What To Know Before Moving To San Mateo

Downtown San Mateo by vicki moore (CC BY 2.0)

Downtown San Mateo by vicki moore (CC BY 2.0)

Looking for a lifestyle loaded with sunshine, glistening coastlines and a booming industry? San Mateo has it all. Ranked #29 of the top 100 best places to live in the U.S., San Mateo is a hidden gem in Northern California. Whether you are just considering, or are already in the process of, moving to San Mateo, here is an insider’s guide to 10 things you need to know before moving to San Mateo.

1. Where To Look For Work In San Mateo

San Mateo is located in Silicon Valley and is only minutes from Google, Facebook and GoPro headquarters. As a popular spot for tech startups, San Mateo has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Centrally located next to Interstate 280, Highway 101 and Highway 92. It is only a 30 minute drive from major cities, and the San Francisco and San Jose airports. It is also only a one hour plane ride away from Los Angeles.

San Gregorio State Beach by Sandip Bhattacharya (CC BY 2.0)
San Gregorio State Beach by Sandip Bhattacharya (CC BY 2.0)

2. Where To Enjoy The Great Weather in San Mateo

If sunshine is top on your priority list, then San Mateo is the spot. Even in the winter, San Mateo boasts great weather. The closest beach is less than an hour away. Favorite local beaches include Moss Beach and San Gregorio State Beach. Although the Pacific Ocean can get chilly, you can take in plenty of water activities and, of course, breathtaking coastal views.

3. Where To Shop After Moving To San Mateo

The Hillsdale Mall has everything you could possibly want to purchase, all in one place. Locals, however, also hit the shops at Tanforan or the outlets in Gilroy for their shopping needs. The San Mateo Farmers’ Market is a great spot for local produce and goods.

4. Who To Root For After Moving To San Mateo

You will have your pick of sports teams to cheer for after moving to San Mateo. As part of the Bay Area, locals are big fans the Giants, A’s, 49ers, Warriors, Raiders or Sharks. Chances are one of these teams is usually in some kind of playoff/final so you will always have a reason to cheer your team on. 

Downtown San Mateo by vicki moore (CC BY 2.0)
Downtown San Mateo by vicki moore (CC BY 2.0)

5. Where To Eat After Moving To San Mateo

San Mateo is a diverse city and its restaurant options reflect a melting pot of flavors. Downtown San Mateo has many choices for a delicious meal or drinks; make your way down SB Street and find your spot. From delicious ramen at Ramen Dojo to some Japanese fusion desserts at Uji Time, San Mateo has unique flavors to make your mouth water. Feel like a local and get your sandwich fix at Mr. Pickles, a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop that originated in San Mateo.

6. How To Live Eco-Friendly After Moving To San Mateo

Start by utilizing the public transit system. Use the Caltrain to head into San Francisco or the peninsula. Join the Bay Bikes Share Program and bicycle to work and/or for leisure activities. After moving to San Mateo, you will find that locals show their concern for the environment by holding regular eco-friendly community events like the Annual Bayfront Cleanup.

Maker Faire Directions by Dvortygirl (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Maker Faire Directions by Dvortygirl (CC BY-SA 2.0)

7. Where To Find Fun After Moving To San Mateo

Locals of all ages enjoy the San Mateo County Fair for some good old family fun. Something unique to the Bay area is The Maker Faire, a festival of invention and creativity which works as a “show and tell” kind of event for the entire family.

8. Where To Take Pets After Moving To San Mateo

San Mateo is a dog-friendly city. Your furry friends are sure to get a thrill out of the Seal Point Dog Park. After a day exploring, take your pets for some food at these pet-friendly restaurants.

Coyote Point Recreation Area / Bluff Trail by Sandip Bhattacharya (CC BY 2.0)
Coyote Point Recreation Area / Bluff Trail by Sandip Bhattacharya (CC BY 2.0)

9. Where To Relax After Moving To San Mateo

Pack a picnic basket and head to San Mateo’s Central Park and unwind at the Japanese Gardens. Locals who also like to relax outdoors head to Coyote Point for fishing, hiking and getting in touch with nature.

10. Find Your Favorite Spot After Moving To San Mateo

Chances are you will enjoy the San Mateo Public Library. It is ranked third in California and home to Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. There are also the Hillsdale and Marina branches. Get lost in a book or join in one of their community events.

Have you recently moved to San Mateo? What helped you to adapt and feel at home? We’d love to hear about your experience. Share your tips for moving to San Mateo below.