Fremont is a suburban city in the southern part of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area; it is the 4th largest city in the Bay Area by population. Fremont is in the southern part of Alameda County, California, between Union City to the north, Sunol and the hills to the east, Milpitas and Santa Clara County to the south, and the San Francisco Bay to the west. The city of Newark, near the edge of the Bay, is surrounded by the city of Fremont.
Fremont industry is not particularly large relative to other parts of the Bay Area, but neither is it a bedroom community. Many people in Fremont work locally in the electronics and high-tech industry, while many others commute to Silicon Valley or San Francisco locations for work. Fremont, however, is growing again and attracting more and larger businesses; for example, Tesla Motors has taken over the former NUMMI factory owned by Toyota and General Motors.
The city is home to one of California's original "Hollywoods", the Niles district where many of Charlie Chaplin and other silent movie era stars established their careers. It is also home to one of California's missions, and many other interesting destinations.
The City of Fremont is named after Civil War general John C. Fremont, who prior to the war in the mid-1840s had mapped a trail through Mission Pass to provide access for American settlers into the southeastern San Francisco Bay Area. John Fremont was one of California's first senators and went on to be the first U.S. presidential candidate for the Republican Party.
Unlike most sprawling suburbs, Fremont was planned and designed to be the way it is.
In the 1950s, fearing that they would be annexed by the growing city of Hayward to the north, eight very small towns decided to unite to avoid annexation. Two towns (Alvarado and Decoto) closest to
Hayward quickly incorporated into Union City. The six remaining towns got together and extensively planned how things would be. Space was allocated for industry and for homes. Space for roads large enough to support the massive traffic flows was set aside. One of the small towns (Newark) dropped out of the coalition because it was slated to become an industrial zone. The five remaining towns Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San Jose, and Warm Springs, from north to south -- annexed all the surrounding land to form the City of Fremont in 1956.
The oldest of the small towns was Mission San José, named for a Spanish mission founded in 1797. When this Mission was founded it was named "La Mision del Gloriosisimo Patriarch San José" in honor of St. Joseph. It is sometimes incorrectly called the Mission San José de Guadalupe, after "El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe" founded (1777) 20 miles south near the Guadalupe River, which became the present day city of San Jose.
Fremont has been multicultural since its inception, and is home to dozens of immigrant communities and a broad range of ethnicities. Today's visitor is likely to hear half a dozen languages spoken even during a fleeting trip through the city. It is said that the largest population of Afghanis outside Afghanistan live in Fremont, and it also has a large and growing south Asian community as well.
Because of their entangled history and their present sprawl that makes them blend into one another, the three cities—Fremont, Newark, and Union City—are sometimes called the Tri-Cities.
- Oakland Airport (OAK) is about 20–40 minutes away by car via I-880 depending on the time of day. Rush hour traffic will almost certainly take 30–40 minutes, but most other times it is a very quick 15-20 minute drive. Or, you can take a shuttle from the airport to BART—the Bay Area's rapid transit system—which runs directly to Fremont.
- San Jose Airport (SJC) is about half an hour away via I-880 or I-680. During commute hours the traffic can be horrific along the 880, but 680 is often faster.
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is about 45–60 minutes away via US101 and SR84 (the Dumbarton Bridge), or via 101 to 84 to US92 (the San Mateo Bridge) to 880. This is the most difficult airport to get to and is also has more flight delays than other airports in the area. However, it is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, so there are likely to be more airlines and more flight options going into and out of SFO. Avoid SFO if you can get a flight direct to Oakland or San Jose instead. There is a BART station in SFO which can take you to Fremont in about an hour and a half.
