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Category Archives: San Mateo County

5 Engaging Events at the San Mateo County History Museum

April 6, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

museum goer


The San Mateo County History Museum is not only a historical archive but also an interactive experience. The museum archives feature a history through books, photographs, maps, newspapers, and records. The Sanchez Adobe then gives a glimpse of life before the Gold Rush. The historic Woodside Store then takes you back to shopping in 1880, while Encore Books on the Square has over 30,000 used copies for browsing. It’s always a good time to take a step into the past and visit the San Mateo County History Museum, but these upcoming events are extra incentive!

San Mateo County History Museum Upcoming Events

Maritime Day

April 16, 11am-4pm, Free

The 11th Annual Maritime Day is being held in conjunction with the San Mateo County STEM Festival. For the event, the San Mateo County History Museum will celebrate the Charles Parsons’ Ships of the World exhibit. This exhibit features 24 historic ship models on display that were hand-crafted by Charles Parsons over the course of several years. At the April event, there will be information on local maritime history as well as crafts to participate in. You will be able to built your own model ship, make a lighthouse, learn how to tie knots used on ships, design a signal flag, and make a nautical bracelet. All these activities lead back to the early 1850s, when ships were one of the best ways to get to California!

Old Woodside Store Day

May 1, 12-4pm, Free

The San Mateo County History Museum will be hosting a special family day at the onsite Old Woodside Store. You will be able to travel back in time to the 1880s and learn the history of the store as well as redwood logging activities in San Mateo and the surrounding area. There will be some hands-on activities, such as making rag dolls, using a two-man saw, and participating in contests. Local band 27strings will be playing some bluegrass tunes for the event!

Free First Fridays

May 6, June 3, July 1, 10am, Free

For every first Friday of the month, admission is free at the San Mateo County History Museum! You will be able to explore the museum and receive a general tour starting at 2pm. This hourlong tour led by museum staff will highlight long-term exhibits. Meet in the Rotunda beforehand!

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

May 14, 10:30am-4pm, Free

There will be a rally, art exhibitions, and fair trade vendors at Courthouse Square and in the San Mateo County History Museum for this event. The benefit is meant to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking through the museum’s Courthouse Docket series. The presentations given are based on the museum’s exhibit Land of Opportunity: The Immigrant Experience in San Mateo County. The panel discussion will be “Human Trafficking in San Mateo County: What It Is and how You Can Help in Prevention and Rescue.” A reception will follow the discussion.

An Old Fashioned Fourth

July 4, 10am-4pm, Half-Price Admission

The Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate, and the San Mateo County History Museum will be hosting holiday crafts from the past, ice cream-making, and archive film-showings. You will also be able to watch the Redwood City parade from the San Mateo County History Museum. Be sure to represent America by wearing red, white, and blue!

Some History at Mill Rose Inn

Mill Rose Inn has some rich history of its own. The 1900s cottage was contracted in 1980 and converted into a bed and breakfast. The interior and floral design pair with the gardens and landscaping. Meanwhile, antiques, watercolors, opulent decor, and period furnishings keep with the historical nature of the inn. After touring the San Mateo County History Museum, escape to this elegant seaside retreat to continue enjoying some California history. 

Enjoy a Beautiful Day at the Pacifica State Beach

January 15, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

Couple enjoying Pacifica State BeachDuring your Half Moon Bay vacation, spend a day soaking in the sun along the Pacific Ocean at Pacifica State Beach.

About the Pacifica State Beach

Located in the southernmost part of Pacifica, CA, this crescent shaped beach is just under a mile long. Pacifica State Beach is known as the starting point for many San Francisco area beginning surfers who also call this beach the Linda Mar Beach due to its proximity to Pacifica’s Linda Mar subdivision. Even if you are not interested in surfing, this beach provides a habitat for an endangered shorebird called the western snowy plover. Enjoy the most well-loved and well-used beach in the city and walk the recreation trail along the ocean. Since surfing is incredibly popular at this beach, feel free to check the Pacifica State Beach weather and the Pacifica State Beach surf report, before hitting the water.

