San Mateo, California

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The City of San Mateo: Overview

Bordering the vast body of water that is the San Francisco Bay, San Mateo is a popular place to live because of its mild climate, proximity to major cities like San Francisco and San Jose, and numerous parks and green space. San Mateo is known for being a part of the Bay Area’s Silicon Valley tech hub and for having some of the most desirable real estate in the region.

Around San Mateo

Although San Mateo is largely known for its proximity to San Francisco, the city is a popular destination in its own right. San Mateo has one of the most populous and well-developed downtown areas in the San Francisco Bay area and has hundreds of stores and restaurants, most of which are housed in historic buildings that date back to the city’s earliest years. True to its Silicon Valley location, San Mateo is home to several tech companies. San Mateo also boasts 15 public parks, with the largest one, Central Park, being home to a Japanese tea garden, rose garden, tennis courts, and a recreation center.

Because San Mateo is such a sought-after place to live in Silicon Valley, the cost of living is significantly higher than the national average. Much of the high cost of living can be attributed to the expensive homes, which then brings up the costs of goods and services, groceries, and more.

Located 20 miles south of San Francisco and 31 miles northwest of San Jose, San Mateo allows commuters to drive along Highway 101 to get to the region’s major employment centers. If choosing public transportation, residents can take the CalTrain or hop on a bus and enjoy relatively short commutes. The CalTrain and SamTrans provide service between San Mateo and San Francisco, while the VTA and BART provide service between San Mateo and San Jose. The San Mateo-Hayward Bridge also provides access to the East Bay.

The San Mateo-Foster City School District is the largest in San Mateo County, consisting of 14 elementary schools, three middle schools, and three K-8 schools. San Mateo is also serviced by the San Mateo Union High School District, which has seven high schools in six separate cities. The high school district is consistently rated as one of the best in the Bay Area.

Coyote Point Park is a peninsula that extends into San Francisco Bay and is one of the city’s prized attractions. The tip of the peninsula is covered in a grove of eucalyptus trees, which can be seen from above when flying in or out of San Francisco International Airport. San Mateo is also home to CuriOdyssey, a famous natural history museum and wildlife center that attracts museum-goers from all over the state. Residents also frequent the San Mateo Arboretum, which houses a Japanese garden as well as an ice skating rink. Every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the San Mateo Parks Department offers Bicycle Sunday, during which a portion of the city’s roads are shut down. Bikers, joggers, and roller skaters can come out to enjoy the open road, free of motorized vehicles.


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