- From Oakland and Berkeley, take I-880 south
- From San Jose, take I-880 or I-680 north
- From San Francisco and Palo Alto, take US-101 to either US-92 or SR-84 (the Dumbarton Bridge; preferred)
- From more eastern parts of the region or the central valley, get to I-680 and head south
address: 2000 BART WayBay Area regional train service with its southernmost stop in Warm Springs/South Fremont, opened March 2017, five miles south of the Fremont station. From Warm Springs/South Fremont there are trains north through Oakland, with the Daly City line serving the station before 6PM on weekdays and the Richmond line serving the station after 6PM on weekdays and all day on weekend. By changing trains it is also possible to go inland all the way to Dublin/Pleasanton (changing at Bay Fair station), continue beyond Daly City to Millbrae, passing San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on the way, go to the Oakland Airport (OAK), and to destinations on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line. Passenger service south to the Milpitas and Berryessa stations in Santa Clara County is projected to start in 2019, and the second phase of the Silicon Valley extension will serve downtown San Jose and Santa Clara when complete.
address: 37260 Fremont BlvdThe Capitol Corridor is an Amtrak route from downtown Sacramento to downtown San Jose passing through Fremont's Centerville district. From this line, you can transfer to BART at the Oakland Colliseum, or connect to long distance trains at the Emeryville depot. There are also bus links to the western outskirts of Oakland and Berkeley, and a short bus ride to downtown San Jose.
address: 37260 Fremont BlvdThe ACE train connects towns east of Fremont (Stockton, Tracy, Livermore, Pleasanton) with the Silicon Valley (Santa Clara, San Jose). This train runs only from the east four times a day during the morning commute and back to the east four times a day during the afternoon/evening commute.
Valley Transit AuthorityLine 180/181 bus runs from downtown San Jose to Fremont BART station, including service on weekends and holidays.
AC TransitThe U line runs from Stanford University to the Fremont BART station, and the Dumbarton Express (DB line) runs from Palo Alto through Ardenwood to the Union City BART station, but only during weekday commute hours.
Fremont Blvd is the main street running more of less parallel to the hills, cutting straight through the middle of the city of Fremont, making a turn at Irvington. In the middle part of city of Fremont, the major streets are on a grid, with Fremont Blvd and Blacow Rd one mile apart. Perpendicular to them, Central Ave, Mowry Ave, and Stevenson Blvd are also one mile apart, on the bay side of Fremont Blvd.
By carDriving is the preferred method for getting around. Fremont streets are usually easy to navigate as difficult intersections were re-engineered for efficiency several decades ago, though some corridors such as Mission Blvd remain moderately congested.
The major freeways through Fremont are the bayside Nimitz (I-880) and the inland I-680. Although the two freeways are only a mile apart in Fremont-Warm Springs, they do not intersect. Motorists will find travel to be very slow during commute hours in the unfavorable direction; especially so on I-880.
Mission Blvd crosses I-680 twice at Exits 16 and 12. Locals sometimes refer to Exit 16 as "North Mission" and Exit 12 as "South Mission." Fremont Blvd crosses I-880 twice at Exit 22 and Exit 13. The locals call Exit 22 "North Fremont" and Exit 13 "South Fremont." So if someone tells you to take the "Fremont Blvd" exit or the "Mission Blvd" exit, make sure you know which one they're talking about. The exit number increases as you move north.
By bikeBike lanes are present on many major roads in Fremont. For maximum safety, avoid
the large roads that lead to the freeway since they are the most congested, and your
bike isn't going to go on the freeway anyway, is it?
The city of Fremont publishes information for bicyclists including a detailed map. Print copies of the map are available at various bicycle shops.
By busThe AC Transit bus system serves the city of Fremont as well as other cities in the East Bay. Bus routes and schedules are designed for the daily commuter, not the casual traveler. In the middle of the day, buses may run as infrequently as once per hour, so be sure you have an up-to-date bus schedule and know when your bus is coming. The Fremont BART station serves as a bus terminal for transferring between the various bus routes.