Other State Beaches in the Area

  • Montara State Beach
    As one of the closest beaches to Half Moon Bay, Montara State Beach is always a great option if you have already visited the Pacifica State Beach. This beach offers more than just surfing with its two beach access points, lighthouse, hostel, fishing, dog access, biking, hiking, and horseback riding trails.
  • Thornton State Beach
    Unfortunately, this beach is closed to the public in efforts to protect its habitat due to incredible landslides. While the beach is closed, the locals are still able to access the site for horseback riding, hiking, and other beach activities.

Other Area Attractions

  • Sanchez Adobe County Park
    Home to the Sanchez Adobe, this park represents rich history and is considered a fantastic example of Mexican era architecture in San Mateo County. Purchased by the County of San Mateo in 1947, this park has continued to serve as a living landmark for all of its visitors.
  • San Pedro Valley County Park
    This park spans 1,052 acres and embraces the middle and south forks of the San Pedro Creek where many Steelhead use to spawn. Nestled along the Santa Cruz Mountain range the San Pedro Valley County Park offers picnic areas, barbecue pits, a self-guiding nature trail, hiking trails, a visitor center, and views of a seasonal waterfall.

Where to Stay

While planning your trip to the San Mateo County area, choose Half Moon Bay for your stay. With proximity to all of the beaches and parks listed above, Half Moon Bay is the perfect place that is far enough away from San Francisco to relax, but close enough to feel the actual city atmosphere. The city lies on the coast of San Mateo County and is only about half an hour south of San Francisco. Take advantage of the best accommodations Half Moon Bay has to offer, by booking a stay at the Mill Rose Inn. When you stay at our romantic, luxury inn, not only will you feel refreshed and rejuvenated for your next day of adventure, but you’ll also receive a lavish gourmet breakfast delivered straight to your room. For the ultimate escape, spend time in our delightful oasis that features hundreds of perennials, annuals, and more than two hundred rose bushes. For more information on things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA, make sure to request our free Half Moon Bay, CA, Vacation Guide. We look forward to booking your stay!

The Best 10 Things to Do in San Mateo

November 25, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

things to do in San MateoWhether you are looking for things to do in San Mateo this weekend or for your vacation in a few months, use this guide to find out all of the incredible things this great city has to offer.

Top 10 Things to Do in San Mateo

  1. San Mateo Japanese Tea Garden
    The San Mateo Japanese Garden is a must-see attraction when visiting. As one of the finest tea gardens in California, there is much more to enjoy than just the tea. From the granite pagoda to the koi pond and bamboo grove, there are beautiful sights to be seen at this garden.
  2. Coyote Point Recreation Area
    This recreation area is one of the best things to do in San Mateo with kids. It offers a variety of activities including picnicking, swimming, fishing, sailing and much more. You can’t miss the giant, castle-and-dragon-themed playground bound to let your child’s imagination go wild.
  3. Sawyer Camp Trail
    This two-way traffic trail is one of the best known attractions in San Mateo County. Whether you’re a hiker, equestrian, or bicyclist, you will enjoy this great trail.
  4. CuriOdyssey
    CuriOdyssey is the perfect place to bring the whole family. From their science and wildlife exhibits to their educational programs, your kids will leave with a sense of wonder.
  5. Central Park
    Located in downtown San Mateo, these 16.3-acre park has a little something for everyone to explore!
  6. Laurelwood Park
    Enjoy the natural beauty with a visit to Laurelwood Park. With picnic tables and plenty of open space, enjoy a day outside!
  7. Escape Games
    San Mateo offers a few escape games. Escape games are a mixture of a game and team-building exercise. Imagine yourself locked in a room with up to 10 other players who have to work together to find your way out. This is a great way to strengthen relationships and have some fun doing it!
  8. Seal Point Park
    Grab Fido and head down to Seal Point Park. As one of the most popular and spacious parks in the area, it offers both big and small dog park sections. Surrounded by trails and grassy hillsides, you’re guaranteed to get some exercise while enjoying the beautiful city of San Mateo.
  9. Junipero Serra Statue
    As the leading force behind the founding of the many California missions, this tribute statue is a must see for all visiting the area.
  10. Horseshoe Lake
    The perfect place for some great walks and hiking! Head to Horseshoe Lake for a nature-filled day with beautiful sights!

