One of the largest cities on the San Francisco Peninsula, San Mateo boasts many options for recreation as well as a revitalized downtown, with a large movie theater, restaurants, and bars. Spanish explorers first came to present-day San Mateo on a 1776 scouting trip and named the creek they slept beside San Mateo Creek. In 1863, the railroad arrived in San Mateo, leading some wealthy San Franciscans to build summer and weekend homes in the area.
Today, approximately 100,000 people call the city home. The median household income is $88,000, and the median home value is $722,000 according to 2013 United States Census Bureau data. Of San Mateo’s 40,014 housing units, 54 percent are owner occupied.
The city is home to the Hillsdale Shopping Center and a number of parks -- including Central Park and the Coyote Point Recreation Area. The CuriOdyssey museum at Coyote Point offers science and wildlife exhibits for children and adults, some of which feature live animals. For a breathtakingly beautiful jog, hike, or bicycling outing, locals head to the Sawyer Camp Trail at the Crystal Springs Reservoir.