Top 10 Things To See And Do In Millbrae, California

Downtown Millbrae, California ©
Downtown Millbrae, California © | abrackin/Flickr
David Sanborn

Just to the south of San Francisco is an often overlooked and truly unique part of the San Francisco Peninsula. Millbrae, California is a unique and diverse city in its own right, with restaurants, parks, and historical museums among the list of attractions it has to offer. Travelers may want to think twice before skipping this city – especially since it’s just west of San Francisco International Airport – and here are 10 reasons why.

1. Bayfront Park


Bayfront Park
© Cordelia Naumann/Flickr
This small park on at the eastern end of the city provides a pleasant respite from the busy city center. Visitors to this waterfront park can lounge in the sun, people-watch and watch the jumbo jets on final approach to San Francisco International Airport. While not a place for someone looking for a quick nap, Bayfront Park is a unique and oddly peaceful part of Millbrae, despite all the planes flying overhead! Be prepared to spend a little time looking for a parking spot. There is free parking, but it can be a little tricky to find a spot.

2. Central Park

Gym, Park

Central Park

Central Park is like Bayfront Park minus the planes and water, but with the addition of more parking, a more peaceful environment and entertainment for the kids. Equipped with street parking on Lincoln Circle, and a playground and jungle gym for younger travelers, Central Park is a great post-lunch stop, especially if traveling with children. Located at the center of Millbrae, this park is a great way to get off the beaten path and discover a more laid-back part of the city. If street parking is not your thing, you can also park at the Millbrae Parks and Recreation Department, which is located adjacent to Central Park.

Central Park, Lincoln Cir, Millbrae, CA, USA

3. Café Roma


Café Roma

As with any city, the local shops and restaurants often provide the opportunity to see the city as the locals do, and Café Roma is no different. While not exclusive to Millbrae (there are two locations to the north, in San Francisco), this location provides an opportunity to visit this local establishment while not needing to combat the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. If visiting at lunchtime, patrons can pick up a coffee along with a personal pizza or pasta, or any number of pastries endemic to a coffee shop.

Café Roma, 143 S El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA, USA, +1 650 692 7700

4. Millbrae History Museum

Library, Museum

Millbrae History Museum

A traveler who has an affinity for history might find the Millbrae History Museum an excellent stop on a journey through the city. Chock full of artifacts from the city’s past, this museum houses photos, furniture and documents. Even the house in which the museum resides is a historical artifact, built in 1895 and restored for use as a museum. The museum is only open on Saturday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. It is located just across from the Millbrae Library.

Millbrae History Museum, 420 Poplar Ave, Millbrae, CA, USA, +1 650 692 5786

5. Southern Pacific Train Depot


5. Southern Pacific Train Depot

Southern Pacific Train Depot

Much like the Millbrae History Museum, the Southern Pacific Train Depot is a traveler’s glimpse into the past. This historical oasis is all about the railway history of Millbrae, the San Francisco Peninsula and the Western United States in general. Located down the street from the history museum at the train tracks, this glimpse into the locomotive past of the region is a great way to spend a Saturday morning. However, like the history museum, the train museum is only open on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, so visitors will need to plan accordingly.

Southern Pacific Train Depot, 108 California Drive, Millbrae, CA, USA, +1 650 333 1136

Millbrae Train Museum | © Sanfranman59/WikiCommons

6. Millbrae Farmers Market

Farmers' Market, American

Rain or shine, fruits and veggies are always available at the Millbrae Farmers Market. Open each Saturday regardless of weather, this market is a great opportunity to meet locals and fulfill a craving for fresh produce. Operated by the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce and open from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, the market is a fantastic place to obtain not only produce but also locally produced pastries, baked goods and seasonal specialties. On some Saturdays, shoppers can enjoy local music from Bay Area musicians as they shop at the market.

7. Millbrae Annual Art and Wine Festival

Millbrae Annual Art and Wine Festival

For visitors passing through Millbrae on Labor Day Weekend, the annual Art and Wine Festival is something you won’t want to miss. This annual celebration is all about the best of Northern California, from wine to music to classic cars. Each year, this festival draws visitors from across the Bay Area and beyond, and this small bayside city is flooded with people from all over Northern California. Now in its 46th year of celebration, this artsy, music-filled, food and drink fest is something any visitor would want to add to their itinerary.

Millbrae Annual Art and Wine Festival, 99 Victoria Ave, Millbrae, CA, USA, +1 650 726 3491

Millbrae Art and Wine Festival | © Bob n’ Renee/Flickr

8. Spur Trail

Spur Trail

The intercity trail, known as Spur Trail, nearly cuts the city in half and allows visitors to walk on a paved, off-street trail while still being able to see the sights of Millbrae. The trail, divided into two sections, has a north-south section just to the west of Taylor Middle School and an east-west section just north of Mills High School. Both are paved and accessible to the public, and the trail is just under two miles. The southern leg of the trail ends just west of the Millbrae BART/Caltrain station.

Spur Trail, Geraldine Dr and Lincoln Cir, Millbrae, CA, USA

9. Junipero Serra County Park


Junipero Serra County Park
© Michael Fraley/Flickr
While the majority of Junipero Serra County Park is in the city of San Bruno, a small portion is situated in Millbrae, and it is worth a visit. Located on the northern border of Millbrae, and the southern border of San Bruno, this park is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, and because of its elevation above the surrounding cities, it can provide stunning views of the surrounding areas, as well as the San Francisco Bay. Hours vary based on time of year; however, the opening time is always 8:00 am, and closing is generally between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm. Visitors can get exact hours by calling the San Mateo County parks department.

10. Millbrae Pancake House

Millbrae Pancake House

Who doesn’t love a good breakfast meal, morning, noon or night? Well, the Millbrae Pancake House might be exactly the place for hungry travelers. Since 1959, this family-owned establishment has crafted homemade waffles and pancakes for the discerning Millbrae foodie. Breakfast foods not your thing? No problem. The Millbrae Pancake House also serves burgers, sandwiches and dinners for diners of all tastes. This cozy little restaurant in the heart of Millbrae is a fantastic spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try calling ahead for reservations if you plan on dining weekend mornings, as there is often limited space.

Millbrae Pancake House, 1301 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA, USA, +1 650 589 2080

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article