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Burlingame, California facts for kids

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Burlingame, California
City of Burlingame
Burlingame Avenue
Burlingame Avenue
Official seal of Burlingame, California
Location of Burlingame in San Mateo County, California
Location of Burlingame in San Mateo County, California
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Country United States
State California
Incorporated June 6, 1908
Named for Anson Burlingame
 • Total 6.04 sq mi (15.64 km2)
 • Land 4.39 sq mi (11.38 km2)
 • Water 1.65 sq mi (4.26 km2)  27.25%
39 ft (12 m)
 • Total 31,386
 • Density 7,144.55/sq mi (2,758.42/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP Codes
Area code 650
FIPS code 06-09066
GNIS feature IDs 1659704, 2409945

Burlingame is a city in San Mateo County, California. It is located on the San Francisco Peninsula and has a significant shoreline on San Francisco Bay. The city is named after diplomat Anson Burlingame and is known for its numerous eucalyptus groves, high quality of life, walkable downtown area, and public school system. As of the 2020 census, the city population was 31,386.


Howard-Ralston Eucalyptus Tree Rows
Howard-Ralston Eucalyptus Tree Rows.jpg
Location El Camino Real, Burlingame, CA
Built 1873–1876
NRHP reference No. 12000127
Added to NRHP March 15, 2012

Burlingame is situated on land previously owned by San Francisco-based merchant William Davis Merry Howard. Howard planted many eucalyptus trees on his property and retired to live on the land. Howard died in 1856 and the land was sold to William C. Ralston, a prominent banker. In 1868, Ralston named the land after his friend, Anson Burlingame, the United States Ambassador to China. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, hundreds of lots in Burlingame were sold to people looking to establish new homes, and the town of Burlingame was incorporated in 1908. In 1910, the neighboring town of Easton was annexed and this area is now known as the Easton Addition neighborhood of Burlingame.

City of Trees

Burlingame is known as the City of Trees due to the number of trees within the city (18,000 public trees). In 1908, the Burlingame board of trustees passed an ordinance "prohibiting cutting, injuring, or destroying trees". The city also has many parks and Eucalyptus groves that add to the overall tree numbers.



Three highways pass through Burlingame. Highway 101 runs from San Jose to San Francisco along San Francisco Bay. Highway 82, also known as El Camino Real, runs parallel to Highway 101 and acts as the main corridor for local traffic going up and down the peninsula. A small section of Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard) also lies with city limits. It connects with Interstate 280, which runs along the side of Burlingame opposite Highway 101.


Caltrain has served Burlingame station since 1985 when it bought out Southern Pacific. It uses the same depot that was used in the early 20th century.


Bay Area Rapid Transit has its final stop in Millbrae, just north of Burlingame. BART's tracks are within Burlingame city limits.


Burlingame is served by SamTrans bus lines 292, 398, 46 and the ECR as well as and Caltrain shuttles. The City of Burlingame and local businesses sponsor the Burlingame Trolley, a two-route shuttle.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (16 km2). 4.4 square miles (11 km2) of it is land and 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) of it (27.25%) is water.


This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Burlingame has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,565
1920 4,107 162.4%
1930 13,270 223.1%
1940 15,940 20.1%
1950 19,886 24.8%
1960 24,036 20.9%
1970 27,320 13.7%
1980 26,173 −4.2%
1990 26,801 2.4%
2000 28,158 5.1%
2010 28,806 2.3%
2020 31,386 9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

The 2010 United States Census reported that Burlingame had a population of 28,806. The population density was 6,537.9 people per square mile (2,524.4/km2). Details regarding the demographic profile are shown below.

Demographic profile 2010
Total Population 28,806 – 100.0%
White (Non-Hispanic) 17,434 – 60.5%
Asian alone 5,773 – 20.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 3,966 – 13.8%
Black or African American alone 327 – 1.1%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 34 – 0.1%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 129 – 0.4%
Some other race alone 156 – 0.5%
Two or more races alone 987 – 3.4%

The population was spread out, with 6,256 people (21.7%) under the age of 18, 1,496 people (5.2%) aged 18 to 24, 8,872 people (30.8%) aged 25 to 44, 8,136 people (28.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,046 people (14.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.

There were 13,027 housing units at an average density of 2,956.7 per square mile (1,141.6/km2). There were 12,361 households with average household size of 2.29. There were 7,183 families (58.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.02.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), median household income was $122,999 and per capita income was $70,519, in 2018 dollars.


Points of interest

  • Burlingame Avenue and Broadway Avenue, two streets running parallel to each other about one mile apart, are two of the city's main retail districts.
  • Kohl Mansion, a 63-room brick Tudor Mansion on 40 acres of land originally built by Bessie and Frederick Kohl, with architects Howard and White and completed in 1914. The estate includes tennis courts, green houses, a rose garden, a large carriage house, and a 150,000 gallon reservoir. The mansion was sold to the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, was a convent from 1924-31, and has been the home of Mercy High School, since 1931.

In popular culture

  • In The Maltese Falcon, Spade rushes to 26 Ancho Street in Burlingame to rescue Brigid O'Shaughnessy.
  • Scenes from the film Dangerous Minds were filmed on the campus of Burlingame High School in the spring of 1994.
  • Burlingame is home to the historic Kohl Mansion, where the movie Flubber was filmed.
  • In James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series, San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Jill Bernhardt lives in Burlingame.
  • Leo Wyatt, character from the series Charmed, was born in Burlingame
  • Scenes from the music video "Crusin' down the avenue" were filmed in Burlingame


In the 1920s, Burlingame became a popular location for automobile retailers which became known as "Auto Row".

