Just 33 miles away from Corte Madera across the Golden Gate Bridge and past San Francisco is the wonderful city of San Mateo. San Mateo offers wonderful opportunities for day trips from Corte Madera because of its quality shopping, great outdoor space and plethora of unique and fun annual events.
One of the most popular events to hit San Mateo is one definitely worth attending: the Maker Faire. Taking place every May, this fair is a festival of family fun, where you and your children can make, learn, create, craft, invent, recycle, think build and play. Filled to the brim with arts, engineering, crafts, music food, science and technology, the Maker Faire is a spectacular event and a great art and nerd fest.
In June, the San Mateo County Fair comes to town, offering you another chance to celebrate in the streets of this city. With a humble beginning in 1926 as the “Little Flower Show,” this event is held by the Bay Meadows Racetrack and is nine days long. With interactive exhibits, contests, vendors, entertainment and a carnival, this fair is both a slice of culture and a fun time for everyone.
The San Francisco Aloha Festival is also held in San Mateo in August at the San Mateo County Event Center, which is located at 1346 Saratoga Drive. This event, which is held by the Pacific Islanders’ Cultural Association, is a fantastic way for you and your family to experience the music and dancing of different Pacific Island cultures, including Hawaii and Polynesia. With free admission, arts and craft vendors, educational exhibits, island cuisine and simple games for kids, the Aloha Festival is a unique event you won’t find anywhere else.
If you want to travel to San Mateo during a time where the city is not hosting a festival, there are still plenty of options for having fun. In fact, San Mateo offers many opportunities to explore Japanese culture with 23 Japanese restaurants, a Japanese spa and Japanese Tea Garden. The prevalence of the Japanese culture in San Mateo stems from the immigration of Japanese people over a century ago. They came to work in salt ponds and open laundries and flower shops and even founded their own local Buddhist temple in 1910. There was a second wave of immigrants in the 50s and 60s. Suggestions for exploring this culture include the Spa Muku, the Japanese Tea Garden in San Mateo’s Central Park, the Sweet Breams store and the Himiwari restaurant.
Other fun activities in San Mateo include the CuriOdyssey at 1651 Coyote Point Drive. The CuriOdyssey showcases a collection of amazing, interactive exhibits that let children and adults experience nature and science. With 100 live animals that have joined the center from rehabilitation facilities, the center allows you to view native California wildlife and learn about them. This stunning museum and zoo is perfect for the family to learn and surrender to the wonders of nature. Whether you only come for the CuriOdyssey or hit up multiple sights while in San Mateo, this city is well worth the trip.