California may not be all seashores and sunshine, but that is what you will get in beautiful San Mateo. The coastal city also has outdoor recreation, fresh cuisine, amazing views and more. Located right next to Silicon Valley, San Mateo is high-tech without losing its California vibe, something you will soon understand when you stay at one of the San Mateo-area hotels below. Make sure you explore all that there is to see and do, which includes:
One of the things you may least expect to find in an urban environment is a tranquil meditative spot, but that is exactly what you will discover at the San Mateo Japanese Tea Garden. Start your visit with a little Zen and see if it does not affect your whole attitude! The Tea Garden was designed by the Imperial Palace of Tokyo’s landscape architect and is considered one of the finest tea gardens in California. Spend some time quietly exploring the granite pagoda, the teahouse, the bamboo grove and the koi pond. In late winter and early spring you will catch the cherry trees in bloom and just might find yourself immersed in a magical sprinkling of enchanting pink blossoms!
When you have finished meditating and are ready for some exercise, head out to the Sawyer Camp Trail, which follows the Crystal Springs Reservoir and will provide you all the beautiful scenery you can imagine. Walk, run, cycle or skate along the paved six-mile trail and be sure to check out the deer, ducks and birds that will be sharing the space with you. Trees provide delightful shade for which you will be grateful on hot summer days. There are bathrooms located conveniently every couple of miles. As for the tea garden, no dogs are allowed, but this is a great space for the rest of your family.
If your smaller children have been less impressed than you with your visit so far, they will perk right up when you take them to CuriOdyssey, a science and wildlife center geared to young kids. Your children will explore interactive exhibits that go beyond merely presenting scientific phenomena. In fact, the kids do real science by changing and testing variables and seeing that the natural world can be at times counterintuitive. The wildlife habitats offer an up-close view of native California animals, all of which have been rescued. There are animal talks and demonstrations throughout the day, so check the center’s schedule when you arrive.
The Northern California lifestyle is an outdoor one, and you’ll understand why that is when you visit Coyote Point Recreational Area. There is not much you cannot do here, from swimming, windsurfing, jogging, hiking, boating and fishing to exploring the saltwater marsh and Magic Mountain playground. Originally an island surrounded by the salt marsh, it is now a beautiful site that includes the CuriOdyssey as well as the dragon-and-castle-themed playground, with one of the longest enclosed slides in California and a separate playground area for the youngest children. There is a golf course, restaurant at Coyote Point and places to buy or rent kites.
More outdoor fun awaits you in Central Park, which feels like a real community center and is a favorite with local residents. This is where the Japanese Tea Garden is located but there is a great deal more to enjoy as well, with walking/jogging paths, open spaces, a ball field and tennis courts. Breathe in the heady aromas of the beautiful rose garden and check out the sculptures. Your kids will want to ride the train and you will all enjoy using one of the barbeque stations for a family picnic.
It may sound stereotypical, but the reality is that yoga is in fact very popular in northern California and you may want to cap off your San Mateo stay with a visit to Nandi Yoga. At Nandi Yogi, you can drop in for just one class or stay for several. Join others as you work on Flow, Iyengar and Yin/Restorative traditions; and, unusually, there are children’s classes available. In fact, family yoga is available on weekends and is open to all ages.
San Mateo has all of the ingredients to make your northern California stay a vacation you will long remember. Stay at one of the Choice Hotels near San Mateo and discover the Pacific’s most pristine coastline as well as the food and the activities that make this one of America’s favorite places to visit … and to stay.
San Bruno, CA, US, 94066
San Bruno, CA, US, 94066
South San Francisco, CA, US, 94080-4812
Oakland, CA, US, 94621-9956
Oakland, CA, US, 94601
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