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Ultimate Guide: Moving to the Best Neighborhoods in San Mateo, CA

Who wouldn’t want to move to California with its beautiful climate, easygoing culture, and close proximity to the beach? People in populated areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco are increasingly leaving for smaller towns outside the metro area. This is because they want to avoid traffic and find more affordable housing. 

San Mateo is a top contender when considering where to settle in California. Living in San Mateo feels like a mix of city and suburb, and most people own their homes. San Mateo is one place that has emerged as a popular spot to settle down.

There are many reasons to move to San Mateo, and here’s what you should know:

Is San Mateo a Nice Place to Live?

San Mateo is a beautiful city to live in and raise a family in due to its pleasant climate, well-paying jobs, and friendly community. It is a city with convenient access to most Bay Area sites, a diverse population, and strict environmental protection laws and policies.

The central city features some of the finest dining and retail establishments in Northern California, while the city’s parks offer fantastic options for outdoor recreation. Finding a city that provides more would not be accessible in terms of livability.

To make a profit, you can visit The Short Term Shop website to find vacation rental houses, condominiums, land, and bank-owned properties in the greatest areas. There you can also find short term rentals policies San Mateo has to offer to protect your property rights and responsibilities.

Cost of Living

Compared to the average living cost in California, San Mateo is not the most cost-effective place to reside. Living expenses in San Mateo are 48 percent more than the state average. However, San Mateo’s high living cost is mainly attributed to house prices.

In terms of the cost of living, San Mateo CA ranks third out of 273 cities in the US. The living cost in San Mateo is about 194.5 percent of the state average, which places it among the most expensive areas to live in.

How much you spend each month depends on how much you spend on food, housing, utilities, health care, transportation, and other goods and services. Keep in mind that the number of residents in your house and whether or not you own the property can significantly impact your monthly bills. Overall, the lives of the people of San Mateo cost them enough money to live the best.


A significant reason why people move to San Mateo is because of the schools there. Residents of San Mateo have a lot of schools to choose from. Some of the best schools are Aragon High School, College Park Elementary School, Hilldale High School, and Borel Middle School. These schools are good because they have high test scores, numerous students, and students ready for the next grade. All Are Friends Montessori and Futures Academy are two private schools in San Mateo.


All of the cities in the San Francisco Bay Area have warm weather for most of the year, but San Mateo stands out because it has one of the best climates. However, you may feel slightly let down if you like the four seasons. San Mateo, like most of California, doesn’t get any snow. Roughly 24 inches of rainfall each year in San Mateo, which is less than the average for the United States. 

City front view with big and tall buildings

Economy & Job Market

San Mateo, located in Silicon Valley, is a great example of the region’s diversity, strong economy, and innovation. Besides technology, retail, healthcare, and finance are vital sectors. The rate of unemployment is only 2.1 percent, which is lower than the national average of 3.9 percent. 

Things to Do

San Mateo is a very diverse and active city. So there are many things for you and your family to do. From world-class shopping to famous unique places to the stunning features of the Bay Area, it’s practically unthinkable to get dull on the Peninsula.

Those who enjoy traveling will find various sights and activities nearby. The city will not let you down if you want to go on an adventure outside or find new places to shop. Here are the top things to do and explore in San Mateo:

Destinations and Attractions

The yearly San Mateo County Fair is a great time for the whole family. CuriOdyssey is a non-profit scientific museum, zoo, and playground that stimulates the mind and inspires creativity if science and learning are more your speed. And if you’re looking for a bit of shopping therapy? The Hillsdale Shopping Center is a premier retail, dining, and fun destination.

Pro Sports

Without a doubt, you will enjoy the Bay Area. The San Francisco football team, the 49ers, tops the list. More interested in basketball? The Golden State Warriors, now led by the player Stephen Curry, are located in San Francisco, a short distance to the north. 

Best Neighborhoods in San Mateo, CA 

San Mateo is a wonderful location to call home since it offers something for everyone. However, in some San Mateo neighborhoods, it can be frustrating that there aren’t enough affordable homes for people to live in. You may search for the cheapest way to build a house instead of competing in popular property markets. The San Mateo neighborhoods map can also give you a better look at choosing the perfect location for you.

