Aerial view of the skyscrapers in San Jose, California, and the surrounding residential areas.

Hunting for Amazing Cities Near San Jose? We Have the Top 10 Places

San Jose California

by Bridget Houlihan Posted on May 6, 2024

Looking to move to a beautiful part of the country with temperate weather, lots of jobs, and a vibrant arts and entertainment scene? Want to ditch the higher cost of living and constant hustle and bustle? Then living in one of the top cities near San Jose could be the right move for you! There are lots of reasons to live in one of San Jose’s suburbs or nearby cities, including more affordability, larger space, and easier access to exploring the outdoors. Not to mention, if you’re working in San Jose, many nearby cities and suburbs have decent commutes and still offer all the amenities you could ask for. Why wouldn’t you want to check them out?

Planning a move to San Jose? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

Why People Like San Jose

San Jose is one of the best places to live in California, thanks to its moderate, Mediterranean climate, abundance of job opportunities, plenty of ways to stay active, and amazing arts and cultural scene. But if you prefer to live in one of the cities near San Jose, you’re not alone. The high cost of living in the city drives a lot of people to look for cheap places to live near San Jose instead. Plus, when you’re in a San Jose suburb or city close by, you’ll find a quieter pace of life that offers a more tight-knit community experience. 

San Jose Suburbs (and Nearby Cities) — FAQs

Q: What major city is San Jose close to?
San Jose is close to major cities like San Francisco and Oakland. 

Q: Where do people who work in San Jose live?
Lots of folks live in suburbs and cities near San Jose like Palo Alto, Cupertino, and Menlo Park.

Q: What is the nicest suburb of San Jose?
There are many, but Los Gatos and Los Altos are some of the nicest.

Q: What can you visit very near the city of San Jose?
There are lots of places to visit, but some of the most popular are the Winchester House and the Municipal Rose Garden.

The Best Cities Near San Jose

Whether you’re a student, young professional, raising a family, or living out your golden years, you have options when it comes to cities and suburbs near San Jose. Here are our top choices for the best places to live near San Jose

Aerial view of Palo Alto, California, and the lush greenery throughout the city.

Located close to both San Jose and San Francisco, Palo Alto is a great place to call home if you commute to either of these cities.

1. Palo Alto, CA

One of the top places to live near San Jose is Palo Alto. Located close to both San Jose and San Francisco, this suburb is a great place to call home if you commute to either of these cities. It’s also home to one of the top universities in the country, Stanford, making it a great place for students to find off-campus housing. But families love calling this place home, as well, because of its great school district and access to kid-friendly spots like the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, along with green spaces like Rinconada Cultural Park and Greer Park. 

Folks of all ages also appreciate that the Baylands Nature Preserve and the vast green areas of Mayfield Island are just a stone’s throw away. There, you can explore a variety of nature trails at Byxbee Park or check out the course at Baylands Golf Links. The downtown area on California Ave. also has plenty of dining options to satisfy your cravings, including Mediterranean at Anatolian Kitchen, breakfast at Joanie’s Cafe, and Italian at Terún

2. Atherton, CA

Some people are looking for a city near San Jose that gives them more space and neighborhoods full of tree-lined, walkable streets. And Atherton? It can provide you with all that, plus a pretty decent commute to San Jose. And if a quiet suburb of San Jose is what you’re looking for, you’ll appreciate that Atherton has no business district, which means there’s less traffic and noise. However, there’s still plenty to do nearby. Head over to Holbrook - Palmer Park to walk the trails and observe wildlife, or spend the day in nearby Flood Park or Kelly Park.

Families will love all the fantastic schools in this suburb, including Menlo-Atherton High School and Sacred Heart Schools. And just because there’s no official business district doesn’t mean there’s no place to eat! Head over to El Camino Real and grab coffee at the Coffeebar or sandwiches at Cafe Borrone

Aerial view of Fremont, California, with the Diablo Range visible in the distance.

Fremont offers affordable places to live for all walks of life, but families and young professionals seem to really like what this San Jose suburb has to offer.