In the 1960s, various airline support service businesses opened in Burlingame due to its proximity to San Francisco International Airport. As of 2018, LSG/Sky Chefs, Inc. and China Airlines are all located in Burlingame. The airport location has also attracted the headquarters of medium-sized multi-site companies such as Meri Meri and Proterra, Inc.

Historically, Burlingame has been home to many candy and chocolate companies, including the It's-It ice cream factory and store, Guittard Chocolate, the See's Candies lollipop factory, and family-owned candy stores, including Powell's, Preston's, Aida Opera Candies, and Nuts for Candy.

Since 2010, Burlingame's economy has diversified substantially and it has become an attractive location for biotechnology companies given its proximity to South San Francisco. Biotechnology companies with offices in Burlingame include Annai Systems, Breathometer, Cala Health, Cleave Biosciences, Collaborative Drug Discovery, Confidence Clinical Research, Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Igenica Biotherapeutics, Kindred Biosciences, Omnitura, Phoenix Pharmaceuticals, Pulse Biosciences, Respira Therapeutics, and Vector Labs.

Additionally, multiple high-technology firms have established offices in Burlingame due to its location between the booming technology centers of Silicon Valley to the south and San Francisco to the north. Tech companies with Burlingame offices include:, Natsume, Color Genomics, CarWoo, Jobvite, DataStax, Sprint's M2M Collaboration Center, YouWeb, OpenFeint, CrowdStar, BitGravity, Veebeam, and TellApart.

As of March 2022, the median single home value in Burlingame was $2.8 million.


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

San Mateo Union High School District operates local high schools while the Burlingame School District operates elementary and middle schools.

Burlingame High School is the city's sole public high school. Burlingame Intermediate School is Burlingame's sole public middle school. There are six public elementary schools serving Burlingame. They are Franklin Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, Washington Elementary, and Hoover Elementary. According to the 2009 Base Academic Performance Index (API) Scores from the California Department of Education, the Burlingame School District ranks among the best in the state, with 4 out of their 6 public elementary schools (Roosevelt Elementary, Washington Elementary, Franklin Elementary, and Lincoln Elementary) scoring well between 880 and 925, and with ratings of 9 or 10. Burlingame school district enrollment has continually been increasing as young families move to the city. The city has passed two bond measures to add new facilities and modernize existing facilities to provide state-of-the-art classrooms. The city recently extensively renovated and modernized the Hoover School, which was built in 1931 and reopened in 2016.

Private schools

Mercy High School is a private Catholic all-girls high school in Burlingame. It was founded in 1931 by the Sisters of Mercy. The school is located in the Kohl Mansion which is a Historic Landmark. Our Lady of Angels School and St. Catherine of Siena School are located in Burlingame.

Burlingame Library
Burlingame Library

Public libraries

Burlingame Library is located in Burlingame. It was established by city ordinance October 11, 1909. Following the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the City approved a bond issue to reconstruct the library. The architecture has won awards and earned a cover story in the 1998 American Libraries journal. A second branch, located on Easton Drive, is substantially smaller than the main branch. Both are operated by the Peninsula Library System, the library authority for the county.

Notable people

Scott Feldman at Minute Maid Park in August 2014
Scott Feldman


  • Dianna Agron, actress from Glee, attended Burlingame Intermediate School and Burlingame High School
  • Sally Dryer, actress known for voicing Lucy Van Pelt in Peanuts holiday specials
  • Hannah Hart, comedian and YouTuber, was raised in Burlingame
  • Adam Klein, winner of Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X, attended Burlingame High School
  • Brad Schreiber, author and TV writer-producer, attended Burlingame High School and lived in the mayor's mansion at 238 Myrtle Road

Artists and designers

  • Chen Chi-kwan, (1921–2007) Taiwanese-born artist, architect, and educator, lived and died in Burlingame.
  • Leon Gilmour, (1907–1996) wood engraving artist, died in Burlingame
  • Percy Gray, artist and painter, lived in Burlingame from 1912 to 1923

Businesspeople and entrepreneurs

  • Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of, attended Burlingame High School
  • Charles S. Howard, owner of Seabiscuit, owned a home in Burlingame
  • Leonard Read, founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, lived in Burlingame


  • Bill Amend, author of the comic strip FoxTrot, attended Burlingame High School
  • Shirley Jackson, author, whose novel The Road Through the Wall is set in Burlingame
  • Tamora Pierce, best-selling children's author, attended Burlingame Intermediate School


  • Travis Bader, basketball player, attended Burlingame Intermediate School and Burlingame High School
  • David Bakhtiari, starting offensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers, lives in Burlingame
  • Scott Feldman, Major League Baseball pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds
  • George Kelly, Hall of Fame baseball player nicknamed "High Pockets", lived and died in Burlingame
  • Hank Sauer, two-time All-Star outfielder for Chicago Cubs, died in Burlingame


  • Jung-Ho Pak, orchestra conductor, was born in Burlingame
  • Tom Lantos, Democratic Congressman who resided in Burlingame during his time in office.
  • Katrina Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation. Former chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. 2002 and 2010 candidate for New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district. Daughter of Congressman Tom Lantos and wife of Congressman Richard Swett.

Images for kids

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