Welcome to San Mateo
The first word that comes to mind when describing San Mateo is ephemeral. From its culturally diverse resident population to the economic diversity of the city, San Mateo makes general categorization almost impossible. The city has a little bit of something for everyone, from its picturesque residential neighborhoods to its regimented industrial parks and office centers.
Lay of the Land
San Mateo is located in the county of the same name along the San Francisco Peninsula. Located halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, San Mateo enjoys the economic and cultural benefits of both the Bay Area and of Silicon Valley. The city has several prominent neighbors, including Burlingame to the north, Foster City to the east, Hillsborough to the west, and of course the San Francisco Bay itself to the east. It has one of the highest populations in the region, with approximately 101,128 savvy souls calling the city home. The balance present in the city has also extended to the economic status of the resident, with the average household income sitting at $83,792, just between the state average and the top end of incomes for the region. However the median home value of $765,300 is perfectly in line with many of the more affluent areas in the region.
As is the norm for cities located on the San Francisco Peninsula, San Mateo is boxed in by U.S. State Route 101 in the east and Interstate 280 in the west. These two roads both flow north and south providing access into both Silicon Valley and the upper end of the Bay Area. Additionally, the city also sports three CalTrain commuter train stations as well as numerous SamTrans commuter bus stops. The closest Bay Area Rapid Transit station is located a reasonable distance away in the city of Millbrae.
Finally, San Mateo offers an extensive support network for individuals attempting to carpool or vanpool to work. This includes gas card incentives and other monetary bonuses for individuals engaging in environmentally responsible commuting. The city also works to support other alternative means of transportation including car sharing services, electric vehicles, and bicycling to work.
San Mateo has a diverse and booming economy, providing local residents and members of the Bay Area with an array of quality goods and services. These include extensive operations in the technology sector, healthcare, financial services, and even a robust retail industry. The lack of an economic or community specialization is what sets the city apart from its contemporaries in the region.
Downtown San Mateo is a section of the city that perfectly represents the overall economic and cultural diversity of the region. Naturally, the area features a wide range of retails locations and eateries. However, the Downtown San Mateo board focuses on much more than economic growth. Numerous historic locations within the area have been restored. The city also maintains a 16 acre park in the middle of downtown. Finally, the Downtown Art Project is a local outreach program designed to encourage local artists to assist in the cityscaping of the region through the strategic placement of original works of art.
On the more modern side of things, Hillsdale Shopping Center is a more mainstream option when it comes to shopping and dining. The area currently features a total of 123 retail locations and eateries. These range from national fast food locations to the upper end of designer boutiques. Additionally, the mall serves as the center for a wide range of events. These include blood drives, early childhood education seminars, and seasonal events. The shopping center also benefits from having its own CalTrain station and several SamTrans lines that feature it as a stop.