3. Fremont, CA

If you’re looking for cheap places to live near San Jose and would love a mix of easy access to nature and city amenities, then Fremont could be your new home. This San Jose suburb offers affordable places to live for everyone, but families and young professionals seem to especially like what it offers. The central business district along Mowry Ave. has grocery stores, big box stores, and places to eat like Sala Thai, American fare at Bill’s Cafe, and baked goods at Paris Baguette.

One of the most popular places to visit is the 80+ acre Central Park that features Lake Elizabeth, a play area, a picnic area, a skatepark, a dog park, and even the Fremont Park Golf Club. And beyond Central Park, you’ll find easy access to mountain trails in the eastern portion, including within the Vargas Plateau Regional Park. In the western part of the suburb is the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which includes Coyote Hills Regional Park and the Dumbarton Pier and Bridge. Whether your adventures take you out on the water or hiking to the top of Mission Peak, you can do it all in Fremont.

4. Los Altos, CA

Another great commuter suburb of San Jose is Los Altos. This quiet area gives you the space you want, but you still have an incredibly easy commute to all that San Jose has to offer. Living here means you’ll have access to Heritage Oaks Park, McKenzie Park, Shoup Park (complete with a picnic area and playground), and Redwood Grove Nature Preserve. And on the other side of Interstate 280, you’ll find the expansive Rancho San Antonio County Park and Preserve, which features all kinds of trails to take you to beautiful vistas of the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

If you’re looking for other things to do, you could always check out Los Altos Golf and Country Club or go shopping at the San Antonio Center. There are a variety of great schools in the area, as well, including Foothill College, Oak Avenue Elementary School, and Los Altos High School.

Aerial view of Menlo Park, California, a suburb of San Jose.

Menlo Park is home to giant tech firms like Meta and Google, but it is also close enough to San Jose in the South Bay to make it worth the commute time.

5. Menlo Park, CA

Whether you work in San Jose or want to work in the heart of Silicon Valley, living in Menlo Park can give you easy access to both. Menlo Park is home to giant tech firms like Meta and Google, but it’s close enough to San Jose in the South Bay to make it worth the commute time. You can drive or take the train from the Menlo Park BART station. Residents love that they can also easily reach East Bay to check out Fremont and Oakland via the Dumbarton Bridge, but you’ll find there’s plenty to do right in your neighborhood. Spend some time in the Timothy Hopkins Creekside Park, or take the kids to Burgess Park for swimming or gymnastics at the Arrigalla Family Gymnastics Center.

If golf is more your style, you’ll have no problem getting out on the course at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club or taking in the views of the bay at Cooley Landing Park. And when you’re ready for a bite, you can head over to Back a Yard Caribbean Grill or Three Brothers Tacos.

6. Cambrian Park, CA

If you’re looking for cheap cities near San Jose with short commutes, you should look into Cambrian Park. This small community is located right along Route 85, which makes it easy to get north to I-280 and anywhere around San Jose. Folks who live here love that their neighborhoods are walkable and quiet, and they also have easy access to Houge Park to play with the kids, jog, or walk the dog. 

There are lots of convenient shopping options right on Union Ave., including the farmer’s market and Cambrian Park Plaza. You can also grab a bite to eat, whether it’s sandwiches at Heartbeat Cafe or Mexican at Tu Mero Mole.

And living in Cambrian Park gives you easy access to the Heintz Open Space and its trails, Belgatos Park, and even a vineyard, Prolific Vines Vineyard!

 Aerial view of Cupertino, California, and the nearby mountains.

In Cupertino, you’ll have easy access to I-280 to take you either into the city or north to places like Los Altos or Mountain View.

7. Cupertino, CA

If you want one of the easiest commutes into San Jose, consider Cupertino. You’ll have easy access to I-280 to head either into the city or north to places like Los Altos or Mountain View. And while this is the home to Apple, you don’t have to work at the tech giant to enjoy all that Cupertino has to offer. As a resident, you’ll love all the walkable neighborhoods with easy outdoor access, especially to the baseball field at Jollyman Park, the trails and ceramic studio at Wilson Park, and the community center, amphitheater, and sports center at Cupertino Memorial Park.

