Coyote Point is a 140 acre county park with 530 underwater acres of the Recreation Area for windsurfing (one of the most popular areas in Northern California), sailing, kayaking. There are areas to have a picnic, swim, bicycle, jog, and fish. Children enjoy the castle-and-dragon-themed Magic Mountain Playground and the CuriOdyssey museum.
Coyote Point connects to the Bay Trail and several Shoreline Parks, dogs are permitted only on Coyote Point’s Bay Trail and only on leash.
Paths alongside the water provide views of the bay, San Mateo Bridge, and the procession of jets taking off and landing at SFO. On the north side of the park is a gravel beach area, which is ideal for sunbathing, and the cool bay water is very refreshing on hot summer days (food and drink are permitted on the beach, but alcohol is prohibited).
Marina Trail Loop .4 mile Shoreline Trail .5 mile Bluff Trail .9 mile from Merchant Marine Memorial overlook to Bay Trail Bay Trail 1.1 miles from windsurfing beach to Yacht Club entrance Bikes yield to other trail users.
Magic Mountain Playground
Magic Mountain Playground, re-opened in 2006 after a complete redesign, contains two play areas, one for 2-5 year olds and another for 5-12 year olds. Children enjoy many slides and swings, plus spring riders, balance beams, and a 42-foot high (three-level) castle atop a five-foot hill. The slide from the top of the castle is one of the longest enclosed slides in California. Flanking the hill and extending into the playground are two huge purple dragons.
Poplar Creek Golf Course is one of the most popular golf courses in Northern California. The 18 hole Championship Course designed by Steve Halsey with a 70.2 rating presents unique challenges for the low-handicap golfer and encourages development for those just learning the game.
The original San Mateo Municipal Golf Course was built in 1933 to aid unemployed laborers during the Depression. It was closed in April of 1999 for a complete redesign and opened in July of 2000 named after the poplar trees and creek that run through the course.
Poplar Creek is home to the Robert O’Brien Junior Championship and the San Mateo County Championship.
From spring to fall, constant winds make many days suitable for windsurfing but on other days the water can get very choppy. Wetsuits are recommended for any extended periods in the cold bay waters. Windsurfing and kiteboarding gear and lessons are available for rental in the park by Boardsports School.
The three Promenade Trail launch ramps are also ideal for sea kayaking and stand-up paddling. These are great year-round sports at the Coyote Point Recreation Area. Be sure to check the tides and weather conditions to ensure a great experience. Dress appropriately for the conditions and wear a personal floatation device for safety. Check the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail website for more information about paddling locations.
It’s free to launch from the promenade area (vehicle entry fees still apply) and launching from the Marina is also available for a fee. Frequent visitors might consider purchasing an annual park pass.
Check your tidebook and the 3rd Avenue wind meter to plan your active experience on the bay.
Coyote Point Yacht Club
The Coyote Point Yacht Club is located just south of the Marina and offers berths for sailboats, motorboats, and multi-hull boats. It is a 55-year-old organization with over 300 sail and powerboat members and holds numerous recreational and social activities, such as weekly sailboat races and a summer youth sailing program, and provides a bar and dining facilities to all members. For more information about Coyote Yacht Club, the Point, special activities, or membership, you can contact them at (650) 347-6730.
Coyote Point Pistol and Rifle Range
The Siebel San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Firearms Range, Indoor Training Facility at Coyote Point has been completed, this state of the art range will be used for law enforcement personal training only. Phase II, the improvement of the outdoor 100yd range to be used by both LE and the public is underway. This will be completed some time in the first quarter of 2018.
The range began operation on September 19, 1962, hosting a contingent of 32 officers representing all the County’s police departments.
1651 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403
Open: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Open Friday, April 6 until 8pm
CuriOdyssey as a 28,000-square-foot museum at Coyote Point has a 60-year legacy, its name and current reinvention began in 2011 becoming a nationally recognized education center providing more than 100,000 young visitors exposure to the sciences annually.
CuriOdyssey cares for more than 100 animals and most of them are native to California.
There are 19 exhibits designed for the various animals and several Animal Ambassadors that are featured in classes, tours and public programs. Teachers and caretakers provide details about each animal’s injuries, when and why they are at the museum. Furry mammals at the museum include fox, raccoon, otter, skunk and bobcat. There are many birds in the 4,000-square-foot walk-through aviary plus several species of owl, an eagle, falcon, and two types of heron. CuriOdyssey has many reptiles including turtles, snakes and lizards, plus there are frogs, salamander, banana slugs, beetles, tarantulas and more.
As non-profit science museum and zoo, CuriOdyssey features its Adopt-An-Animal program to sponsor an animal’s care and feeding for a year.
In addition to meeting the animals CuriOdyssey’s exhibit the Nature of Patterns allows you to see and provides ways to create patterns from sound, geometric shapes, bubbles and fabric.
The Reflections + Perceptions exhibit allows visitors to explore how different textures feel and they way different things reflect light. The exhibit Forces focuses on gravity, how sound echoes and more.
CuriOdyssey develops its creative exhibits in-house to encourage visitors of all ages to observe, touch, listen, wonder, and experiment with simple scientific phenomena. They call it “serious” play time.
CuriOdyssey’s summer camps regularly sell out within days and they have more than half of the $35 million they want to build a new “science playground.” The building will feature sustainable architecture and increase usable space, allowing for more classrooms, camps, exhibits and school programs plus a wildlife observation deck and outdoor natural play area.
After briefly hosting the Pacific City Amusement Park, the Howard Estate sold its 402 acres of Coyote Point to San Mateo for a park in 1940. As World War II began the Federal Government was given 10 acres of the land to establish the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet School at Coyote Point.
In 1946 the school became the first campus of the College of San Mateo and in 1953, in an arched corrugated galvanized steel Quonset Hut, the San Mateo County Junior Museum opened. The school moved away in 1963 and Coyote Point Park was established as a county park. More Coyote Point information and history is here.
In 1974 the San Mateo County Junior Museum became the Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education and in 1981 a new museum building opened with an 8,000 square foot Environmental Hall, classroom space, a resource library, and a theatre.
In 1991 Animal Habitats opened, providing naturalistic habitats for native, non-releasable animals, but in 2006 the museum nearly had to close as a result of financial challenges. It managed to survive under new leadership. In 2011 the name was changed to CuriOdyssey, to reflect a focus on hands-on science education.