Millbrae, California

A Place In The Sun

Millbrae Train Museum
Millbrae Train Museum
Millbrae Art & Wine Festival
Millbrae Art & Wine Festival
Millbrae Park
Millbrae Park



Sunny Days: 262
73100 Affordability
85100 Schools
63100 Diversity
84100 Safety

The Best Thing About Millbrae?

A Sunny Day is a Happy Day

Millbrae is the northern-most city on the peninsula before you run deep into the fog belt. That means it is the most convenient city to live in (proximity to SF) and still avoid much of the foggy days of the city. This can vary as some parts of Millbrae stretch into the foggy-ish areas but overall the weather here is awesome and the combo of great climate and some of the best commuting options with BART, Caltrain, next door to SFO airport, and a very short drive to San Francisco makes the location damn near perfect.

The Worst Thing About Millbrae?

The Airport

Proximity to SFO is a big plus to those flying a lot but some locals complain about noise and air quality due to the flights. Flight patterns in many cases take planes north out of the airport and come in from the south. That means most should miss Millbrae but regardless just know going in that being near the airport means there’s going to be some racket and air issues from all those flights.

Lifestyle of Millbrae

Millbrae is for sure a suburb but it’s one with a pretty active downtown commercial district. This includes lots of boutique shopping and casual dining options. Shanghai Dumpling Shop and Millbrae Pancake House are two of the family favorites. The fact that excellent but chill and casual spots are two of the local favorites should give you sense of the laid-back vibe of the city. There’s also plenty of shopping, some big-box and some family-run one-of-a-kind options.
Outside of the dining and shopping options much of Millbrae is residential living on the rolling hills that give the city its name (Millbrae is Scottish for rolling hills). Families enjoy the peaceful, quiet and kiddo friendly blocks and parks that fill the city. The city hosts a hugely popular
annual art and wine festival, held over Labor Day weekend that is much beloved by locals for its live music and a excellent selection of food, wine, and art. The city also hosts a weekly farmer’s market and a variety of different holiday festivals. ​​​​​​​There is also the beautiful Bayfront Park when you feel like a stroll along the water, and Central Park, 13 acres of wonderful open green space for kiddos and doggos to run, tennis courts, playgrounds and fields for soccer and other sports.
One of the great appeals of Millbrae is its absolute perfection as a transportation hub to the rest of the bay area and the world. The Millbrae train station/transportation hub is one of the largest on the west coast and brings together options for getting pretty much anywhere you’d like to go. The city is also in the process of building a massive mixed-use center around the hub, in the vein of more transit friendly cities in Europe and Asia-Pac.

Schools in Millbrae

Children in Millbrae are served by the Millbrae School District which rates a B+ on for academics. Several of the elementary school options rank up at the A level, including Green Hills, Taylor and Spring Valley, so if you’re into that kind of thing check out how the neighborhoods align with the different schools. At the high school level Millbrae is part of the San Mateo Union High School District and that grades out at an A+ on with Mills High School in Millbrae in particular a shining star for academic performance.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Be On The Go!

Millbrae is pricey, like all bay area cities, but what it has the others don’t is being an epicenter of transportation. There really is no other city like it if you want to ride public transportation (including airlines which are kind of public transport?) to get everywhere in the bay area and west coast. You could make a case that moving to Millbrae puts you in the center of an emerging transportation model more akin to European cities.

Neighborhoods in Millbrae

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Bayside Manor

Bayside Manor is a small neighborhood on the east side of the city with just six square blocks of residential development that includes the BART and Caltrain station although the quiet, tree-lined streets protect the area from the noise of the station.
The neighborhood was established in 1945, and many of the homes from that era remain. Modest, single-story homes, originally built for government workers and WWII vets but now filled with a mix of multi-generational owners, and first time newer tech-scene/bio-tech workers.

The homes are mostly two and three bedroom and between 1,000 and 1,500 square feet and mostly small lots. Many homes have front porches and nice shade trees that bring residents out on warm days and nights. Prices are lower for the city at averages around $1.4m, a good price considering its access to Bayside Park, the best recreational spot in the city. Commuters also love the neighborhood since the BART/Caltrain stations is just a ten-minute walk.


