San Mateo Travel Guide

  • San Mateo Train Station
    San Mateo Train Station
    by travelfrosch
  • The Lobby
    The Lobby
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  • The Breakfast Area
    The Breakfast Area
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San Mateo Things to Do

  • San Mateo County Fair

    Compared to the State Fair, the San Mateo County Fair is not all that great. It is fine for a small fair. However, even for a small fair, there isn't much to do. The carnival rides and games are pretty typical. The animal exhibits are cool. What I like most about them is the pride that the 4-H kids have in their animals, that is awesome. It is cool...

  • See San Francisco Airport from The...

    When I was a kid this was one of my favorite things to do with my dad. Since my dad worked for United Airlines he knew of all the crafty ways to see SFO from eye level. However, the Airport has changed tremendously since I was little and roads and shortcuts that were open then are closed now due to security reasons (post 9/11). There is still one...

  • Go To the Park and Play!

    Located in Downtown San Mateo, great place for picnics, barbeques or just to take a walk. Central Park also has tennis courts and a field for baseball (Fitzgerald Field). This park is also home of the Japanese Tea Garden. Admission to this park is free. Parking is available but spaces have parking meters.

  • Do you feel the earth move under your...

    My brother told me that there's a great deal of pressure under those hills. Part of the hill is moving northward, the other part of the hil is moving southward, and they just can't agree which side should give way first!

  • The San Andreas Fault

    The Faultline lies under this body of water, the Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir. It's accessible off the Junipero Serra Freeway, I-280.

  • Pulgas Water Temple

    PULGAS WATER TEMPLE - built in 1938, the temple (just off Canada Road by the Crystal Springs Reservoir) commemorates the completion of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct, which brings water to Crystal Springs from the Sierras 150 miles away. This is one of only three such temples in the U.S., modeled after those erected near canals and waterways by the...

  • Point Montara Lighthouse

    POINT MONTARA LIGHTHOUSE - the picturesque 1875 Point Montara Fog Signal and Light Station served as a naval training base during World War II and became a hostel in 1980. No charge to visit. Environmental interpretive programs for groups and rooms for families and couples are available by prior arrangement.

  • Kohl Mansion

    KOHL MANSION - historic residence of Frederick Kohl who inherited a fortune from his father's shipping business, the mansion has once served as a convent, and since 1931 has been the site of Mercy High School. TOURS OF THE MANSION ARE AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. The mansion is also available for rental for private parties, corporate events,...

  • Pigeon Point Lighthouse

    PIGEON POINT LIGHTHOUSE - one of the tallest lighthouses in the U.S., Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a photographer's delight. Built in 1872 following a string of shipwrecks (including that of the Carrier Pigeon for which it was named), the lighthouse, close to the elephant seal colony at Ano Nuevo, tidepools, beaches and redwood forests, serves as a...

  • Half Moon Bay Coastside

    HALF MOON BAY COASTSIDE - site of the annual Pumpkin Festival in October, Half Moon Bay and neighboring coastal towns (Montara, Moss Beach, Princeton-by-the-Sea, El Granada, San Gregorio, La Honda and Pescadero) are nestled between the mountains and the sea. The historic settlements date back to the early 1800's and offer fine selections of...

  • San Mateo County Historical...

    San Mateo County Historical Museum SAN MATEO COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM - the museum features exhibits on the native Ohlone Indians, the Spanish explorers, pioneer logging, local agriculture and farming, whaling, transportation, and the Victorian era of great estates on the Peninsula. A research library is also available. Located on the campus of...

  • Sanchez Adobe Historic Site

    SANCHEZ ADOBE HISTORIC SITE - the adobe traces the various periods of California's past. From prehistoric Indian times through the Adobe's restoration in 1953 when it was made a historical landmark, it has been actively used. It was an Ohlone Indian village, a mission farm, a cattle ranch, the adobe home of Don Francisco Sanchez, a residence of...


San Mateo Hotels

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San Mateo Restaurants

  • Seafood on the Lagoon

    One of our favorite local restaurants is the San Mateo Fish Market. Another small California chain, the Fish Market offers some excellent fresh seafood choices. The San Mateo Fish Market is located on one of the bigger lagoons and the garden room has nice views. The restaurant even has their own boat to pick up and deliver those customers who live...

  • Voted Best on The Peninsula!

    I have never gone to Pancho Villa and not waited in line. It's a bit of a pain to do so, but worth the wait. Not really long just long enough to make you a little weak in the knees from pure hunger. The longer you wait the hungrier you get! (Usually this is when you are ordering take -out). Pancho Villa is pretty much always busy because the food...

  • Turkish Cuisine with a major...

    I enjoyed this restaurant! The quiet cheerful atmosphere and decor made having lunch her a great experience. The staff was very accomodating and friendly, which gave it a very laid-back feel. My co-worker and I especially liked the idea of eating indoors but feeling like we were outside. The bay windows on the opposite side of the restaurant, bring...

  • Live Music, Belly Dancing, Hookah and...

    Tarboosh is a Lebanese Restaurant located in the newly upgraded area of Downtown Redwood City. The decor is Modern/Mediterranean/Middle Eastern. Tarboosh is open for lunch but is not very busy, if you want to experience the the fun of Tarboosh The best time to go is Friday and Saturday night 5pm-1:30 am. That's when they have live music and belly...

  • Try The Pupusas Please!

