Spanish conquerors founded this city when they started the Mission Santa Clara de Asis in 1777. Over the years, a population grew around the mission, including ranches that raised cattle and other livestock. Many of the people who came to the surrounding area in search of gold in 1849 were disappointed when they didn't strike it rich, and ended up farming here. A lot has changed since then. As of 2013, there were almost 2 million residents in this California city. Visit these attractions to see why so many people call this beautiful place their home:

Levi's Stadium
Drive your San Jose rental car to 4900 Marie P. DeBartolo Way to see a San Francisco 49ers National Football League game. This field opened in August 2014 and is the nation's first LEED Gold certified professional football stadium. The stadium has many sustainable features, from solar-panels to the reclaimed wood in the Citrix Owners Suite and the 27,000-square-foot green roof. The facility was made out of as many reused building materials possible, and uses reclaimed water.

There are farm-to-table menus at the restaurants and concession stands, and the site is easily accessible by both car and bicycle. There are 68,500 seats for you to choose from, and you're sure to have a great view of the game from every one. Football isn't the only event that goes on here - major concerts with artists like Taylor Swift and One Direction make tour stops at the facility, and the site has also hosted:

  • Civic events
  • College football games
  • Motocross events
  • Soccer matches

Super Bowl 50 will be held here in 2016. Grab your foam finger and head to Santa Clara to check out this state-of-the-art, eco-friendly football stadium.

California's Great America
If you're looking for some summer fun, head to this theme park. You can scream your way through Gold Striker, a 108.2-foot-high wooden roller coaster that goes up to 53.7 miles per hour, or head to Flight Deck, the suspended jet coaster that has a 360-degree loop, and a zero gravity roll. If that doesn't get your heart pumping, try Delirium, a spinning ride, or Drop Tower where you'll free fall 22 stories in four seconds.

If you want to cool down, go to the Boomerang Bay Water Park to ride 13 water slides, make a splash in the wave pool, ride on the lazy river and enjoy the heated lagoon. There are even two areas for younger kids: Planet Snoopy and KidZville, where you can meet "Peanuts" characters like Charlie Brown and Lucy and go on 18 fun rides built for families. This park hosts live entertainment and special events, so be sure to check the calendar to see if there are any fun special activities going on. 

K1 Speed
Have you ever watched the Indianapolis 500 and wondered what it would be like to be out there on the track? Get a feel for speed racing when you drive your San Jose rental car to this indoor go-kart facility. You'll drive on tracks designed by Daytona and American Le Mans competitor Boris Said, the famous NASCAR driver who co-owns this exciting attraction. You'll don a helmet and hop on the race car of your choosing and then navigate around the track at top speeds.

Junior competitors can reach speeds up to 20 miles per hour and adults can go as fast as 45 miles an hour. The motto here is "Arrive and Drive," which means no reservations are needed unless you come with a party of eight or more. Be sure to wear close-toed shoes.  Helmet and head sock are provided to ensure your safety. You'll want to bring a camera to capture your racing memories at this exciting Santa Clara attraction!

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