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Attendees at Taste and Talk Forum raise hands to ask questions
Community Development, Downtown

The Update to the Downtown Specific Plan is Underway

Participate in an online survey to share your ideas and get involved in the planning process

Downtown Plan LogoSustainable streets, access to transit, bike and pedestrian amenities, housing and jobs, diversity of retail opportunities, and inviting public spaces. What does Downtown San Mateo mean to you? The update of the Downtown Specific Plan will engage the community in a lively dialogue to address many of these topics and identify a framework that will shape the future vision of our downtown.

The community kick-off meeting took place on Monday, January 23rd and the first Taste and Talk Forum, focusing on the ingredients that make a great downtown, was held on Wednesday, February 8th. Both meetings were well attended (approx. 90-100 attendees) and show that the community has a strong interest in the future of Downtown San Mateo.

The kick-off meeting introduced the planning process and provided opportunities for community members to comment and share ideas on their vision for downtown. Attendees rotated through four stations where they were asked to: 1) Prioritize opportunities /enhancements for downtown, 2) Make suggestions about the elements currently missing from downtown, 3) Identify their mode of getting to, from and around downtown, and 4) Recorded interviews, at the final station, provided an opportunity for attendees to share their stories, ideas and most enthusiastic wishes for downtown. Watch the video on the city’s YouTube channel to hear what people are saying.

The Taste and Talk Forum featured a panel of planning and economic development professionals who shared ideas on the

components for creating a vibrant downtown. Their collective experience provided a wealth of ideas to consider for San Mateo’s downtown including an active public realm, access to transit, balancing housing and office near transit, focusing on ground floor activity, and encouraging opportunities for events and entertainment. These and other factors are ingredients that help to create a downtown destination for all.

Join the Discussion

The San Mateo community is encouraged to join the discussion and share your ideas about the future of our downtown! Think and envision what you would like to see in Downtown 20 or 30 years from now!
There are multiple ways to participate:

  1. Come to a community event! The next one is on Monday, March 29th at 6 pm San Mateo Main Library (Oak Room).
  2. Visit the project website www.engagedowntownsanmateo.org to learn more, find out about upcoming events, check out summaries & videos of past events, and other resources related to this community planning effort.
  3. Take the survey on the city’s online engagement platform, Speak Up San Mateo, available on the city’s website. The survey will guide you through exercises similar to the station exercises at the January 23rd community kick-off event. The survey is available through March 22nd.
  4. If you have questions, reach out to project staff by emailing downtownplan@cityofsanmateo.org.
PayByPhone launches at Workers' Resource Center Lot
Downtown, Parking

The city of San Mateo launches PayByPhone

Piloted at the Workers’ Resource Center and Kinko’s parking lots in Downtown San Mateo

The city of San Mateo launches PayByPhone on July 1st at the Workers’ Resource Center parking lot and Kinko’s lot in Downtown San Mateo. Both are located east of the railroad tracks along Claremont Street at 4th and 5th Avenues. The two lots will pilot this alternative payment method before becoming fully available throughout the entire downtown by the end of 2016.

PayByPhone is the world’s leaPayByPhoneding parking payment provider processing more than $300 million in payments annually. The app allows customers to easily pay for parking with a few quick taps on their smartphone. In the past year, the company has continued to expand its global partnerships across North America and Europe adding over 2.5 million registered users to its platform resulting in a total of more than 12 million subscribers to the service.

“We’re excited to bring the convenience of PayByPhone parking to the City of San Mateo,” says Kush Parikh, President, and CEO of PayByPhone. “It’s another great milestone for PayByPhone as we help to connect more cities to a broader community, allowing users to seamlessly pay for parking at all of our locations.”

Implementing PayByPhone

PayByPhoneThe implementation of PayByPhone at these lots also means the end of free parking. On July 1st the city will begin charging $.25 per hour, and the only payment option is to use the PayByPhone app or toll-free number, 1 (866)234-7275. Council adopted the new parking rate last spring when the new fee structure for downtown parking was approved.

“The minimal rate was adopted by Council so that our downtown employees would not be adversely impacted,” stated Maureen Freschet, San Mateo City Councilmember. “All of the parking revenues are reinvested into maintenance to keep our downtown clean and attractive.”

PayByPhone technology will roll-out to downtown garages by the end of summer and its availability for on-street parking will follow. By the end of the calendar year, customers parking anywhere in downtown San Mateo will be able to use the PayByPhone app or the toll-free number to pay for parking.

