Millbrae, California

A Place In The Sun

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What's it like to live in Millbrae?

How are the neighborhoods in Millbrae?

No areas to avoid. If you move to the Peninsula it is all easy going. Just two or three major lanes to drive.

I-280 (ontop of the hills) pretty much a private highway to get to your house on the hills or your weekend getaway to north/south/coast.

US-101 (the daily commute/grind).

El Camino (the main road to get to your local shops). Along the Millbrae/San Bruno section of El Camino, they have added a TON* of crosswalk lights. That has slowed drivers down a ton. So it makes crossing El Camino easier/safer somewhat. The traffic has calmed a bit too.

Millbrae is just adjacent to SFO an international airport so you will encounter everyone. I would actually avoid that Caltrain/BART station area only because I already avoid it since traffic can backup due to the airport and unforeseen delays/large influx of people.

If you are wondering about crime, Millbrae is very sleepy. The only crime that occurs on the peninsula is if you wear an expensive $$$$ watch and someone follows you, they will likely snatch it. It has happened in Burlingame and on occasion Millbrae.

Other than that all the neighborhoods are very nice and good. No crime. I don't use next door. I just watch how everyone drives around me. The calmer they drive, the better the neighborhood.

For example, some neighborhoods have middle aged men out in the middle of the day riding kid's bikes!

Other neighborhoods have women jogging with dogs or with a stroller in the middle of the day!

Millbrae just has older retirees walking around during the day. Hope this helps.

How are the neighborhoods in Millbrae?

Agree with all the other comments. Millbrae is a very quiet suburban town, except for some busy traffic streets here and there. There's an authentic mid-20th century "main street" (Broadway) with shops, restaurants, and a farmer's market…plus, along parallel El Camino larger stores and shopping centers--within walking distance of the Caltrain station four (? I think) big grocery stores including a Trader Joe's and a Safeway. And a Walgreen's.

One thing to be aware of, some years ago Millbrae eliminated its police department and contracted public safety services to the San Mateo County Sheriff. I think the old police station was turned into a sheriff's substation. From what I hear it works OK, but periodically it's disconcerting to see a sheriff's patrol car drive by you, or a couple parked along the street--since in most incorporated towns and cities the county sheriff only performs limited specific services (like evictions), rather than generalized crime prevention and response. But just mentally translate all those sheriff's cars to police cars, and it will seem completely normal.

One other thought. Anywhere in Millbrae you will hear some airport noise from time to time. It's usually just a deep rumble of planes taking off (on many days they start their take-off run with their backs to Millbrae, so the engines are pointed towards the hills) Most people don't find this annoying at all--it's just some ambient noise, like perpetual distant thunder. But listen for it if / when you visit Millbrae, and decide if it would bother you. The end of the runway is across the freeway from the BART / Caltrain station.

Where to live in Millbrae, and will it be nice (area/commute)

Millbrae is an okay town, but not the nicest in the area. Burlingame is one town south and it a much nicer place to live, but is very expensive. Generally, as you go north from Millbrae the weather is more cloudy/foggy, but they are more affordable -- until you hit SF which is ridiculously expensive.

If I had a choice I'd rather live in RW City than Millbrea, it has more to do, is warmer and is about the same price. Everything between RW City and Millbrea is very expensive unless you are in a more sketchy area.

You may want to reconsider living right in the middle of both your commutes. An alternative would be for you to take CalTrain to the Millbrea BART station and then transfer over. The commute would suck more, but maybe your BF could make it up to you by making dinner or something seeing how his commute would be so short.

Did you know this about MILLBRAE? Pros vs Cons of living in Millbrae.