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 (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...)

Selected article

Napa valley Cabernet.jpg
Napa Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Napa County, California, United States. It is considered one of the world's premier wine regions, not just in terms of quality but in terms of high prices. Records of commercial wine production in the region date back to the nineteenth century, but premium wine production dates back only to the 1960s.

The combination of Mediterranean climate, geography and geology of the region are conducive to growing quality wine grapes. John Patchett established the Napa Valley's first commercial vineyard in 1858. In 1861 Charles Krug established another of Napa Valley's first commercial wineries in St. Helena. Viticulture in Napa suffered several setbacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including an outbreak of the vine disease phylloxera, the institution of Prohibition, and the Great Depression. The wine industry in Napa Valley recovered, and helped by the results of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, came to be seen as capable of producing the best quality wine - equal to that of Old World wine regions. Napa Valley is now a major enotourism destination.(more...)

Selected biography

Robert Cyril Stebbins (March 31, 1915 – September 23, 2013) was an American herpetologist and illustrator known for his field guides and popular books as well as his studies of reptiles and amphibians. His Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, first published in 1966, is still considered the definitive reference of its kind, owing to both the quality of the illustrations and the comprehensiveness of the text. A professor of zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, for over 30 years, he was the first curator of herpetology at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, a 1949 Guggenheim fellow, and author of over 70 scientific articles. His discovery of the ring species phenomenon in Ensatina salamanders is now a textbook example of speciation, and he performed extensive research on the parietal eye of reptiles. He produced nature films, supported science education in primary grades, and organized conservation efforts that aided in the passing of the 1994 California Desert Protection Act. After retirement he continued to paint, collect field notes, and write books. Stebbins is commemorated in the scientific names of three species: Batrachoseps stebbinsi, the Tehachapi slender salamander; Anniella stebbinsi, a legless lizard; and Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi, the endangered Sonora tiger salamander. (more...)

Selected city

Emeryville is a small city in Alameda County, California, in the United States. It is located in a corridor between the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, extending to the shore of San Francisco Bay. Its proximity to San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, the University of California, Berkeley, and Silicon Valley has been a catalyst for recent economic growth. It is home to Pixar Animation Studios, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Jamba Juice and Clif Bar. In addition, several well known biotech and software companies have made their home in Emeryville: Electronic Arts' Maxis Software division, LeapFrog, Sendmail, MobiTV, Novartis (formerly Chiron before April 2006), and BigFix (now IBM). The population was 10,080 as of 2010, although it swells considerably on weekdays due to the city's position as a regional employment center. Emeryville has some features of an edge city; however, it is located within the inner urban core of the Oakland/greater East Bay and was heavily industrialized before the First World War. (more...)

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Recently in the Bay Area

Warm Springs BART station on opening day
The United States of America, Arthur Szyk (1945)
Robert Taylor in 2008
Customers waiting to purchase the Tesla 3 in Walnut Creek, California

The Bay Area by year

Huntington Hotel

Selected historical image

San Francisco, California. Many children of Japanese ancestry attended Raphael Weill public School, . . . - NARA - 536439.jpg
"San Francisco, California. Many children of Japanese ancestry attended Raphael Weill public School, Geary and Buchanan Streets, prior to evacuation. This scene shows first- graders during flag pledge ceremony. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration. Provision will be effected for the continuance of education." (Dorothea Lange, 20 April 1942)

Did you know...

Emiko Omori and Victor Wong
Tim Stearns
The Oceanic, 1871
Ghost Ship warehouse interior

 • ... 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?
 • ... 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?
 • ... 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"?
 • ... 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?
 • ... 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?
 • ... that the building consumed in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire had at least ten complaints filed on it since 1998? (interior damage pictured)
 • ... 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...

The Usermontu mummy
Tony Gemignani
Panama-Pacific commemorative coin

 • ... that the Usermontu mummy (pictured, left), at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, had an iron orthopedic screw placed inside his left knee at the time of his death?
 • ... that pizza chef Tony Gemignani (pictured, right) opened Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco's Little Italy in 2009, which was named "The Best Pizzeria in America" by Forbes magazine?
 • ... that the octagonal $50 piece of the Panama-Pacific commemorative coin issue (pictured, right) is the only U.S. coin that is not round?

June 2015

Selected periodic event

Salt production in Newark

Newark Days is an annual four day celebration that takes place in Newark every September to celebrate the incorporation of the city on September 22, 1955. Annual attendance for the celebration is more than 100,000. (Production facilities at Morton Salt, part of the history of the Newark region, pictured)


John Steinbeck 1962.jpg
~ John Steinbeck,
*more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote

Selected multimedia file

1898 launch of the Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser Chitose , filmed by Thomas Edison Co.

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

Selected panorama

San Francisco from Pier 7 September 2013 panorama edit.jpg
San Francisco from Pier 7. San Francisco Belle docked at Pier 3, Financial District skyscrapers in the background. At the left is the Bay Bridge
image credit: King of Hearts

San Francisco Bay Area categories

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