16 Best Things to Do in Redwood City, CA

Redwood City, CA
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You probably haven't heard of Redwood City, California, before.

You'll still love Redwood City because of the city's plethora of recreational activities.

Redwood City, the county seat and third-largest city in San Mateo County, lies in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Just 27 miles away from San Francisco's peninsula, Redwood City is part of the Bay Area in Northern California.

The city's name came from the area's redwoods, some of which remain today.

Even though Redwood City isn't known for attracting many tourists, people consider the downtown area the epicenter of fun and excitement for residents and visitors alike on the entire San Francisco Peninsula.

People from larger cities like Los Angeles and San Diego may find it a welcome respite from the bustle of the metro.

It has a year-round climate and is the only deep-water port in the South Bay area of San Francisco that is currently operational.

As the region's entertainment capital, San Francisco's downtown district is awash with stores, restaurants, bars, bustling cafes and businesses, and so much more.

To help you plan your itinerary, check out our list of the best activities you can do in this vibrant city.

Enjoy Live Musical Performances at Fox Theatre

Front Vew of Fox Theatre
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This historic theater in downtown Redwood City, at 2215 Broadway, is part of the National Register of Historic Places.

It showcases different forms of entertainment, including musical performances, comedies, and musicals.

Fox Theatre began in 1929.

Front Vew of Fox Theatre
Eugene Zelenko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In its peak days, performers such as Vanessa Williams and BB King played at the theater.

Due to financial difficulties, the theater closed in 2009, but it's now open and well worth visiting even if performing arts aren't your passion.

Front Vew of Fox Theatre
Eugene Zelenko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hike Along the Trails in Pulgas Ridge Preserve

This preserve makes for a modest, well-managed public and leisure park with a vast off-leash dog space within Santa Cruz Mountains.

The 366-acre park, formerly a city-owned tuberculosis sanitarium, still has some old surviving walls and stairs from the buildings.

Its keepers have cleared all foreign overgrowths and now have an over six-mile hiking trail with access to magnificent canyons and stunning scenery of the sea and surrounding ravines from the ridge top.

The paths are dog-friendly and offer vast areas for your dogs to roam and play with their furry friends.

This preserve is open from daybreak to half an hour after nightfall.

Have a Fun-Filled Family Day at Bay Club Redwood Shores

Bay Club Redwood Shores is a luxury 10-acre resort-style property with various amenities and facilities, specialized family spaces, and a selection of children-friendly programs and events for the whole family.

Amenities at the club include 15,000-square-foot sports and fitness center with Pilates, yoga, and group training programs, tennis courts, squash courts, a full-day spa and sauna, four outdoor swimming pools, and water slides a social club.

The club also provides boutique shopping and specialized services and hospitality, such as child care, meeting facilities, and more.

Take Photos With the Pulgas Water Temple

View of Pulgas Water Temple
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This unique water temple is a stunning stone structure designed in the Greek Revival style erected to mark Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct's completion in 1934.

It stands near the aqueduct's terminus on Canada Rd.

View of Pulgas Water Temple
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Pulgas Water Temple, designed by William G. Merchant, features a circle of fluted Corinthian columns, around which is inscribed, "I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people."

To the east of the temple is a vast, reflecting pool lined with trees.

The grounds serve as the locals' preferred setting for special gatherings such as weddings and banquets.

View of Pulgas Water Temple
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Check Out the Dug the T-Rex

You can see Dug the T-Rex has featured on different websites, including Huffington Post, Reddit, and Buzzfeed.

These adorable images—taken by his owners—of their tin dinosaur in various holiday and sporting-event garb quickly went viral on the internet.

Many residents love bragging about this local hero that presently enjoys more than 10,800 likes on social media.

Kids and adults both adore saying hey to Dug, and practically every resident of Redwood City knows where to find him.

Go Wine Tasting at La Honda Winery

The La Honda Winery is a must-visit for any wine enthusiast.

They give an excellent and distinctive environment that makes it a perfect venue for meetings.

They're available by appointment only, except on the 3rd Saturday of every month when they offer their open wine-tasting day.

The vineyard frequently hosts a monthly Open Day Winetasting, generally on the 3rd Saturday of the month, from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

Experience German Pub Without Leaving the Country at Gourmet Haus Staudt

This rustic-themed beer lounge and store delivers a feel of Germany in the U.S.

It has everything necessary to prepare authentic German dishes and spices and an extensive line of German brews.

If browsing the store selection makes you thirsty and needs some sit-down, head to the neighboring beer garden.

This pub offers ten of Germany's finest beers and authentic German snacks and meals.

As a result, it's one of the greatest sites in downtown Redwood City if you feel like people-watching and chitchatting.

Learn About the Region's Past at San Mateo County History Museum

Front View of San Mateo County History Museum
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Without a stop at this museum, a trip to Redwood wouldn't be complete.

There are many things to do in the city, and one of the best is to check out San Mateo County History Museum.

Features that make it so distinctive are the exhibitions highlighting and exploring life over the centuries in San Mateo.

