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    BAY AREA CITIES

    ABOUT THE BAY AREA

    San Francisco is known as the City By the Bay, but by no means is it the only city! The Bay Area offers great diversity, mild climate and beautiful vistas both natural and urban. From high-tech Silicon Valley cities to quiet costal communities, many of our cities and towns have their own unique personalities. If you're new to the area, you might not know Redwood City from Vallejo, but RentalGuide.com can help you find what's best for you among the five basic regions: the Peninsula, the South Bay, Marin County, Solano County, Sonoma County and the East Bay. For the many districts and neighborhoods within the city of San Francisco, please see our SF Neighborhoods page.

    MARIN COUNTY

    Sunny Marin County is located just 15 minutes north of San Francisco over the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. One of California's most affluent counties, Marin offers many rental options, all in high demand. Rents in Southern and Central Marin are comparable to San Francisco while northern Marin cities tend to be less expensive but a longer commute. Many apartments in Marin offer views of the bay, city, mountains, and woodlands; private decks; pools and saunas; spacious floor plans; fireplaces; nearby hiking/biking trails; and garden settings. Most communities are conveniently located near shopping areas and have easy access to Highway 101 and public transportation.

    Highway 101 is the main roadway through Marin. The drive to San Francisco is famous for the views of Marin Headlands, sailboats on the bay, and the beautiful San Francisco skyline from the Golden Gate Bridge. Golden Gate Transit buses serve Marin and San Francisco, with daily schedules and express buses for commuters. Golden Gate Transit Ferry, Blue & Gold Fleet, and the Red & White Fleet offer ferry service between San Francisco and Marin. The Marin Airporter provides hourly service to the San Francisco International Airport.

    Marin also offers beautiful parklands. Point Reyes National Seashore, Muir Woods Redwood Forest, Angel Island, China Camp, Mt. Tamalpais, Samuel P. Taylor and Tomales Bay are only a few of them.

    Marin County Cities:
    Belvedere
    Bolinas
    Corte Madera
    Dillon Beach
    Fairfax
    Forest Knolls
    Greenbrae
    Homestead Valley
    Ignacio
    Inverness Park
    Jewell
    Kentfield
    Lagunitas
    Larkspur
    Lucas Valley
    Marin City
    Marinwood
    Marshall
    Mill Valley
    Muir Beach
    Nicasio
    Novato
    Olema
    Point Reyes Station
    Ross
    San Anselmo
    San Geronimo
    Santa Venetia
    Sausalito
    Seahaven
    Sleepy Hollow
    Tamalpias Valley
    Terra Linda
    Tiburon
    Tocaloma
    Woodacre
    Marin County Public Transportation:
    Blue & Gold Fleet San Francisco Ferry Service
    Advance Tickets (415) 705-5555
    Recorded Schedule (415) 773-1188
    www.blueandgoldfleet.com
    Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District
    Golden Gate Bridge Info (415) 921-5858
    www.goldengate.org
    Golden Gate Transit Bus and Ferry Service
    Information & Schedules (415) 455-2000
    www.goldengate.org

    Marin County City Halls and Chambers of Commerce

    PENINSULA

    South of San Francisco and north of San Jose, the upper Peninsula attracts many apartment seekers to its ocean views, scenic coastal hamlets, growing cities and chic modern suburbs. The mid-peninsula offers quiet sunny residential living with over twenty park and recreation areas nearby. Many apartment communities have expansive floor plans, pools, saunas, workout facilities, club houses for parties, extra storage, off street parking, other luxuries and amenities and also offer affordable rents - relatively speaking!

    South San Francisco, Daly City, San Mateo, San Bruno, Burlingame, and other surrounding areas are minutes from downtown San Francisco. Pacifica overlooks the Pacific Ocean with breathtaking views and lies about 15 minutes from San Francisco! Shopping, restaurants and local entertainment are convenient to most Peninsula apartment communities. Public transportation and freeways are convenient for commuters traveling from most areas of the Peninsula.

    Peninsula Cities:
    Atherton
    Bayshore
    Belmont
    Brisbane
    Burlingame
    Colma
    Daly City
    East Palo Alto
    El Granada
    Foster City
    Half Moon Bay
    Hillsborough
    Lobitos
    Menlo Park
    Millbrae
    Miramar
    Montara
    Moss Beach
    Pacifica
    Palo Alto
    Princeton
    Redwood City
    Rockaway Beach
    San Bruno
    San Carlos
    San Mateo
    Sky Londa
    South San Francisco
    Woodside
    Peninsula Public Transportation:
    Caltrain
    (800) 660-4287
    www.caltrain.org
    SamTrans
    (800) 660-4287
    www.samtrans.com

    Peninsula City Halls and Chambers of Commerce

    EAST BAY

    A short drive across the Bay Bridge, the East Bay encompasses a huge geographical area with perhaps the most diverse rental options in the Bay Area.

    East Bay cities such as Oakland offer many of the amenities of city living: charming shops, gourmet restaurants and lively entertainment. Combine that with affordable rents, a great commute to San Francisco for work or play and excellent access to public transportation and it's understandable why there's been a renewed interest in Oakland.

