San Mateo, California is a community of 92,000 people, just 20 miles south of San Francisco. It has a warm small town feel with the advantages of a large metropolitan city. It was incorporated in 1894. Prior to this time, many of the rich made their summer homes on the peninsula - and it's no wonder with all there is to do on beautiful San Mateo - whether swimming, shopping or dining, the town has a variety from which to choose!
The Japanese Tea Garden in the Central Park area is a great bargain! There is no cost to visit. Twice daily, Mondays through Fridays, visitors can witness and help feed the koi that fill the ponds. The flowers and plants are exotic and the atmosphere offers a great source of peace and relaxation!
The Ryder Park Aquatic Play Area provides a nice respite for the children. Everyone plays for free and benches are provided for parents to oversee their children. The Century 21 Movie Theatre has the latest movies available. It is located in the downtown area and has 14 screens.
The downtown area has been developed, yet retains its historical charm. From casual to fine dining, there are a multitude of cuisines available. From Filipino to Greek to Salvadoran, there is certain to be a restaurant that fits everyone's craving.
Downtown is also home to many stores. Antiques can be found at Collective Antiques. A number of fine craftsmen such as beading, needlework and glasswork also have quaint shops to sell their wares. With the proximity to wine country, B Street and Vine and 750ml have all of the local offerings as well as imported wines to satisfy the most delicate palate.
Coyote Point, once a port and beach, now houses a natural history museum. The Coyote Point Museum is famous for being one of the most complete and interactive museums in California. There, visitors have the opportunity for actual hands-on activities in this state-of-the-art science lab.
San Mateo has luxury accommodations and less expensive ones for the thrifty minded. All of the large chains are represented. The Coxhead House Bed and Breakfast is also a choice if one is looking for that more personal touch.
This community is rich in history. A historical walking tour takes one through the downtown area and by some of the original homes. Unfortunately, some of these homes are currently in disrepair but have been listed on the Historical Landmark Registry. The tour will also pass by the old mission that was established in the 1700s to minister to the local American Indians.
The weather is ideal for year round visiting. San Mateo has a warm Mediterranean climate. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of only 41 degrees. September is the warmest month with the highs averaging a very comfortable 78 degrees.
San Mateo is the perfect place to stay if one is planning a visit to the northern area of California. Day trips to the larger cities are very convenient and the atmosphere is perfect for a restful time!