By taxiTaxis are not common in Fremont, and you will not be able to 'flag one down' while making your way about town. The only taxi stand of note is the one at the Fremont BART Station, where typically several taxis are lined up in a queue. There are many taxi companies that service the area, however you will not find many driving the streets all day. If you need to travel by taxi, plan ahead of time and schedule a taxi with one of the companies serving the area.
address: 34600 Ardenwood BlvdArdenwood is a 200-acre working farm founded in 19th century and was the home of gold miner and sharecropper George Patterson. On Thursdays through Sundays, park staff and volunteers dress in Victorian costumes and demonstrate farm chores. Visitors can help with the crops, visit the farm animals, ride a hay wagon or horse-drawn train, and observe a blacksmith at work.
phone: +1 510 790-5541address: 40000 Paseo Padre ParkwayHuge park south of the Fremont BART station (bounded by Paseo Padre Pkwy, Stevenson Blvd, and the Union Pacific Railroad) with paved trails around Lake Elizabeth and with Mission Peak as backdrop. Great for a picnic, kite-flying or exercise. Aqua Adventure water park anchors the south side of the park (off Paseo Padre near Grimmer). Moving north on Paseo Padre, one finds the Community, Senior, and Visitor Centers, respectively. Boat rentals available at the Boathouse near the Visitor Center. Along the Stevenson Blvd edge of the park are the Fremont Main Library and Police Department. The north side of the park supports 6 softball fields, 10 soccer/football fields, and 18 tennis courts.
phone: +1 510 792-0222The baylands around the south end of the San Francisco Bay have been turned into a federally-regulated Wildlife Refuge. A new small visitor center at the Fremont headquarters on Marshlands Road provides information about and maps of the Refuge bayland trails and hilltop lookout. These marshlands are also home to Drawbridge, California, a long-abandoned ghost town along the railroad lines into the area, however current safety regulations imposed by the refuge prohibit entering the area.
phone: +1 510 657-1797 ext 100address: 43300 Mission BlvdThis mission founded in 1797 by Fermin Lasuen as the 14th California mission. The original 1809 adobe church (which served as a saloon and general store during secularization) was destroyed by an 1868 earthquake along the Hayward fault. The current mission building underwent a four-year reconstruction project to produce a modern replica of the 1809 adobe church with 4'-5' steel-reinforced walls and was dedicated in 1985 for daily Mass and tours. The only surviving building from the Spanish period is a monastery, which serves as a small museum of seven rooms that houses a collection of artifacts, vestments, and memorabilia. The small cemetery holds the graves of many prominent Spanish and American settlers.
Sunol Water TempleAll tourists will want to see some of California's infamous waterworks and the surprisingly attractive Water Temple is the closest exemplar.
phone: +1 510 683-92184000-B Bay Street. A stage company that performs five plays every year in a very intimate setting. Expect well-performed, offbeat plays. They also hold dinner mystery theaters, and plays by local writers.
phone: +1 510 797-2000address: 39160 Paseo Padre ParkwayShows Bollywood films produced on the other side of the globe, most with English subtitles. The concession offers good-quality snacks like pakoras and samosas.
phone: +1 510 494-1411address: 37395 Niles BlvdShowcases silent films, many which were produced locally and are now shown with their original accuracy. Films are shown Friday and Saturday nights for a small fee, and fine homemade snacks are served. The theater also has an attached museum exhibiting the Niles district's deep roots in California's burgeoning film industry of the early to mid 1900s.
Alameda Creek Trail12 mile long bike trail follows the Alameda Creek flood-control channel from the hills to the bay. The paved trail is entirely car-free thanks to underpasses beneath each cross-street. About two miles from the bay, you can optionally go to Coyote Hills for a good view. From there, you can proceed south to the Don Edwards Wildlife refuge, and then west to the bike lane over the Dumbarton Bridge. Starting from the easternmost point on the trail (at the Niles Staging Area on Old Canyon Road) means that you will generally go downwind last when you are most tired.
phone: +1 510 494-4426address: 40500 Paseo Padre Pkwy
address: 8000 Patterson Ranch RdGood place for hiking, biking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Isolated small hill near the bay with a great view of San Francisco on a clear day.
Mission PeakA great place for a challenging hike where you are rewarded with a very nice view of the Bay Area. The peak overlooks the Santa Clara valley and the Bay. To the east you can see Livermore and on a clear day, the Sierra Nevada. Bring a coat in the Fall and Winter. From Mission Peak, the Ohlone Regional Wilderness Trail leads through Sunol Wilderness and Ohlone Wilderness to Del Valle Regional Park and the Livermore area.
address: 37001 Mission BlvdOn the first and third Sunday of each month you can take a train ride on what was known as the Historic Transcontinental Gateway to the San Francisco Bay. The railway offers scenic one-hour locomotive excursions through the very canyon where Charlie Chaplin's "The Tramp" was filmed.
address: 2100 Isherwood WayNamed for the quarries that once supplied gravel for the construction of the western section of the transcontinental railroad, this water-oriented recreation area offers picnicking, boating, swimming and fishing in the lakes that now fill the old quarry pits, but also has room for hiking and wildlife viewing.
phone: +1 510 623-7200address: 44388 Old Warm Springs BlvdA pleasant place to ice skate; has public hours nearly every day.
Asian supermarketsThe cheapest way for Americans to travel to the Pacific Rim is to visit one of these stores, which are full of exotica but also a great place to buy Asian cookware or pick up healthy take-out food.
99 Ranch Market
99 Ranch Market Fremont Mission
Centerville's Farmers MarketLots of towns have Farmers Markets but Fremont-Centerville's features the tastes and smells of the Far East: opu melon, malabar spinach, gai lan, balut and innumerable others. Of course there are heirloom tomatoes and apples as well.
The local blog: Fremont foodie reports on the city's gastronomic offerings.
Aberdeen Cafephone: +1 510 659-0888address: 46831 Warm Springs BlvdHong Kong cuisine in Fremont, located in the shopping center anchored by 99 Ranch Market Fremont Mission.
Asian Pearlphone: +1 510 979-1368address: 43635 Boscell RdLarge restaurant quite popular for expensive (from $300 to over $1000 per table) Chinese banquets. Serves also wide array of Chinese dishes and great dim sum. Suitable for special occasions.
phone: +1 510 796-3408address: 3954 Mowry AveA good cheap bay area Indian "fast-food" chain that serves wraps, kebobs and curries.
Country Wayphone: +1 510 797-3188address: 5325 Mowry AveThis restaurant is of notoriety for Fremont residents. Ask anybody and they will tell you that this place has the best, most filling meals. Especially for breakfast.
De Afghananphone: +1 510 745-9599address: 37405 Fremont BlvdAcross the street from Salang, and not quite as good.
Dino's Family Restaurantphone: +1 510 792-6533address: 36930 Fremont BlvdBe sure not to confuse this with Dina's Family Restaurant on 40800 Fremont Blvd. Dino's is a charming "mom & pop" American food diner: complete with friendly staff, plentiful portions, and very reasonable prices. Don't be surprised when you're called "dear" or "sweetheart," here.
Food Talk Cafephone: +1 510 668-0898address: 43755 Boscell RdGood Taiwanese-Cantonese food served in a small modern cafe setting with black tabletops, white china, silvery chop sticks, and soft lighting.
phone: +1 510 668-1333address: 40460 Albrae StA fine place for dim sum on weekends from about 10AM-2PM. Not recommended for regular meals.
phone: +1 510 659-9034address: 3906 Washington Blvd"The Flavor of Lebanon." A small and noisy neighborhood place with tasty food.
phone: +1 510 657-0683address: 47966 Warm Springs BlvdSzechuan and Mandarin cuisine in a very stylish contemporary setting. Ho Chow uses fresh ingredients and no added monosodium glutamate. The wine list has fine wines from California and France. Lunch entrees are inexpensive. Dinner entrees are carefully planned and spiced creations. Check their website for menus.
phone: +1 510 795-2888address: 39226 Argonaut WayThe best cheap fast and filling Asian noodle dishes in town. Order at table and pay at the cashier by giving the table number.
La Casita Restaurantphone: +1 510 657-8602address: 41420 Fremont BlvdThis restaurant has some of the best Mexican food in town! Try the enchiladas there may be a wait on Fridays.
La Sen Restaurantphone: +1 510 494-8300address: 181 Fremont Hub CourtyardWell presented very good Vietnamese food in the middle courtyard of the Fremont Hub. Specialty dishes include a delicious cubed filet mignon steak rice plate for only $9.
