The San Francisco Bay Area Portal
The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, along with smaller urban and rural areas. The Bay Area's nine counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Home to approximately 7.68 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, and commuter rail. The combined statistical area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world with 8.80 million people.
The Bay Area has the second-most Fortune 500
companies in the United States, after the New York metropolitan area
, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal
politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity
. The area ranks second in highest density of college graduates, after the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area
and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income
and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States
. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance
, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties. (more...)
The Golden Gate Bridge
is a suspension bridge
spanning the Golden Gate
strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay
and the Pacific Ocean
. The structure links the U.S.
city of San Francisco
, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula
, to Marin County
, bridging both U.S. Route 101
and California State Route 1
across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California
, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World
by the American Society of Civil Engineers
The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world". It opened in 1937 and had, until 1964, the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet (1,300 m). (more...)
Walnut Creek is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. With a total estimated population of 67,673, Walnut Creek serves as a hub for its neighboring cities because of its location at the junction of the highways from Sacramento and San Jose (I-680) and San Francisco/Oakland (SR-24) and its accessibility by BART. Its active downtown neighborhood features hundred-year-old buildings and extensive high-end retail establishments, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Walnut Creek owns more open space per capita than any other community in the state of California. In 1974, Walnut Creek voters approved a $6.7 million bond measure that allowed the city to purchase 1,800 acres (730 ha) of undeveloped hillsides, ridge lines, and park sites. Walnut Creek owns parts of Lime Ridge Open Space, Shell Ridge Open Space, Acalanes Ridge Open Space, and Sugarloaf Open Space. (more...)
The Bay Area by year
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Did you know...
San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds
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~ George Smoot
||When I came to (UC) Berkeley, I met all these Nobel laureates and I got to know that they were regular people. They were very smart and very motivated and worked very hard, but they were still humans, whereas before they were kind of mythical creatures to me.
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Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas
Things you can do
San Francisco in 1904, 2 years before the earthquake
San Francisco Bay Area categories