San Mateo, California

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San Mateo, California
City of San Mateo
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Location in San Mateo County and the state of California
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San Mateo, California
Location in San Francisco Bay Area
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San Mateo, California
Location in California
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San Mateo, California
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 37°33′15″N122°18′47″W / 37.55417°N 122.31306°W / 37.55417; -122.31306 Coordinates: 37°33′15″N122°18′47″W / 37.55417°N 122.31306°W / 37.55417; -122.31306
Country United States
State California
County San Mateo
Incorporated September 4, 1894 [1]
Named for St. Matthew
   Mayor Eric Rodriguez [2]
   City manager Drew Corbett [3]
  Total15.85 sq mi (41.04 km2)
  Land12.13 sq mi (31.42 km2)
  Water3.71 sq mi (9.62 km2)  23.63%
46 ft (14 m)
 (2010) [6]
(2019) [7]
  Rank 68th in California
298th in the United States
  Density8,607.81/sq mi (3,323.38/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP codes [8]
94401–94404, 94497
Area code 650
FIPS code 06-68252
GNIS feature IDs 1659584, 2411800

San Mateo ( /ˌsænməˈt./ SAN mə-TAY-oh; Spanish for '" Saint Matthew "') is a city in San Mateo County, California, about 20 miles (32 km) south of San Francisco and 31 miles (50 km) northwest of San Jose. San Mateo had an estimated 2019 population of 104,430. [9] It has a Mediterranean climate, and is known for its rich history. The biggest economic contributors to the city include the Medical Center, one of the local school districts, and Sony's Sony Interactive Entertainment division. Finally, being in the center of the San Francisco Bay Area, it has many ways to travel between the major cities of that area.



San Mateo's origins lie in Rancho San Mateo, granted to Californio ranchero Cayetano Arenas in 1846. Diseno of Rancho San Mateo.jpg
San Mateo's origins lie in Rancho San Mateo, granted to Californio ranchero Cayetano Arenas in 1846.
South San Mateo was originally part of Rancho de las Pulgas, granted to Californio politician Jose Dario Arguello in 1795. Jose Dario Arguello.jpg
South San Mateo was originally part of Rancho de las Pulgas, granted to Californio politician José Darío Argüello in 1795.

The Ramaytush people lived in the land, prior to it becoming the city of San Mateo. [10] In 1789, the Spanish missionaries had named a Native American village along Laurel Creek as Los Laureles or the Laurels (Mission Dolores, 1789). At the time of Mexican Independence, 30 native Californians were at San Mateo, most likely from the Salson tribelet. [11]

Naming of the city

Captain Frederick William Beechey in 1827 traveling with the hills on their right, known in that part as the Sierra del Sur, began to approach the road, which passing over a small eminence, opened out upon "a wide country of meadow land, with clusters of fine oak free from underwood… It strongly resembled a nobleman's park: herds of cattle and horses were grazing upon the rich pasture, and numerous fallow‑deer, startled at the approach of strangers, bounded off to seek protection among the hills… This spot is named San Matheo, and belongs to the mission of San Francisco." [11]

Starting in 1856, the city of San Mateo was documented by Spanish colonists as part of the Rancho de las Pulgas (literally "Ranch of the Fleas") and the Rancho San Mateo, the earliest history is held in the archives of Mission Dolores.

19th century

Around the 1850s, some San Franciscans began building summer homes in the mid-Peninsula, because of the milder climate. [12] While most of this early settlement occurred in adjacent Hillsborough and Burlingame, a number of historically important mansions and buildings were constructed in San Mateo.[ citation needed ]

A.P. Giannini, founder of the Bank of Italy (which later became the Bank of America), lived here most of his life. His mansion, Seven Oaks, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (No. 99001181). [13] Located at 20 El Cerrito Avenue, it has been deteriorating as it has not been preserved or occupied for years. [14]

Interurban Railroad Car riding up B Street, c. 1909 PostcardSanMateoBStreetCirca1909.jpg
Interurban Railroad Car riding up B Street, c. 1909

In 1858, Sun Water Station, a stage station of the Butterfield Overland Mail route, was established in San Mateo. It was located 9 miles (14 km) south of Clarks Station in what is now San Bruno and 9 miles north of the next station at Redwood City. [15]

