Portal:San Francisco Bay Area
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Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area Portal

California Bay Area county map
SF Bay area USGS.jpg

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...)

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Ggb by night.jpg
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...)

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Alma de Bretteville Spreckels
Alma de Bretteville Spreckels (March 24, 1881 - August 7, 1968) was a wealthy socialite and philanthropist in San Francisco, California. She was known both as "Big Alma" (she was 6 feet (1.8 m) tall) and "The Great Grandmother of San Francisco". Among her many accomplishments, she persuaded her first husband, sugar magnate Adolph B. Spreckels, to donate the California Palace of the Legion of Honor to the city of San Francisco. Spreckels' last major project was the construction of the San Francisco Maritime Museum. When it opened in 1951, her collection of model ships that had been on display at the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition was the main exhibit. (more...)

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Broadway Plaza (Walnut Creek, California) 14 2017-04-29.jpg

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...)

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Seal Rock from Cliff House.jpg
Seal Rock from Cliff House, San Francisco
image credit: Brocken Inaglory


The Bay Area by year

1914
Sather Tower
Temple Sinai

 • Sather Tower (pictured, left), a campanile at the University of California, Berkeley, is completed
 • Temple Sinai (pictured, right) in Oakland is completed
 • The Baby Hospital Association (organized September 1912), and the Baby Hospital Association of Alameda County (organized September 1913), establish The Children's Hospital of the East Bay in Oakland

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Did you know...

San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds
San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds

Previous Did you know...

Stone fireplace at Live Oak Park
Eugene Tsui
Third and Townsend Depot

 • ... that Live Oak Park is one of Berkeley's oldest and most naturalistic public parks? (park fireplace pictured)
 • ... that Eugene Tsui's Ojo del Sol house is based upon the world's most indestructible living creature, the tardigrade? (architect pictured)
 • ... that Sutter Cinema's owner/manager Arlene Elster was the first, if not the only, woman to operate an adult theater?
 • ... that Sarah Althea Hill became a national celebrity when she sued millionaire senator William Sharon for divorce in 1883, claiming to have secretly married him three years earlier by private contract?
 • ... that the Third and Townsend Depot (pictured) was built in 1914 for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition?

March 2015

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Christopher Goodwin in character at the opening of the Tales of the City musical

Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon is America's longest-running musical revue. The show began its run in 1974, at Club Savoy Tivoli and has since moved to the larger Club Fugazi in the North Beach district of San Francisco. The show was created by Steve Silver (1944-1995) and continues under the direction of his widow, Jo Schuman Silver, with frequent changes and spoofs of pop and political culture. Performers wear disproportionately large hats/wigs and gaudy costumes while performing satirical renditions of popular songs. (Christopher Goodwin in character at the opening of the Tales of the City musical, pictured)

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~ George Smoot

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Panorama of San Francisco.1904.tif
San Francisco in 1904, 2 years before the earthquake
image credit: Library of Congress

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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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