Santa Clara

Discover Santa Clara: A Local's Ultimate Guide from Day to Night

Welcome to Santa Clara, a city brimming with culture, innovation, and a sprinkle of old-school charm. If you're navigating Santa Clara for the first time, I've curated a full-day itinerary to immerse you in the local vibe, from day to night.


Kickstart your day at 6 AM with a timeless classic, Stan's Donuts. Yes, it's early, but the allure of fresh, warm donuts in a retro setting is worth the wake-up call. Picture yourself savoring a glazed donut, coffee in hand, at a bar top that transports you back to the 1950s. It’s more than breakfast; it’s an experience. Remember, Stan’s is a cash-only establishment, adding to its nostalgic charm.


By 7 AM, with a heart full of joy and a belly full of donuts, take a leisurely walk across the street to Central Park. Embrace the morning serenity and the soft whispers of nature as you stroll through the heart of Santa Clara


For those who thrive on morning energy but prefer a later start, I've got you covered. Dive into an invigorating Orangetheory Fitness class for a full-body HIIT workout, or find your zen at YogaSix, offering a variety of classes to start your day right.


Let's dive into brunch, the highlight of my day! Here's a glimpse at my all-time favorites: Bloom: This gem is my go-to for an unbeatable brunch experience. Beyond the exceptional cuisine, Bloom's aesthetic and ambiance set the stage for Instagram-worthy moments. Its popularity is no secret, so an early arrival ensures you snag a spot. Dive into the carnitas benedict for a savory masterpiece, or indulge in the croissant French toast for a sweet escapade. With a comprehensive bar menu, your brunch can be as vibrant and spirited as you desire. It's a must-visit for anyone looking to feast their senses. Croissante: A haven for pastry aficionados, Croissante's mastery of the art of French baking is evident in every bite. Their commitment to freshness and quality draws a crowd, making it a bustling spot by daybreak. They offer a dedicated brunch menu until 3 PM, though I've yet to catch the dawn chorus there. My top picks? The mango croissant for a tropical twist and the mushroom danish for a savory delight. Both selections underscore the bakery's prowess and innovation.


Post-brunch, indulge in some retail therapy at Valley Fair Mall, a haven for shoppers with over 200 retail stores and 70 dining options. From high-end luxury to unique finds at Aritizia, Uniqlo, and more, it's a shopper's paradise. Don’t forget to enjoy a refreshing boba from Sharetea or Lucky Tea as you explore. Lunchtime brings a plethora of options, with Ramen Nagi, Marugame Udon, and Din Tai Fung topping the list for their exquisite flavors and authentic dishes, and they are all located within Valley Fair Mall.


Ready for some sightseeing? Santa Clara has landmarks that can't be missed. A top destination is the Mission at Santa Clara University. Visit in spring to witness the 160-year-old wisterias in full bloom—an enchanting sight that transforms the campus into a picturesque scene, perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll. For sports and entertainment enthusiasts, Levi's Stadium is a must-visit. As the home of the San Francisco 49ers and a premier venue for concert tours, it's at the heart of the city's vibrant event scene. Highlight events to look forward to include Super Bowl LX in 2026 and Copa América in 2024. Don't miss the chance to experience the excitement and energy that Levi's Stadium brings to Santa Clara.


While Santa Clara's nightlife may be quieter, the dining scene is vibrant with options like Mastro's Steakhouse for an upscale experience, Leichi for a cozy Izakaya night, and Il Fornaio, a staple since the '90s.


For a more laid-back dining experience, I have a couple of favorite spots up my sleeve. Mio Vicino, nestled in the heart of Old Town Santa Clara, is a beloved classic where you can indulge in staples like Margherita pizza or penne Bolognese. They take pride in using only the freshest ingredients, ensuring each dish is a delight. On the other hand, La Casa Mia, a newcomer to the scene, has quickly stolen my heart with its innovative fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisines. This blend results in a dining experience that's both unique and unforgettable.


Santa Clara is a city close to my heart. Born and raised here, my love for this city runs deep. From its culinary wonders and peaceful landscapes to its lively markets, Santa Clara has a unique charm that I’ve cherished my entire life. I can't imagine calling anywhere else home. This city’s vibrant energy and diverse offerings have a special way of capturing hearts. If this sneak peek into Santa Clara life has intrigued you and you’re contemplating making this dynamic city your home, I’d love to help. Reach out at [email protected], and together, let’s turn your dream of living in Santa Clara into a reality.

Work With Brianna

Meet Brianna, your friendly and dedicated Social Media Realtor, who is passionate about making the world of Real Estate accessible and understandable for her community.

Let's Connect

Follow Me on Instagram