The Howard Estate was built in 1859 on the hill accessed by Crystal Springs Road. The Parrott Estate was erected in 1860 in the same area, giving rise to two conflicting names for the hill, Howard Hill and Parrot Hill. After use of the automobile changed traffic patterns, neither historic name was commonly applied to that hill. The Borel Estate was developed near Borel Creek in 1874. It has been redeveloped since the late 20th century for use as modern offices and shops. The property is managed and owned by Borel Place Associates and the Borel Estate Company.[ citation needed ]

Hayward Park, the 1880 American Queen Anne-style residence of Alvinza Hayward (often said to be "California's first millionaire" from his silver and banking fortunes), was built on an 800-acre (3.2 km2) estate in San Mateo which included a deer park and racetrack, roughly bounded by present-day El Camino Real (on the west), 9th Avenue (on the north), B Street (on the east) and 16th Avenue (on the south). [16] A smaller portion of the property and the mansion, was converted into The Peninsula Hotel in 1908, following Hayward's death in 1904. The hotel burned down in a spectacular fire on 25 June 1920. [17]

20th century

Detail from diseno Rancho San Mateo 1840s.jpg
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San Mateo Map 1938.jpg
Maps of San Mateo

In 1893, Pedro Evencio had been called the last of the Ramaytush Native American of San Mateo.[ citation needed ] However his descendant, Joseph (José) Evencio (the younger) lived at Coyote Point until World War II; his final whereabouts are unknown.[ citation needed ] [18]

In the early 20th century, Japanese immigrants came to San Mateo to work in the salt ponds and flower industry. Although Japanese-Americans only account for 2.2% of the population today, they continue to be a major cultural influence and a draw for the rest of the region. [19] The Eugene J. De Sabla Japanese Teahouse and Garden was established in 1894 at 70 De Sabla Road, designed by Makoto Hagiwara, designer of the Japanese garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. He arranged for Japanese artisans to be brought to the United States primarily for its teahouse construction. The parcel was purchased in 1988 by San Francisco businessman Achille Paladini and wife Joan, who have restored it. The garden features hundreds of varieties of plants and several rare trees. A large koi pond surrounds an island. The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. [20]

In December 1967, Sgt. Joe Artavia, then serving in Vietnam with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division wrote to his sister, Linda Giese, who was a resident of San Carlos working in San Mateo, [21] asking if San Mateo or San Francisco could adopt the company, saying that it would bring "the morale of the guys up as high as the clouds". [22] San Mateo passed a resolution on March 4, 1968, officially adopting Alpha Company and letters and gifts began arriving from the citizens of San Mateo. [21] [23] Joe would be killed in action on March 24, 1968, less than three weeks after the resolution. [24] Linda would travel to Vietnam to meet with the men of Alpha Company for Christmas in 1968 and deliver personalized medallions from the City of San Mateo. [21] [25] In 1972, San Mateo requested and received permission to have Alpha Company visit the city when they left Vietnam, later holding a parade in January 1972, believed to be the only parade honoring the military during the Vietnam War. [21] In 1988, Joseph Brazan wrote a screenplay entitled A Dove Among Eagles chronicling the adoption of Alpha Company by San Mateo and the real-life romance between Linda and Artavia's commander, Lt. Stephen Patterson. [26] The city expanded its support to the entire 1st Battalion in 1991, when they were deployed to Kuwait under Operation Desert Storm. [21]

Bay Meadows horse-racing track was torn down in 2008.


San Mateo is located at 37°33′15″N122°18′47″W / 37.55417°N 122.31306°W / 37.55417; -122.31306 (37.554286, −122.313044). [27] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.9 square miles (41 km2), of which, 12.1 square miles (31 km2) are land and 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) (23.63%) are covered by water.

The best-known natural area is Coyote Point Park, a rock outcropped peninsula that juts out into the San Francisco Bay. The early Spanish navigators named it la punta de San Mateo. [28] Crews of American cargo ships carrying grain in the bay renamed it Big Coyote. [29] Sailors had a penchant for naming promontories at the edge of San Francisco Bay after the coyote; across the bay in Fremont are the Coyote Hills, part of Coyote Hills Regional Park. By the 1890s, the shore area was developed as a popular beach called San Mateo Beach. In 1842, the Spanish had named it playa de San Mateo. Today, Coyote Point is home to CuriOdyssey, formerly known as the Coyote Point Museum, a major natural history museum and wildlife center in the state. The Peninsula Humane Society is also situated at Coyote Point.