If you want bigger green spaces, you can head west to McClellan Ranch Preserve (with the Deep Cliff Golf Course) or the Stevens Creek County Park, with a disc golf course and plenty of picnic space. Or explore the trails of the Fremont Older Preserve to view Maisie’s Peak or Fern Trail Vista Point. After your hike, be sure to grab Middle Eastern cuisine at DishDash or coffee at Voyager Craft Coffee!

8. Los Gatos, CA

Located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the most picturesque suburbs of San Jose — Los Gatos. Living here means you’ll never be far away from things to do, including opportunities to stay active outdoors. Head over to the popular St. Joseph’s Hill Open Space Preserve and follow the Los Gatos Creek Trail or the Limekiln Trail to the Lexington Reservoir County Park. Here, you can get out on the reservoir or even join the Los Gatos Rowing Club. When you’re done checking out the trails or getting your row on, stop by Wine Bar 107 at the Testarossa Winery.

Families and people of all ages like to visit Vasona Lake County Park, located right near the busy downtown district along Los Gatos Blvd. Here, you can check out the trails, the fishing pier, a playground, and even a train ride. Then you can make your way over to one of the local spots for a bite, like burgers at The Happy Hound or brunch at Los Gatos Cafe Uptown.

Aerial view of Milpitas, California, and the southern part of San Francisco Bay.

Milpitas offers residents a quieter lifestyle with plenty of access to entertainment and outdoor activities.

9. Milpitas, CA

Not far from the San Jose International Airport is Milpitas, which offers residents a quieter lifestyle with plenty of access to entertainment and outdoor activities. Families will appreciate some of the best schools in Silicon Valley, including Mission Early College High, Castilleja School, and Rancho Milpitas Middle School — as well as the plentiful family-friendly activities like LEGOLAND Discovery Center and the Frederick Creighton Park Playground. The Great Mall of the Bay Area is also located here, which is Northern California’s largest indoor mall, offering plenty of everyday items as well as high-end shopping options.

When you’re ready to explore the outdoors, check out the Bay View Golf Club, the trails that circle Sandy Wool Lake, or the tennis courts at Peter Gill Memorial Park. And in Milpitas, you’ll find a variety of cultural cuisine, including Taiwan Porridge, Mexican Taqueria Las Vegas, and Malaysian at Banana Leaf.

10. Saratoga, CA

Saratoga is an affluent San Jose suburb filled with lots to do — and you don’t have to go far to enjoy them! To the south and west of the suburb are all kinds of parks to check out, with so many trails you’ll never get bored. 

Head to the Saratoga Quarry Park and look around, or explore the nearby Hakone Estate and Gardens, complete with a bamboo forest. You could also spend time at the Montalvo Arts Center, which features its own gardens and walking trails. And if you like to visit vineyards, head west past the Saratoga Heights scenic view and check out The Mountain Winery (with an amphitheater!) or north to visit House Family Vineyards or the Saratoga Country Club.

Families love the excellent schools in the area, including Saratoga High School, Lynbrook High School, and Blue Hills Elementary School, which is located next to the Azule Walking Park. And when it comes to dining, you won’t want to miss Big Basin Way, with fine dining at Plumed Horse and casual sandwiches at The Hero Ranch Kitchen.  

Moving to Cities Near San Jose With PODS

No matter which of the cities near San Jose you choose to live in, you’re going to find a welcoming place to live in California. Want to take some of the stress away from getting there, though? Consider moving with PODS. A portable moving and storage container from PODS can be delivered to your address, so you can load it up on your schedule with no rush. A PODS professional will pick up the container when you’re ready and drive it to your new home in one of the best places to live near San Jose. Take your time unpacking it, as well, and if you need to store it, that’s not a problem either. One month of storage is included with each move!

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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