set the foundation for an agriculture empire. Along the way hear about bear vs. bull fights, a hidden road to El Dorado, and the shocking murder of the heir to San Jose’s “Hart”. We end the tour on a high note as we investigate how California’s first capital became the self-proclaimed Capital of Silicon Valley!


What's not to like about a tour that gives students a chance to learn skills and teach us all in the process? Knowing that these guides were not professionals, I came in prepared to cut them slack, but they didn't need it! They knew their material and had a contagious enthusiasm. Theresa S.
We have lived here for 10 years now and we still learned so many surprising and intriguing things. The tour guides were very friendly and knowledgeable about not only the history, but the art, business, and culture of San Jose. Diego R.
This trip was very useful and totally changed my perspective about downtown San Jose. Now I know that downtown San Jose is not all about bars and clubs... I recommend this tour to anyone, the tour will definitely grab your attention. Seyed M.

Meet the team

As a high school teacher, I am well aware that many students struggle even to find part-time jobs. What better way to introduce them to the world of business than running their own company? So about a year ago a handful of kids joined me in the adventure of starting SJ Walks & Talks. And now in downtown on any given day you might hear Matt recount the infamous St. James Park lynching or Michaela explain why The Tech Museum should really be renamed The Tech Adobe. These are just two of the students who have worked hard to dig up downtown’s colorful past and open our eyes to the environment all around us. So sign up for a tour and discover the surprises San Jose has in store for you.

-Greg Adler


San Jose Walks & Talks serves the community by highlighting the unique aspects of downtown San Jose and at the same time provides local students an opportunity to develop real job skills while running their own walking tour company.