The variety of natural habitats includes mixed oak woodland, riparian zones, and bayland marshes. One endangered species, the California clapper rail, was sighted feeding on mudflats by the Third Avenue bridge in San Mateo. [30] The marsh areas are also likely habitat for the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse, which inhabits the middle and high zones of salt and brackish marshes, as well as for the endangered marsh plant, Point Reyes bird's beak.

Sugarloaf Mountain, whose name has been documented in 1870, is a prominent landform between the forks of Laurel Creek. [31] In the late 20th century, this mixed oak woodland and chaparral habitat was a site of controversy related to proposals to develop a portion of the mountain for residential use. It has been preserved for use as park and open space area, and is home to the endangered mission blue butterfly.

Sawyer Camp Trail, located on the western edge of San Mateo along the Crystal Springs Reservoir, is another popular destination for joggers, pedestrians, and bikers. This roughly 6-mile (9.7 km) trail begins in San Mateo and stretches north toward Hillsborough and San Bruno, parallel to the 280 freeway.


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 (the San Bruno Gap, between Montara Mountain and San Bruno Mountain; and the Crystal Springs Gap, near where State Route 92 meets State Route 35, west of the College of San Mateo) 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. [32] [33]

The National Weather Service maintained a cooperative weather station in San Mateo until 1978; records for the period show that January, the coolest month, had an average maximum of 57.8 °F (14.3 °C) and an average minimum of 41.7 °F (5.4 °C), and September, the warmest month, had an average maximum of 78.0 °F (25.6 °C) and an average minimum of 54.2 °F (12.3 °C). The record maximum temperature was 109 °F (43 °C) on June 14, 1961, and the record minimum temperature was 25 °F (−4 °C) on January 5, 1949, and December 9, 1972. Annual precipitation averaged 18.77 inches (477 mm) of rainfall, falling on an average of 60 days each year. The wettest year was 29.77 inches (756 mm) in 1973 and the driest year was 11.16 inches (283 mm) of rainfall in 1953. The most precipitation in one month was 12.59 inches (320 mm) of rainfall in December 1955 and the most precipitation in 24 hours was 3.72 inches (94 mm) of rainfall on December 23, 1955. [34] Based on comparison with the existing NWS office at San Francisco International Airport, San Mateo is generally a few degrees warmer in summer than the airport and a few degrees cooler in winter, while annual precipitation is almost the same at the airport and in San Mateo. [35] In recent years, daily temperature reports for San Mateo from local weather observers have been published in the San Mateo Times and the San Francisco Chronicle .

Climate data for San Mateo
Record high °F (°C)76
Average high °F (°C)55
Average low °F (°C)40
Record low °F (°C)16
Average rainfall inches (mm)4.02
Source: [36]


Historical population
1880 932
1900 1,832
1910 4,384139.3%
1920 5,97936.4%
1930 13,444124.9%
1940 19,40344.3%
1950 41,782115.3%
1960 69,87067.2%
1970 78,99113.1%
1980 77,640−1.7%
1990 85,48610.1%
2000 92,4828.2%
2010 97,2075.1%
2019 (est.)104,430 [7] 7.4%
U.S. Decennial Census [37]

The 2010 United States Census [38] reported that San Mateo had a population of 97,207. The population density was 8,013.8 people per square mile (3,094.2/km2). The racial makeup of San Mateo was 56,214 (46.8%) White, 2,296 (2.4%) African American, 505 (0.5%) Native American, 18,384 (18.9%) Asian (7.9% Chinese, 4.6% Filipino, 2.2% Japanese, 1.8% Indian, 0.8% Korean, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.2% Thai), 1,998 (2.1%) Pacific Islander (1.2% Tongan, 0.3% Fijian, 0.2% Samoan, 0.1% Hawaiian,), 12,264 (12.6%) from other races, and 5,546 (5.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,815 persons (26.6%); 14.4% of San Mateo is Mexican, 2.8% Guatemalan, 2.6% Salvadoran, 1.2% Peruvian, 0.9% Nicaraguan, 0.5% Puerto Rican, 0.3% Colombian, 0.3% Chilean, 0.2% Honduran, and 0.2% Cuban.

The Census reported that 95,891 people (98.6% of the population) lived in households, 975 (1.0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 341 (0.4%) were institutionalized.

There were 38,233 households, out of which 11,464 (30.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 17,964 (47.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,824 (10.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,656 (4.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,098 (5.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 343 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 11,751 households (30.7%) were made up of individuals, and 4,391 (11.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51. There were 23,444 families (61.3% of all households); the average family size was 3.14.

