San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area [ ˌ ˌ Saen fɹənsɪskoʊ beɪ eəɹiə ] ( area around the bay of San Francisco), also briefly called Bay Area, is a metropolitan region in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. Its main cities are grouped around the bay from San Francisco. The largest city in the region is San Jose. Culturally dominant, however, San Francisco, the historic center of the region. The area of San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and its surrounding region comprises approximately seven million inhabitants. Thus, the Bay Area is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the United States and number 41 in the world.

  • 3.1 Air Traffic
  • 3.2 Road traffic
  • 3.3 Marine Traffic
  • 3.4 Public Transport
  • 4.1 Sport
  • 4.2 Music
  • 5.1 County
  • 5.2 Cities



The Bay of San Francisco ( San Francisco Bay) is eponymous for the surrounding region it. Connected to the actual bay are two side bays, the San Pablo Bay and the Suisun Bay. The counties of the Bay Area are grouped around these three bays, a total of which comprise a water surface of 1600 km ². The San Francisco Bay and its side bays are limited to the north and south by the Pacific Coast Ranges, to the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the east by the California Longitudinal Valley (Central Valley).

The San Francisco Bay is the only natural opening of the Central Valley. Its two main rivers, the Sacramento River and the San Joaquin River, forming in their mouth area, a large delta and finally unite at Antioch. From there they flow over the Suisun Bay, San Pablo Bay and the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. In the mountains north of the Bay Area Napa River and the Russian River spring from which flow into the San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean. In the southern part of the Bay Area of the Guadalupe River flows into the bay of San Francisco.

North of the Bay Area are the Mayacamas Mountains, which eventually merge into the Mendocino Range. Highest point of the Mayacamas Mountains in the area of ​​Bay Area county is Mount Saint Helena with a height of 1,319 meters. South of the Bay of San Francisco is the Diablo Range, which extends into southern California. Your highest mountains in the Bay Area are Mount Hamilton ( 1,327 meters) and Mount Diablo ( 1,160 meters). The peninsula is located on the San Francisco, is dominated by the Santa Cruz Mountains, whose highest point Loma Prieta is the ( 1,155 meters).


The Bay Area is divided into several sub-regions: the area north of the San Francisco Bay known as North Bay and comprises the counties Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano. It is the least urbanized part of the Bay Area, its largest city is Santa Rosa.

West of the Bay of San Francisco is the San Francisco Peninsula, locally called only The Peninsula. This area consists of the city of San Francisco and San Mateo County. Most cities of this region are arranged in a long chain that runs along the bay.

The area around the cities of Oakland, Fremont and Richmond is known as East Bay. This is consistent with the Contra Costa County and Alameda.

South of the bay lies the South Bay. It consists of the Santa Clara County, which includes, among others, the cities of San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara.

According to the Association of Bay Area Governments, the area of the metropolitan region includes only the nine counties bordering the Bay of San Francisco and San Pablo. The United States Census Bureau, it is also seen to Santa Cruz, which while not bordering the Bay of San Francisco, but is economically and culturally connected with this.


Due to the large bodies of water and the various mountains, the Bay Area includes subregions with slightly differing climates. The annual average temperature ranges between 14-16 degrees Celsius. The areas near the Pacific have with cool summers and mild winters, however, significantly lower in temperature than the inland cities like Livermore. The latter also being registered only a slight precipitate, since they are partially separated from the ocean by mountains. In contrast, the coastal areas of the North Bay have such a high rainfall that can grow here coast redwoods.


The Bay Area includes several protected recreation areas, which, however, do not fall into the category of national parks. These include, in the Marin Point Reyes National Seashore and the Muir Woods National Monument, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which extends also over San Francisco and San Mateo. In Contra Costa is the Mount Diablo State Park in Santa Cruz, Big Basin Redwoods State Park.


All counties of the Bay Area have above-average in intra- California comparison income. Marin is even the richest county in the entire United States.

Significant for the economy of the Bay Area include the wine region of Napa Valley. The Silicon Valley is the most important American high -tech center. Berkeley has one of the most prestigious universities in the United States.



The Bay region has three international airports. The oldest and most important is the San Francisco International Airport ( SFO). With about 37 million passengers a year, it is located at No. 13 of the largest U.S. airports. Tired of the world is San Francisco International Airport in these statistics on rank 23 He offers several daily direct flights to Frankfurt, as well as direct connections to Dusseldorf and Munich.

Of increasing importance are the Oakland International Airport (OAK ) and San Jose International Airport ( SJC) with 7 and 5 million passengers annually. Both offer mainly domestic U.S. flights.


The Bay Area is cross-linked by several highways with other American metropolitan areas. Interstate 5 runs along the West Coast from Seattle to San Diego. The Bay Area is connected with other expressways to them. The second major north - south route is U.S. Route 101, which runs from San Francisco along Cloverdale over San Jose to Gilroy through the Bay Area.

The most important highway in the east is Interstate 80 which begins in San Francisco and runs through Oakland and Sacramento to the East Coast, where it ends in New York.

In addition to traffic within the Bay Area are more highways of importance: In parallel to U.S. Route 101 runs between the San Francisco Peninsula and the South Bay Interstate 280 in San Rafael starts Interstate 580, which North Bay with those of the East Bay connects before the Interstate 80 intersects with Tracy. Interstate 880 connects East Bay and Southbay between Oakland and San Jose.

Several bridges connect the regions of the Bay Area each other: the Richmond - San Rafael Bridge, the Carquinez Bridge and the Benicia -Martinez Bridge running between the North Bay and the East Bay. The Golden Gate Bridge from the North Bay and San Francisco Peninsula is the most famous bridge in the Bay Area. The Bay Bridge connects San Francisco with Oakland and linked together with the San Mateo - Hayward Bridge and the Dumbarton Bridge, the San Francisco peninsula with the East Bay.


In Oakland is the fourth- largest U.S. seaport. The heaviest shipping disaster in the San Francisco Bay Area occurred on 22 February 1901, when the American passenger steamer City of Rio de Janeiro in front of Fort Point collided with an underwater rock and sank. 138 of the 220 ​​people on board were killed.

Public transportation

Brunt of public transport carries the S -Bahn -like BART system. In regional transport the Caltrain connects the western and the Altamont Commuter Express parts of the southeastern Bay Area. In San Francisco and San José there also exist two city and tram networks.

In rail transport, interurban, the region is connected by the holding Oakland, Emeryville and San José to the Amtrak system (Coast Starlight, Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and California Zephyr ). At the currently under construction stretches of California High - Speed ​​Rail a connection is planned.



Many professional teams of the most popular sports in the United States have settled in the Bay Area. These include the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics two teams of Major League Baseball ( MLB), and with the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders also has two teams in the National Football League ( NFL).

The Oakland -based Golden State Warriors are members of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League, the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.


The Bay Area was in the 1980s a center of metal music. Here is their very fast played variant of thrash metal developed. Important bands are exodus from San Francisco, Oakland and Testament of Death Angel of Concord. The erfolgreicheste group by far is Metallica which, although founded in Los Angeles, but have only become known after their move to the Bay Area.

Administrative units



Pictures of San Francisco Bay Area