For more information on this city, make sure to visit the San Mateo tourism website.

Plan Your Trip!

Make your visit complete with a stay at Mill Rose Inn in Half Moon Bay. Located less than 15 miles away from San Mateo, CA, this is the perfect place to stay for a relaxing evening after an eventful day in the city.  The drive from San Mateo to Half Moon Bay will give you an opportunity to visit the San Pulgas Water Temple, halfway between San Mateo and Half Moon Bay. From our delicious gourmet breakfast to our serene garden Jacuzzi, you are guaranteed to enjoy your stay at our inn. Our rooms are distinctively decorated with private baths, private entrances, and European antiques where you can enjoy your delicious breakfast delivered directly to your room. For more information on Half Moon Bay and the surrounding area make sure to download our free Vacation Guide! We look forward to booking your stay with us and can’t wait to hear all about your adventures in San Mateo!

What is the Best Half Moon Bay Fish Market?

October 29, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay Fish Market

While visiting the California coast, it is necessary to get a fresh fish meal. The coast, and Half Moon Bay, in particular, is full of amazing eateries that serve the best, freshest fish either prepared for you or caught right from the water ready to be your dinner that evening. Whether you like fresh halibut, or you prefer shrimp there are plenty of Half Moon Bay fish markets with delicious seafood for you!

The Best Half Moon Bay Fish Market

There is nothing better than a meal cooked with the freshest ingredients. Head on over to one of the best Half Moon Bay fish markets in the area guaranteed to give you the supplies needed for the delicious meal you have planned.

Princeton Seafood Company Market and Restaurant

Since 1979, Princeton Seafood Company Market and Restaurant has been one of the leading places to pick up fresh seafood for locals. Originally beginning as a fish wholesale company, business starting booming which evolved into the full-service seafood marketing and restaurant we all know and love today. With old family recipes and local flavors, Princeton Seafood Company remains one of the best in all of Half Moon Bay. Princeton Seafood is located on Pillar Point Harbor. Visit their website for days and hours of operation or call them at (650) 726-CRAB (2722).

Half Moon Bay Fish Market

As one of the most popular fish markets, Half Moon Bay Fish Market offers an abundance of seafood options. They are open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are located at 99 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay, CA, and you can reach them at (650) 726-2561.

Straight From the Water

Nothing says fresh fish more than buying it directly from the man or woman who caught it. With Dungeness crab season just around the corner, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to get the best seafood available in Half Moon Bay.

Pillar Point Harbor

As one of the only places where you can buy fish directly off of the boat, Pillar Point Harbor is one place you can’t miss. Boats are typically docked from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and product varies each day. Before you head out to the harbor, give the harbor office a call for a message about what is on sale that day. They typically have everything from halibut to rock cod and even tuna. Prices vary depending on your choices and the season, but generally run less expensive than an established store. After picking up your choice from the harbor, head over to Princeton Seafood Company where they will clean and fillet your new purchase. While you’re at the harbor you might as well enjoy everything they have to offer. From whale watching or even fishing for your own catch, Pillar Point Harbor will keep you busy all day.

After visiting Princeton Seafood Company or Pillar Point Harbor, come back to the Mill Rose Inn to rest for the next eventful day ahead of you. Get a great night’s rest and enjoy our complimentary breakfast. The gourmet Half Moon Bay breakfast is delivered to your room, served in the dining room, or offered al fresco in either of our garden courtyards. The menu includes fresh juices, fruit, French pastries, homemade bread, crepes, omelets or quiche, and your choice of beverages. Complete your trip by checking out our Vacation Guide with all of the best information on what to do, what to eat, and where to stay in Half Moon Bay!


