Santana Row is a residential and commercial district of West San Jose in San Jose, California, in Silicon Valley. Its name derives from Frank M. Santana, who served on San Jose's planning commission in the 1950s. It was built by Federal Realty of Rockville, Md. as the most ambitious project of its kind in the United States. Its development cost about $450 million and included retail shops, restaurants, hotels, as well as apartments and townhouses. Its completion was done in 2001 but within a year, there was a fire at "Santana Heights", the largest building at Santana Row. It spread to at least 13 apartment buildings. It was the largest structure fire in the history of San Jose. The damage cost about $130 million.
Since then, Santana Row has gone through some changes and has expanded, reaching a population of about 24,000 within a one-mile radius. Hotels, apartments, shopping centers, restaurants, and parks were added, turning this place into a tourist spot within San Jose. There are plenty of things to do and the best part, suitable for all kinds of budget. If you like outdoors and want to wander around, make sure to check out the large sculptures by the French Artists André Dumonnet and Christine Foulché. If you are into yoga, don't hesitate to join the outdoor classes in the parks and plazas.
However, entertainment at Santana Row goes beyond wandering around. In fact, it includes live music, films at the movie theater and a Farmer's Market that features produce flowers and other goods each week. Also, there are plenty of dining experiences for everyone. Cocola is one of the most popular places to visit. It is a French bakery and café where you will get to try delicious pastries with a fresh cappuccino. But if you are looking for something more filling, check out Left Bank Brasserie with lunch, brunch, and dinner options. Oh, and if you love to shop, this is definitely the neighborhood where you want to go because you will find high-end boutiques with extraordinary clothing, shoes and household goods.
Cover Picture by Payton Chung on Flickr. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)