Technology makes downtown parking more convenient

PayByPhone is easy to use“It’s a great convenience for downtown customers,” says Ann Fienman, Downtown San Mateo Association Executive Director. “Many nearby cities use the same app, so I expect that many people who park downtown are familiar with the service and will welcome its availability here in San Mateo.”

PayByPhone provides an alternative way to pay for downtown parking, and it is easy to use. Create an account at paybyphone.com, download the app to your phone or call the toll-free number. The system will prompt you to enter your parking location, parking duration, and payment information. You can set-up an alert to notify you when your time is about to expire, and if needed you can add more time, up to the time limit for a particular space.

Alternative payment methods is a recommendation from San Mateo’s Parking Management Plan adopted in 2015. The city began implementing the plan last summer by introducing new color-coded parking zones and establishing parking rates based on demand and location. Incorporating PayByPhone technology and providing it as an alternative payment option continues to make the experience of parking in downtown San Mateo more convenient. The city is exploring additional parking technologies that will continue to simplify the parking system.

“Technology makes it easier to pay for parking, manage parking, and improves the experience of those visiting downtown San Mateo,” says Joe Goethals, San Mateo Mayor. “Incorporating PayByPhone and providing customers with an additional way to pay for parking is a convenient use of available technology. I’m looking forward to its full implementation and am excited to see what’s next.”

Register Now

Don’t wait, register your PayByPhone account NOW at paybyphone.com/registration. For more information about parking in downtown San Mateo, please visit sanmateo.parkingguide.com.

 

Pedestrians Get Head Start
Downtown

Pedestrians Get a Head Start in Downtown San Mateo

Feature image courtesy of the San Mateo Daily Journal

New traffic controllers provide 3-7 seconds advance walking time before vehicles get the green light.

Pedestrians Get Head Start

A head start helps downtown pedestrians cross the street more safely, but it’s still necessary to pay attention to traffic.

Downtown San Mateo, with the highest concentration of pedestrian activity in the community, is known for being a walkable and pedestrian friendly place. The City of San Mateo has recently implemented a key component of the Pedestrian Master Plan, adopted in 2012, to ensure pedestrian safety, reduce collisions, and enhance the walkability of Downtown San Mateo.

The master plan identifies the installation of a Lead Pedestrian Interval (LPI), which programs traffic signals to give pedestrians a head start to cross the street before the light turns green for vehicles. The extra time allotted to pedestrians, typically three to seven seconds, allows them to be more visible to motorists approaching the intersection. However, pedestrians still have to be careful when crossing the road. As always look both ways and make sure drivers see you before you start to cross the street.

“Having this safeguard in the downtown is critical to enhancing pedestrian safety,” says Tracy Scramaglia, Senior Engineer, City of San Mateo. “Not only does Downtown San Mateo have the highest amount of pedestrian activity; it also has the greatest concentration of pedestrian to motor vehicle collisions. Providing pedestrians with extra time will help to reduce future accidents.”

The City of San Mateo received a $200,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) for the purpose Pedestrians Get Head Startof upgrading pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. The City was able to purchase and install 25 new, upgraded controllers as well as the operating software necessary to implement LPI in Downtown San Mateo. Additional funding from the grant was used to purchase and install bike racks at city facilities to coincide with the launch of the City’s bike share program, Bay Bikes.

As pedestrians and vehicles get used to this change, cyclists will also have to adapt. Bicycle riders on public roads are subject to the same rules and regulations as motorists. LPI does not change this fact. As with all traffic control devices, bicyclists must obey them the same as motorists.

“Cycling is a viable way to get around San Mateo, and we encourage people to use their bikes as an alternative to driving,” says Shannon Hagan, Traffic Sergeant. “For the safety of our cyclists and all those sharing the roadway, cyclists must make sure they yield to pedestrians. Cyclists are required to obey the traffic control lights and not the walk signs.”

Pedestrians Get Head Start

Safety and creating a pedestrian friendly environment is key to an enjoyable downtown experience.

San Mateo’s pedestrian and bicycle enhancements received a great deal of attention and input from the community in 2013 with the Taste and Talk Series, a monthly dialogue designed to inform residents about the sustainable streets and green streets initiatives. These concepts were well received and community members expressed interest in making San Mateo a more walkable community. Additionally, LPI is a tool that will help the city attain goals established by Vision Zero, a multi-national road traffic safety project that aims to achieve a street and highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries caused by vehicular traffic.

