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San Mateo County History Museum, Redwood City

4.5
#231 of 432 in Museums in California
Specialty Museum Museum
The San Mateo County History Museum, housed in the old County Courthouse, offers visitors an opportunity to discover the San Francisco Peninsula's colorful past from the original Native American inhabitants of yesterday to the Silicon Valley innovators of today.

The 1910 building, on the National Register of Historic Places, features one of the largest stained glass domes in California, an extensive archives library, a thematic gift shop and a huge used bookstore. The beautifully restored space is also available to rent for special events.

The San Mateo County History Museum is part of the San Mateo County Historical Association, a member-supported nonprofit organization. In addition to the museum in Redwood City, the Historical Association operates the Woodside Store in Woodside and the Sanchez Adobe in Pacifica.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
52 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • We visited our San Mateo County museum in the Original Courthouse building! Surprised as we found you enter at the side, then walk into the center of the first floor where we noticed the HIGH ceiling ...  more »
  • Built in 1910 to house the County Courts, the building is now the San Mateo County History Museum. It's just a short walk from the train station. It has a beautiful stained-glass dome, which I think i...  more »
  • This museum tells you about the Redwood City Bay Area back when the Ohlone Indians were here. Tells the history of what and how they lived. Then the progression into the Spanards coming to the area. I...  more »
Google
  • I spent the good portion of a day here during Redwood City's Christmas celebrations. I loved it. There is a lot of cool stuff about Redwood City history and a lot of neat rooms to explore. The building is also beautiful inside and out. Some of the exhibits, however, are blatant funder-brownnose (the computing exhibit) or very much lacking in content (the surfing exhibit).
  • Great museum in a historical court house. The exhibits helped me learned a good deal about the history of San Mateo County and much much. I especially enjoyed the exhibits about the many ethnic cultures and their contributions to San Mateo County. A great place to visit no matter your age. Just see the inside of the building is worth the price of admission alone. Cheers.
  • Looked nice enough but not great for young kids. My 3 year old got antsy and we couldn't stay long enough to make it through the whole thing. We saw some cool model boats, and exhibits about world war 2, and the development of the suburbs. Overall a nice place to learn about the area for older kids and adults.
  • Good place to explore about the local history. Learnt a lot about local transportation and suburb culture of san Mateo county. Ships of the world is a must visit gallery. There were handcrafted models of ship on display. The video and audio presentations were informative.
  • Really great museum. Really glad that we went in and spent an hour or two there. Friendly staff and a mix of interesting stories and deeply moving reflection on history.

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15 days in Redwood City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Redwood City & Lexington BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Redwood City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Redwood City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 5 days in Redwood City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Redwood City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Redwood City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Cannon Beach, Redwood City & Redding BY A USER FROM CANADA June, kids, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Redwood City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: May, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Redwood City & Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, kids, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 6 days in Redwood City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 1 day in Redwood City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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