Are you prepared to pack your possessions and move to the city? If yes, here are your options for selecting the best neighborhoods in San Mateo:

North Central

North Central is a great place to live for single professionals and commuters because the homes are attractive and affordable. Kitesurfing, mountain biking, and cycling are just some of the outdoor activities you can do in this town. It is also right next to CuriOdyssey, Poplar Creek Golf Course, and Coyote Recreation Area, a famous outdoor space in the city. About 42 percent of people living in North Central own homes.


Baywood-Aragon has charming homes that look like they were built in the old days of San Mateo. This neighborhood is about a mile southwest of Downtown, and 81 percent of the people who live there own their own homes.

Baywood-Aragon is among the city’s most attractive neighborhoods due to its beauty and upkeep. It features a gorgeous variety of Spanish, Mediterranean, Colonial, and Tudor-style residences built between 1927 and 2005. 

House top view

San Mateo Park

The most expensive place to buy a home on our list is San Mateo Park, which is also the best place to live in San Mateo. About 77 percent of people in this friendly neighborhood own their own homes.

There are also many conveniences for people living in San Mateo Park. Burlingame Avenue is close to places to eat and shop, and El Camino Real goes along the east side of San Mateo Park, making it easy to get to highways and commuter paths. The Burlingame community is only a 20-minute walk from the Caltrain station.

San Mateo Park is filled with lovely streets and is nearly crime-free. It is safe and ideal for strolling and running, but nightlife and entertainment are lacking. Additionally, Steve Lewis Gallery and San Mateo Park School are located there. If you have the means, San Mateo Park is an excellent place to live.


Downtown San Mateo is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in the city. It offers cheap apartments with an urban vibe. In addition, it is regarded as the best town in San Mateo. About 62 percent of inhabitants are homeowners.

Downtown San Mateo is consistently ranked as one of the Best five places to live in the city. It has a mix of modern and traditional homes. The neighborhood has a lot of great places to eat, shop, and hang out at night, like the Wursthall, Century 12 San Mateo, coffee shops, and more. San Mateo High School and College Park Elementary School are also there.

Hayward Park

Hayward Park is commonly regarded as the ideal older neighborhood for young people, with most of its homes being constructed between 1939 and 1983. About 62 percent of inhabitants are homeowners.

Hayward Park has large lots, trees, and maintained homes. It is close to Central Park and has easy access to Highway 101, State Route 92, and the Hayward Park Caltrain station, which makes your work easily accessible. El Sinaloense, which serves vegan Mexican food, along with Ramen Parlor, are two of the best places to eat.


A view of Sugarloaf is included as well. Located four miles south of San Mateo’s central business district, this area has a high rate of house ownership (78 percent) among its people.

Sugarloaf is great for large families because it feels like a suburb and has homes with big garages. These homes were built between 1940 and 2003 and had anywhere from one to five bedrooms and one to five bathrooms. 

The town also features Laurelwood or Sugarloaf Park, which has a playground and is a peaceful place to walk or hike along Sugarloaf Mountain and the surrounding area. Nonetheless, Hillsdale Shopping Center is also right next to the neighborhood.


Hillsdale used to be a boring neighborhood, but it has changed into a lively and attractive community over the years. Hillsdale is now one of the most popular San Mateo California neighborhoods.

Hillsdale, long seen as a mediocre neighborhood, has evolved over the years into a bustling and appealing community. Fifty-four percent of inhabitants own their homes. The community features Hillsdale Shopping Center, which has great shopping, dining, and entertainment. It’s also home to Hillsdale High School and San Mateo Medical Center.

Beresford Park

Last but not least, one of the best neighborhoods in San Mateo is Beresford Park. About 88 percent of the people who live here own their residences. 

Beresford Park has beautiful homes and quick commutes because there is a Caltrain station nearby. It is also close to the San Mateo Medical Center to the northwest. The only downside about this neighborhood is that homes are costly.

Sunset view in subdivision houses


San Mateo is more than “simply” a bedroom neighborhood for Silicon Valley or an extension of San Francisco. It is now a growing city, with over 100,000 happy citizens thanks to its thriving economy and high quality of life.

So, is San Mateo a good place to live? If you give the city a fair go, you’ll find that you enjoy living there. With the great reasons for you to move there, you will surely not be disappointed. In addition are the best neighborhoods that San Mateo can offer to give you the best life when you’ve finally decided to move.

Read Next: What To Know Before Moving to San Mateo

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