South Bay is the part of the Bay Area to the south of San Francisco Bay and to the southeast of the San Francisco Peninsula in California. There is no precise legal or geographic boundary between the South Bay and the Peninsula – everything in Santa Clara County, including Palo Alto and points south are treated here as in the South Bay, while the Peninsula comprises points north. Coming south from the East Bay, you enter the South Bay upon entering Milpitas. See Bay Area (California)#Regions for a regional map.
The South Bay includes part of the Silicon Valley, where many famous technology companies are located.
- — home to eBay.
- — home to Apple.
- — known as the "Garlic Capital of the World."
- — historic agricultural center with Victorian-era houses and brick buildings, now a major suburb of San Jose.
- — major city in Silicon Valley, home to Google and Symantec
- — adjacent to Stanford University, home to VMware and Hewlett-Packard as well as many startups.
- — the largest city in the Bay Area, known as the "Capital of Silicon Valley."
- — one of the oldest settlements in the area, now home to Intel and many others.
Almaden Quicksilver County Park has many hiking trails. From the San Jose Airport, head south on Highway 87 until Almaden Expressway. Drive south on Almaden until Camden Avenue and take a right. On Camden, drive until McAbee Road, and take a left. Drive to the end. There are also other entrances, but this is known as the main entrance.
- East Bay
- Peninsula - Located to the north of the South Bay, the Peninsula has a split personality. Its eastern half is a heavily populated urban area, home to Silicon Valley companies, San Francisco International Airport, and all of the hotels, restaurants, malls, and other amenities needed to support a bustling population. The western half is completely different, offering an amazing escape for those looking to hike among redwoods, or who want to see seabirds, seals and whales while enjoying a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, or for couples hoping for a romantic getaway in a quiet B&B.
- San Joaquin County - San Joaquin County lies to the northeast of Santa Clara County on the eastern edge of the California Delta, an estuary formed by the confluence of the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. Nicknamed "California's Holland" due to the extensive levee system, the area is an interesting place to explore by car or boat. Stockton is the county's largest city and is notable for being the world's most inland natural seaport.
- Stanislaus County - While still primarily an agricultural county known for its almond trees, parts of Santa Clara County's northeastern neighbor have been becoming a bedroom community for people trying to escape the high housing costs of the Bay Area. Travelers will find plenty of amenities, although most only see Stanislaus County while passing through on their way elsewhere.
- Merced County - Santa Clara County's eastern neighbor is located entirely within the San Joaquin Valley. Most travelers will likely just take advantage of the county's hotels and other amenities, but there are a few attractions worth considering. The Castle Air Museum in Atwater is home to over 50 planes, while the Merced National Wildlife Refuge hosts thousands of waterfowl during winter months, including huge flocks of snow geese and sandhill cranes.
- San Benito County - South of Santa Clara County, San Benito County is an inland county dominated by the Coast Mountain Range. It is relatively sparsely populated, with only about 55,000 inhabitants. Pinnacles National Park and its dramatic rock formations lies in this county, as well as the town of San Juan Bautista and its historic mission.
- Monterey County - Southwest of Santa Clara County, Monterey County is what many people think of when they think of the Central Coast - the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the beautiful 17-Mile Drive, Cannery Row, Pebble Beach golf course, and the rugged beauty of Big Sur. The northern part of the county contains every manner of amenity for travelers, ranging from chain motels to five-star resorts, while the southern portion of the county is remote and accessible mainly by the Pacific Coast Highway or on foot by hikers.
- Santa Cruz County - Located west of Santa Clara County, the second-smallest county in the state is home to the quirky town of Santa Cruz and a rugged coast that is equally popular with surfers and elephant seals. The Santa Cruz Mountains are the abode of redwoods and bright yellow banana slugs, both of which can be easily seen on the many hiking trails. Other portions of the county are known for agriculture, with farm stands dotting the roads.