Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

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The San Francisco Bay Area Portal

California Bay Area county map
SF Bay area USGS.jpg

The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California, United States. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, 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 7.44 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 urban area of San Francisco and San Jose is the second largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth largest in the United States, and the 56th largest urban area in the world.

The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) does not use the nine-county definition of the San Francisco Bay Area. The OMB has designated a more extensive 12-county Combined Statistical Area (CSA) titled the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area which also includes the three counties of San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, and San Benito that do not border San Francisco Bay, but are economically tied to the nine counties that do. The southernmost portion of Sacramento County has direct access to Suisun Bay, which lies immediately to the east of San Pablo Bay, but is not counted as one of the counties of the Bay Area.

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area has high incomes, performing 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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Mission San Jose April 2011 001.jpg
Mission San José is a Spanish mission located in the present-day city of Fremont, California. It was founded on June 11, 1797 by the Franciscan order and was the fourteenth Spanish mission established in California. The mission is the namesake of the Mission San José district of Fremont, which was an independent town subsumed into the city when it was incorporated in 1957.

The Mission entered a long period of gradual decline after secularization in 1834, though numerous restoration efforts in the intervening periods have reconstructed many of the original structures. The old mission church remains in use as a chapel of Saint Joseph Catholic Church, a parish of the Diocese of Oakland. The museum also features a visitor center, museum, and slide show telling the history of the mission. (more...)

Selected biography

Lange's well known 1936, Migrant Mother, Florence Owens Thompson
Lange in 1936

Dorothea Lange (May 26, 1895 – October 11, 1965) was an influential American documentary photographer and photojournalist, best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Lange's photographs ("Migrant Mother", 1936, pictured, left) humanized the consequences of the Great Depression and influenced the development of documentary photography.

Lange was educated in photography at Columbia University in New York City, in a class taught by Clarence H. White. She was informally apprenticed to several New York photography studios, including that of the famed Arnold Genthe. In 1918, she moved to San Francisco, and by the following year she had opened a successful portrait studio. She lived across the bay in Berkeley for the rest of her life. In 1920, she married the noted western painter Maynard Dixon, with whom she had two sons. (more...)

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Concord (/ˈkɒŋkərd/ KON-kərd; formerly Todos Santos) is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 122,067. Founded in 1869 as the community of Todos Santos by Salvio Pacheco, the name was changed to Concord within months. The city is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Francisco Bay Area, and is 31 miles (50 km) east of San Francisco. (more...)

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Recently in the Bay Area

Kearny Street, San Francisco
Protesters against Donald Trump, San Francisco
Oakland "Ghost Ship" warehouse fire
Uber self driving car (October 2016)
Kevin Starr
Trump inauguration protest SF Jan 20 2017
"Bridge Together Golden Gate"
San Bruno explosion and fires, at night
Protesters at San Francisco International Airport, 2017
Representative Mike Honda speaks at a San Francisco protest of Executive_Order_13769 in February 2017
Series of Storms Battering California Tracked by NASA's AIRS Instrument
Third Street, San Francisco
Anderson Lake dam and spillway

The Bay Area by year

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Did you know...

El Cid Campeador
Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel rooftop
"Cheese Cake" by Sheana Davis

 • ... that Charlotte L. Brown was one of the first African Americans to legally challenge racial segregation in the United States, when she filed a lawsuit against a streetcar company in San Francisco in the 1860's, after she was forcibly removed from a segregated streetcar?
 • ... that Bay Area restaurateur Juanita Musson often argued with and insulted her staff and customers, and was involved in a number of physical altercations, but was despite this still well-liked?
 • ... that a copy of El Cid Campeador, a sculpture of El Cid by artist Anna Hyatt Huntington, is displayed at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco? (sculpture pictured)
 • ... that in 1969, artist Alfred Young helped create a public environmental art piece, using a non-toxic yellow dye to spell out the word "OIL" in large capital letters in the San Francisco Bay? (artist's sketch of later work pictured)
 • ... that San Francisco columnist Herb Caen dubbed the Persian Room at San Francisco's Sir Francis Drake Hotel “The Snake Pit” because, he wrote, “You never heard such hissing or saw such writhing"? (rooftop pictured)
 • ... that cheesemaker and restaurateur Sheana Davis produces her cheeses at a cooperative in Berkeley, and provides them to the French Laundry and Kendall-Jackson? (Cheese "Cake" by Davis pictured)

Previous Did you know...

Redwood City port aerial view.jpg
*... that the Port of Redwood City (pictured) is the only deep-water port in southern San Francisco Bay? *... that the San Bruno Creek Trail provides a key link in the San Francisco Bay perimeter trail, but a two-mile detour inland is required? *... that the Krazy Kat cartoons printed in the San Francisco Examiner prompted a serious physical assault on Agnes Newton Keith? *... that the Seal Slough tidal channel in California hosts a thriving marshland habitat despite encroachment by a sewage treatment plant and two schools?

February 2007

Selected periodic event

Muse at the 2011 festival

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)


Joan Didion at the Brooklyn Book Festival.jpg
~ Joan Didion Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968)
*more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote

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Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas

Things you can do


GoldenGateBridge-001.jpg You are invited to participate in the San Francisco Bay Area task force, a task force dedicated to developing and improving articles about the San Francisco Bay Area.

Related Portals

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San Francisco Bay Area categories

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia sister projects provide more on this subject:






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