San Francisco Regions
When planning your trip to San Francisco, is will become clear that the Bay Area has several very distinct regions; each with its own unique culture, vibe, and attractions.
These regions are named according to their geographic location in relation to the city itself, and make it easy for first-time visitors to orient themselves. Let's take a quick tour:
This consolidated city-county is the centerpiece of the Bay Area. The city is well-known for its hilly streets, summer fog, progressive community, and Victorian architecture. Although its population represents just a small portion of the Bay Area as a whole, its ethnic and cultural diversity and vibrant arts scene make it the crown jewel of the area.
Lying immediately south of San Francisco, the Peninsula continues southward through San Mateo County and into the northern part of Santa Clara County. It has two coasts: one on the Pacific and the other on the San Francisco Bay. Although there are few major cities here, it is a beautiful area. The Santa Cruz mountains split the region in half from north to south, and there is a large swath of wilderness that makes for prime hiking and biking.
Situated south of The Peninsula and East Bay, this region encompasses most of Santa Clara County and is home of the most populous city in the Bay Area, San Jose. It is commonly referred to as Silicon Valley due to the large number of high-tech companies headquartered here.
Across the Bay Bridge and east of San Francisco you'll find East Bay. Comprised mostly of Contra Costa County and Alameda County, it is home to the city of Oakland, its largest city, as well as Berkeley.
This area encompasses Marin, Solano, and Sonoma Counties, as well as the Napa Valley, which is world renowned for its wine production. Located at the northernmost part of the Bay Area, it lies to the north of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.