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 prominent cape
and popular Northern California tourist destination on the Pacific coast of northern California
. It is located in Marin County
approximately 30 miles (50 km) west-northwest of San Francisco. The term is often applied to the Point Reyes Peninsula
, the region bounded by Tomales Bay
on the northeast and Bolinas Lagoon
on the southeast. The headland is protected as part of Point Reyes National Seashore
The cape protects Drakes Bay on its southern side. The headland is largely drained by Drakes Estero. Drakes Bay and Drake's Estero are named after English seafarer Sir Francis Drake who possibly hauled his ship, the Golden Hinde, up onto the beach for repairs in June 1579. Inverness Ridge runs along the peninsula's northwest-southeast spine, with forested peaks around 430 meters (1,400 ft). West of the ridge, the land flattens out and the vegetation turns to scrub. The Mount Vision fire in 1995 burned part of Inverness Ridge. Point Reyes lends its name to the town of Point Reyes Station, California.
The point may once have been known as Lobes Lighthouse by the sailors of clipper ships on the meat trade. (more...)
Leo Joseph Ryan, Jr.
(May 5, 1925 - November 18, 1978) was an American politician
of the Democratic Party
. He served as a U.S. Representative
from California's 11th congressional district
from 1973 until he was shot to death in Guyana
by members of the Peoples Temple
, shortly before the Jonestown Massacre
After the Watts Riots of 1965, Assemblyman Ryan took a job as a substitute school teacher to investigate and document conditions in the area. In 1970, he investigated the conditions of California prisons by being held, under a pseudonym, as an inmate in Folsom Prison, while presiding as chairman of the Assembly committee that oversaw prison reform. During his time in Congress, Ryan traveled to Newfoundland to investigate the practice of seal hunting.
Ryan was also famous for vocal criticism of the lack of Congressional oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and authored the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, passed in 1974. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously in 1983. (more...)
, officially the City and County of San Francisco
, is the cultural center and a leading financial hub of the San Francisco Bay Area
and Northern California
The only consolidated city-county in California, San Francisco encompasses a land area of about 46.9 square miles (121 km2) on the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, giving it a density of about 17,867 people per square mile (6,898 people per km2). It is the most densely settled large city (population greater than 200,000) in the state of California and the second-most densely populated major city in the United States after New York City. San Francisco is the fourth-most populous city in California, after Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, and the 14th-most populous city in the United States--with a Census-estimated 2013 population of 837,442. The city is also the financial and cultural hub of the larger San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined statistical area, with a population of 8.5 million. (more...)
Recently in the Bay Area
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, from California's 12th congressional district in San Francisco, and other senior Democratic congressional leaders, call on United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, following reports that he had lied under oath to Congress about phone contacts he had had with Russian officials prior to taking his post, and during the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, for who he campaigned 
- Violence at a Berkeley March 4 Trump rally results in injuries to 7, and the arrests of 10 people 
- The Warm Springs / South Fremont Bay Area Rapid Transit station (pictured) begins operating in Fremont
- Berkeley is the first city in the US to declare they will refuse to conduct business with companies that are involved with the US/Mexico border wall proposed by President Trump, and will move to divest from those companies that they have investments in 
- The National Football League approves the Oakland Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas, Nevada, once a new stadium is constructed there, despite efforts by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to create financing for a new stadium complex in Oakland 
- A collection of the works of Arthur Szyk (work pictured), consisting of 450 paintings, drawings and sketches owned by Burlingame Rabbi Irvin Ungar, is purchased for $10.1 million by the University of California, Berkeley's Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, through a donation by Taube Philanthropies, the largest single monetary gift to acquire art in UC Berkeley history  
- Santa Clara County and San Francisco ask U.S. District Judge William Orrick to block an executive order by President Donald Trump that threatens to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities and counties, arguing that it violates the Constitution and federal laws 
- Suicide barriers begin to be installed under the Golden Gate Bridge after years of debate and delays. 
