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SAN MATEO

Nestled in the heart of the Peninsula, San Mateo is a family-friendly suburb with a burgeoning tech community that boasts a vibrant and diverse downtown district.



Rand McNally recently named San Mateo “Best Small Town for Food” in its Best of the Road competition, and for good reason. It is a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its collection of great dining spots ranging from casual street food and exotic ethnic offerings to world-class cuisine. Numerous sushi and ramen joints reflect the city’s early Japanese immigrant population—as does the famous Takahashi Market, which is more than a century old.

Easily accessible by train, the charming, walkable downtown is also home to a colorful mix of family-owned shops, art galleries and pubs—many occupying lovingly preserved turn-of-the-century and art-deco buildings—as well as a multiplex movie theater.

Downtown San Mateo’s centerpiece is the historic Central Park, home to lush manicured lawns and the San Mateo Arboretum and Rose Garden. The park’s tranquil Japanese Tea Garden has cherry trees, Japanese maples and enchanting structures that include a five-level stone pagoda, shinden shrine, traditional gazebo, teahouse and koi pond. Kids enjoy the playground and Bianchi miniature steam train that meanders through the park. Central Park also hosts many annual events, including a summer concert series (June-August) and a winter ice rink for all ages (November-January).

The San Mateo County Event Center holds many other events—from antique shows to the popular annual Maker Faire in May, a showcase for originality and creativity. On the bayside, Coyote Point is home to the science museum CuriOdyssey, a family destination for its interactive exhibits and zoo. Or head to the newly renovated Hillsdale Shopping Center on the south end of town for more than 100 retail and dining options.

San Mateo has all the right ingredients for a perfect day or night on the town. Visit www.downtownsanmateo.org to find out more.