San Mateo vacation rentals
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Your guide to San Mateo
All About San Mateo
Nestled between the hilly metropolis of San Francisco and urban San Jose, with the sweeping sands of Half Moon Bay to the west, the city of San Mateo boasts easy access to cultural hotspots, natural beauty, and a world-class food scene.
People are drawn here to admire nearly 45,000 artworks at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, hike among the dramatic scenery at either end of Purisima Creek, and savor hard-to-beat ramen and crab nigiri at one of San Mateo’s established cluster of Japanese restaurants. There’s also public art to enjoy all around town, with vivid murals on numerous buildings, including the 1963 mosaic mural on South El Camino Real.
Less than half an hour west of San Mateo, Half Moon Bay boasts Surfers’ Beach for beginners and Mavericks for seasoned pros who want to take on wild waves. The same distance north, you can taqueria-hop in San Francisco’s Mission District and ride the city’s famous cable cars.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in San Mateo
San Mateo is known for its mild, damp winters and dry summers. A lot of activities are outdoors, from kayaking in the bay to hiking and biking, so the summer and fall seasons are the best times to book San Mateo vacation rentals. Temperatures are at their most comfortable from April through October, and the changing colors of the leaves bring a range of pumpkin beers from the region’s breweries.
Layers are important in the colder months, as drizzle and searing sunshine are both possibilities in different parts of the Bay Area at any one time. You can see gray whales at Pacifica between February and April.
Top things to do in San Mateo
Japanese Tea Garden
The Japanese Tea Garden is one of the main attractions in Central Park, San Mateo’s main community park. The garden covers over 16 acres of manicured lawns, including a pagoda tower, a koi pond, and a teahouse for a quiet afternoon among delicate cherry blossoms. This serene site was designed by the landscape architect who worked on the Tokyo Imperial Palace.
Less than 20 minutes from downtown by bike or road, Coyote Point is a popular spot for activities like windsurfing and sailing. If you’re cycling, the San Francisco Bay Trail crosses the park, so you can extend your ride north all the way to San Francisco or south to Palo Alto. At the water’s edge, you’ll find a marina and a beach, backing onto an 18-hole golf course.
Filoli Historic House & Garden
A 15-minute drive from San Mateo, this Georgian Revival house and its pristine landscaped gardens span over 650 acres. Wander around the terraces for commanding views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and cross Fault Creek Bridge to step over the famous San Andreas Fault. A spring visit will be rewarded with fragrant cherry and apple blossom.