Capuchino sits at the north end of Millbrae and enjoys an abundance of green space owing to the 34-acre Capuchino High School campus, the fairways of the adjacent Green Hills Country Club and the pronounced greenery that fills the blocks and yards. While the neighborhood is certainly suburban it is unique in that it is the only area outside of downtown with its own commercial strip. This gives it a unique and vibrant energy other more purely suburban neighborhoods are missing. The streets are winding and non-gridded and this combination of rural, suburban street-design and small collection of restaurants and shops marks Capuchino as different than its neighbors.

Capuchino High School is here (technically in San Bruno but pretty much in the neighborhood) and that makes high school for your kiddos really easy. There are multiple elementary schools that border Capuchino with Green Hills to the south among the best. The neighborhood is full of post-WWII homes, smaller ones on the east side and bigger as you move up the hills to the west. Prices align with that distinction as well. The flat section of Capuchino to the east is filled with mostly three-bedroom ranches and sell for ~$1.8m and the larger, generally remodeled homes up the hill with be in the $2m+ range.

Glenview Highlands

Glenview Highlands lives up to its name and is primarily made up of contemporary homes with wonderful bay views. The neighborhood is filled with new-ish single-family homes, generally three to five bedrooms and as with most neighborhoods in the hills, is pricey with a median sale price of $2m+.
It borders the 280 freeway which means lots of lush greenery surrounding the streets, and excellent commute options north to SF or south down the peninsula to Silicon Valley. Lion’s Park is in Glenview Highlands and is popular with families due to a nice Baseball/Softball field, Football field, Soccer Field, playground and tons of room for the kiddos and doggos to run around and play.

Green Hills

Green Hills became a neighborhood in the mid-1970’s when it shifted from being a flower-growing/florist commercial area to a beautiful residential area. Named after the country club and elementary schools that are part of the area its newness means it is less dense than the rest of the city. Care was taken to built cul-de-sacs and plenty of private space for larger homes and lots. Green Hills comes with its own park (aptly named Green Hills Park) where lots of younger kiddos play on the playground and open green spaces and its own greenbelt that runs through the golf course and provide the city’s only above ground natural creeks.

Homes are mostly built around and most have all pitched roofs and wood siding. They have the “Lake Tahoe” sort of look common to late 1970s California design and provide a stark contrast to the prevailing ranches of other neighborhoods. As noted, this area ain’t cheap and the media home price is ~$2.5m. Many find it worth the price as the elementary school is top-rated and much beloved by locals.

Mills Estate

Mills Estate sits on the southern edge of the city, on the Burlingame border and it carries with it much of the fancier Burlingame neighborhood feel and home prices. Mills Estate was established in the mid-50’s and some of those older homes are still here but its popularity is due to the newer, larger, more upscale homes that offer amazing views of San Francisco Bay. Families pay the price for the area in part for the homes and in part due to the fact that Mills High School and Franklin Elementary, two A-rates schools, are both in the neighborhood. Median sale price for Mills Estate is $2.77m so that ain't cheap, but it’s less than neighboring Burlingame (it’s confusing but there is a neighborhood called Mills Estates next door in Burlingame, note the “s” on the end) and you not only get the great schools but also Mills Estate Park and Spur Trail Park, a beautiful paved trail that offers hikers great views and nice bucolic paths for walking.

Meadow Glen

Meadow Glen is a neighborhood created for first-time buyers, right after WWII and while the median sale price is now ~$1.7m, it retains that entry-level reputation due to its often smaller 3-bed, 1-bath homes, all within an easy walk of downtown. Couples and small families, all comfortable with smaller homes, but who demand good walkability and a nightlife, appreciate the walkscore of 91!. In addition to shopping and restaurants, you’re also less than a mile from the BART/Caltrain station, so a big bonus for commuters.

Families and singles also love the fact that you have at the neighborhood's southern edge direct access to Central Park and the Millbrae Recreation Community Center. Great for the kiddos to play and recreate. If you’re single, a couple without beans, or a young family looking to stay active in the downtown area and recreation spots like Central Park, then put Meadow Glen on your shortlist.