What to do and see in San Carlos, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 21, 2017 Terina Blouin

San Carlos is a city in San Mateo County, California on the San Francisco Peninsula, about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. It is a small residential suburb located between Belmont (north) and Redwood City (south). The population is 28,406 per the 2010 census.
Restaurants in San Carlos

1. Filoli

86 Canada Road, Woodside, CA 94062-4144 +1 650-364-8300
Excellent
76%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 381 reviews

Filoli

Filoli offers unique restorative experiences for the whole family every season. From the historic home and manicured gardens to a vast estate and natural trails, come explore the beauty and tranquility of another time. Guests can visit the cafe, have a glass of wine or enjoy afternoon tea. Filoli also hosts seasonal activities, including tours of the home and grounds, art shows, education programs and special events. Conveniently located between San Francisco and San Jose, this 654-acre estate is open to the public to visit as a guest, or become a member and drop by any time.

Reviewed By obdocSanJose - San Jose, CA

We visited on a day of sunshine in a week of rain. The old mansion is interesting with many period furnishings. The gardens were not in full bloom in February so not much to see there. The daffodils & tulips were pretty. The cafe was ok for a bite to eat. The estate walk was a pleasant stroll in a wooded area. Overall was a enjoyable day but given the cost I don't plan to return.

2. The San Mateo Japanese Garden

Fifth Ave., San Mateo, CA +1 415-377-4700
Excellent
59%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 190 reviews

The San Mateo Japanese Garden

Japanese garden located in Central Park, a tranquil spot among the high rise buildings.

Reviewed By MJ B

Spot. Ahhhhh the bliss we feel when we come to this park. Our family loves coming here and we have been many times. The Koi fish, the sound of the water, the bridges, the Buddha’s and the magical flowers. There are days we just go and hang out especially on a beautiful sunny day. It’s not a huge garden but a pretty one!

3. Hiller Aviation Museum

601 Skyway Rd, San Carlos, CA 94070-2702 +1 650-654-0200
Excellent
54%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 175 reviews

Hiller Aviation Museum

Reviewed By Bill H - Traverse City, Michigan

What this is not: a war bird museum like most. Hiller was a pioneer in vertical flight and much of the display is dedicated to that. The only outside static display is the nose section of an old 747. Inside there are early 1900's craft, a couple of rare cars and a few craft with a noted ownership. It seems much of their effort is to use this place to help educate youngsters about flight and it's history. For that I give it an extra point. There is a mezzanine that is only open on weekends.

4. San Mateo County History Museum

2200 Broadway St, Redwood City, CA 94063-1639 +1 650-299-0104
Excellent
70%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 58 reviews

San Mateo County History Museum

Reviewed By ruthiewilkins1 - Redwood City, California

This lovely museum is easy for children and their parents to enjoy. Supported by the wonderful bookstore in its basement, most people don't even know that it is there, in the center of Redwood City. Parking is nearby. The museum is usually quiet. Recommended for families with school-age children.

5. Tall Trees Grove

Us 101, Redwood National Park, CA 95531 +1 707-465-7765
Excellent
97%
Good
3%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 28 reviews

Tall Trees Grove

The section of the Redwood National Park with the tallest trees.

Reviewed By Glenn M - Fremont, California

This is a special place that requires a bit of planning. Access to the one lane road is via a locked gate. You get the combination at the park visitor center which opens at nine, and they limit access, so plan accordingly, particularly if you visit during peak season. Once at the trail head you take about a 1.25 downhill (~800 ft) hike to reach a 1.0 mile loop through the Tall Trees Grove. If you're up for the hike you'll find the beauty and seclusion well worth it. We were there in mid May and saw only a few other people on the trail.

6. Pulgas Water Temple

80 Canada Rd, Redwood City, CA 94062-4144 +1 650-872-5900
Excellent
38%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 67 reviews

Pulgas Water Temple

Reviewed By Aurelia S

This is a nice place to stop and sit for a bit. Lovely grounds and shade trees make a nice break from the everyday. For film buffs, this was also a film location for The Doors.

7. Fly Bay Area

620 Airport Way, Suite 7, San Carlos, CA 94070-2700
Excellent
93%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 62 reviews

Fly Bay Area

FlyBayArea offers U-Fly SkyTours around the Bay Area in airplanes. Choose from four different SkyTours and get a chance to fly the plane with one of our professional flight instructors. Fly over San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the Pacific Coast. A unique aerial tour for locals and visitors alike.

Reviewed By Beth B - Palo Alto, California

My family booked 2 planes for the Ultimate Air Tour. The pilots were professional and thoughtful. We had an extremely calm flight with effectively no turbulence, which was truly remarkable given the small plane and altitude. As promised, the tour provided amazing views of Palo Alto and Stanford, the Apple campus, San Jose, East Bay mountains, Oakland, SF, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge, and then the coastline. It was quite a beautiful day, and the pilot was attentive to our requests and provided great explanations. It was a fabulous trip and well worth the cost!

8. Alpha Acid Brewery

121 Industrial Way Ste 12, Belmont, CA 94002-8208 +1 650-477-1243
Excellent
50%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Alpha Acid Brewery

Reviewed By CaliforniaLosthiker - Redwood City, California

Stumbled upon this place while visiting WaxWing Winery in the same complex. Beers are reasonably priced and they do have a small selection of beers on tap which are very good. They have a few tables inside where you sit and enjoy your beer. You would never think a brewery would be in this office/industrial complex. We will be back and try the other beers.
Cheers

9. The Reading Bug

785 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070-3113 +1 650-591-0100
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 21 reviews

The Reading Bug

Reviewed By Kelsey1976 - Santa Clara, California

The staff here is very helpful. My grandson loves books about trucks, and they have a whole section dedicated to things that move--trucks, trains, boats, planes. Since I am little tired of reading about trucks, they were very helpful in assisting me in picking out a couple of other books that are not truck related! Highly recommend.

10. Edgewood Park Natural Preserve

10 Old Stage Coach Rd, Redwood City, CA 94062-3822 +1 650-368-6283
Excellent
95%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 18 reviews

Edgewood Park Natural Preserve

Reviewed By Sal_Paradise767 - Durham, North Carolina

There are a number of trails which range in difficulty levels but none too strenuous for the casual hiker. Decent views await at the top and the trails are clearly marked and in good repair. There are bathroom and water facilities at the bottom as well as picnic areas. Do note that parking is really limited.

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