San Mateo

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San Mateo, CA

Located about 25 minutes from downtown San Francisco and 30 minutes from San Jose, San Mateo is a thriving community of businesses and technology. The town name is Spanish for “Saint Matthew”. For individuals moving to the area, there is enough city feel to the area to ensure you are never bored. For families, it can be the hub of your family outings with parks and numerous recreation activities. For those who want ample job opportunities without living in the metro cities, this is the area to call home!

The History of San Mateo

San Mateo was originally settled by the Ohlone Indians, also known as, Costanoans. Spanish explorers came to the area in 1776. In 1793, the Peninsula was the location for an outpost which was meant to oversee those newly converted Christians. Free trade was introduced to the area in 1822 after Mexico received impendence from Spanish rule. Another notable date was 1835 in which land grants gave residents large amounts of land to own. This period of large land ownership lasted for about 30 years. A few notable historical dates for the area:

  • The first great home of the area was built in 1850 by El Cerrito
  • 1849: This was the year in which the area became a stagecoach stop
  • In 1861 the train rails were constructed, but it wasn’t until 1863 that these rails were complete.

After the railroad hit the area, the area began to grow with more wealthy people coming to the area, more churches being established and schools. In 1894, San Mateo was incorporated into a town.

Landmarks and Recreation in San Mateo

Recreation in San Mateo can be found at just about every corner you turn. There are numerous parks in the area, and chances are there is one near your future home in San Mateo as well. The city of San Mateo encourages outdoor activity and in doing so many of these parks provide activities that the whole family can enjoy. For example, some of the activities provided throughout these city parks include:

  • Tennis courts
  • Playgrounds
  • Soccer fields
  • Swimming
  • Dog parks
  • Basketball courts
  • Baseball diamonds
  • Picnic areas

For the outdoor enthusiast, they will find that there are bike routes and paths that will take you all over the city!

For those who wish to take in some local history and visit the landmarks around the area, they are going to find that there are several to choose from. These include:

  • Crystal Springs Reservoir
  • The San Mateo Japanese Garden
  • Coyote Park Recreation Area
  • The Peninsula
  • Junipero Serra Statue

There are numerous other outdoor activities, shopping, and restaurants that are in the area for a great day or a night on the town.

Employment and Industry

One of the appealing aspects of San Mateo is that there are very diverse jobs in the area. These jobs are in health care, technology, financial services, retail, and government. Some of the notable companies in the area include Fisher Investments, SolarCity, Solstice, and NetSuite.

Transportation in San Mateo

San Mateo residents often use their own car transportation for getting to where they are going. However, they are still part of the SamTrans bus service that services the entire San Mateo County. There is also other public transportation including:

  • Caltrain
  • AC Transit

In addition, the city is located near three major airports including being only seven miles south of the San Francisco International Airport. Within 30 minutes, you can also drive to Oakland International Airport and San Jose Mineta International Airport.


Those who live in San Mateo with children will either have children going to the San Mateo or Foster City School District or the San Mateo Union High School District. The public high schools in the area include San Mateo, Aragon, and Hillsdale. There are also three private Catholic high schools: Junipero Serra (all male), Notre Dame High School (all female) and Nueva Upper School. Some of the grade schools include College Park Elementary School, Baywood Elementary School, Highlands Elementary School, Borel Middle School, North Shoreview Montessori Elementary School, George Hall Elementary School, Laurel Elementary School, Abbott Middle School, Bayside S.T.E.M Academy, Beresford Elementary School, Meadow Heights Elementary School, Sunnybrae Elementary School, Horrall Elementary School, Parkside Elementary School, Fiesta Gardens International Elementary School, San Mateo Park Elementary School, St. Gregory, and many more. Those that are rated at are getting 7 to 10 ratings, making them some of the best-rated schools in the United States.

Located in the area is also the College of San Mateo, classified as a community college. Other colleges in the area include Notre Dame de Namur University which is a private, Catholic college. About 12 miles to the south of San Mateo is Stanford University as well.

Income and Housing

As of 2013, those households in San Mateo earned on average $83,000, which is slightly higher than other households in the state of California. Housing wise, San Mateo is what we consider a very hot market. For this reason, on average homes in the area is around $1,117,100.  On average, homes in the area cost around $750 per square foot. Rent in the area is on average $3,600.

San Mateo Neighborhoods