San Carlos villas
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Your guide to San Carlos
All About San Carlos
Midway between the vibrant metropolitan hub of San Francisco and the booming tech hub of San Jose, San Carlos is a small community on the San Francisco Bay. Its small size and sprawling terracotta-tiled roofs provide the perfect Mediterranean aesthetic to fit with the city’s temperate coastal climate and cozy downtown area. Streetside eateries, boutique shops, and trendy cafes line the palm-dotted boulevards, and a major aviation museum brings in fans of aeronautic history.
San Carlos makes an excellent jumping-off point to hike the surrounding area’s marine ecological reserves or to bike in the Santa Cruz Mountains. You can also take the scenic California State Route 92 west from San Carlos, past fields of pumpkins and organically grown produce, to the popular seaside town of Half Moon Bay.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in San Carlos?
Generally mild conditions are found throughout the year in San Carlos, with warm, dry summers and slightly chilly winter months bringing modest levels of rain. Being so close to San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, there are always festivals and events throughout the year to explore. Pride activities are celebrated throughout the Bay Area in June, while Half Moon Bay hosts a huge pumpkin festival in October.
Smaller happenings, like the San Carlos Farmers’ Market, with vendors retailing local produce and artisanal goods, occur throughout the year in downtown San Carlos.
What are the top things to do in San Carlos?
Hiller Aviation Museum
The Hiller Aviation Museum hosts different activities and exhibits showcasing over a century of aeronautic history. Over 50 aircraft of varying classifications and periods are on the property, along with flight simulators, cockpit replicas, and historical exhibits detailing everything from the first powered flight to prominent women in aviation history. In addition, a regularly rotating schedule of events on the museum grounds includes water rocket building workshops, plane painting, and open cockpit days.
Filoli Historic House & Garden
Nestled into the Santa Cruz Mountains, this historic, sprawling estate features a preserved Victorian home and 16 acres of manicured gardens that run into the expansive parklands and natural areas surrounding it. The Filoli House is registered as a California Historic Landmark and includes 56 rooms, 17 fireplaces, and over 50,000 square feet of faithfully restored 19th-century living space. Hiking trails and self-guided exploration paths run through the more than 600 acres of surrounding redwood groves and chaparral ecosystems.
Bair Island State Marine Park
The Bair Island Ecological Reserve comprises 3,000 acres spread across three islands. Hiking paths through the park’s mudflats and salt marshes provide viewing opportunities for several unique and endangered aviary species, like Peregrine falcons, pelicans, and egrets. Rays and leopard sharks can often be found swimming throughout the meandering tidal channels.