San Mateo County

Welcome to San Mateo County

Vibrant suburban neighborhoods with convenient metropolitan accessibility

South of San Francisco proper, nestled conveniently central to Silicon Valley’s tech empire, the County of San Mateo is a flourishing consortium of diverse communities residing within an array of vibrant neighborhoods. Spanning most of the San Francisco Peninsula, San Mateo County residents enjoy the charms of suburban living, the splendor of abundant nature, and the urban luxuries of nearby downtown San Francisco and Oakland. Home to dozens of beautiful parks, extraordinary hiking trails, breathtaking beaches, and a stellar educational system, San Mateo County communities rank as top places to live in Northern California. The vibe of the county is a suburban spillover of the diversity, inclusivity, and welcoming spirit one finds in metropolitan San Francisco. With gorgeous seasonal weather and close-knit communities, San Mateo County is an affluent magnet for families raising children and young professional commuters.
​​​​​​​Convenience ranks highly as one of the most enjoyable amenities of living in San Mateo County. Most regions in the area offer their own charming downtown districts, rich with entertainment, retail, and dining options. Owning a piece of San Mateo County real estate affords residents the luxury of easy access to downtown San Francisco and the East and South Bay areas via multiple major freeways—in addition to top-notch train and public transportation systems. Though communities spread throughout San Mateo County vary in affluence from city to city, most are unassuming, unpretentious, welcoming, and family-friendly. The architectural styles are as diverse as the communities that make up the county and are often marked by historical and cultural influence depending on the neighborhood—though many are influenced by the style of Joseph Eichler.

What to Love

    •  Diverse, close-knit communities
     Safe, family-friendly suburban neighborhoods
    •  Charming, vibrant downtown districts
    •  Convenient location to metropolitan hubs

People & Lifestyle

San Mateo County is the ideal place to raise a growing family in Northern California, with an outstanding school system, rich diversity, unassuming prestige, and a community atmosphere of unconditional inclusivity. With layers of affluence, communities closer to Silicon Valley skew towards young professionals, while communities closer to San Francisco proper lean towards family units—though the county profile as a whole is one of endearing, family-friendly spirit.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Town San Carlos is one of the most popular dining hot spots in the San Carlos downtown area, and it’s hard to miss—the Tivoli building clock sits right above it. With a quintessential American take on steaks and seafood, Town pairs its excellent chophouse menu with a solid selection of West Coast wines. The atmosphere is a simple, woody setting with expanded outdoor seating options and Town’s service delightfully treats every guest like a well-appreciated local.

Tucked in the heart of Silicon Valley, Sushi Sam’s Edomata is an authentic Japanese cuisine experience specializing in omakase—traditional chef’s choice sushi courses served at the restaurant’s bustling sushi bar. Minimalist in atmosphere and reflective of its traditional roots, Sushi Sam’s is a Bay Area staple that sushi connoisseurs and neighborhood folk flock to.

Having the luxury of world-class cuisine at your fingertips is not limited to just downtown San Francisco, as Espetus Churrascaria in San Mateo deliciously proves. Authentic churrascaria is served Rodizio style by Gaucho Chefs that cruise the restaurant and provide guests with an all-you-can-eat, flavorful Brazilian cuisine experience. The atmosphere is eye-catching, and the service treats every guest like family. Insider’s tip for first-timers—come hungry and definitely pace yourself. The fare is too good to pass up any dish that happens to make its way near your table.

Vesta in Redwood City prides itself on bringing the diverse communities of San Mateo County together at the table through shared celebration and food. With locally sourced ingredients from purveyors who support organic and sustainable farming, Vesta’s buzzy and mosaic-filled venue draws crowds of foodie enthusiasts and neighborhood locals alike. The menu is divine, with creative small plates, savory wood-fired pizza, and an exquisite selection of wine and beer. 

Things to Do

Arguably one of the best urban public parks in San Mateo County, San Mateo Central Park is a 16.5-acre space established in 1922 that serves as home to a splendor of community activities:

  •  Holiday Events—The spirit of San Mateo County can be found year-round through Central Park’s array of events—ranging from Eggstravaganza Easter egg hunts to harvest festivals, holiday lights, and the wintertime San Mateo on Ice skating rink.

  •  Children’s Playground—Highlighting this wood-and-steel play structure is a nearby miniature railway that runs in a loop along Central Park. Originally built in 1953, the Arrow ‘Streamliner’ locomotive can accommodate up to 10 children per trip.

  •  Japanese Tea Garden—Designed by Nagao Sakurai and installed in 1966, Central Park’s Japanese Tea Garden features cherry trees, maples and bonsai native to Japan, as well as a five-level stone pagoda statue, small shinden shrine, traditional teahouse, and koi pond in which visitors may feed the pond’s beautiful aquatic residents.

  •  San Mateo Arboretum—Central park is home to the San Mateo Arboretum Society, founded in 1974, which highlights a wondrous rose garden and gazebo. Planted and maintained by Arboretum Society volunteers, the rose garden is a haven for horticulturists and a picturesque spot for many photographers and weddings.

  •  Recreation Center—The Central Park recreation center is leased by the Self-Help for the Elderly and is the only SHE activity center in San Mateo County. The center offers ceramics classes in a studio adjoining the center’s tennis courts. One of the center’s earliest features is Fitzgerald Field, a historic baseball field installed back in 1922.

Beresford Park in San Mateo is a community park with something for everyone—a recreation center, tennis courts, bocce ball courts, ball fields, and a skate park, in addition to the park’s playgrounds and picnic areas. Beresford Park is also home to the city’s only community garden. 

Nature abounds in San Mateo County, and Sawyer Camp Trail is one of the most popular hiking spots in which to enjoy the beautiful Northern California outdoors surrounding a stunning lake. Located near some of the most spectacular luxury homes that line Hillsborough, the park is officially a segment of the Crystal Springs Regional Trail.

One of the luxuries of living in an area that prides itself on supporting locally grown produce is that there is no shortage of Farmers Markets to explore in San Mateo County. With multiple opportunities to sample and buy from local farms almost every day of the week, many of these markets serve as social gathering spots for residents to catch up with neighbors and friends.


San Mateo County is divided into 23 distinct school districts. Highlights include:

​​​​​​​   •  Stanford University

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