Central Park El Camino Real/5th Ave., downtown, (650) 522-7434. Free. Japanese Garden: M-F 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm; free. Mini train: Sat-Sun 11am-3pm, daily in summer; $2.
Dating from 1922, this is the oldest municipal park in the county. Facilities include a The Bianchi Railroad mini train--a miniature version of the long-gone Southern Pacific Coast Daylight—plus a rose garden, tennis courts, and a large,
colorful playground. In summer free weekly concerts are presented in the park, and in winter the baseball diamond is converted into an ice-skating rink.
The park’s tidy Japanese Garden was designed by Nagao Sakurai, a former landscape architect at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Features include a teahouse (no tea service), a central pond divided by a narrow bridge (in spring and summer, koi are usually fed at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.), two waterfalls, a bamboo forest, a pagoda, and a shrine. Narrow pathways are designed to make visitors slow down and really look. Rare and unusual plants include a weeping beech and an umbrella pine. No dogs are permitted.
More things to do in San Mateo.
More ideas for exploring Northern California.
images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers