Local Spots

Things to Do in Burlingame California

Discover the top attractions and hidden gems in Burlingame, California, from scenic parks to vibrant dining spots, all designed to help you make the most of your visit.

An inviting imagery depicting the charming features of Burlingame, California without any humans or logos. Begin with a panoramic view of the broad, tree-lined avenues against the backdrop of vivid blue skies. Include characteristic Californian architecture, distinctive for its slanting red-roofed buildings nestled amid lush greenery. Also, incorporate a bird's-eye view of the pristine beaches that border the crystal-clear Pacific Ocean, showcasing the beautiful landscape and natural attractions that this city stands for. Lastly, include a park area with a gazebo and a picnic table, emanating warmth and community spirit.

Strolling Along Burlingame Avenue

Burlingame Avenue is the heart of Burlingame, California. Lined with trees and bustling with activity, it’s a must-visit for both locals and tourists.

Here, you’ll find a variety of shopping options, from high-end boutiques to unique local stores. It’s perfect for anyone looking to indulge in some retail therapy.

Stop by Books Inc. to browse a great selection of books. It’s a local favorite and often hosts author readings and book signings.

The Avenue also features charming cafes and eateries. Alana’s Café is a popular spot for breakfast and lunch, known for its homey feel and delicious dishes.

On weekends, Burlingame Avenue often hosts farmers markets, where you can grab fresh produce and unique local products.

Parking can be a bit tricky during peak hours, so it’s advisable to go early or use public transportation.

Exploring Washington Park

If you enjoy being outdoors, Washington Park is the place to go. It’s a well-maintained park that offers a haven of greenery in the middle of the city.

The park features walking trails, sports courts, and playgrounds, making it a great spot for families.

There’s a beautiful rose garden that’s perfect for a relaxing walk or a photoshoot.

During summer, Washington Park hosts free outdoor concerts, where you can enjoy live music in a relaxed atmosphere.

The best time to visit is in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday heat and crowds.

Visit the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia

One of the quirkiest attractions in Burlingame is the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia. It’s a must-visit for PEZ collectors and enthusiasts.

This museum showcases an extensive collection of PEZ dispensers from over the decades. It’s said that people love seeing the evolution of these fun collectibles.

It also features exhibits on classic toys, providing a dose of nostalgia for visitors.

The museum is small but packed with interesting displays, making it a perfect short visit during your day.

Note that the museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly.

Enjoying Waterfront Activities at Coyote Point Recreation Area

For water lovers, the Coyote Point Recreation Area is a paradise. It offers a range of activities, from swimming and kayaking to picnicking and hiking.

The park offers stunning views of the San Francisco Bay and is a great spot for bird watching.

There’s a marina where you can rent boats or simply enjoy the serene environment.

Kid-friendly attractions include the Magic Mountain Playground, complete with slides, swings, and climbing structures.

During weekdays, it’s usually less crowded, making it the ideal time to visit.

Dining at Local Favorite Restaurants

When it comes to food, Burlingame delivers a variety of options to satisfy any craving. One standout is Sakae Sushi, which offers delicious and authentic Japanese cuisine. You might find it busy during peak dinner hours, so making a reservation is a good idea.

If you’re in the mood for Italian, try Stella Alpina Osteria. It’s known for its cozy ambiance and delicious pasta dishes.

Another great option is Copenhagen Bakery & Cafe, especially for those with a sweet tooth. Their pastries and cakes are legendary in the area.

For a casual dining experience, you can head to The Refuge for their famed pastrami sandwich. Perfect for a quick but satisfying meal.

Shopping at Broadway Burlingame

Burlingame isn’t just about Burlingame Avenue for shopping; the Broadway Burlingame area also offers a rich selection of stores and boutiques.

Broadway offers a more relaxed shopping experience compared to the bustling downtown area. You might find special gifts at places like Aida Opera Candies, which has been a staple in the community for decades.

Here you can also find second-hand shops that offer hidden gems if you enjoy thrift shopping.

It’s less crowded on weekday mornings, making it a perfect time to visit if you prefer a quieter shopping trip.