The population was spread out, with 20,254 people (20.8%) under the age of 18, 6,915 people (7.1%) aged 18 to 24, 30,772 people (31.7%) aged 25 to 44, 25,286 people (26.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 13,980 people (14.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

There were 40,014 housing units at an average density of 3,298.8 per square mile (1,273.7/km2), of which 19,969 (52.2%) were owner-occupied, and 18,264 (47.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.7%. Of the population, 50,951 people (52.4%) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 44,940 people (46.2%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year estimate, [39] the median income for a household in the city was $86,772, and the median income for a family was $107,023. Males had a median income of $65,541 versus $60,491 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,248. About 3.6% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

Demographic profile [40] 2010
Total Population97,207 100.0%
One Race91,661 - 94.3%
Not Hispanic or Latino71,392 - 73.4%
White alone45,240 - 46.5%
Black or African American alone2,099 - 2.2%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone140 - 0.1%
Asian alone18,153 - 18.7%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone1,937 - 2.0%
Some other race alone344 - 0.4%
Two or more races alone3,479 - 3.6%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)25,815 - 26.6%


San Mateo is structured as a council-manager form of government. The City Council has five members elected every two years to staggered four-year terms. [41]

In the California State Legislature, San Mateo is in the 13th Senate District , represented by Democrat Josh Becker, and in the 22nd Assembly District , represented by Democrat Kevin Mullin. [42]

In the United States House of Representatives, San Mateo is in California's 14th congressional district , represented by Democrat Jackie Speier. [43]

According to the California Secretary of State, as of February 10, 2019, San Mateo has 54,946 registered voters. Of those, 27,502 (50.1%) are registered Democrats, 8,504 (15.5%) are registered Republicans, and 16,772 (30.5%) have declined to state a political party. [44]


In general, San Mateo's downtown core and neighborhoods east of El Camino Real are more populous and have a greater density than the neighborhoods to the west of El Camino Real, where there is a lower population density.

Aerial view of San Mateo, directed west (2009). The wide street in the middle foreground is 3rd Avenue/J Hart Clinton Drive, which splits into 3rd and 4th Avenues west of the Bayshore Freeway; the core of downtown San Mateo lies west of 101 along 3rd, 4th, and 5th. 2009 04 19 lax-sfo 423 (3541371585).jpg
Aerial view of San Mateo, directed west (2009). The wide street in the middle foreground is 3rd Avenue/J Hart Clinton Drive, which splits into 3rd and 4th Avenues west of the Bayshore Freeway; the core of downtown San Mateo lies west of 101 along 3rd, 4th, and 5th.


San Mateo has one of the larger, well developed, more prominent suburban downtowns in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is located roughly between Tilton and 9th Avenues and Delaware Street and El Camino Real [45] The downtown core contains over 800 shops and restaurants, many of them in historic buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. [46] The non-profit Downtown San Mateo Association (DSMA) works on behalf of downtown businesses to promote them and improve the downtown area. [47] A historically influential area for the Japanese-American community, the downtown is home to many Japanese restaurants and shops. A large, modern 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. [48] San Mateo Caltrain station is situated downtown. 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.


Hillsdale Shopping Center is a mall in San Mateo County, with over 100 stores in the mall itself, surrounded by many big box stores. The city of San Mateo has approved the construction of Cinépolis (a luxury movie theater) and a Pinstripes bowling alley off El Camino Real. Sears is no longer in business and has been vacated for new businesses to occupy this space. Hillsdale Caltrain station is across El Camino Real.

Bay Meadows

Bay Meadows Racetrack was a former horse racing track near Hillsdale Mall, which closed down in 2008. [49] It is being redeveloped into a large mixed-use development which will include hundreds of new residential units, office space, retail space and acres of parks including a town square. [50] It started construction in 2013 and was completed in 2017. [51] It is a significant amount of new construction given the limited space available for development in the city and the peninsula.


Sony Interactive Entertainment headquarters near the Bridgepointe power center (2016) 0710 World HQ (30355416890).jpg
Sony Interactive Entertainment headquarters near the Bridgepointe power center (2016)

The economy of San Mateo would best be considered very diverse with jobs in the technology, health care, financial services, government, and retail trade fields being among the most numerous. Companies based in San Mateo include SolarCity, Sony Interactive Entertainment, NetSuite, Franklin Templeton Investments, Fisher Investments, Solstice, Guidewire Software, Coupa, Snowflake Inc., Roblox Corporation, Marketo, SurveyMonkey, and GoPro.

