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Tourism

San Mateo has always attracted tourists, from the early San Franciscans looking for a weekend oasis, to today’s travelers seeking out the city’s myriad offerings of sightseeing and activities. From its proximity to Pacific Ocean beaches and mountains, to its museums, restaurants and shops, the city has much to offer its visitors.

Travelers can fly to one of three airports: Oakland International, San Jose International, and San Francisco International Airport (which is a 30-minute drive from San Mateo). One of the benefits to staying in San Mateo is its short distance from San Francisco -- for tourists who would like a chance to explore “The City by the Bay.” Another travel option is the Amtrak train, which also stops in San Francisco. On arriving in San Mateo, visitors have a choice of accommodations, with nine hotels and motels, and a well-run public transportation system that ensures a pedestrian-friendly way to see the city.

For those who love outdoor activities, San Mateo is the ideal location, with its warm, sunny climate and spectacular terrain. Hiking is always an option and there are two state parks in the vicinity -- San Bruno Mountain State Park and Ano Nuevo State Reserve. San Bruno Mountain is part of the Santa Cruz mountain range, and 1314 ft. at its highest point, providing a breathtaking view of the bay and neighboring San Francisco. The park has variety of rare native plants, birds, and butterflies, some found only in this particular habitat. Aņo Nuevo State Reserve is a park encompassing forest, dunes, wetlands and prairie, coastal and island habitat. The rock formation, Punta de Aņo Nuevo, is part of the reserve, and is home to one of the largest mainland colonies of elephant seals in the world.

San Mateo is also close to three other tourist destinations: Half Moon Bay, Coyote Point Museum and Sugarloaf Hill. Half Moon Bay is known for its beaches, surfing and views of wildlife. Coyote Point Museum is an education center and is located in a 670-acre park and preserve for wildlife; it also offers swimming, bicycling, fishing and boating. Sugarloaf Hill is another opportunity for a challenging hike, with a 587 ft. summit providing an exciting vista of the surrounding countryside.

The city of San Mateo also has an array of cultural centers and entertainment venues that appeal to tourists of all ages and interests. San Mateo’s businesses and recreation opportunities offer a rich sampling of the city and reflect the diversity of Northern California.
 

 

Copyright Ian Durr 2009 All Rights Reserved