    The best place on the Peninsula to try the cuisine of El Salvador. Amelia's is not much on ambience. The best time to go is between 12:30pm and 3pm. It can get busy at dinner and on weekends. It can be a loud restaurant but it is great for kids, being quit large, it has plenty of tables so getting in shouldn't be a problem. The menu can be a bit...

  • Pan Asian Buffet

    lots of choices! This Sea Food Buffet Restaurant which is quite popular in the San Mateo Area serves mostly what else but sea food! but also meats and veggies especially the asian kind. The Menu is definitely Pan Asian and they have different buffet rates for lunch and evening meals. Lunch buffets costs $ 12.99 and drinks costs $ 3. Dinner Buffets...

  • Let's Do Dim Sum

    Best thing about ABC is the friendly staff. ABC is a great place for Dim Sum, it can get very crowded. ABC is popular on the weekends during Brunch, so make reservations. During the week it is usually not so busy we rarely make reservations for dinner, this place is huge it seats up to 200 people and has 3 different dining areas! Hours:Mon-Fri...

  • A Little Sugar Fix with your Relaxation?

    This Bakery/Restaurant has a bit of a Starbuck's feel to it's a good place to sit, relax, open up your laptop and log-on to VT! Nice, roomy cafe with indoor/outdoor seating and extra large windows that open completely to the outside patio. This is a good place to come for a late-night-snack, especially since there is a large theater complex across...

  • Suisha means Water Wheel in Japanese

    Suisha House is a nice easy-going restaurant in Redwood City, Ca ( 7 miles South of San Mateo). This little place is great or Lunch or Dinner. Suisha House is clean and neat. The staff is very friendly and courteous. The menu is large and very clever. They have found many interesting names for their Sushi such as; The Chinese Dynamite Roll-with...

  • Sake, Anyone

    This is one of our favorite dinner hang-outs at work. Yokayama is large and roomy with prompt and friendly service. The regulars that eat here love the extra long Sushi Bar. The Plum Wine and the Sake are favorites, but we only drink this after work, of course. Yokayama has a menu with something for everyone. Japanese Noodle Soups, Sashimi,...

  • A Bistro with a World of Flavors!

    "Dine wherever the spirit leads" is the theme for this restaurant where the menu offers dishes from the four corners of the world. Pacific Rim, Mediterranean, Latin & Caribbean, American, and New World Cuisine. The food is made from mostly organic ingredients. The entrees, pizzettas, sandwiches, soups, salads, side trips (appetizers), and sweet...

  • Worth Waking Up For!

    I used to eat breakfast here often until I changed my shift at work. When my out of town relatives came to visit and wanted a good, hearty breakfast. I took them here. Nini's is a small but friendly Coffee Shop/Cafe with indoor and outdoor patio seating. The decor is rustic, it reminds me of a little cozy kitchen. The menu is perfect. Anything you...


    This is the place to go when your sweet tooth goes into overdrive. Pamplemousse serves desserts, sandwiches, coffee and tea. Breakfast is served here all day but it has sandwiches for lunch. This cafe is cute clean and roomy and has outdoor seating for warm sunny days. The pastries and cakes resemble art and are almost too pretty to eat! Many...

  • Going to Extremes in SM/ RWC!

    Excellent pizza has a typical Pizza Parlor feel. That is not the important part, it's the Pizza! At Extreme Pizza it's about experimenting with different ingredients and combinations. Like the Peace in the Middle East, hummus, tomatoes, olives, Feta cheese, basil, pepperoncinis, and mozzarrella. All pizzas have generous amounts of toppings, thin...

  • A Little Southern Comfort in California!

    Has the feel of a "Greasy Spoon" Truck Stop Diner, but this is one of the BEST places for breakfast on the Peninsula! This is a Family Owned / Family Run restaurant. They are the coolest family I have ever met. The boss of this operation is Mabel the mother, she runs this place like a tightly oiled machine. They offer quick friendly service. The...


San Mateo Transportation

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    by yooperprof Updated Jan 11, 2003

    The train service in the Bay Area is pretty good, especially for the United States. It's easy to take the train down to San Jose or up to San Francisco. Also, there's a convenient stop at SFO, the San Francisco International Airport.

    San Carlos Station

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San Mateo Shopping

  • manuelEB's Profile Photo

    by manuelEB Updated Dec 13, 2004

    what's wrong with a "macho latino" buying "laryngitis" and other underwear for his women?
    Ah?!!! Tell me!!! What's wrong?
    Thanks to Victoria for letting me know her deeeeeeeepest secrets...

    What to buy: Girls:
    I have an special and perverse and ******* fetishism for black and silk but you don't need to buy black if you are not going to "meet" me in a place where I can check with my own eyes and hands that it is black and silk. So...

    What to pay: Oh My Bakunin! It was more than US$400 but it's just because I could not find things that I liked very much for my girls.

    Devealing secrets...
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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San Mateo What to Pack

  • Court94403's Profile Photo

    by Court94403 Updated Aug 16, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Since San Mateo is situated between San Francisco Bay and The Pacific Ocean literally, don't be fooled by the sunny weather. Quite often the weather can be sunny and warm earlier in the day, and by the late afternoon and evening turn quite chilly. Some locals refer to this as "Our Natural Air Conditioning." Pack a lightweight sweater or jacket with you when you come to San Mateo and any city in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    An S.F. Bay Area day with incoming fog A Sunset in San Mateo
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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