- At least 21 people are arrested, and 7 hospitalized, at a clash between approximately 200 Pro-Trump and Anti-Trump demonstrators in Berkeley, at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, during which numerous fights broke out, with reports of the use of firecrackers and pepper spray  
- Computer scientist Robert W. Taylor (pictured), who was integral in the development of the Internet, and who founded the Digital Equipment Corporation Systems Research Center in Palo Alto, dies at his home in Woodside
- Women's clothing retailer Bebe begins closing all 175 of its stores, to become an exclusively online retailer  
- The area's first officially sanctioned "Weed Day" takes place in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park 
- Tens of thousands turn out in San Francisco on Earth Day at the local March for Science, to protest federal budget cuts to science research, with Mythbusters host Adam Savage saying "The enemy of science isn't politics or a party or an ideology or a law -- it is bias, and bias is everywhere. Science is the rigorous elimination of bias. That is a good thing." 
- In response to requests by Santa Clara County and San Francisco, U.S. District Judge William Orrick temporarily blocks Executive Order 13768, which had threatened to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities, writing "The statements of the President, his press secretary and the Attorney General belie the Government's argument in the briefing that the Order does not change the law. They have repeatedly indicated an intent to defund sanctuary jurisdictions in compliance with the Executive Order."..."The threat of the Order and the uncertainty it is causing impermissibly interferes with the Counties' ability to operate, to provide key services, to plan for the future, and to budget."  
- At least 80 leopard sharks wash up dead on the shores of San Francisco Bay, possibly due to a fungal infection, with likely as many as 1,000 dying and sinking since early March 
- San Francisco reaches a daytime temperature of 106 degrees Fahrenheit, its highest recorded temperature since record keeping began in 1874 
The Bay Area by year
Selected historical image
"First women to attain rate of Electric Welder, 3rd class, were Alyce R. Sawyers (on the left) and Josephine L. Hollingworth, in 1942. US Navy Yard, Mare Island., CA."
Did you know...
o ... that filmmaker Emiko Omori (pictured, left, with Victor Wong) began her career in 1968 at KQED, becoming one of the first camerawomen to work in news documentaries?
o ... that Fisher Creek is tributary to the largest freshwater wetland in Santa Clara County, Laguna Seca, a seasonal lake important to groundwater recharge and migratory birds?
o ... that San Francisco based architect Jack Hillmer is known for his meticulously hand-crafted Modernist homes built from redwood, and was an exponent of what Lewis Mumford called the "Bay Region style"?
o ... that Stanford University Department of Biology chairman Tim Stearns (pictured), together with his wife, medical researcher Susan Cleveland, tend a fruit tree orchard at their home in Redwood City?
o ... that the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company's flagship, the Oceanic (pictured), set a Pacific crossing record of 16 days and 10 hours, 8 days less than the ships of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company?
o ... that the building consumed in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire had at least ten complaints filed on it since 1998? (interior damage pictured)
o ... that after Agnes Fay Morgan conducted a nutritional study with foxes, she presented her data wearing a stole made from the fur of her subjects?
Previous Did you know...
o ... that critics complained that a bronze statue (pictured, left) of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal standing in San Francisco's Civic Center more closely resembled the Sumerian king Gilgamesh?
o ... that the twenty-dollar Liberty Head double eagle (pictured, right) was minted after the California gold rush as the "most efficient way to coin a given quantity of gold bullion"?
o ... that the Blue Wing Inn (pictured, right), started as a one-room hotel in Sonoma, California, in 1836, was also a saloon, a gambling hall, a stagecoach depot, a grocery store, a winery, a museum, and a retail center?
o ... that Mike McCormick was the first San Francisco Giants pitcher to win the Cy Young Award?
o ... that First Lady of California, Anne Gust has served as both an Executive Vice-President for Gap Inc. and on the board of directors for Jack in the Box?
o ... that Bay Area Bike Share, the first large-scale bike sharing service deployed on the West Coast of the United States, opened to the public in five cities on August 29, 2013?
August - October 2013
Selected periodic event
The San Jose Flea Market, open on weekends, is the largest open-air market in the U.S. and has over four million visitors each year. In addition to merchandise vendors, it features a produce market, prepared foods, and two bandstands, one traditionally reserved for a mariachi band (pictured).
~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley (1962)
||A city on hills has it over flat-land places. . . . This gold and white acropolis rising wave on wave against the blue of the Pacific sky was a stunning thing, a painted thing, like a picture of a mediaeval Italian city which can never have existed.'
Selected multimedia file
Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas
Things you can do
San Francisco Bay Area categories