San Mateo (/ˌsæn məˈteɪ.oʊ/ SAN mə-TAY-oh; Spanish for "Saint Matthew") 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 and San Francisco Bay to the east, Belmont to the south, and Highlands-Baywood Park and Hillsborough to the west. The 2015 population was estimated to be 103,536. 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.
San Mateo has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, damp winters. The city is generally shielded from the Pacific Ocean by the Montara Mountain block of the Santa Cruz Mountains, but two gaps in the mountains (the San Bruno Gap, between Montara Mountain and San Bruno Mountain; and the Crystal Springs Gap, near where State Route 92 meets State Route 35, west of the College of San Mateo) can channel ocean weather, resulting in gusty afternoon winds that bring fog toward San Mateo in the late afternoon through early morning in the summer months.
The best-known natural area is Coyote Point Park, a rock outcropped peninsula that juts out into the San Francisco Bay. The early Spanish navigators named it la punta de San Mateo. Crews of American cargo ships carrying grain in the bay renamed it Big Coyote (BLM, 1853). Sailors had a penchant for naming promontories at the edge of San Francisco Bay after the coyote; across the bay in Fremont are the Coyote Hills, part of Coyote Hills Regional Park. By the 1890s the shore area was developed as a popular beach called San Mateo Beach. In 1842 the Spanish had named it playa de San Mateo. Today Coyote Point is home to CuriOdyssey, formerly known as the Coyote Point Museum, a major natural history museums and wildlife centers in the state. The Peninsula Humane Society is also situated at Coyote Point.
The variety of natural habitats include mixed oak woodland, riparian zones, and bayland marshes. One endangered species, the California clapper rail, was sighted feeding on mudflats by the Third Avenue bridge in San Mateo. The marsh areas are also likely habitat for the endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, which inhabit the middle and high zones of salt and brackish marshes, as well as for the endangered marsh plant, Point Reyes bird's beak.
Sugarloaf Mountain, whose name has been documented in 1870, is a prominent landform between the forks of Laurel Creek (Brown, 1975). In the late 20th century, this mixed oak woodland and chaparral habitat was a site of controversy related to proposals to develop a portion of the mountain for residential use. It has been preserved for use as park and open space area, and is home to the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly.
Sawyer Camp Trail, located on the western edge of San Mateo along the Crystal Springs Reservoir is another popular destination for joggers, walkers and bikers. This roughly 6 mile trail begins in San Mateo and stretches north toward Hillsborough and San Bruno, parallel to the 280 freeway.
The above information furnished by www.wikidedia.org
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