January 22, 2016

San Mateo: Central Park; things to do


101 South 

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.

playground in Central Park in San Mateo, California


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. 

overview of Japanese Garden in Central Park in San Mateo, California


koi pond in Japanese Garden in Central Park in San Mateo, California


buddah in Japanese Garden in Central Park in San Mateo, California


More things to do in San Mateo.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.  

images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

updated 1-22-19

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