San Mateo has a below average violent crime rate and a below average property crime rate compared to other cities in the United States.
Originally developed as a place for the summer homes of wealthy San Franciscans in the 1800s, today San Mateo is a large, suburban Silicon Valley city with a population of about 100,000 residents. It's relatively diverse ethnically and economically for the region, which tends to be largely Caucasian.
Unlike many Valley cities which are predominantly residential, San Mateo has a great downtown. It's a vibrant, walkable area with hundreds of restaurants, dozens of nightlife options, and a cinema. It also hosts annual events like the San Mateo Wine Walk and the San Francisco Bay Area Aloha Walk — you can get your fill of the Hawaiian lifestyle at this free event.
There’s no need to leave the city to run errands: from grocery stores to specialty stores, San Mateo has just about everything you might need. Nearly any shopping desire can be met by the Hillsdale Mall, which has more than 130 stores alongside a Macy's and Nordstroms. If you can’t find it here, then a short trip to San Jose or San Francisco is almost certain to have what you need.
There are plenty of things to do here for active people. Coyote Point, which sits on the Bay, is a popular location for jogging or walking (and picnics, if you're looking for something a bit mellower). It's not unusual to see cyclists tackling the neighborhood's hills. Golf aficianados will appreciate the two golf courses and practice center located here. And all of the Bay Area’s great hiking trails and preserves are just a short car ride away.
There are several dozen companies headquartered here, including Franklin Templeton Investments, NetSuite, and Sony Interactive Entertainment. If you do need to commute north into San Franscisco or south to business hubs like Palo Alto, Redwood City, and San Jose, three local CalTrain stations make it easy. Buses crisscross the the area, but are harder to come by the farther out you are from the main roads. Walking and biking are also viable options for getting around the city depending on where you live. Despite this, life in the Valley is best served by having a car; otherwise, you'll feel quite limited.
As with most Silicon Valley cities, San Mateo has an excellent public school system. Two of its schools are actually immersive language schools teaching Spanish and Cantonese so your child will be bilingual in no time.
Everyone from families to students will enjoy living in San Mateo. Its equidistance to San Jose and San Francisco is often a source of pride for residents who appreciate the flexibility it offers. Housing is quite expensive, but options ranging from subsidized housing and apartments to large and luxurious single family homes are all present.
San Mateo is bordered on the north by San Francisco Bay, on the east by Foster City, on the south by Belmont, and on the west by Hillsborough and Burlingame.
Pancho Villa Taqueria has slightly more down-to-earth goals than the lofty dreams of its namesake: make amazing Mexican food. Fortunately, they've lived up to those goals. This unassuming place gets busy, but gets raving reviews from its accolytes.
This Japanese Tea Garden in the middle of downtown features lots of attractions: a koi fish pond, native Japanese trees, bridges, and a tea house. Great for a date or family outing, this is a tranquil place to soak up some culture and take photographs with friends and family.
Located Downtown and near a cluster of bars, O’Neill’s stands out with its small but classic atmosphere that stays true to its name. Live music and DJs, good beer selection, and popular amongst locals. Check this one out first if you’re going on a bar crawl with the mates.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @suenatron, @thiagoizabel1, @kyleohlson, @papamandycy, @ziqiqi7, @jaredzimmerman, @kristin.gillet, @ianrselby, @erica_madly, @kristin.gillet, @moumarion, @alexandersavguira, @alexandersavguira, @sardow5, @mam_te_moc, @shelikeslace, @toastedtofu, @allegraliu, @jasongaray01_ for your great photos of this neighborhood!