Destination guide

San Mateo and the heart of Silicon Valley

Nestled deep between the hi-tech industries and computer firms of Silicon Valley, San Mateo offers a dash of classic California culture and living. Its downtown area is packed with charming bookshops, and is still buzzing from the days when it was a major arrival point for Japanese immigrants across the Pacific – think plenty of sake, sushi, and sashimi. San Mateo vacation rentals are also coveted for their sweeping views over the San Francisco Bay Area, and that wonderful backdrop: The Rancho Corral de Tierra, with its wildflower meadows, chaparral, and sinewy mountain ridges.

Things to do

Japanese gardens and kitchens galore in San Mateo

It's between the fir trees of Central Park that San Mateo's iconic Japanese Tea Garden makes its home, offering respite from the bustle of the surrounding San Francisco sprawl. Once you're done meditating, consider getting back into the material world with some fashion searching in the Hillsdale Shopping Center, or just head to the downtown area to taste a medley of Mongolian hotpots and Japanese mains. There are also acclaimed golf courses at Poplar Creek, and oodles of hiking in the rugged Rancho Corral de Tierra.


Find your inner zen in San Mateo

Chilled and laid-back San Mateo is a welcome break from the buzzing business energy of greater Silicon Valley. With its smiling locals and breezy streets, it's the perfect place to come and unwind after sightseeing your way through the rest of the Bay Area. You can kick back in the cherry blossom-blanketed parks, pull yoga poses in Oriental fountain gardens, and be able to hit 18 holes overlooking the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Shopping and sampling sushi in the Japanese cookhouses is also right on the doorstep of most San Mateo vacation rentals.


Summer’s sizzling in San Mateo

Transport yourself to the breezy peninsulas of the Bay Area during the summertime to enjoy the warm and pleasant months between June and August. This is high time to hit the bustling breweries and coffee shops of downtown San Mateo, and there's not a better season to wax up the walking boots and explore the winding trials of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. What's more, San Mateo vacation rentals with gardens and decks are often well-primed for the al fresco dining and living that the warmer times bring.

Natural features

Clutching the San Francisco Bay Area in San Mateo

Cast your gaze to the west of San Mateo and you'll see where the rugged rises of the Rancho Corral de Tierra host old farmsteads and slopes of manzanita blooms. Hiking trails there lead to the top of Sweeny Ridge, marking the point where Spanish explorers first set foot on the San Francisco Bay Area back in the 1700s. Walking routes like the San Andreas Trail shoot straight up the spine of the peninsula to the big city, too, while on the coast, there are boating spots at Coyote Point and the rolling salt ponds of the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge – perfect for bird watchers.

How to get there

How to get to and around San Mateo

The nearest airport is in San Carlos, CA (SQL), located 4 mi (6.4 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you might consider flying into San Francisco, CA (SFO-San Francisco Intl.), which is 6.3 mi (10.1 km) away.

If you prefer to travel by train, San Mateo Hayward Park Station, San Mateo Hillsdale Station and San Mateo Station are the main stations in the city.

Can I find a vacation rental around San Mateo?

Yes, our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 1,686 vacation rentals near San Mateo. From 607 Houses to 847 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near San Mateo for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to San Mateo?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in San Mateo:

  • North Central: 21 vacation rentals
  • Beresford Park: 19 vacation rentals
  • East San Mateo: 28 vacation rentals
  • South San Mateo: 30 vacation rentals
  • Central San Mateo: 36 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to San Mateo?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in San Mateo. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • San Mateo County Event Center: 1,755 vacation rentals
  • Coyote Point Museum: 1,882 vacation rentals
  • San Mateo Hillsdale Station: 1,630 vacation rentals
  • Poplar Creek Golf Course: 1,851 vacation rentals
  • Hillsdale Shopping Center: 1,644 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around San Mateo listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in San Mateo?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 607 Houses in San Mateo. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in San Mateo include:

  • Condos/Apartments: 847 rentals available
  • Cottages: 28 rentals available
  • Bungalows: 28 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Cabins and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in San Mateo?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 205 vacation rentals with pool available in San Mateo. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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