Participating in Annual Events and Festivals

Burlingame hosts several annual events that bring the community together and offer plenty of fun activities.

The Burlingame on the Avenue is an annual festival featuring live music, arts and crafts, and food stalls. It usually takes place in August.

Another significant event is the Burlingame Pet Parade, where proud pet owners walk their dressed-up pets down Broadway. It’s a delightful event for animal lovers of all ages.

Additionally, the Burlingame Farmers’ Market runs every Sunday year-round, providing fresh produce and local products.

These events are family-friendly and often free to attend, making them perfect for a budget-friendly outing.

Checking Out the Local Breweries

Burlingame has a burgeoning brewery scene that’s worth exploring. A popular spot is Steelhead Brewing Company, which offers a range of craft beers and a relaxed atmosphere.

They often have live music and trivia nights, adding to the experience. It’s said that many people enjoy the friendly staff and the quality of beers offered.

Another local favorite is Faction Brewing, known for its variety of IPAs and unique seasonal brews.

Both of these breweries offer indoor and outdoor seating, making them great spots to hang out regardless of weather.

Weekday visits can often be more relaxed, while weekends bring in a lively crowd.

Relaxing at Shorebird Park

Shorebird Park is another gem in Burlingame that offers a tranquil setting perfect for a picnic or a leisurely stroll.

The park features scenic views of the bay and is a great place to watch planes take off and land from the nearby airport.

There are plenty of benches and picnic tables, making it a perfect spot for a quiet lunch or a relaxing afternoon.

The park is dog-friendly, so it’s an excellent choice for pet owners looking for a place to enjoy the outdoors with their furry friends.

Mornings are usually the best time to visit if you’re looking for a more peaceful experience.

Exploring the Peninsula Art Museum

The Peninsula Art Museum is a great place for art lovers. It features rotating exhibits of contemporary and modern art from local and international artists.

The museum also has a sculpture garden that you can explore, providing a peaceful environment to appreciate art.

The museum offers free admission, making it a budget-friendly activity.

Workshops and lectures are often held, providing educational opportunities for art enthusiasts of all ages.

It’s generally less crowded on weekdays, making it an ideal time to visit if you want to enjoy the exhibits in peace.

Using Burlingame as a Gateway

Burlingame’s convenient location makes it an excellent gateway for exploring other parts of the Bay Area. The city is just a short drive from San Francisco, where you can explore a plethora of activities.

It’s also close to Silicon Valley, making it easy to explore tech hubs and attractions like the Computer History Museum.

Public transportation is readily available, with BART and Caltrain offering connections to major cities and airports.

For those looking for a quick escape from the urban setting, the nearby coastal trails offer stunning views and invigorating hikes.

Using Burlingame as your base can give you the flexibility to explore these diverse attractions without the hassle of long commutes.

Discovering the Kohl Mansion

Kohl Mansion is a historic gem in Burlingame that offers a peek into the city’s past. This grand mansion was built in 1914 by Charles Frederick Kohl, a wealthy industrialist.

The property features stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Visitors often rave about the guided tours that provide fascinating insights into the mansion’s history and its former residents.

It’s also a popular venue for weddings and special events, thanks to its picturesque setting.

Reservations are recommended for tours, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Walking the Trails at Mills Canyon Park

If you’re a nature enthusiast, Mills Canyon Park offers a tranquil escape. The park is known for its well-maintained hiking trails and diverse flora and fauna.

You might find it particularly enjoyable during the spring when wildflowers are in full bloom.

Many visitors appreciate the quiet and serene atmosphere, which makes it a perfect spot for a peaceful hike.

The trails vary in difficulty, catering to both casual walkers and more experienced hikers.

Morning visits are best to avoid the midday heat and ensure a quiet experience.

Learning at the CuriOdyssey Museum

CuriOdyssey is a fantastic destination for families with kids. It’s an interactive science and wildlife center located within the Coyote Point Recreation Area.

The museum features hands-on exhibits that engage children in learning about science and nature.

There are also live animal exhibits where you can see native California species up close.