“The installation of LPI is a significant accomplishment for San Mateo, and will have an immediate impact on improving pedestrian safety and mobility,” says Gary Heap, Engineering Manager, City of San Mateo. “Pedestrians should feel comfortable walking in Downtown San Mateo and this project greatly enhances their ability to safely cross the street.”

For more information about San Mateo Pedestrian Master Plan, please visit cityofsanmateo.org.

Parking-Garage-San-Mateo-740x540
Downtown, Parking

Online Parking Permit System Launches June 1st

Go Online Rather Than Wait In Line!

On June 1st, the City of San Mateo will launch the online sale of monthly downtown parking permits. The system, available at www.sanmateo.parkingguide.com will open to the public on May 23rd providing extra time to pre-register, create an account, and begin the process of purchasing a monthly parking permit before the system opens on June 1st.

The transition to an online parking system is the result of the Downtown Parking Management Plan adopted by the San Mateo City Council in 2014. The management plan identifies online permit sales as a method to streamline the permit process and make them more convenient to purchase.

Orange in the downtown core encourages parking turnover making it easier for customers to find a spot. Green along the perimeter provides more options for all-day parking.

Color-Coded Map of Downtown Core Parking Zones.

Along with the switch to online sales, the permit system will transition from a quarterly downtown parking permit to a monthly permit tied to a specific facility. Additionally, the pricing for a monthly permit is based on the location of the garage and its proximity to the downtown core. For instance, those wanting to park within the downtown core at the Central Garage will pay $80 for the monthly permit. Garages located further from the core including the 2nd and El Camino Garage, Main Street Garage, Transit Center Garage, and Tennis Court Garage at Central Park are $50 per month. While the surface parking lots at 4th and Claremont and 5th and Claremont, as well as on-street parking along Railroad Avenue between 5th and 9th Avenues,  are $30 per month.

“The new pricing structure is similar to the recent rate changes to on-street parking,” says Matt Bronson, Assistant City Manager. “Last July we began charging a higher amount in the higher demand area of the downtown core and charging a lower amount in the periphery. This change encourages customers to park further out and provides better utilization of existing spaces. We expect this same behavior to occur as the parking permit program gets underway.”

Parkmobile-Android-App

With the Parkmobile app, you can enjoy convenient, cashless parking in Downtown San Mateo.

The City of San Mateo has partnered with Parkmobile to provide the online parking permit system. Parkmobile is the leading provider for on-demand and prepaid mobile payments for on- and off-street parking. Their services have been adopted in more than 2,000 locations, including 35 of the top 100 cities in the U.S. by millions of registered users.

“Parkmobile is pleased to power the San Mateo online permit system,” says Jon Ziglar, CEO of Parkmobile. “We hope to add an enhanced level of convenience to all permit holders and make the parking experience even easier.”

Customers can visit the Parkmobile Help Center for step-by-step instructions and frequently asked questions (FAQs). In addition to the online Help Center, San Mateo permit holders will be provided with a customer support phone number and email address later this month. Both the City and Parkmobile are dedicated to making the transition to the new system as smooth as possible!

The city began implementing the Parking Management Plan last summer by introducing the new color-coded parking zones and establishing parking rates based on demand and location. The changes to the parking permit program bring added convenience to downtown customers, makes it easier to manage and administer, and continues the transition to demand and location based parking. The city is also exploring technologies that will simplify the parking experience and will soon introduce mobile pay to downtown customers.

“Putting parking permit sales online is an important step to modernize the program and make it more convenient for downtown customers,” says Ann Fienman, Executive Director of the Downtown San Mateo Association. “It’s exciting to see the recommendations of the Parking Management Plan come to fruition. Using technology to better manage parking is great for downtown.”

Community, Community Events, Downtown

San Mateo Innovation Week 2016

Celebrating Local Innovative Talent in Technology and Beyond.

San Mateo Innovation Week, taking place from May 16th through 20th at the San Mateo Main Library, returns for its third year to highlight a vast representation of entrepreneurs, technologists, and rising stars in industries ranging from virtual reality, fashion, food, art, and race relations. This dynamic week showcases San Mateo as a hub of creativity and fertile ground for entrepreneurs to nurture their next venture.