According to the city's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are: [52]

#Employer# of Employees
1 County of San Mateo Medical Center1,425
2 San Mateo-Foster City Unified 1,191
3 Sony Interactive Entertainment 1,168
4 Franklin Templeton Investor 1,055
5 San Mateo Union High School District 1,026
6 San Mateo County Behavioral Health650
7 NetSuite 600
8City of San Mateo547
9 Fisher Investments 423
10 Marketo 410

Since 1990, San Mateo has had a voter-approved ordinance limiting the height of new development to 55 feet (17 m). The San Mateo housing market is one of the most expensive in the country. In February 2018, the median San Mateo home was valued at $1,463,900, [53] and the median rent was ninth in the entire nation at $2,242 per month. [54]

In the mid 2000's the second story on downtown San Mateo buildings became a hub for start up companies headquarters. This included Roblox, Go-Pro and YouTube [55] [56]


San Mateo High School Smhs-sm-campus1.jpg
San Mateo High School

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 is a private, PreK-8 school: Saint Matthew's Episcopal Day School There are three public high schools: San Mateo, Aragon, and Hillsdale. There are also three private high schools: one all-male Catholic high school, Junípero Serra, one all-female Catholic high school, Notre Dame, and the Nueva Upper School. 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 (0.62 km2) in the western foothills of the city which offer a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay. [57] Other universities in the area include Notre Dame de Namur University, a private Catholic university of 2,000 students in neighboring Belmont [58] and Stanford University located about 12 miles (19 km) to the south.

The San Mateo Union High School District also hosts an adult school behind the campus of San Mateo High School. [59]

Public libraries

Selected locations in San Mateo 
  •  Points of interest 
  •  Parks and open spaces 
  •  Education 

College of San Mateo
Hillsdale High School
Hillsdale Shopping Center / Hillsdale (Caltrain)
Aragon High School
Hayward Park (Caltrain)
Central Park / San Mateo (Caltrain)
San Mateo High School
Coyote Point Park / CuriOdyssey

The City of San Mateo operates three libraries within the city. The Main Library, the Hillsdale Library, and the Marina Library are all part of the Peninsula Library System. [60] The Main Library located near Central Park in downtown opened in 2006 after residents passed a $30 million bond measure. Upon opening, the three-story, 93,000-square-foot (8,600 m2) building earned numerous design awards and was LEED-certified NC Gold. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide abundant natural light. The technologically advanced building is modeled after a retail bookstore. [61]

Parks and recreation

San Mateo maintains more than 15 parks throughout 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. [62] Beresford Park is another large park that offers bocce ball and a skate plaza. Martin Luther King Jr Park ( 37°34′26″N122°19′30″W / 37.574°N 122.325°W / 37.574; -122.325 (Martin Luther King Jr Park) ) and Joinville Park ( 37°34′05″N122°17′35″W / 37.568°N 122.293°W / 37.568; -122.293 (Joinville Park) ) offer swimming pools while Ryder Park boasts a water play structure. Parkside Aquatic Park located on Seal Slough ( 37°33′36″N122°17′28″W / 37.560°N 122.291°W / 37.560; -122.291 (Parkside Aquatic Park) ) 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. [63]

Coyote Point Park is near the border with Burlingame and on the San Francisco Bay. It is a 670-acre (2.7 km2) 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. [64]



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.


San Mateo has a network of bikeways connecting major destinations in the city. In 2011, the city approved a Bicycle Master Plan to establish bicycling goals, identify gaps in the existing bikeways system, and create a prioritized list of infrastructure improvement projects. [65]

Public transportation

SamTrans provides local bus service within the city of San Mateo as well as the entire county of San Mateo. [66] AC Transit provides transbay bus service via the San Mateo Bridge to Alameda County. [67] 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 stations at Hillsdale (serving the mall and surrounding area), Hayward Park (near Highway 92), and San Mateo (in downtown San Mateo). There are 41 northbound and 41 southbound trains with a stop in the city each weekday and 18 trains in both directions on weekends. Extra southbound trains are run to accommodate passengers after San Francisco Giants games. [68] See public transportation in San Mateo County for more details.