You will see exhibits such as a house depicting California's past when the state still belonged to Mexico and the historic general shop dating back to the 1880s.

Aerial View of San Mateo County History Museum
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We can't disregard the multitude of historical books and archival materials from which you may learn about San Mateo's history.

Even the structure is historic.

This courthouse has remarkable interior and exterior decorations.

Do take advantage of the chance to learn more about this institution while you have it.

If you're a museum enthusiast, we recommend checking this out.

Have a Picnic at Stafford Park

One of the best things to experience in Redwood City is to visit Stafford Park

It is a terrific, pleasant environment for children to learn and gain fun.

Stafford Park is accessible to children of different personalities and abilities.

There is also a particular area for toddlers.

Almost the entire community comes here to rest, play, picnic, or even watch the music festivals.

The park features several amenities, including tables, BBQ facilities, and water playgrounds (where the children may run freely).

Visit in the summer and enjoy some music, especially by local musicians.

Catch a Show at the Dragon Theater

This small community theater produces a series of performances and shows, ranging from comedy to tragedies and more.

The theatre company of the same name has managed and maintained the theater offering the city productions and performances since 2013.

The theater contains a 65-seat compact theatre area with a complete stage, studio, and classrooms for acting lessons and workshops.

In addition to offering seminars and programs for both adults and students, this theater also sponsors various events year-round, including Dragon Late Nights, Circus Art Series, In Deep Radio, and Monday Night Play Space.

The Dragon Theater also caters to private gatherings and celebrations.

See the Wildlife at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve

View of Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
yhelfman / Shutterstock.com

The preserve is renowned for its adaptability in providing outdoor enjoyment because it is home to many different species of animals and flora.

This 3,137-acre park lies in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

It is also popular in the whole region.

Beautifully dominating the vast meadows and the mix of the deep forest, you will obtain a fantastic vista of San Francisco Bay while standing at the peak of Borel Hill, 2,572 feet above sea level.

View of Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
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The hiking and riding courses in the park encompass 10 kilometers.

The park also features plants and animals, such as Northern harrier, kestrel, coyote, birds, and bobcat.

If you're in for some exploration, try visiting this preserve for your itinerary in the city.

Play Ball Games at Redwood Morton Community Park

This community park is a must-see when you are in the city.

It is the city's vastest sports park.

Be one with the locals in indulging in their daily activities.

It is a unique spot where people from all over the city come to exercise and stay in shape.

You may enjoy different activities like barbecues, skateboarding, tennis, baseball, gym, and workouts.

Also, it caters to non-sport events like tea parties and art displays throughout the year.

If you're fortunate enough, you can join one when you come here.

The community park also makes an excellent area to take in some sunshine.

It doesn't matter if you're here for leisure or fitness.

Take a Music Tour at the Record Man

You can find more than a million vinyl records in this unique shop in Redwood, undoubtedly any vinyl enthusiast's fantasy.

The vinyl records come in different genres: country, classical, blues, hip hop, etc.

Whether you are a collector or not, this shop got your back.

It features a significant number and variety of records specifically for persons with a strong interest in the vinyl collection.

The owner believes that it does not exist if one can't find what they are looking for at the shop.

If you're looking for someplace to explore in this city with a musical bent, this shop is the place to go.

Join a Walking Tour of Bair Island

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

This island in Redwood City, California, is a marsh and wetlands zone that measures 3,000 acres wide.

It encompasses three islands, namely the Inner, Middle, and Outer Islands.

Surrounded by the Steinberger Slough and Redwood Creek, Bair Island served as an area for farming, grazing, and salt production in the 19th century but has since served as an important natural reserve.

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

The wetland supplies critical habitat for a range of fauna and flora species, including the Salt marsh harvest mouse, the threatened California clapper rail, and an array of migrating birds on the Pacific Flyway.

Visitors may explore the island on guided trips along several walking trails across the organically regenerated wetlands.

Buy Fresh Local Produce at Kiwanis Redwood City Farmer's Market

This Farmer's Market is only open April through November.

Various vendors provide various commodities, including bell peppers, different fruits, eggs, cheese, honey, and flowers.

The vendors are all fairly receptive to chatting about their items.

The market only runs on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, so arriving at the market earlier is a must to ensure an abundant supply of what you want before the traders sell out.

There are plenty of nearby parking spots, making it a breeze to get about.

Grab a Bottle of Beer at FreeWheel Brewing Company

Numerous wineries and breweries are easily accessible in Redwood City, which is why it makes for a perfect weekend vacation location.

One of these is FreeWheel Brewing Company.

Even though it only began in 2012, this brewery is quickly becoming well-known.

With a cuisine that is a superb combination of traditional pub fare and Italian delicacies, they specialize in English-style cask-conditioned beers.

Final Thoughts

While Redwood City lies in the heart of Silicon Valley, it doesn't mean that the city is a one-trick pony.

Historic structures, museums, wildlife preserves, scenic trails, and busy entertainment plazas are just a few of the highlights of Redwood City's rich history.

The city is a great place to visit if you're want to learn more about this fascinating region in Northern California.