city of san mateo







A bridge over a pond in Central Park.

Aerial view across highway 101 and San Mateo, facing northeast towards Coyote Point Park.

San Mateo is a city in San Mateo County, California, about 20 miles south of San Francisco, and 31 miles northwest of San Jose. It has a Mediterranean climate, and is known for its rich history. The city is generally shielded from the Pacific Ocean by the Montara Mountain block of the Santa Cruz Mountains, but two gaps in the mountains (the San Bruno Gap, between Montara Mountain and San Bruno Mountain; and the Crystal Springs Gap, near where State Route 92 meets State Route 35, west of the College of San Mateo) can channel ocean weather, resulting in gusty afternoon winds that bring fog toward San Mateo in the late afternoon through early morning in the summer.

San Mateo had an estimated 2019 population of 104,430. The city has a total area of 15.9 square miles, of which, 12.1 square miles are land and 3.8 square miles are covered by water. 

The best-known natural area is Coyote Point Park, a rock outcropped peninsula that juts out into the San Francisco Bay. The early Spanish navigators named it la punta de San Mateo. Crews of American cargo ships carrying grain in the bay renamed it Big Coyote. Sailors had a penchant for naming promontories at the edge of San Francisco Bay after the coyote; across the bay in Fremont are the Coyote Hills, part of Coyote Hills Regional Park

The variety of natural habitats includes mixed oak woodland, riparian zones, and bayland marshes. One endangered species, the California clapper rail, was sighted feeding on mudflats by the Third Avenue bridge in San Mateo. The marsh areas are also likely habitat for the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse, which inhabits the middle and high zones of salt and brackish marshes, as well as for the endangered marsh plant, Point Reyes bird's beak.

Aerial view of the city of San Mateo

Downtown San Mateo

Sugarloaf Mountain

Junipero Serra Campus

Notre Dame's Taube Center

Residents are zoned for schools in the San Mateo Foster City School District and San Mateo Union High School District. Elementary schools comprise Preschool, K-5, Middle and Magnet schools. There is a private, PreK-8 school and three public high schools: San MateoAragon, and Hillsdale. There are also three private high schools: one all-male Catholic high school, Junípero Serra, one all-female Catholic high school, Notre Dame, and the Nueva Upper School. There is also the Carey School.


The city is home to the College of San Mateo, a community college. The campus of over 10,000 students is located on 153 acres in the western foothills of the city.







Wind surfing



San Mateo Park


Eastern Addition

Bowie Estate


19th Ave Park


Hayward Park




Foothill Terrace

Baywood Knolls


Harbortown & Mariner’s Isle

Edgewater Isle


Las Prados

Fiesta Gardens

Beresford Manor

San Mateo Terrace

Park Western Subd


San Mateo Village


Westwood Knolls

San Mateo Knolls

Laurelwood & Sugarloaf

San Mateo Woods


Baywood Park


famous for...

Its rich history

Hillsdale Mall

Rejuvenated, bustling downtown

Bay Meadows

Japanese Tea Garden

Central Park

Saturday morning Farmer's Market

Tom Brady

you'll love it here if you...

Love suburban areas

Want to be close to the city


Coast Guard Island to the east

Travis AFB to the northeast

Camp Parks to the east

upper education

College of San Mateo

5 largest employers

San Mateo Medical Center

San Mateo-Foster City School District

Sony Entertainment

Motif Inc.

Plateau Systems

tourist attractions


Coyote Point Park

Central Park



San Francisco International Airport

San Carlos Airport

Half Moon Bay Airport

San Mateo Harbor District




state & national parks

Central Park

Beresford Park

Martin Luther King Jr Park

Joinville Park

Ryder Park

Parkside Aquatic Park

Seal Slough

Coyote Point

San Mateo maintains more than 15 parks throughout the city.

Central Park is the largest and hosts many community park functions that serve downtown residents. It has a Japanese tea garden, a rose garden, and a mini train. Beresford Park is another large park that offers bocce ball and a skate plaza.


Martin Luther King Jr Park and Joinville Park swimming pools while Ryder Park boasts a water play structure. Parkside Aquatic Park located on Seal Slough has beach swimming and volleyball. Many of these parks have picnic areas with grills, children's play areas, basketball and tennis courts, and baseball diamonds.

Coyote Point Park is near the border with Burlingame. It is a 670-acre regional county park known for its ideal location for windsurfing and sailing. It is also home to CuriOdyssey: a hands-on science museum and small native animal zoo.

Rose Garden at Central Park

Central Park children's train

Japanese Friendship Garden

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