Spanish for “Saint Matthew” is a city in San Mateo County, California, in the high-tech enclave of Silicon Valley. It is one of the larger suburbs on the San Francisco Peninsula, located between Burlingame to the north, Foster City and San Francisco Bay to the east, Belmont to the south, and Highlands-Baywood Park and Hillsborough to the west.
By car, San Mateo is about thirty minutes from downtown San Jose and twenty-five minutes from downtown San Francisco.
San Mateo has one of the larger, well developed, more prominent suburban downtowns in the San Francisco Bay Area. The downtown contains over 800 shops and restaurants, many of them in historic buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A large, 12-screen movie theatre complex gives the downtown a major entertainment option. Central Park is considered to be San Mateo’s signature park with tennis courts, picnic areas, playground, a baseball field, a recreation center, a miniature train, and a Japanese Tea Garden. The downtown also contains many large and small multi-story office buildings, apartments, government buildings and Mills Medical Center, making the area a busy employment center day and night.
San Mateo has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, damp winters. The city is generally shielded from the Pacific Ocean by the Montara Mountain block of the Santa Cruz Mountains, but two gaps in the mountains can channel ocean weather, resulting in gusty afternoon winds that bring fog toward San Mateo in the late afternoon through early morning in the summer months.
Residents are zoned for schools in the San Mateo Foster City School District and San Mateo Union High School District. Elementary schools comprise Preschool, K-5, Middle and Magnet schools. There are three public high schools: San Mateo, Aragon, and Hillsdale. There are also two private high schools: one all-male Catholic high school, Junipero Serra and one all-female Catholic high school, Notre Dame High School (Belmont, California). There is the Carey School.
The city is home to the College of San Mateo, a community college. The campus of over 10,000 students is located on 153 acres in the western foothills of the city which offer a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay. Other universities in the area include Notre Dame de Namur University, a private Catholic university of 2,000 students in neighboring Belmont and Stanford University located about 12 miles to the south.
Parks & Recreation
San Mateo maintains more than 15 parks throughout of the city.
Central Park is considered to be the main one and hosts many community park functions that serve downtown residents. It has a Japanese tea garden, a rose garden, and a mini train. Beresford Park is another large park that offers bocce ball and a skate plaza. Martin Luther King Jr Park and Joinville Park offer swimming pools while Ryder Park boasts a water play structure. Parkside Aquatic Park located on the San Francisco Bay has beach swimming and volleyball. Many of these parks have picnic areas with grills, children’s play areas, basketball and tennis courts, and baseball diamonds.
Coyote Point Park is near the border with Burlingame and on the San Francisco Bay. It is a 670-acre regional county park known for its ideal location for windsurfing and sailing. It is also home to CuriOdyssey: a hands-on science museum and small native animal zoo.
Sawyer Camp Trail, located on the western edge of San Mateo along the Crystal Springs Reservoir is another popular destination for joggers, walkers and bikers. This roughly 6 mile trail begins in San Mateo and stretches north toward Hillsborough and San Bruno, parallel to the 280 freeway.
San Mateo Transportation
San Mateo is considered to be near the center of the San Francisco Bay Area about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, the region’s two largest cities. It is served by three major freeways including U.S. Route 101, Interstate 280, and State Route 92. State Route 92 east of San Mateo traverses the San Francisco Bay as the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge to the city of Hayward on its eastern shore.
SamTrans provides local bus service within the city of San Mateo as well as the entire county of San Mateo. Caltrain provides commuter rail service on the San Francisco Peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose. Caltrain operates three stations within the city of San Mateo with the Hillsdale Station, Hayward Park Station, and the San Mateo Station in downtown. There are 41 northbound and 41 southbound trains with a stop in the city each weekday. Extra trains are run to accommodate extra passengers when the San Francisco Giants play.
San Mateo is located near three major airports including San Francisco International Airport 7 miles to the north. Oakland International Airport, and San Jose Mineta International Airport are also within a half an hour drive.San Carlos Airport is a general aviation airport located about 6 miles to the south.
For more information: www.CityofSanMateo.Org
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