An Unexpected Dose of History


I can’t recall how I came upon History Park in San Jose; however, once I did, I immediately wanted to visit! History Park at Kelley Park is located next to Happy Hollow Park and Zoo in San Jose. First of all, admission is free (woot, woot!) You will pay for parking…but that’s about it. The day we visited, a free trolley ran from the parking lot to History Park. My husband, son, and I happily hopped aboard, as the closest entrance was blocked off, and it was an unusually hot and humid day. Plus, it was Beckham’s first time on a trolley ride…and you can see the joy and excitement written all over his face in the photo below.




History Park is designed as an indoor/outdoor museum, arranged to appear as a small US town might have in the early 1900s. The park is quite large, with buildings resembling homes, hotels, places of worship, storefronts, schools, gas stations, and more. One of our favorite buildings was the Trolley museum, which includes historical trolleys from multiple eras. In each venue, we were greeted upon entering, and given quick history lessons.

Although some of the buildings were closed for the day, we still had the opportunity to visit a handful of others. The interactive experience really helped me imagine what it would have been like to live during the turn of the century. Be sure to add History Park at Kelley Park to your San Jose bucket list! While there, don’t you dare miss the Japanese Friendship Garden next door…the most beautiful, serene Japanese Gardens I have visited to date!

History Park at Kelley Park, 1650 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA –




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