    The further east from San Francisco that you travel, you'll encounter a more suburban landscape complete with shopping malls. Many of the rental properties in the East Bay offer beautiful views of the Bay and lush open hillsides. Modern apartment communities offer spacious units with great amenities including swimming pools, spas, exercise facilities and assigned or covered parking. Public transportation via BART is excellent, though you may need a car to drive to the station where parking is available.

    Like Marin County, the East Bay is known for its regional parklands and preserves where outdoor enthusiasts can hike, fish or mountain bike.

    East Bay Cities:
    Alameda
    Alamo
    Albany
    Antioch
    Bay Point
    Berkeley
    Castro Valley
    Clayton
    Concord
    Crockett
    Danville
    Dublin
    El Cerrito
    El Sobrante
    Emeryville
    Fremont
    Hayward
    Hercules
    Kensington
    Livermore
    Martinez
    Moraga
    Newark
    Oakland
    Orinda
    Pacheco
    Piedmont
    Pinole
    Pittsburg
    Pleasant Hill
    Pleasanton
    Port Costa
    Richmond
    San Leandro
    Rodeo
    San Lorenzo
    San Pablo
    San Ramon
    Union City
    Walnut Creek
    East Bay Public Transportation:
    AC Transit
    Buses and Shuttles (415) 817-1717
    www.actransit.org
    BART
    (510) 522-3300
    www.eastbayferry.com
    Alameda / Oakland Ferry
    (415) 992-BART, (510) 465-BART
    www.bart.gov

    East Bay City Halls and Chambers of Commerce

    SOUTH BAY / SILICON VALLEY

    As the Silicon Valley has seen dramatic growth in the past few years, rentals have become increasingly difficult to find and more costly. While high-tech and the Silicon Valley have been synonymous for decades, it's no secret that sky-high rents in Bay Area are a negative result of the most recent economic boom in the Silicon Valley.

    San Jose is California's third largest city and today it is ranked as one of Fortune Magazine's ten best U.S. cities for business. The area offers much to do, from renowned museums, professional sports teams, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

    The cities that surround San Jose are more typically suburban. Rental housing options include modern apartment communities with all the popular amenities including swimming pools, exercise facilities and assigned parking.

    Public transportation to and from San Francisco is available via Caltrain but hours of operation are limited.

    South Bay Cities:
    Alviso
    Campbell
    Cupertino
    Ladera
    Los Altos
    Los Gatos
    Milpitas
    Mountain View
    San Jose
    Santa Clara
    San Jose
    Saratoga
    Sunnyvale
    South Bay Public Transportation:
    Valley Transportation Authority
    (408) 321-2300 or (800) 894-9908
    www.vta.org
    Caltrain
    (800) 660-4287
    www.caltrain.org

    South Bay & Silicon Valley City Halls & Chambers of Commerce

    SOLANO COUNTY

    Northeast of San Francisco is Solano County, California's third fastest- growing county. Affordable housing and a reasonable commute time by major freeways or commuter ferries make Solano County one of the Bay Area's best-kept secrets. Located close to San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and the wine countries of Napa and Sonoma, Vallejo has something to offer adults and families with children of all ages.

    A prime location to live for those who want to experience some of the treasures of northern California, Vallejo offers all the comforts and amusements of a large city, set in a relaxed, small-town atmosphere. Attention commuters to and from San Francisco! Travel between Vallejo and San Francisco is easy and comfortable when taking the express commuter ferries. The entire trip between Vallejo and San Francisco takes approximately one hour.

    Solano County Cities:
    Benica
    Cordelia
    Cotati
    Fairfield
    Suisun City
    Vacaville
    Vallejo

    Solano County City Halls and Chambers of Commerce

    SONOMA & NAPA COUNTIES

    Sleepy hillsides studded with shady oaks, lush valleys laden with some of America's finest vineyards, hot air balloons passing silently overhead- these are all familiar sights in Sonoma County.

    Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma and the surrounding communities in Sonoma County offer: good schools for young families, a country setting with many conveniences, nice weather, quality homes, a variety of rental options at affordable rates and a good central location for commuters to both Marin County and the Wine Country. Commute times to San Francisco will vary but on average expect about a 40 to 60 minute drive by car. Public transportation is available but routes and hours of operation are limited.

    Rohnert Park is nestled between Santa Rosa, the county seat, and historic Petaluma. With a population of 40,000, Rohnert Park is a collection of well-planned neighborhoods, each with its own park and schools, Sonoma State University is located here and, for the sports-minded, there are golf courses, community tennis courts and jogging/bike paths that run along the city's many creeks. Rohnert Park is within 40 minutes of San Francisco.

    In Santa Rosa, you will find a junior college, historical landmarks-including the home and private gardens of Luther Burbank, the famous horticulturist-the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, where many cultural events take place, and a group of city, county and state parks. Affordable housing (both for sale and for rent) draws many to this northern community.

    Petaluma, located just over the Marin/Somoma County border, is filled with old-world charm. Among the most popular housing options are the area's many restored Victorian homes.

    Sonoma & Napa County Cities:
    Agua Caliente
    Bodega Bay
    Calistoga
    Napa
    Occidental
    Petaluma
    Rohnert Park
    St. Helena
    Santa Rosa
    Sepastapol
    Sonoma
    Yountville

    Sonoma & Napa County City Halls and Chambers of Commerce