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Woodside, California -  San Mateo County Vacation

Filoli pool
filoli estate woodside california

Soothing water gardens at Filoli estate, open to the public

Woodside, Calif.
For tourists, there's really one attraction in wooded Woodside, California. It's the Filoli Gardens and Estate, a beautiful destination featuring garden tours, special events and a gift shop, all open to the public.

Woodside is a town that locals consider a desirable place to live, thanks to the forested surroundings, extensive horse and bike trails, and close proximity to San Francisco Airport, San Jose Airport, and corporate offices in nearby Silicon Valley south of the community. Located on the San Francisco Peninsula, midway between San Jose and San Francisco in San Mateo County, Woodside is also only 16 miles from the Pacific Ocean and beaches of Half Moon Bay. It's geographic location makes for enjoyable weather all year long. Seldom too hot or too cold, the climate is conducive to the gardens, plants and flowers that grow at Filoli all year long.


Although it is situated on the San Andreas Fault, a source of earthquake activity in California, residents maintain insurance, use proven methods for securing valuables that can break, and often own other properties, thanks to financial success in a variety of business endeavors. Celebrities such as  Shirley Temple Black, actress; Michelle Pfeiffer, actress, and husband David E. Kelley, producer; Neil Young, rock singer; and Joan Baez, folk singer, are some of its better known residents.


The corporate elite living in Woodside have also included the likes of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer; Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation; Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of Intel; John Thompson, CEO of Symantec;  Thomas Siebel, founder of Siebel Systems; and Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, Inc.

A small shopping and dining area includes several restaurants (including the  famous Buck's of Woodside where deals are brokered), a hardware store and a nursery. While eucalyptus, oaks and  redwoods dominate the landscape, the superb weather makes gardening a delight.  Though not open to the public, many private estates feature graceful gardens and landscaping in concert with the spectacular grounds the public can view at Filoli Gardens. What's unique about Woodside is its dry, warm climate during summer months, thanks to the Santa Cruz mountains that separate it from the ocean less than 20 miles away. This set of mountains that extend to Monterey Bay 40 miles south, make roads and driving conditions sometimes challenging. While the roads are well maintained, traffic can clog the well-traveled by-ways that connect Woodside with the Bay Area and the beach, especially during rush hour and weekends.


What to see:

Filoli Gardens and Estate - Named Filoli, to Fight, to Love, to Live, William Bourne built the country retreat completed in 1917.
Open February through October.  Address: 86 CaƱada Road, Woodside, California 94062. Directions: Approx. 30 miles south of San Francisco in Woodside, south of Highways 92 and 280 Junction. Call for hours, schedule changes and restrictions: (650) 364.8300 x507.


Where to stay:


Redwood City offers superb hotel accommodations less than six miles from Woodside. But for a special treat, head to the beach at Half Moon Bay.


Map of Woodside


woodside california map



Woodside is 5.5.miles southwest of Redwood City and approx. 18 miles
from San Francisco Airport (SFO) in Burlingame. The oceans and California
beaches of Half Moon Bay, plus fine resorts such as The Ritz-Carlton, are
approx. 25 minutes away with a distance of 16 miles.