By car, San Jose is connected to San Francisco by the US-101 and Interstate 280 highways. From Los Angeles, take I-5 North to CA-152 West to US-101 North. From the East Bay (California), use either I-880 or I-680 South.
Car will likely be the most convenient method of travel. Yet the local transportation agency, VTA, offers servicable transit downtown. See the 511.org website for trip planning.
First Street -- downtown offices, shops, and weekly farmer's market.
Berryessa Flea Market, 1590 Berryessa Rd, 1(800) Big-Flea, http://www.sjfm.com/ -- A huge outdoor flea market with California's largest farmer's market. Worthwhile for bargains, but let the buyer beware. Everything from furniture and stereos to haircut salons and massages can be found, if you look hard enough. Spanish is the lingua franca.
San Jose has the American Musical Theatre of San Jose. It plays top-notch but slightly older musicals from Broadway. http://www.amtsj.org/ (San Francisco has a stronger tradition in theatre than San Jose.)
Aqui Cal-Mex Grill, 1145 Lincoln Ave, (408) 995-0381 This place serves Mexican food as if it had passed through a fun-house mirror. An early place that used gourmet burrito wraps, what's inside the wraps can come from anywhere on the Pacific Rim: salmon, yellow fin tuna, or plantains. Inexpensive, filling, and unusual!
San Jose is about an hour by car or train from San Francisco or Oakland (but avoid rush hour on US-101).
Less than an hour away over the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains, the small coastal city of Santa Cruz is a nice day trip out San Jose or the first stop on a longer coastal drive to Santa Barbara in the south or the Lost Coast in the north.