San Jose sits on a plain which blurs into the Caraballo Mountains that forms the boundary with Nueva Vizcaya. It is at the crossroads of three highways, the Maharlika Highway, San Jose-Lupao Road, and Rizal-Pantabangan-San Jose Road.
The city used to be the barrio of Cabaritan (Kabaritan) in nearby Lupao until the Spaniards decided to upgrade it to a town in 1894 and renamed it after its patron saint, St. Joseph.
Agriculture is the main source of local revenue, and around the city are sprawling rice paddies which dominate the landscape.
- Baliwag Transit (BTI). One bus departs every hour or two from their terminals at Caloocan or Cubao. Bus station at San Jose-Lupao Road
- Five Star. About 3 ordinary buses run between Dagupan and Santiago City. Bus stop near the public market
- Genesis Transport. Services connect with Olongapo and San Fernando, Pampanga.
- Golden Bee. Baliwag Transit's sister bus line, with premium buses departing from Cubao or Pasay.
- Tayabo Nature Park (Diamond Park). Has a flight of hundred steps into a hilltop pagoda, which has views of Nueva Ecija and the Caraballo Mountains
- Palaspas Falls, Manicla.
- Tanduyong Festival.