San Mateo is located near three major airports, including San Francisco International Airport seven miles (11 km) to the north. Oakland International Airport and San Jose Mineta International Airport are also within a half-hour drive. San Carlos Airport is a general aviation airport located about six miles (9.7 km) to the south.

Other services

Hospitals in San Mateo include San Mateo Medical Center, an acute care facility operated by County of San Mateo. [69] Cemeteries include Skylawn Memorial Park and St. John's Cemetery.

Prominent places

The San Mateo Performing Arts Center, which is located on the campus of San Mateo High School, is one of the largest local theatres.

The College of San Mateo is home to radio station KCSM. The College of San Mateo hosts a year-round Saturday morning farmers' market for visitors and San Mateo residents alike, at 1700 W Hillsdale Blvd. The market is operated by the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association and has over 100 farmers, hot food vendors, and artisans from the San Francisco Bay Area. [70]

Many visitors to San Mateo will check out the Japanese Tea Garden and San Mateo Arboretum, both of which are in Central Park. One of its sister cities is Toyonaka, Japan, which the Japanese Tea Garden at Central Park was created to commemorate. [71]

Public art is located all around the city. One of the more memorable works is the large, brightly colored 1963 mosaic mural designed by Louis Macouillard and constructed by Alfonso Pardiñas. [72] [73] The mural is located in front of a mid century modern style Bank of America branch at 300 S. El Camino Real and tells the story of A. P. Giannini, the founder of Bank of Italy (United States). [72] [73]

The city is also home to the Bridgepointe and Hillsdale shopping centers.

U.S. Route 101, Interstate 280, and State Route 92 pass through San Mateo.


Sister cities

San Mateo has two sister cities, as designated by the Sister Cities International, Inc.: [74]

Notable people

Actors, entertainers

Artists, designers





Writers, poets, journalists


See also

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San Mateo County, officially the County of San Mateo, is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 718,451. The county seat is Redwood City. San Mateo County is included in the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA MSA, Silicon Valley, and is part of the San Francisco Bay Area, the nine counties bordering San Francisco Bay. It covers most of the San Francisco Peninsula. San Francisco International Airport is located at the northern end of the county. The county's built-up areas are mostly suburban with some areas being very urban, and are home to several corporate campuses.

Menlo Park, California City in California, United States

Menlo Park is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County within the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; and Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City to the west. It is one of the most educated cities in California and the United States; nearly 70% of residents over 25 have earned a bachelor's degree or higher. It had 32,026 residents at the 2010 United States Census, and an estimated 34,698 by 2019. It is home to the corporate headquarters of Meta, and is where Google and Round Table Pizza were founded.

Burlingame, California City in California, United States

Burlingame is a city in San Mateo County, California. It is located on the San Francisco Peninsula and has a significant shoreline on San Francisco Bay. The city is named after diplomat Anson Burlingame and is known for its numerous eucalyptus groves, high quality of life, walkable downtown area, and excellent public school system. In September 2021, the typical home value in Burlingame was $2.7 million. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, Burlingame had a population of 31,799.

Millbrae, California City in California in the United States

Millbrae is a city located in northern San Mateo County, California, United States. To its northeast is San Francisco International Airport, San Bruno is on its northwest, and Burlingame on its southeast. It is bordered by San Andreas Lake to the southwest. The population was 21,536 at the 2010 census.

Redwood City, California City in California in the United States

Redwood City is a city on the San Francisco Peninsula in Northern California's Bay Area, approximately 27 miles (43 km) south of San Francisco, and 24 miles (39 km) northwest of San Jose. Redwood City's history spans its earliest inhabitation by the Ohlone people to being a port for lumber and other goods. The county seat of San Mateo County in the heart of Silicon Valley, Redwood City is home to several global technology companies including Oracle, Electronic Arts, Evernote, Box, and Informatica. The city had an estimated population of 85,925 in 2019. The Port of Redwood City is the only deepwater port on San Francisco Bay south of San Francisco.

San Bruno, California City in San Mateo County, California, US

San Bruno is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, incorporated in 1914. The population was 41,114 at the 2010 United States Census. The city is between South San Francisco and Millbrae, adjacent to San Francisco International Airport and Golden Gate National Cemetery, and is approximately 12 miles (19 km) south of downtown San Francisco.

South San Francisco, California City in California in the United States

South San Francisco is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, located on the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is colloquially known as "South City". The population was 63,632 at the 2010 census.

Mountain View, California City in California, United States

Mountain View is a city in Santa Clara County, California, United States. Named for its views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, It has a population of 82,739.