New Yong Kang Seafood Restaurantphone: +1 510 252-9926address: 40900 Fremont BlvdSurprisingly, Fremont is home to an award winning restaurant: the New Yong Kang. The Chinese food here is probably one of the best in town, although the atmosphere is not. Order three large dishes for $22.50.
Pho Miss Saigonphone: +1 510 792-9991address: 3241 Walnut AveVery good Vietnamese cuisine served in one of the largest Vietnamese restaurants in town, with Vietnamese chatter from the kitchen and piped in Western pop music. Inexpensive.
Salang Passphone: +1 510 795-9200address: 37462 Fremont BlvdAn upscale, superb Afghani restaurant with superb kabobs and beautiful decor. Possibly the best Afghani food in the Bay Area. If you're looking for something cheaper, "De Kabob House", across the street, is excellent and has lots of character, but tiny and slow. Just look for the long line of hungry people standing outside a door. No alcohol is served.
phone: +1 510 792-0770address: 39170 State StGood Thai food in a nice setting. Special lunch menu M-F 11AM-3PM is good value.
Shalimarphone: +1 510 494-1919address: 3325 Walnut AveGreat Indian/Pakistani food. Always filled with Indian people which is a good sign! Order at the counter. But you might want to get it take-out if you don't want to have to wait for a table.
phone: +1 510 668-1007address: 40575 Fremont BlvdSmall popular noodle house. Get there early on weekends.
The Vineaddress: Niles BlvdCuisine: American, Vegetarian, Contemporary, Californian. Family Friendly
phone: +1 510 656-5021address: 1932 Driscoll RdOutstanding sushi and traditional Japanese dishes prepared with flare. Quite possibly Fremont's finest Japanese restaurant. Be prepared to wait during peak hours.
phone: +1 510 656-1800address: 47000 Lakeview Blvd
phone: +1 510 656-2800address: 46101 Warm Springs Blvd
phone: +1 510-413-3700address: 46100 Landing ParkwayThis hotel has indoor pool and 24 hour fitness center. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
phone: +1 510 498-1900address: 6500 Landing Parkway
phone: +1 510 623-6000address: 3101 West Warren AveFree breakfast, 24/7 Gallery Market, and free wifi.
phone: +1 510 445-0808address: 46200 Landing ParkwayGood free breakfast, free high-speed internet in some rooms, but call the local number to make sure you are really getting one of the right rooms--don't rely on the description when booking on the web.
Lord Bradley's Innphone: +1 510 490-0520address: 43344 Mission Blvd
phone: +1 510 793-4848address: 34047 Fremont BlvdThis chain is a great cheap place to stay when you're out in the middle of nowhere on a highway. And usually terrible in major cities. Fremont resembles the latter.
phone: +1 510 794-5900address: 5400 Farwell Pl
- Get touristy by going to San Francisco via BART. Ride the cable cars from the Powell Street BART Station to Fisherman's Wharf, thereby accomplishing two of the most touristy things on the West Coast.
- The Oakland Museum of California in Oakland is the best museum about California history. Take BART to the Lake Merritt station in Oakland. Exit the station to 9th Street and walk down Oak Street with the one-way flow of traffic. The entrance to the museum will be on the right side of Oak Street midway between 10th and 12th Streets.
- Ride the Rails to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. Take Amtrak's Capitol Corridor train to Sacramento. From the Sacramento station, walk across the parking lot (under the overpasses) west about a block. The museum has one of the largest collections of antique trains in the United States. On summer weekends you can also catch a short steam-train ride. The museum is in Old Sacramento which provides touristy shops and food. Be careful when reading the train schedule: buses are used for some segments at certain hours, so make sure the schedule says you get a train and not a bus.
- See the ocean by going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey. It's about one and a half hours by car. A great place to both see and learn about the local ocean. After the museum, grab a seafood dinner at the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf or Cannery Row. If you have an uncontrollable desire to swim in the freezing Pacific water, the beach in Carmel (just south of Monterey) is the place to try it.
- Yosemite or the Sierra Nevada in general.
- Los Angeles
- The Shasta Cascades region is on the way to Portland and Seattle, and includes several volcanic parks.
- Route 50 past the Sierras to Great Basin National Park and Utah's famous collection of national parks..