Welcome to San Mateo
The sun-kissed Silicon Valley town offering a striking blend of coastal beauty and urban vivacity
20 miles south of San Francisco, with a stretch of pristine shoreline and access to The Bay Trail, San Mateo features one of the area’s most illustrious shopping centers and easily entertains its bustling and diverse population.
As part of the Silicon Valley area, San Mateo is home to several big-name companies and industries, including the Sony Interactive Entertainment base. The city is rich in history, and after its incorporation in 1856, San Mateo saw an influx of wealthy residents from San Francisco looking to take advantage of the milder climate and relaxed way of life of the mid-peninsula.
While many of the most revered homes in San Mateo lean into the Mediterranean vibes by embracing red-tiled roofs and sleek stucco walls, there is also a great deal of variety among housing styles. Adorable Craftsman bungalows brimming with history lie near downtown and within walking distance of shops, while spacious waterfront townhomes and condos open up the range of accommodations for residents.
What to Love
- Less busy than San Francisco but still populated enough to feel energetic
- Just ten minutes from the San Francisco International Airport and 30 minutes to Downtown San Francisco
- A mix of commercial offerings and plenty of nearby hiking
The size and mixed residential housing of San Mateo contribute to its highly diverse population of families, young professionals, and those looking for that sweet spot between dense city and relaxed small town.
Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping
San Mateo is brimming with retail options, both for meeting those essential day-to-day needs and for catching up on a little retail therapy. The basics are elevated at gourmet grocers like Draeger’s Market
and Dean’s Produce, along with a buzzing restaurant scene with eateries like Pausa
, Sushi Sam’s
, and Belcampo
For more standard, high-end brands, shoppers hit up Hillsdale Shopping Center
, which houses names like West Elm
, Sephora, lululemon
, and Nordstrom
. After you’ve spent your energy walking the area’s retail collection, play some bocci ball or upscale bowling while listening to live music at Pinstripes
. San Mateo will be ready to offer up a plethora of impeccable restaurants across a wide variety of flavors.
Things to Do
San Mateo is abounding in both natural and carefully cultivated beauty, and taking in the local sights is one of the top favorite activities in the area. San Mateo Central Park and Japanese Garden
, for instance, is overflowing with stunning natural flora and serene green spaces. During the spring and winters, the Cherry Blossoms in the Japanese Garden — which was designed by revered architect Nagao Sakurai — open up to face the sunlight for a spectacular show.
Central Park is also the setting for one of the city’s most exciting annual events, the Central Park Music Series
, held on Thursday evenings throughout the month of July and early August. Other community-focused events, like the city’s bountiful Farmers Market
, are held throughout the year.
The San Mateo County Fair
paints the city’s fairgrounds in a wash of neon lights and towering carnival rides, and thousands of visitors flock to the event to partake in its assortment of games, live entertainment, vendors, street food, and drinks.
As a Bay Area neighborhood, San Mateo has access to a number of incredible schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Aragon High School, 9-12, among the top 25 public high schools in the state
- Crystal Springs Uplands School, 6-12, the #5 best private high school in all of California
- Baywood & Borel Schools, highly rated public elementary & middle school