Burlingame is a lovely place to live and work. It is located on the Peninsula, sharing significant shoreline with San Francisco Bay, and enjoys scenic coastal panoramas. During the twentieth century, the city gradually expanded in size, providing ample room for the development of both residential areas and well-known commercial centers.
Like neighboring Hillsborough, Burlingame was founded on land once belonging to prominent Bay Area settler William Howard. The property changed hands several times after 1866, and development did not begin until the 1890s, when Burlingame Country Club and the train station were constructed. It wasn’t until after 1906 that Burlingame truly exploded in growth, attracting hundreds of residents deterred by the great earthquake and ensuing fire in nearby San Francisco. Stimulated by its surge in population, Burlingame incorporated in 1908, annexed the adjacent town of Easton in 1910, and decades later annexed even more land in 1954.
Known as the “City of Trees,” Burlingame boasts a dominant leafy canopy which the city has embraced ever since its inception. Eucalyptus groves had been planted in the area well before its development, and during the year of its founding in 1908, the board of trustees passed an ordinance “prohibiting cutting, injuring, or destroying trees.” With over 18,000 publicly protected trees for its 29,000 residents, Burlingame is devoted to preserving nature and has adopted several programs to encourage “green” practices by residents and businesses.
Today, Burlingame offers a little something for everyone. It showcases an upscale downtown rife with boutiques, cafes, and fine dining, and it also provides numerous parks for outdoor recreation, including shoreline trails and green spaces. The city’s attractive setting and easy convenience are attributes that lure commercial partners just as much as they entice suburban residents. Burlingame has housed offices representing many industries, including airlines, local nuts and chocolate companies, biotech labs, and high-tech firms.
With its proximity to San Francisco proper, the cities of Silicon Valley, and the booming biotech industry headquartered in South San Francisco, Burlingame is ideal for residents who want to be centrally located to everything. With four major traffic thoroughfares passing through or by the city (Interstate 280, Highways 101, 35, and 82/El Camino Real), commuters have easy access to routes that go anywhere in the Bay Area. For those who commute domestically or travel globally, Burlingame is also adjacent to San Francisco International Airport.
Residents have an array of educational options for their children. Burlingame is served by five elementary schools and one middle school, while high school students attend Burlingame High in the San Mateo Union High District. All public schools in Burlingame are well-regarded and ranked highly among Californian school districts, and many premier private academies are located nearby as alternatives.
Burlingame may not be the largest Bay Area community, but it certainly packs a lot of options within city limits. Harmonizing coastal living with coveted access and excellent schools all within a beautiful tree-lined setting, Burlingame will continue to attract growth and interest for generations to come.
Notable Residents—Past and Present
Dianna Agron, actress from Glee
Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce
Leon Gilmour, wood-engraving artist
Percy Gray, artist
Hannah Hart, social media influencer and comedian
Charles S. Howard, owner of Seabiscuit
Tamora Pierce, best-selling children’s author
Hank Sauer, All-Star MLB outfielder
The public schools are among the best in the nation. Graduates from the local high schools attend the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country, with a much larger than average number admitted to neighboring Stanford. Abundant bike paths make it easy for most students to bike to their local schools, giving them a sense of independence that is valued by parents and children alike.