A Weekend To Remember: Your Summer Fest 2021 Staycation Guide

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With San Jose Jazz Summer Fest returning next month, now is the perfect time to organize a staycation weekend in downtown San Jose to celebrate the “rebirth of live.” What better way to take all the Fest’s sights and sounds than by booking a stay in the heart of downtown?

With that said, your first step is booking the perfect hotel to complement your Summer Fest experience. Thankfully, our Sobrato Organization Main Stage is just steps away from a handful of downtown luxury hotels, with others a short ride away. We’ve negotiated the best rates in years with several hotels in the area. Be sure to check our hotel deals page before booking to ensure you get the best price for Fest weekend. 

Once that’s settled, it’s time to start building the weekend itinerary, and music is just one part of enjoying Summer Fest weekend. Below, we share some insight on the many sounds (and tastes) to make the most of your staycation.

Food and Drink

If you’re looking to take in some of downtown San Jose’s many food and drink options, here are some options to consider during your weekend stay. Most are less than a 10 minute walk from the Fest grounds.

Coffee / Breakfast 

Nirvana Soul
Voltaire Coffee Roasters
Bijan Bakery 
Circle A Skateboards and Coffee
Flames Eatery
Whispers Cafe and Creperie

Lunch / Dinner 

Food Halls
SoFA Market
San Pedro Square Market 

Sit Down
Scott’s Seafood
Good Spot

Casual Dining
Scott’s Chowder House
Poor House Bistro
Bijan Wine Bar

55 South
Paper Plane 

LVL Uproar
Camino Brewing Co.
Clandestine Brewing

Late Night at Summer Fest 

If you aren’t ready for your night to end once things come to a close at the Sobrato Organization Main Stage, check out these late night offerings:

Miro Break Room Stage 

Did you know San Jose Jazz has built its own stage inside its offices? You may have witnessed performances during the organization’s New Works Fest earlier in the year. Now step inside and see the “rebirth of live” for yourself! With a Priority Access pass, you’ll get a chance to see these intimate, hour-long concerts mere feet from the Fest performers. As an additional ticket holder benefit, ALL ticket levels get a weekend-long streaming pass to watch every Break Room performance for free. 

While SJZ will be hosting Break Room Stage performances all weekend long, there are three late-night sets to check out if you want an after-hours feel:

Secret Sidewalk: Fri Aug 13, Midnight
Butcher Brown: Sat Aug 14, 10pm
Giveton Gelin: Sat Aug 14, Midnight

If you’re already settled into the comfort of your hotel room at that point in the evening, simply access your streaming pass to tune in virtually. 

After Hours in SoFA 

The Continental, Fri Aug 13, 9pm

This SoFA mainstay, which has hosted Summer Fest and Winter Fest performances in the past, will feature three DJs ready to keep you moving throughout the night. Chale Brown, who has helped curate SJZ’s Jazz Beyond programming in past years, will be playing alongside soulful house DJ / producer Julius Papp and Bay Area heavyweight Shortkut, who headlines with an all 45 record dancefloor-driven set.

The first 150 Summer Fest patrons attend free with a wristband.

Summer Fest Club Crawl
Sat Aug 14, 8pm

Every year at Summer Fest, we supplement our Fest programming with after hours jazz performances at various venues throughout downtown San Jose. This year, catch jazz musicians performing at Hyatt Place, Marriott San Jose, and inside Mosaic at Four Points Sheraton. Additionally, craft cocktail bar Five Points will be hosting a jazz jam. Artists will be announced very soon.

Other Live Music

Gospel Brunch
Sun Aug 15, 11am-1pm, San Jose Marriott

Need an uplifting start to Summer Fest Sunday? Drop by our annual gospel brunch, which honors a key branch in the development of jazz and roots music. Regular menu items will be available, accompanied by the joyful sounds of Jasmine Butler and Friends.

Five Points Jazz Jam

The Jam is back! Get in the Summer Fest spirit early on Mon Aug 9 — or keep the Fest spirit alive Mon Aug 16 — by attending the Five Points Jazz Jam, which features some of the city’s best jazz talent. While there, don’t forget to order one of the bar’s splendid craft cocktails. It’s a great pairing to the top-shelf sounds you’re sure to hear on the bandstand. 


When we say music takes over all corners of downtown San Jose during Summer Fest, we aren’t kidding. In addition to our Fest stages, we have buskers stationed throughout the Fest grounds on Sat Aug 14 and Sun Aug 15 so that the music continues even as you walk from one stage to the next. 

Artists will be performing at four locations:

— At 1st St. and San Carlos, near the entrance to Original Joes (301 S 1st St)
— Along Paseo de San Antonio between 1st St. and Market, near the former location of the Fairmont San Jose
— Along Paseo de San Antonio between 1st and 2nd St, on the patio of Scott’s Seafood (200 S 1st St #10)
— In front of The GlassHouse (2 S Market St.), near the intersection of Market and Santa Clara

Big Band Weekend

Though not an official stage at this year’s Summer Fest, Tabard Theatre, the former home of the Swing Stage, is presenting their Swingin’ Summer Big Band Celebration all weekend long. Catch Thursday and Friday night performances, as well as a full slate of performers Sat Aug 14 and Sun Aug 15.

Keep in mind that this is a ticketed event, so it’s recommended that you buy your passes early. Individual tickets and Celebration Passes are available at the Tabard Theatre Web site.

Nearby Art Galleries

With the CEFCU Latin/Tropical Stage located in the middle of downtown’s SoFA district, patrons have a great chance to take in the numerous art galleries nearby. Take a moment to step inside Anno Domini, MACLA, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, all located along 1st St. Every gallery is FREE to the public, and aside from the Museum of Quilts and Textiles (11am-3pm), all are open Saturday and Sunday from 12pm until 5pm.