Caltrain California commuter rail line

Caltrain is a California commuter rail line serving the San Francisco Peninsula and Santa Clara Valley. The southern terminus is in San Jose at Tamien station with weekday rush hour service running as far as Gilroy. The northern terminus of the line is in San Francisco at 4th and King Streets. Caltrain has 28 regular stops, one limited-service weekday-only stop, one weekend-only stop (Broadway), and one football-only stop (Stanford). Weekday ridership in February 2018 averaged 65,095.

Bayshore Freeway Freeway in California

The Bayshore Freeway is a part of U.S. Route 101 in the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California. It runs along the west shore of the San Francisco Bay, connecting San Jose with San Francisco. Within the city of San Francisco, the freeway is also known as James Lick Freeway, named after the California philanthropist. The road was originally built as a surface road, the Bayshore Highway, and later upgraded to freeway standards. Before 1964, it was mostly marked as U.S. Route 101 Bypass, with US 101 using the present State Route 82.


SamTrans is a public transport agency in and around San Mateo, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It provides bus service throughout San Mateo County and into portions of San Francisco and Palo Alto. SamTrans also operates commuter shuttles to BART stations and community shuttles. Service is largely concentrated on the east side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and, in the central county, I-280, leaving coast-side service south of Pacifica spotty and intermittent.

Coyote Point Recreation Area Park in San Mateo County, California, US

Coyote Point Recreation Area is a 670-acre (270 ha) park in San Mateo County, California, United States. Located on San Francisco Bay, it is south of San Francisco International Airport on the border of Burlingame and San Mateo.

Hillsdale Shopping Center Shopping mall in California, United States

Hillsdale Shopping Center, or simply Hillsdale, is a shopping mall in San Mateo, California, United States, currently anchored by Macy's and Nordstrom. Featuring over 130 stores and restaurants, it is at the intersection of Hillsdale Boulevard and El Camino Real or CA-82, adjacent to the Hillsdale Caltrain Station and the former site of Bay Meadows Racetrack. It is owned by Bohannon Development Co.

San Mateo station

San Mateo is the northernmost of the three Caltrain stations in San Mateo, California. It is in downtown San Mateo.

Peninsula Library System

The Peninsula Library System (PLS) is a consortium of public and community college libraries in San Mateo County, California, United States, which serves the part of the San Francisco Bay Area known as "The Peninsula". The system has dozens of branches in local communities and at various area community colleges, a bookmobile, and automated book kiosks called Library-a-Go-Go.

Peninsula Athletic League High school athletic conference in California

Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) is a high school athletic conference in California, part of the CIF Central Coast Section of the California Interscholastic Federation. It comprises 17 high schools generally around San Mateo County, California. There are also nine smaller schools, designated supplemental members, of which four are located in Santa Clara County. The seventeen sports offered are divided into different divisions depending on the strength of the school's program.

Caltrain Express

The Caltrain Express (CTX) project was implemented from 2002 to 2004 and led to the establishment of the Baby Bullet express service, which shortened the transit time between San Francisco and San Jose, and certain stations in between. New locomotives and rolling stock were purchased for dedicated express service, bypassing most stations; quad-track overtake sections were added in two locations along the Peninsula Corridor right-of-way to allow express trains to pass slower local trains that were making all stops; tracks were also upgraded with continuous-welded rail; a centralized traffic control system was added; and crossovers were added every few miles to allow single-tracking trains around disabled trains. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, then serving as a California State Senator, is credited with securing the funding for CTX and one of the new locomotives acquired for the project is named for her as a result. During commute hours, the Baby Bullet is up to 20% faster than driving south from San Francisco to San Jose.

The Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) is a planned second phase of the San Francisco Transbay Transit Center (TTC). When complete, it will extend the Caltrain Peninsula Corridor commuter rail line from its current northern terminus at 4th and King via a 1.3 mi (2.1 km) tunnel. The new terminus will be near the Financial District and will provide intermodal connections to BART, Muni, Transbay AC Transit buses, and long-distance buses. In addition, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) plans to use DTX and the Caltrain-owned Peninsula Corridor for service on the CHSRA San Francisco–San Jose segment. Because DTX uses a long tunnel, current diesel locomotives are not suitable and the Caltrain Modernization Project (CalMod), which includes electrification of the line and acquisition of electrified rolling stock, is a prerequisite.


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Further reading