Redwood City is a small city along the San Francisco Peninsula that’s often overlooked by the bigger tourist areas of California. Yet, busy urban areas aren’t for everyone.
This city is known for having the ideal climate and a great sense of community. Plus, it has many fun attractions without being too chaotic.
So, if you’re looking to explore more areas of California, why not check out Redwood City?
You’ll find lots of things to do, like these 13 activities.
#1 – San Mateo County History Museum
Many visitors consider the San Mateo County History Museum to be the biggest attraction in Redwood City. It explores how life used to be in San Mateo County throughout the decades. Some exhibits include a replica of a store from the 1880s and a house simulating what life was like back then. You’ll also find many historical materials, including books and other artifacts. The museum itself is even a piece of history since it’s located at the former San Mateo County Courthouse, which has a gorgeous stained-glass dome on the top.
#2 – Pulgas Water Temple
The Pulgas Water Temple looks like something straight out of a fantasy novel. It was built in 1934 using a Greek Revival style, and it was created to celebrate the completion of the Hetch Hetchy Adequate. The project brought water to the area after the Great Depression. It’s a simple attraction, but it has some of the most beautiful views. It’s a common location for wedding venues and professional photography sessions.
#3 – Fox Theatre
The Fox Theatre isn’t your typical theater. It has a lot of historical significance, and it’s still considered one of the greatest establishments in the movie industry. It first opened in the 1920s, but in 2009, it had to close due to financial problems. Yet, enough people believed in it to help get it up and running again. This venue hosts a wide range of shows, including concerts, comedy shows, and musicals. So, be sure to check out the performance schedule before your visit to Redwood City.
#4 – Redwood Morton Community Park
If you’re looking for everyday outdoor activities, you can spend the day at Redwood Morton Community Park. It’s considered the biggest sports park in the city, and it has a wide variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Some activities include baseball, tennis, gyms, BBQs, skateboarding, art displays, and even tea parties! Plus, it’s just a really fun area to explore. Whether you’re looking to relax or exercise, you’ll have a great time.
#5 – Edgewood Park Natural Preserve
Edgewood Park is a serene outdoor space for hiking. It’s located right off the interstate, so it’s easily accessible, but you’ll still feel like you’re in the wild while you’re there. This nature preserve consists of 46 acres of protected land. You’ll travel through lots of wooded areas, wetlands, and grasslands, which are full of beautiful plants. You might even see some wildlife along the way, including deer, rabbits, and snakes.
#6 – The Dragon Theater
The Dragon Theater is a small community theater with a much different atmosphere from the Fox Theatre. It has been operating since 2013, and it only has a 65-seat capacity. It has a wide range of theatrical performances, with everything from drama to comedy. In addition to the stage and performance space, there’s also studio space and classrooms. Classes and workshops are offered here for both adults and children.
#7 – The Record Man
The Record Man is a record store that’s home to over a million vinyl records. It has all genres, making it like a trip back in time for music lovers. Regulars at this store claim that if you can’t find a vinyl at the Record Man, then it probably doesn’t exist. So, if you collect records, this is a must-see location.
#8 – Bair Island
Bair Island is the marshy area of Redwood City, which takes up about 3,000 acres. It’s divided up into three islands, simply called inner, outer, and middle. These areas are full of natural beauty that’s certainly worth exploring. Most people come to look at the scenery and unique wildlife, but Bair Island is also home to some buildings with stylish Italian architecture. There are plenty of walking trails and guided tours for guests.
#9 – Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
There’s no shortage of beautiful outdoor spaces in Redwood City. The Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve takes up 3,137 acres, featuring plenty of hiking and horseback riding trails. This space is found within the Santa Cruz Mountains, so there’s no shortage of breathtaking views. At the top of Borel Hill, you’ll also get some of the best views of the San Francisco Bay area. This park is full of wildlife, so you might see animals like coyotes, bobcats, and kestrels while you’re hiking.
#10 – Nazareth Ice Oasis
It doesn’t have to be winter for you to go ice skating. The Nazareth Ice Oasis is an ice skating rink that’s open year-round. It hosts all kinds of ice activities, such as hockey, skating, broomball, and stick and shoot games. If you’re just a beginner, the rink offers open skate hours so you can go at your own pace. You could even join skate classes if you’re hoping to improve your skills. The skating rink has food for sale in case you work up an appetite while skating.
#11 – Pulgas Ridge Preserve
The Pulgas Ridge Preserve is a 366-acre public park. It was once the location of a tuberculosis sanitarium, and you can still see some of the original walls and pieces of the buildings throughout the park. Now, it has several miles of hiking trails, where you can explore canyons, forests, and hillsides. It’s a dog-friendly park that even has an off-leash dog park. Like the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, it’s also located near the Santa Cruz Mountains with views of San Francisco Bay.
#12 – Phleger Estate
The Phleger Estate was once the family estate of Mary Elena Phleger. She wanted to keep her land in use for years to come, so she transformed her private property into a park for everyone to enjoy. The park has many redwoods, but sadly, a lot of them were destroyed due to logging. New trees have since been planted to fill the space, so the trails of this park are still shaded and calming.
#13 – Dug the T Rex
Dug the T Rex is likely the most unique attraction in Redwood City. He’s a tiny dinosaur statue that’s social media famous, thanks to his many different costumes. Dug gets decorated differently throughout the year, especially around the holidays. You might see photos of him circulating around online, so it would be an honor to get to meet him in person.
Redwood City probably isn’t the first California destination you think of. Yet, you will fall in love with Redwood City thanks to its many fun things to do. So, consider adding these 13 attractions to your itinerary so you can have an exciting trip that you’ll never forget! It could make a fun getaway from bigger cities like San Diego and Los Angeles.