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...)
is a mountain
's Diablo Range
, in Santa Clara County, California
. Mount Hamilton, at 4,216 feet (1,285 m) is mountain overlooking Silicon Valley
, and is the site of Lick Observatory
, the first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory
. The other summits along its mile-long summit ridge are known by astronomy
The highest Copernicus Peak at 4363+ feet (1330+ m) is named for Nicolaus Copernicus. Kepler Peak, named for Johannes Kepler, and 4,213-foot (1,284 m) Observatory Peak follow. The latter was more than 30 feet (9.1 m) taller before it was leveled during the construction of the observatory in the 1880s. The asteroid 452 Hamiltonia, discovered in 1899, is named after the mountain. Golden Eagle nesting sites are found on the slopes of Mount Hamilton. On clear days, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey Bay, and even the Monterey Peninsula are visible from the summit of the mountain. (more...)
Edmund "Ed" Jew
; traditional Chinese
: ziu6 jyut6 ming4
, born 1960 in San Francisco
) is an incarcerated former Chinese American
politician based in San Francisco. He graduated from San Francisco State University
with a degree in economics
and later earned a masters degree in business administration
at Golden Gate University
. After spending several years as a businessman managing his family enterprises, he entered politics in 1980s and went on to serve in various community organizations. In 1996, he was the volunteer liaison for then District 4
supervisor Leland Yee
. In 2002, Yee successfully ran for a seat in the California Assembly
, and Jew ran for Yee's seat on the Board of Supervisors in the 2002 election
, but was defeated. When Yee's successor Fiona Ma
in 2006 ran for state assembly, Jew again ran for supervisor in District 4, which comprises most of the Sunset District
. After winning a highly competitive election decided by instant-runoff voting
, he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Six months after he took office, the FBI raided his office and homes for allegedly extorting money from small business owners in his district. Shortly after the raid, the city attorney began investigating Jew for violating residency requirements necessary to hold his supervisor position. In September 2007, he was suspended by Mayor Gavin Newsom and later resigned in the face of extortion and perjury charges. In late 2008, he pled guilty to both charges. He was sentenced to 64 months in federal prison for extortion, and a year in county jail for perjury. (more...)
, Livermore Ranch
, and Nottingham
) is a city in Alameda County
. The estimated population as of 2011 was 82,039. Livermore is located on the eastern edge of California's San Francisco Bay Area
Livermore was founded by William Mendenhall and named after Robert Livermore, his friend and a local rancher who settled in the area in the 1840s. Livermore is the home of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for which the chemical element livermorium is named (and thus, placing the city's name in the periodic table). Livermore is also the California site of Sandia National Laboratories, which is headquartered in Alburquerque, NM. Its south side is home to local vineyards. The city has also redeveloped its downtown district. The city is considered part of the Tri-Valley area, including Amador, Livermore and San Ramon Valleys. (more...)
The Bay Area by year
Selected historical image
San Francisco in 1851
Did you know...
San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds
Previous Did you know...
Selected periodic event
The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is a music festival held annually at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It was first held in 2008, and included over 60 musical acts from around the world, as well as several art installations, and brought in 40,000 to 60,000 attendees a day. (Muse pictured)
~ Frank Norris, McTeague (1899)
||B Street station was nothing more than a little shed. There was no ticket office, nothing but a couple of whittled and carven benches. It was built close to the railroad tracks, just across which was the dirty, muddy shore of San Francisco Bay. About a quarter of a mile back from the station was the edge of the town of Oakland. Between the station and the first houses of the town lay immense salt flats, here and there broken by winding streams of black water. They were covered with a growth of wiry grass, strangely discolored in places by enormous stains of orange yellow.
Near the station a bit of fence painted with a cigar advertisement reeled over into the mud, while under its lee lay an abandoned gravel wagon with dished wheels. The station was connected with the town by the extension of B Street, which struck across the flats geometrically straight, a file of tall poles with intervening wires marching along with it. At the station these were headed by an iron electric-light pole that, with its supports and outriggers, looked for all the world like an immense grasshopper on its hind legs.
Across the flats, at the fringe of the town, were the dump heaps, the figures of a few Chinese rag-pickers moving over them. Far to the left the view was shut off by the immense red-brown drum of the gas-works; to the right it was bounded by the chimneys and workshops of an iron foundry.
Across the railroad tracks, to seaward, one saw the long stretch of black mud bank left bare by the tide, which was far out, nearly half a mile. Clouds of sea-gulls were forever rising and settling upon this mud bank; a wrecked and abandoned wharf crawled over it on tottering legs; close in an old sailboat lay canted on her bilge.
But farther on, across the yellow waters of the bay, beyond Goat Island, lay San Francisco, a blue line of hills, rugged with roofs and spires. Far to the westward opened the Golden Gate, a bleak cutting in the sand-hills, through which one caught a glimpse of the open Pacific.
The station at B Street was solitary; no trains passed at this hour; except the distant rag-pickers, not a soul was in sight. The wind blew strong, carrying with it the mingled smell of salt, of tar, of dead seaweed, and of bilge. The sky hung low and brown; at long intervals a few drops of rain fell.
Selected multimedia file
Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas
Things you can do
San Francisco Bay Area categories