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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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