Located just south of San Francisco International Airport in San Mateo County, Burlingame, California
is a small city that is packed with things to do. Museums, parks, good food and candy shops are just the beginning of what this city has to offer. Here are ten things that may make you add Burlingame to your list of places to visit on the San Francisco peninsula.
Museum of PEZ Memorabilia
PEZ candies may conjure up myriad images depending on one’s specific experience, but perhaps even more infamous than the candy itself is the famous pocket dispensers that the company also manufactures. If you ever wondered just how many variations of the dispenser exist, then the Burlingame California Museum of PEZ Memorabilia is a must-see stop on your next trip through the southern part of the San Francisco peninsula. With over 1,000 PEZ dispensers on display, the museum is a cross section of candy and popular culture history from the United States, as well as from around the globe.
Museum of PEZ Memorabilia, 214 California Drive, Burlingame, CA, USA, +1 650 347 2301
As a city with a coastal border along the San Francisco Bay, Burlingame has several waterfront attractions that are worth checking out. One of the most popular is Bayfront Park, a waterfront park maintained by the Burlingame Parks and Recreation Department. With stunning views of the bay, as well as athletic fields and a dog exercise area, this park is a great place to relax, hang out with the locals and experience the great California weather this region has to offer. There are also hiking trails that connect through the park, providing the option for a leisurely stroll along the coast.
Bayside Park, 1125 Airport Blvd., Burlingame, CA, USA
Peninsula Museum of Art
Located near the border of Burlingame and neighboring Millbrae, the Peninsula Museum of Art is a complex of several galleries and artists’ studios with a mission of exposing more people to art and bridging the gap between the community and professional artists. The museum provides visitors with personal interactions with artists, as well as receptions, art talks and workshops for both children and adults. Because of the rotating exhibits, you could make this a stop on every trip to the Bay Area and still see something new each time. And on top of that, admission is free!
Peninsula Museum of Art, 1777 California Drive, Burlingame, CA, USA, +1 650 692 2101
Burlingame Public Library
Burlingame Public Library
After the original library had been destroyed by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, a new library was commissioned by the city. The new library’s architecture has won multiple awards and was featured on the cover of American Libraries. If architecture is not your thing, the library offers several classes, seminars and talks on various subjects relating to literature and art. While you may not be able to check out any books, libraries are often a great way to learn more about the region and city they serve and can provide a unique look into the community and culture of the area.
Burlingame Public Library, 480 Primrose Rd., Burlingame, CA, USA, +1 650 558 7400
Burlingame Fresh Market
If you are in Burlingame on Sunday morning, the Fresh Market is a great place to get fresh, local produce for a delicious and healthy breakfast. A favorite destination for locals, it is one of the few community-owned and operated farmers markets in the Bay Area. In addition to food, the market often has musical entertainment, local artisans, and vendors that say this is their favorite at which market to sell their goods. There are also local retail sellers that represent local shops and food products from the area. Additionally, the market occasionally runs on Thursday afternoons; a full schedule can be found on the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce’s website.
Burlingame Fresh Market, Park Road at Burlingame Avenue, Burlingame, CA, USA, +1 650 344 1735
A contemporary art gallery located in the heart of Burlingame, Gallerie Citi showcases modern and contemporary art with exhibitions on rotation so that every visit will yield a different viewing experience. While the gallery’s main focus is on selling art and artistic products, it is still a great place to spend a few hours looking at the variety of art on display. Located just south of the main downtown area of Burlingame, this is a great stop right before a meal or a night out on the town.
Gallerie Citi, 1115 Howard Ave., Burlingame, CA, USA, +1 650 577 3799
The city of Burlingame itself is a great place to spend a day. With shops, restaurants and bars, there is no lack of entertainment or things to do to keep even the antsiest traveler busy. Food offerings such as sushi, burgers, pizza and more dot the streets on Burlingame Ave to the south and Broadway to the north. These streets provide great eating for lunch or dinner, as well as a thriving nightlife to keep you busy for quite a while. The best way to experience these areas is on foot, so finding a parking spot and walking along one of these streets is generally the best way to experience the area fully.
Burlingame, CA, USA
Preston’s Candy & Ice Cream
For more than 60 years, Preston’s Candy and Ice Cream has been a fixture of Burlingame and the surrounding area. Supplying handmade candy to locals and tourists alike, this candy shop prides itself on locally made treats and is happy to welcome visitors into their shop. If you go in the morning, you can also see the candy-making process as the freshly made treats hit the shelves for sale right out of the oven! If you are unable to visit the shop in person, you can also order candy on their website, and they will ship it right to your home. They are open every day of the week, but check their website for hours as they vary from day to day.
Preston’s Candy & Ice Cream, 1170 Broadway, Burlingame, CA, USA, +1 650 344 3254
A historical mansion built in the early 1900s, Kohl Mansion began its life as ‘The Oaks’ and was originally constructed by Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Kohl after they returned from visiting Europe. The mansion has 63 rooms, including a billiard room, organ and echo organ rooms, a china room, a scullery, two steel-lined fireproof vaults and more. Many of the stylistic choices show a very European influence as the inspiration for the mansion was inspired in part by the large villas and houses the Kohl’s had seen while in Europe. Since its origins, Kohl Mansion has passed through the hands of many owners and even been partially destroyed by an earthquake; however, today it stands as a historical landmark and a fixture of the region’s past.
Kohl Mansion, 2750 Adeline Dr, Burlingame, CA, USA, +1 650 762 1137
Anza Lagoon is a small inlet of the San Francisco Bay on the northeast part of the city. The lagoon itself is located on a small peninsula and is surrounded by several points of interest. There are several hotels nearby for those staying a few nights in Burlingame, as well as restaurants such as the Waterfront Café, Kincaid’s Burlingame, and Fire | Vine Grill & Bar. In addition to the food, there are plenty of stunning views in this part of the city. Situated on the bay, the sunrise views are amazing over the water, and several trails circle the lagoon for those looking to get out on foot and explore all this area has to offer.
Anza Lagoon, Burlingame, CA, USA
By David Sanborn