People often highlight the friendly and knowledgeable staff who enhance the educational experience.

Plan your visit during the week to avoid weekend crowds and make the most of the interactive displays.

Exploring the Broadway Tennis Center

For sports enthusiasts, the Broadway Tennis Center offers state-of-the-art facilities. It’s a great place to enjoy a game of tennis, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player.

The center offers lessons and clinics for those looking to improve their skills.

Many locals appreciate the well-maintained courts and the friendly staff who are always ready to assist.

Weekday mornings are less crowded, making it easier to book a court and enjoy a relaxed game.

Enjoying a Scenic Drive Along Skyline Boulevard

Skyline Boulevard offers one of the most scenic drives in the Bay Area. This route takes you through stunning landscapes and offers panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a favorite among locals and tourists for its breathtaking vistas and peaceful ambiance.

There are several viewpoints along the way where you can stop, take photos, and enjoy the surroundings.

A drive during sunrise or sunset can provide particularly stunning lighting and fewer crowds.

Going Seasonal Ice Skating at the Winter Lodge

During the winter months, Burlingame’s Winter Lodge offers a festive ice skating experience. It’s an outdoor rink that provides a wonderful activity for families and friends.

The rink is beautifully decorated during the holiday season, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Skate rentals are available, making it easy for anyone to join in the fun.

It’s said that visiting on weekdays or early mornings can help avoid the larger crowds during the peak holiday season.

Finding Unique Gifts at the Burlingame Holiday Boutique

If you’re visiting during the holiday season, the Burlingame Holiday Boutique is a must-visit. This annual event features local artisans and vendors selling unique handmade gifts, crafts, and seasonal items.

It’s a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts and support local businesses.

Attendees often mention the friendly atmosphere and the wide variety of high-quality products available.

Going early in the day can help you avoid the crowds and ensure the best selection of items.

Unwinding at the Crystal Springs Reservoir

The Crystal Springs Reservoir is another tranquil spot perfect for unwinding. It’s a man-made reservoir surrounded by lush greenery and scenic trails.

The area is popular for picnicking, bird watching, and leisurely walks.

People often highlight the reservoir’s serene beauty and the well-maintained facilities.

A visit during the early morning or late afternoon can offer the most peaceful experience.

Trying Out Local Coffee Shops

Burlingame offers a variety of charming coffee shops that provide the perfect break during your explorations.

Philz Coffee is a local favorite, known for its customizable coffee blends and friendly staff.

If you prefer a quieter spot, Café Capuchino offers a cozy environment and delicious pastries.

Equator Coffees is another great option, offering high-quality, ethically sourced coffee.

Weekday mornings are the best time to visit these spots if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.

Exploring Local Bookstores

For book lovers, Burlingame offers several local bookstores worth exploring. In addition to Books Inc., you can check out Burlingame Library’s extensive collection.

The library also hosts various events, such as book clubs, author talks, and children’s storytimes.

People often mention the welcoming atmosphere and helpful staff.

Visiting during weekdays or early mornings can help you avoid the larger crowds.

Engaging in Yoga and Wellness Activities

If you’re looking to relax and rejuvenate, Burlingame offers several yoga studios and wellness centers.

Purely Yoga is known for its friendly instructors and diverse class offerings.

Bay Area Yoga Center is another excellent option, offering a variety of classes suited to different skill levels.

Many appreciate the supportive community and the serene environment these studios provide.

You might find that attending a weekday morning class is less crowded and offers a more personalized experience.

Taking a Day Trip to Nearby Attractions

One of the best things about Burlingame is its proximity to various Bay Area attractions.

You’re just a short drive away from destinations like San Francisco, where you can explore iconic landmarks and diverse neighborhoods.

Heading south, you can visit tech hubs like Mountain View and Palo Alto, known for their innovative spirit and attractions like the Computer History Museum.

If you’re in the mood for exploring nature, a trip to the nearby coastal trails can provide stunning views and invigorating hikes.


Experiencing the Hiller Aviation Museum

The Hiller Aviation Museum is a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts. Located in nearby San Carlos, it’s just a short drive from Burlingame.