While start-up and tech companies make headlines on a daily basis and are credited with the lion’s share of innovation, there are many other businesses and talented individuals throughout San Mateo that add to our pool of local, innovative talent.

“It’s exciting that this year’s Innovation Week features entrepreneurs, students, and individuals that go beyond technology,” says Alicia Petrakis, local entrepreneur, restauranteur, and President of the San Mateo EDGE (Economic Development Growth Enterprise). “This year’s event truly highlights the ways creativity and innovation is harnessed across industries.”

San Mateo Innovation Week 2015. Edmoto receives the Visionary Hero Award for innovative contributions to education.

San Mateo Innovation Week 2015. Edmoto receives the Visionary Hero Award for innovative contributions to education.

Innovation Week kicks–off on Monday, May 16th with the San Mateo Visionary Hero Awards, an annual award established by the EDGE that recognizes firms, organizations, and individuals who have made substantial contributions to the development of San Mateo as a center for start-ups and entrepreneurial innovation. The EDGE will present a San Mateo Visionary Hero Award to Emergence Capital for their investment in next generation enterprise technology and Tile for helping people keep track of everyday items.

The rest of the events taking place throughout Innovation Week focus on art, technology, and San Mateo’s spirit of innovation in all sectors. Step into the world of virtual reality from 2:00 to 5:30 PM on Monday, May 16th. An alluring lead into the awards ceremony explores the way virtual reality is being used to enhance our ability to perceive the world around us. Meet the creative minds that are integrating virtual technology into education, training, video games, and urban design.

Delight in local food and fashion on Wednesday, May 18th with a fashion show, featuring Ricochet Wearable Art and local designer Jill Pillot while sampling innovative appetizers from local restaurants.

Rising stars showoff and demonstrate science and technology projects in last year's student competition.

Rising stars showoff and demonstrate science and technology projects in last year’s student competition.

On Thursday, May 19th students from Aragon High School, DTech High School, and Nueva School participate in the Youth In Innovation Evening. Students’ STEAM projects will be on display and two rising stars from each school will present their projects to the audience and compete in a STEAM Competition.

On Friday, May 20th join in an invigorating conversation about race relations in our communities. Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) brings together leading experts on race relations that challenge and encourage all of us to think differently about the ways we communicate and understand race and diversity.

Innovation Week closes Friday evening with a Tech on the Deck networking reception at Hero City at Draper University where participants and the San Mateo community can network and share ideas with like-minded individuals.

San Mateo Innovation Week is sponsored by the EDGE, the City of San Mateo, the San Mateo Public Library, and Maker Faire. For more information about the line-up of events, please visit www.sanmateoiw.com. Most events, except where noted, take place at the San Mateo Main Library. Please register for events using Eventbrite. There are fees for some of this year’s events.

“This year’s Innovation Week features a fantastic line-up of local talent, creative minds, and leading technologists,” says San Mateo Mayor, Joe Goethals. “San Mateo is fortunate to have a high caliber of entrepreneurs that can keep our community at the forefront of innovation and continuously explore what’s next.”

Community, Downtown, Parking

New Website Dedicated to Downtown Parking

A Smarter, Simpler, Easier Way To Navigate Downtown Parking

The Main Street Garage is one of nine garages and parking lots in Downtown San Mateo.

The Main Street Garage is one of nine garages and parking lots in Downtown San Mateo.

The City of San Mateo launches SanMateo.ParkingGuide.com, to provide downtown customers with the information they need to find that ever elusive parking spot in Downtown San Mateo. Additionally, the site provides a portal to pay for parking tickets and will soon accommodate the online sale of monthly downtown parking permits.

SanMateo.ParkingGuide.com is your go-to spot for all things related to downtown parking. It highlights each of San Mateo’s nine public parking garages and surface lots with information about locations, entrances, hourly rates, and hours of enforcement. Photos clearly identify each garage and lot, and all are plotted on a Google map to show locations in the downtown.

The site also provides additional information about other downtown parking amenities such as the location of EV chargers, downtown parking zones, weekend parking, the holiday parking schedule, and a how–to guide for using downtown pay stations. Website visitors can also explore other popular downtown destinations including Central Park, the Century 12 Movie Theatre, the CalTrain Station, and the San Mateo Main Library.

“Those visiting and working in Downtown San Mateo want to quickly find a parking space. Providing more information about parking options will help our parking customers and create a better downtown experience,” says Ann Fienman, Executive Director of the Downtown San Mateo Association.

