A DIVERSE COMMUNITY IN THE BAY AREA
The Peninsula is the strip of land to the south of San Francisco that separates the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. San Francisco County, San Mateo County and Santa Clara County all can be found on the peninsula; however, whereas the term peninsula technically refers to the entire geographical San Francisco Peninsula, in local jargon, “The Peninsula” does not include the city of San Francisco, which is considered a separate entity unto itself. In this section, San Mateo County and the northern half of Santa Clara County are addressed.
SAN MATEO COUNTY
San Mateo County is one of the most affluent counties in California; its prime real estate value is reflected in its stunning landscape made up of beautiful beaches and lush woodlands. Located within the county is the San Francisco International Airport, which is ranked among the world’s busiest airports and has a longstanding reputation of setting high industry standards. With its high quality of life, close proximity to San Francisco and abundance of colleges and universities, San Mateo County is an ideal place for young professionals looking to break out on their own.
Major Communities (2011 Population):
Belmont (26,147), Burlingame (29,157), Daly City (102,362), East Palo Alto (28,502), Foster City (30,943), Half Moon Bay (11,464), Hillsborough (10,958), Menlo Park (32,412), Millbrae (21,793), Pacifica (37,691), Redwood City (77,745), San Bruno (41,616), San Carlos (28,755), San Mateo (98,391) and South San Francisco (64,409)
- Population Growth (2010–11)..............2.9%
- Persons Per Square Mile......................1,602.2
- School Districts: Bayshore, Belmont-Redwood Shores, Brisbane, Burlingame, Cabrillo, Hillsbourgh City, Jefferson, La Honda-Pescadero, Las Lomitas, Menlo Park City, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Ravenswood City, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, San Mateo-Foster City, Sequoia, South San Francisco and Woodside
- Total Public School Enrollment (2011–12): 93,672
- Educational Attainment (adult population)
- High school diploma..........................88.4%
- College degrees..................................43.9%
For more information, visit San Mateo County’s website at www.co.sanmateo.ca.us
. Following are the highlights of the most prominent areas and communities in the county.
— Daly City
Known as the “Gateway to the Peninsula,” Daly City is the largest urban area in San Mateo County. Daly City sits approximately eight miles south of Downtown San Francisco, and the San Francisco International Airport is just nine miles away. One of Daly City’s greatest assets is its affordably priced and conveniently located quality housing, many with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean or the San Francisco Bay. Neighborhoods here include Bayshore, Crocker, Hillside, Serramonte, Southern Hills, St. Francis, Top of the Hill and Westlake.
With several public school districts in Daly City, the biggest is the split Jefferson Elementary School District and Jefferson Union High School District. A total of six colleges and universities are located within a 10-mile radius of the city. The young, skilled workforce concentrated in the area has been essential in invigorating the local economy in the retail, agricultural, business and service sectors.
Medical services are another important aspect of the Daly City economy. Seton Medical Center is currently the city’s largest employer with more than 440 physicians. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Daly City has one of the highest transit ridership numbers in the nation. SamTrans provides the city’s public transportation as does the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni). Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) also services Daly City through its Daly City and Colma stations.
In recent years, Daly City also has emerged as a major shopping destination for San Franciscans and neighboring Californians. The Serramonte Center is an 865,000-square-foot shopping mall located on I-280 just four miles from San Francisco State University. Its key anchors and retailers include Macy’s, Target, A’GACI, Bath & Body Works, Crazy 8 by Gymboree, Forever 21 and Victoria’s Secret. Daly City’s second major mall is Westlake Shopping Center, a 613,006-square-foot outdoor retail complex with anchors that include Burlington Coat Factory, Ross and T.J. Maxx.
— Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay offers a variety of public and private attractions. Resting on the Pacific Coast between forested hills and some of the most beautiful coastlines California has to offer, it is 28 miles south of San Francisco in the westernmost portion of San Mateo County. Half Moon Bay and the coast have proud agriculture and floriculture industries, and visitors will find roadside stands that sell locally grown fruit, artichokes, greens, root vegetables, beans and herbs.
A popular destination for Bay Area residents, Half Moon Bay is the home of the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Resort and Spa that sits atop an ocean bluff overlooking 50 miles of rugged California coastline. The historic downtown has numerous shops, art galleries, restaurants and bed and breakfasts. Local beaches and parks are accessed by pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians, and golfers can enjoy playing at two of California’s finest courses.
— Redwood City
Redwood City, a community of nearly 77,750 people, is a center of high-tech industry and the midpoint of the beautiful San Francisco Peninsula. Redwood City is an ideal location for families because of its heightened appreciation for neighborhoods and communities. Redwood City has a Mediterranean climate with an annual rainfall of about 20 inches. Caltrain provides service to the San Francisco via its downtown stop. In addition, the BART SFO extension offers a transfer point for Caltrain at Millbrae.
Redwood City is one of a handful of California cities blessed with a seaport—and the only deepwater port in the South San Francisco Bay—making it a vital component of the Bay Area’s regional and international economy. The Top 10 largest employers are electronics, health care and school-based corporations. Redwood City is also the location of the San Mateo County History Museum, which provides a complete chronology of the county’s rich heritage from its beginnings to the present day.
— San Mateo
A population of 98,391 makes San Mateo one of the larger communities in the Bay Area. The city is a favorite residential choice for newcomers who enjoy the outdoors because the city has a variety of geographical environments ranging from woodlands to marshes. The Santa Cruz Mountains block much of the rain from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in a moderate Mediterranean climate.
The city is also public-transportation friendly with services provided by Caltrain, AC Transit and SamTrans. Many high-profile companies, including YouTube, either headquartered or based in San Mateo. For print journalism, San Mateo offers The Daily Journal, the San Mateo Daily News and the San Mateo County Times. KCSM-TV is a local television station that focuses is adult education programs; and KCSM (FM), an outlet of National Public Radio, is also located in San Mateo.
Two school districts serve the city’s primary and secondary education needs: the San Mateo-Foster City School District and San Mateo Union High School District. An adult high school is located at San Mateo High School, which is also the site of the San Mateo Performing Arts Center.
— South San Francisco
Anyone who travels along the San Francisco Peninsula or through the nearby San Francisco International Airport will notice the key landmark of South San Francisco: Sign Hill, which has huge letters on its mountainside that read, “South San Francisco The Industrial City.” This moniker is reflected in an economy sustained largely by the biotechnology industry. The city is home to an office of Amgen as well as the headquarters of Genentech, both leaders in the biotech field. Many biotechnology firms have moved to South San Francisco because of the emerging talent of young professionals from the University of California, San Francisco; Stanford University; and the University of California, Berkeley.
Despite its name, South San Francisco is not the southernmost part of the city of San Francisco but a city in its own right. It lies just north of San Francisco International Airport and has its own BART station. In addition, Caltrain offers service to both South San Francisco and San Jose. Primary and secondary education in South San Francisco is operated by the South San Francisco School District.
With its industry and proximity to the big city of San Francisco, the Peninsula is also a great natural getaway for everyone to enjoy.