San Mateo is a city in San Mateo County, California in the high-tech enclave of Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a population of 97,207 as of the 2010 census, it is one of the larger suburbs on the San Francisco Peninsula, located between Burlingame to the north, Foster City to the east, Belmont to the south, and Highlands-Baywood Park and Hillsborough to the west. Census Department estimates as of 2013, that the city's population exceeded 101,000. San Mateo was incorporated in 1894. By car, San Mateo is about thirty minutes from downtown San Jose and twenty-five minutes from downtown San Francisco.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.9 square miles (41 km2), of which, 12.1 square miles (31 km2) is land and 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) (23.63%) is water.

San Mateo has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, damp winters. The city is shielded from the Pacific Ocean by the Montara Mountain block of the Santa Cruz Mountains. A gap in the mountains, west of the College of San Mateo, results in gusty afternoon winds that bring fog toward San Mateo in the late afternoon through early morning in the summer months.

San Mateo has one of the larger, well developed, more prominent suburban downtowns in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is located roughly between Tilton and 9th streets and Delaware Avenue and El Camino Real. The downtown core contains over 800 shops and restaurants, many of them in historic buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A large, modern 12 screen movie theatre complex gives the downtown a major entertainment option. Central Park is considered to be San Mateo's signature park with tennis courts, picnic areas, playground, a baseball field, a recreation center, a miniature train, and a Japanese Tea Garden. Caltrain operates a large train station in downtown. The downtown is also home to many large and small multi-story office buildings, apartments, government buildings and Mills Medical Center making the area a busy employment center day and night.

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