There are more than 3,000 on and off-street parking spaces in the downtown.

There are more than 3,000 on and off-street parking spaces in the downtown.

SanMateo.ParkingGuide.com was created as a result of the Downtown Parking Management Plan adopted by the San Mateo City Council in 2014. Improved communication about downtown parking is an identified goal of the plan that will help to make parking more accessible to downtown customers.

The city began implementing the Parking Management Plan last summer by introducing the new color-coded parking zones and establishing parking rates based on demand and location. The city is also exploring technologies that will simplify the parking experience, will soon introduce mobile pay to downtown customers, and is transitioning from a quarterly downtown parking permit to a monthly permit tied to a specific facility that permit holders can purchase online.

“It’s exciting to see these changes come to fruition,” says Rafat Hadad, owner of 3 Bees Coffee and member of the Downtown Parking Taskforce. “This is the first time a one-stop guide about downtown parking is available. It’s informative, easy to use on any device, and we want it to be a resource for the downtown community.”

Visit SanMateo.ParkingGuide.com for a more enjoyable parking experience. More information about the Downtown Parking Management Plan is available on the city’s website.

City Council, Community, Downtown

San Mateo State of City Address

San Mateo. In the Age of the City.

Mayor Joe Goethals presented San Mateo’s State of City Address: San Mateo In the Age of the City, on January 22nd during the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce’s Good Morning San Mateo breakfast. The Mayor began his presentation by posing the following question: “Why is there now such a focus on cities?”

Cities are where people want to live.

It’s where jobs, schools, services, and day-to-day activities are concentrated. Approximately 50% of the U.S. population resides in cities or major metropolitan areas such as the Bay Area, Manhattan, Seattle, Miami, and Chicago. Additionally, half of the GDP (gross domestic product) for our country is generated in these concentrated metropolitan areas. Residents of these cities and San Mateo look to local government to provide the needed services, infrastructure, recreation activities, public safety, and policy decisions to ensure that local needs are being met. Cities are where we can make a difference.

The Billion Dollar Corridor

Billion Dollar CorridorThe Bay Area and San Mateo is experiencing significant growth since the recovery from the recession. The fifty mile stretch between San Francisco and San Jose, which some refer to as the “billion dollar corridor,” has a concentration of companies which provide jobs and generate a great deal of revenue. We are fortunate to be surrounded by these companies, but the overall strength of our economy also puts a great deal of stress on our infrastructure and makes it extremely expensive to live here.

This additional growth and the influx of wealth created in our region is placing growing demand for city services. The issues we must address are more complex than ever before. San Mateo is taking strides to develop recommendations, policies, and programs to support the need for affordable housing, infrastructure improvements; strategies to address traffic, and programs that will create a more sustainable community. San Mateo is fortunate to have a highly engaged community, talented city staff, and relationships that extend throughout the region and state. Collaboration and looking to the community to find solutions is one of the attributes that makes San Mateo a great community, and we consistently use this approach when solving our most demanding challenges.

2016 City Priorities

In 2016, a Housing Taskforce is focused on developing recommendations to address affordable housing. The former redevelopment properties are part of this equation and are being considered as possible opportunities for additional housing opportunities as well. In addition, the Public Works Department has initiated Neighborhood Traffic Forums that are generating discussions to address traffic concerns, one neighborhood at a time, throughout our community. The forums launched in January and will continue until the end of May.

Measure S has given the city a “shot in the arm” to make significant investments in our services and infrastructure. A citizens oversight committee will form to provide oversight on how Measure S funds can be spent. Paved streets, flood improvements, improvements to parks and recreation facilities, and increased public safety are some of the ways Measure S funds can be used to strengthen our community for future generations.

As highlighted in the Mayor’s State of the City address, the City is tackling a number of initiatives that will continue to make San Mateo a great community. Please visit the City’s YouTube Channel to view the Mayor’s State of the City Address and hear his ideas.

Art on the Manpower building
Community, Community Events, Downtown

San Mateo Hosts First Friday’s

First Friday’s are popular community events hosted all over the country on the first Friday of each month, typically in a city’s art district, for attendees to experience and celebrate unique local art. While San Mateo does not have a designated art district, it is lucky enough to have this event hosted right in its own downtown.

