San Francisco Visitor Guide
San Francisco is located at the tip of a peninsula set between the Pacific coast and the San Francisco Bay. The city has a population of 805,000 as of the 2010 census and, according to the city's Planning Department, is home to 36 neighborhoods. Within these neighborhoods are several sub-neighborhoods and minor districts, many of which overlap.
The city's principal thoroughfare is Market Street. It begins at the northeastern edge of the city and continues southwest through the downtown, passing the Castro District, and on to the Twin Peaks neighborhood.
The city and its surrounding regions, generally referred to as the Bay Area, has a total population of about 7 million, making it the second most populous urban center of California, behind the Los Angeles area. This population is spread throughout 9 different counties and 101 cities. These 9 counties are, from south to north: Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Marin, Solano, Napa, and Sonoma.
One might think that San Francisco would have very precise figures of its area and city limits; but one would be wrong. San Francisco proper is unique in that it does not have clearly defined boundaries, either on the outskirts or between neighborhoods within the city itself. There seems to be a general consensus that the city is 7 miles long x 7 miles wide. However, many doubt the accuracy of this figure. City representatives, the Department of Parking and Traffic, Department of Public Works, reference books, real estate agents, and the general public tend to use different city and neighborhood limits for various purposes.