What To Know Before Moving To San Mateo

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, CA 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 After Moving To San Mateo

San Mateo, CA is located near Silicon Valley and is only minutes from Google, Facebook and Apple 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, such as San Francisco and San Jose. It is also only a one-hour plane ride away from Los Angeles, and with the San Francisco and San Jose airports so close by, you can easily make it to those one-day business trips in 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. Enjoy The Great Weather 

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 on the San Francisco Bay and, of course, breathtaking coastal views.

3. Where To Shop 

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

4. Who To Root For When You Live In San Mateo

You will have your pick of sports teams to cheer for after moving to San Mateo. As part of the San Francisco Bay Area, locals are big fans of the San Francisco Giants, the San Francisco 49ers, the Golden State Warriors, or the San Jose 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. Best Places To Eat In The 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. You can also find great places to dine in the neighboring city of Burlingame. Check out Maverick Jack’s and Cafe Figaro.

6. How To Live Eco-Friendly In San Mateo

You can start by ensuring that your move to San Mateo is eco-friendly. After you’ve moved, make use of the accessible public transit system. Use the Caltrain to head north into San Francisco or south into the heart of Silicon Valley. 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 In The San Mateo Area

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. Another fun activity is the San Mateo Wine Walk, where you can sample wine and food from the best local restaurants.

8. Where To Take Pets in 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 or head over to Togs for Dogs & Cats to pamper them with a new toy or yummy treat. To help your pet feel at home in their new surroundings, here are some helpful tips for moving with pets.

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

9. Where To Relax In The San Mateo Area

Pack a picnic basket and head to San Mateo’s Central Park and unwind at the Japanese Gardens. If you fall in love with the Zen of a Japanese garden, you can experience more of it at the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. Locals who like to relax outdoors also head to Coyote Point for fishing, hiking and getting in touch with nature.

10. Find Your Favorite Spot

Chances are you will enjoy the San Mateo Public Library. It is ranked third in California and is home to many 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. Another favorite spot in San Mateo is CuriOdyssey, a museum and zoo where you can enjoy seeing rescued native animals and kid-friendly exhibits. 

Whether you’re moving to San Mateo from a local city or from across the country, check out these helpful tips to make your move as smooth as possible. One of the best ways to choose a mover is to research their reputation by looking at their online reviews. No matter how you get to your new home in San Mateo, make sure the movers you hire are trustworthy experts that will treat your belongings with care.

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.