The museum offers a unique collection of historic aircraft, aviation artifacts, and interactive exhibits.

You might find the flight simulators particularly exciting, providing a hands-on experience that’s fun for both kids and adults.

Many visitors highlight the knowledgeable staff and volunteers who enhance the experience with their insights and stories.

Plan your visit during weekdays for a quieter, more immersive experience.

Explore the Jewel of Hillsborough – Carolands Mansion

Just a short drive from Burlingame, in the neighboring town of Hillsborough, lies the stunning Carolands Mansion.

This historic estate, built in the early 20th century, is a stunning example of French Classical architecture.

Visitors often marvel at the beautiful gardens and meticulously restored interiors.

Guided tours are available, providing fascinating insights into the mansion’s history and its significance in the local community.

Reservations are recommended, especially during the peak tourist seasons.

Indulging in Spa Treatments

If relaxation is what you’re after, Burlingame boasts several top-notch spas offering an array of treatments.

Watercourse Way is a popular choice, offering a range of services from massages to hydrotherapy in a tranquil setting.

Aveda Salon & Spa is another great option, known for its organic products and soothing treatments.

Many reviewers appreciate the calm ambiance and professional staff at these establishments.

Booking a weekday appointment can often offer a quieter, more personalized experience.

Attending Local Theater Performances

Burlingame has a vibrant arts scene, with several local theaters offering high-quality performances.

The Burlingame Theatre Company is a local favorite, known for its community-driven productions ranging from classic plays to contemporary works.

Additionally, nearby San Mateo Performing Arts Center frequently hosts a variety of events, including concerts and ballets.

Visitors often highlight the talent and passion of the performers, making any show a memorable experience.

Booking tickets in advance is recommended, especially for popular shows.

Visiting Neighboring Towns for More Adventures

Burlingame is ideally located for exploring surrounding towns that offer their own unique attractions.

San Mateo is just a short drive away and is known for its beautiful Central Park, which features a Japanese Tea Garden and a mini train ride for kids.

Foster City, another neighboring town, offers a range of water activities including paddleboarding and sailing in its extensive lagoon system.

You might find the natural beauty and outdoor activities in these neighboring towns a perfect complement to your Burlingame adventures.

Enjoying Cultural Events at the Burlingame Public Library

The Burlingame Public Library is more than just a place to borrow books; it frequently hosts a variety of cultural events and workshops.

From author readings and lectures to arts and crafts workshops, there’s something for everyone.

Many locals appreciate the library’s role as a community hub where people of all ages can learn and engage in enriching activities.

Check the library’s calendar for upcoming events to plan your visit accordingly.

Exploring Unique Outdoor Markets

Outdoor markets in Burlingame offer an excellent way to experience the local culture and interact with the community.

The Burlingame Farmers Market is a must-visit, offering fresh produce, artisan goods, and unique crafts year-round.

During the holiday season, the market transforms into a festive wonderland with seasonal decorations and special holiday treats.

Visitors often praise the friendly vendors and the diverse selection of high-quality products.

Arriving early can help you avoid crowds and get the best picks of the day.

Participating in Local Fitness Activities

For those who love staying active, Burlingame offers various local fitness activities and classes.

Join a local yoga class at Bay Area Yoga Center or Purely Yoga to stretch and unwind.

If you prefer a more intensive workout, consider joining a spin class at SoulCycle, known for its high-energy sessions and motivating instructors.

Locals appreciate the supportive community and the range of classes available to suit different fitness levels.

Weekday morning classes are usually less crowded, providing a more personalized workout experience.

Discovering Local Art Galleries

Burlingame’s local art galleries provide a window into the area’s vibrant artistic community.

Check out the Avenue Gallery, offering a diverse collection of contemporary art from local and regional artists.

Another notable spot is the Studio Shop Gallery, also showcasing a rich variety of paintings, sculptures, and photography.

Visitors often mention the welcoming staff and the inspiring array of artwork on display.

Gallery openings and art walks are held regularly, providing opportunities to meet the artists and learn more about their work.

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Avery Ingram

Avery Ingram


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