San Mateo County History Museum Events

April 1, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Just over the hills from Half Moon Bay, California you’ll descend into the charming Redwood City. Home to the San Mateo County History Museum, this thirty-minute drive up the beautiful Half Moon Bay Rd. through the forested hills is well worth it for both the scenery and the intriguing historical education at the end. Housed in the old county courthouse, which has been restored to its original facade after having been rebuilt four times throughout its life, the San Mateo County History Museum has a great mix of permanent exhibits and public events to keep the whole family entertained.

Through the exhibits patrons have the chance to learn the region’s entire history dating back to the time of the Native Americans when the county was truly a frontier land sought after for its fertile soil by both Americans and Europeans alike. Journey through the story of how transportation transformed the region from a remote agricultural community to a booming suburb of San Francisco and San Jose. Guests will even get to explore an exhibit of one of the world’s most famous surfs, Mavericks, which is just off the coast of Half Moon Bay.

Here are some of the upcoming events you can look forward to at the San Mateo County History Museum:

  1. First Fridays – Every first Friday of the month enjoy free admission to the museum, which includes a general tour, as well as Playing in the Past, an activity for preschool-aged children.
  2. Early Days of Woodside – This event taking place at the Woodside Town Hall on Friday, March 3rd, located between Redwood City and Half Moon Bay, is a presentation given by Mitch Postel about the early history of Woodside.
  3. Maritime Day – Taking place on Saturday, April 11th at the museum at 11 AM, a reception will celebrate the completion of the Ships of the World exhibit renovations. Come see the new additions to the exhibit, and bring the kids who can enjoy maritime crafts.
  4. Old Woodside Store Day – Taking place at the Woodside Store on Sunday, May 3rd, cease the chance to step into the 1800s in Woodside, California. Make shingles, use a two-man saw, twine rope, make rag dolls, and enjoy some twangy bluegrass music in this unique opportunity to experience life as a pioneer.
  5. Courthouse Docket – On the third Saturdays of every month come take a seat in one of the historical courtrooms at the San Mateo County Courthouse and get a presentation on the significant events that impacted the region’s history. On April 18th, Jolie Velazquez will present “The Great War Reaches Home: How World War One Affected California’s San Francisco Bay Area.” On May 16th, the event will be “A Garden Party Fashion Show.”

These events are a great way to learn the area’s general history in the context of one great story, as well as the opportunity to meet some of the locals who have lived in the area since it was first settled. Learning a place’s history will truly enhance your enjoyment of its unique qualities, and San Mateo County is certainly unique, which makes staying at the Mill Rose Inn in Half Moon Bay all the more exciting.

Huddart Park Hiking Trails

August 20, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Huddart ParkDue to the mild year-round temperatures and varied landscapes, the Half Moon Bay area is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. There are countless places to enjoy the natural world near the Mill Rose Inn. From miles of sandy beaches, to redwood lined paths, you’ll find that San Mateo county has many striking backdrops for endeavors such as hiking. Huddart Park in nearby Woodside, CA is a wonderful place to explore the trails and get in tune with the natural wonder that is the Pacific Coast of California. Here is a bit of what you can expect when you visit Huddart Park.


The Environment of Huddart Park

Huddart Park in San Mateo County, CA encompasses over 900 acres of land which includes several different ecological features. Most of the park is covered by a mixed evergreen forest of douglas fir, laurel, and oak trees. This forest is bordered by coastal mountain and chaparral regions. The evergreen forest is home to black-tailed deer, squirrels, raccoons and a variety of birds. The coastal mountain environment has streams and gullies shaded by the famous redwoods of the region along with a variety of other leafy plants such as ferns, creating a cooler environment. The park also includes chaparral areas populated by shrubs like chaparral pea, yerba santa and manzanita. The wildlife in this region includes brush bunnies, jackrabits, chipmunks, and lizards. Finally, the lower end of the park is a foothill woodland with large oak and bay trees.