First Friday’s are free and feature live music, dancing, jewelry and crafted goods from local vendors, a food truck and of course art from downtown San Mateo’s own merchants.Music preformers at a San Mateo event

The Shop at Flywheel Press first brought this event to San Mateo a few years ago and it has since grown to include other downtown shops and places of art including Claremont Art Studios, Peninsula Art Studios, Neologian Art Gallery, Scribble Me Happy, and Arts Unity Movement.

This month Philz Coffee will host a community pop-up photo gallery sponsored by Bay Meadows.

Grab a cup of coffee and peruse through the 100 finalists of the Fame by Frame photo contest. These photographs were taken throughout 2015 by community members to represent what they love about San Mateo. Participate in a live vote at Philz to decide who will be the $500 grand prize winner.  This event begins at 6:00 p.m. this Friday, February 5th, and the first 100 folks to attend will receive a coupon for Philz!

Downtown banner on the street post at B Street and BaldwinAfter enjoying San Mateo’s local art, relax downtown and grab a bite and one of San Mateo’s exceptional restaurants. If you need some inspiration on where to go, check out San Mateo Best Food to learn all about the delectable choices San Mateo has to offer.

Don’t forget – First Friday’s happen every month! Check out our event calendar to never miss out on this or other lively events taking place throughout San Mateo.

Sculpture at San Mateo Central Park
Community, Community Events, Downtown

Local Love San Mateo Photo Contest

Show your love for San Mateo! Bay Meadows is hosting a San Mateo photo contest for you to show off what you love about this city. San Mateo is full of awesome restaurants, events, public spaces, and more. Capture your favorite in a picture! Snap photos of your friends, the boba tea you grabbed while downtown, the view from your home or office, anything that speaks to you in San Mateo.

You will have the chance to win fabulous prizes!Person taking a photo with a camera

  • One winner, selected by Bay Meadows, will receive a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card.
  • One Grand Prize winner, chosen by you (the public) will receive $500.
  • Contestants could be featured in a live pop-up photo exhibit!

When the contest is over and photos have been compiled there will be a live pop-up art exhibit at the February First Friday event (February, 5th) in Downtown San Mateo that will also tie into the Love on the Run event which is focused on giving back to the local community. This is when you (the public) will tally your votes and decide who the grand prize winner will be!

The contest ends at the end of the month so be sure to get those photos in using one of these fun and simple methods. Contestants can enter up to 10 of their spectacular photos a month! Click here for official rules.

We can’t wait to see what you love about San Mateo! Get snapping and submit your photos!

Black Friday line, shoppers, and employees
25th Avenue, Downtown, Parks and Recreation

Black Friday Options

To Shop or Not

After Thanksgiving, the holiday shopping frenzy begins! We all know this day too well and it is Black Friday. Some get a rush out of scoring deals on holiday gifts while others prefer to find their own little treat, and some would rather avoid the crowds and spend the day relaxing with family and friends. Whichever you prefer, San Mateo has some great options for you.

Get your Shop On

Hillsdale Shopping Center is a central San Mateo shopping venue with many options in one convenient location. The shopping center is home to four mega stores, including Nordstrom, Sears, Macy’s, and Forever 21, and 120 specialty shops and restaurants where you will be sure to find the perfect gift.Woman holding a sale sign

If the mall isn’t for you 25th Avenue is a wonderful alternative. Take a stroll and wander through the charming shops to find the ideal gift for that special someone this holiday season. When you’re done shopping, grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants offering tasty creations.

The hustle and bustle of downtown provides a charming atmosphere that will put you in the holiday spirit. Its specialty shops, restaurants and entertainment options provide a quintessential experience to find unique gifts, sample local cuisine and have some fun along the way.

Rest and Relaxation

San Mateo Central ParkIf shopping on Black Friday is not for you, take it easy and visit one of San Mateo’s fabulous parks. San Mateo is home to 35 parks and recreation centers each offering  special features such as the Japanese Tea Garden, dog parks, walking trails, playgrounds for children, and much more! The parks are a great way to spend time outside – playing, relaxing and exercising after yesterday’s feast.

Don’t forget, San Mateo also has an ice rink in Central Park this winter season! San Mateo on Ice is open daily with 9,000 square feet of real ice for recreational skating. Enjoy the day with your family and check out this cool winter attraction.

Whether you decide to go shopping or spend the day outdoors, San Mateo is certainly the place to do it. You’ll find gifts for everyone on your list at local shopping districts and will take in plenty of fresh air while playing in neighborhood parks. Whichever you choose it is bound to be a great day in San Mateo.