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Willow Glen, San Jose

4.2
Willow Glen is a neighborhood of San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. The neighborhood has walkable tree-lined streets, diverse architecture, specialty shops, and independent businesses. The historic downtown on Lincoln Avenue between Willow Street and Minnesota Avenue is a well-known downtown community, with a variety of restaurants and shops.HistoryThe neighborhood began in the mid-1800s as an unincorporated community adjacent to San Jose, California. By the 1860s the small unincorporated community needed its first school, and Willow Glen Elementary School was founded in 1863. Willow Glen continued as an unincorporated community until the 1920s, when the City of San Jose ordered the Southern Pacific Railroad to re-route the Southern Pacific Railroad trunk line which at that time was going down Fourth Street. The Southern Pacific then proposed to re-route down Lincoln Avenue. In order to forestall that attempt, Willow Glen was incorporated as a city in 1927. The railroad was instead re-routed to its current route through a then-unincorporated area now known as North Willow Glen, where its principal user is now Caltrain.Being a city, however, required thinking about issues such as sewage. Willow Glen had no sewer system – individual homes had their own cesspools or septic systems. Because the area was marshy before being drained for Willow Glen, the high water table resulted in raw sewage often spilling above-ground from flooded cesspools. Rather than build their own very expensive sewage treatment system, in 1936 Willow Glen's residents opted to be annexed to San Jose and be linked to San Jose's sewage system, the measure passing by a vote of 978 to 871.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
132 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Tremendous restaurants and shopping available here. Several blocks long, the streets are pedestrian and dog friendly. Thronging with people on weekends and evenings!  more »
  • Willow Glen is a wonderful small town experience in the middle of San Jose. Reminds me of similar experience from my mid-teen years in Southern California. Great dining, fun shops!  more »
  • Moved here from Texas and rented until we bought our house in Hollister, Ca. One of the nicer neighborhoods in San Jose but felt like things were starting to go down hill in Willow Glen the past year ...  more »
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21 days in United States BY A USER FROM ISRAEL July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 1 day in San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, relaxing, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in California BY A USER FROM INDIA June, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in United States BY A USER FROM VIETNAM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 13 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in United States BY A USER FROM GERMANY August, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 1 day in San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in San Jose BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, culture, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM INDIA December, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 35 days in United States BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES November, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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