Huddart Park Hiking

Huddart Park Hiking trails have varied lengths and degrees of difficulty, allowing you to customize your hiking experience. The Crystal Springs Trail is the only trail that goes from the top of the mountain to the bottom. It has a gravel surface and is fairly challenging at 4 miles long. The Dean Trail connects to many of the other park trails, making it a great place to base your hike around. For an easy hike that will take you through each of the ecosystems mentioned above, try the .7-mile-long Chickadee Nature Trail that is mostly level. From there you can also connect to the Redwood Nature Trail, which is partially paved and features markers for plants.


Other Activities at Huddart Park

In addition to hiking, many of the trails in Huddart Park are open for equestrian use. If you feel like just kicking back and enjoying the beautiful surroundings in the park, there is ample space for that as well. There is a grassy meadow that is popular for picnicking, games, and just relaxing. Picnic areas and shelters with tables are also available for use within the park.



When making your plans to visit Huddart Park, booking a stay at our Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast will provide you with a fantastic getaway experience. Our elegant and comfortable rooms and suites are the ideal place to retire after a day out on the trails. If your muscles are sore after hiking, you can schedule a massage or a soak in our garden jacuzzi. And our full gourmet breakfasts each morning will have you fueled up and ready to take on whatever the day has in store for you. We can’t wait to see you soon!

Photo courtesy Miguel Vieira.

Visit Beautiful Crystal Springs Reservoir

August 3, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Crystal Springs ReservoirThere is seemingly no end to California’s natural beauty. The varied landscapes of the state the Mill Rose Inn calls home is indeed wondrous to behold. One point of interest you may be inclined to visit during your stay at our Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast is Crystal Springs Reservoir. Activities such as nature observation, hiking and more are popular endeavors at Crystal Springs Reservoir. Read on to find out the potential fun you can have if you choose to visit.




Crystal Springs Reservoir is actually a pair of artificially created lakes in San Mateo County. Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir in the south was formed first when construction caused an earthen dam to collapse and joined Laguna Creek and Laguna Grande. The Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir was created when Crystal Springs Dam was constructed. The two reservoirs were connected in 1924. After passing from owner to owner, Crystal Springs Reservoir is no the property of the city of San Francisco, and for safety reasons is not open to the public.


Crystal Springs Park

Just because the reservoir itself is not open for boating, swimming and the like, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty of the area and surrounding forests and ecosystems. Crystal Springs Park is a county park located between San Bruno and Woodside, California. It has recreation areas, hiking trails, and an abundance of beautiful plants and wildlife to observe.


Flora and Fauna

Crystal Springs Reservoir contains several environments for important local animals and plants to thrive. Several endangered plant species grow around the reservoire such as Marin Dwarf Flax, San Mateo thornmint, and San Mateo Woolly Sunflower. Two notable residents of the area are a pair of Bald eagles who built a nest there in 2012.



Crystal Springs Reservoir is home to the Crystal Springs Regional Trail, which is separated into three connecting segments. The San Andreas Segment has a paved portion that is often used by bicycle riders, but the lower part is gravel so if you want to hike without worrying about cyclist, this might be a good option for you. The Sawyer Camp Segment is probably the most well known of the trail segments, and is therefore the most frequently hiked. Sawyer Camp is paved and has lanes for two way traffic. Jogging, cycling, walking, and horseback riding are popular on the trail and it is also handicap accessible. The Crystal Springs Segment is a bit more remote, but no less enjoyable. It passes several points of interest including the Phleger Estate, Edgewood County Park, Pulgas Water Temple, and the Filoli Center. Hikers, joggers and equestrians have access to this trail.


When planning your activities for your visit to Crystal Springs Reservoir, be sure to book your stay at the Mill Rose Inn. You can continue to enjoy the wonders of nature in our gorgeous gardens and relax in our lushly decorated guest rooms and suites. After an active day, you can book a massage or a soak in our garden jacuzzi. The Mill Rose Inn is the ideal place to pamper yourself while surrounded by the natural beauty of San Mateo County. We hope to see you soon!



Photo courtesy Marc Smith.