Northern California

Northern California's largest metropolitan area is the San Francisco Bay Area which includes the cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and their many suburbs. In recent years the Bay Area has drawn more commuters from as far as Central Valley cities such as Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Turlock and Modesto. With expanding development in all these areas, the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey Bay Area, and central part of the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills may now be viewed as part of a single megalopolis.

“The Big City” is obviously great. But so are the many other fabulous cities, towns, beaches & mountains near San Francisco Bay. Don’t miss them!

The San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a metropolitan region surrounding the San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay estuaries in Northern California. According to the 2010 United States Census, the region has over 7.1 million inhabitants and approximately 6,900 square miles (18,000 km2) of land. The region is home to three major cities: San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland


One of the best little seaside towns in the world is just an exciting 30 minute ferry boat ride away (or a longer bike ride via the Golden Gate Bridge).

Marin Headlands

Stunning views and unique things to do just across Golden Gate Bridge.



Tiburon means “shark” in Spanish. It’s a beautiful little town a few minutes north of Sausalito by car or ferry.


A relaxed hidden jewel with great weather and ocean views.


El Granada

Sleepy residential town with great parks for hiking.


A short & particularly beautiful coastal drive gets you there.

San Mateo

A pleasant suburb between San Francisco & Palo Alto.

Redwood Shores

Like Foster City but newer with better nature trails. Both Foster City and Redwood Shores have excellent family biking along the shoreline around their perimeters.

Stanford-Palo Alto

Home of Stanford and Hewlett-Packard, Inc. Lots of wealthy Stanford grads, doctors, and famous businessmen like Steve Jobs live around here for a reason; they like it.

San Jose

Has a larger population than SF (948,000 vs 809,000) and is ranked among the top 10 most livable large cities in the US. Feels more like a giant suburb than a city. Has a few interesting gems to check out.

Los Gatos

This upscale little town is a great place to visit Sunday mornings. We like it better than Mill Valley in Marin.

Santa Cruz

Resort community with a famous old (1907) oceanfront amusement park with its Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster. Home of UC Santa Cruz.


Historic little resort town. It has the nicest weather & beach around as well as an adjacent shopping area.

East Bay

The East Bay has some nearby gems such as the historic USS Hornet aircraft carrier in Alameda.