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

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 niche.com 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 niche.com 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.