Northern California
Northern California
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Northern California
Northern California (colloquially known as NorCal) is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. Spanning the state's northernmost 48 counties

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This article is about the northern part of the U.S. state of California. For the historic region, see Alta California. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Place in California, United States Northern California Clockwise: California State Capitol in Sacramento, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco skyline, San Jose skyline, Muir Woods National Monument, the northern California coast as seen from Muir Beach Overlook, view of the California side of Lake Tahoe and Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz.
Northern California counties in redCountry  United StatesState  CaliforniaMajor Cities San Jose
San Francisco
Santa Rosa
San Rafael
EurekaLargest city San JosePopulation (2015) 15,376,997

Northern California (colloquially known as NorCal) is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. Spanning the state's northernmost 48 counties[1][2] its main population centers include the San Francisco Bay Area (anchored by the cities of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland), the Greater Sacramento area (anchored by the state capital Sacramento), and the Metropolitan Fresno area (anchored by the city of Fresno). Northern California also contains redwood forests, along with the Sierra Nevada, including Yosemite Valley and part of Lake Tahoe, Mount Shasta (the second-highest peak in the Cascade Range after Mount Rainier in Washington), and most of the Central Valley, one of the world's most productive agricultural regions.

The 48-county definition is not used for the Northern California Megaregion, one of the 11 megaregions of the United States. The megaregion's area is instead defined from Metropolitan Fresno north to Greater Sacramento, and from the Bay Area east across Nevada state line to encompass the entire Lake Tahoe-Reno area.[3]

Native Americans arrived in northern California at least as early as 8,000 to 5,000 BC and perhaps even much earlier, and successive waves of arrivals led to one of the most densely populated areas of pre-Columbian North America. The arrival of European explorers from the early 16th to the mid-18th centuries did not establish European settlements in northern California. In 1770, the Spanish mission at Monterey was the first European settlement in the area, followed by other missions along the coast—eventually extending as far north as Sonoma County.

  • 1 Description
  • 2 Significance
  • 3 Cities
  • 4 History
    • 4.1 Historical events to 1847
      • 4.1.1 European explorers
      • 4.1.2 Spanish era
      • 4.1.3 Russian presence
      • 4.1.4 Mexican era
      • 4.1.5 American interest
      • 4.1.6 Californian independence and beginning of United States era
    • 4.2 Gold Rush and California statehood
    • 4.3 Population and agricultural expansion (1855–1899)
  • 5 Economy
  • 6 Climate
  • 7 Population
  • 8 Parks and other protected areas
    • 8.1 National Park System
    • 8.2 National Monuments and other federally protected areas
    • 8.3 Other parks and protected areas
  • 9 Educational institutions
    • 9.1 Public institutions
    • 9.2 Private institutions
    • 9.3 Research institutions
  • 10 Counties
  • 11 Regions
  • 12 Cities and towns in northern California with more than 50,000 inhabitants
    • 12.1 Metropolitan areas
    • 12.2 Major business districts
  • 13 Transportation
    • 13.1 Airports within northern California
    • 13.2 Railroad
    • 13.3 Major transit organizations
    • 13.4 Major transit ferries
    • 13.5 Freeways
      • 13.5.1 Interstate highways
      • 13.5.2 U.S. Routes
      • 13.5.3 Principal state highways
  • 14 Communication
    • 14.1 Telephone Area Codes
  • 15 Sports
    • 15.1 Major league professional sports teams
    • 15.2 College sports teams
    • 15.3 Sports venues
    • 15.4 Sports events
  • 16 See also
  • 17 References
  • 18 External links
Description Map of northern California counties Map of the three Californias on the Cal 3 ballot proposal  Northern California  California  Southern California

Northern California is not a formal geographic designation. California's north-south midway division is around 39° latitude, near the level of San Francisco. Popularly, though, "Northern California" usually refers to the state's northernmost 48 counties. Because of California's large size and diverse geography, the state can be subdivided in other ways as well. For example, the Central Valley is a region that is distinct both culturally and topographically from coastal California, though in northern versus southern California divisions, the Sacramento Valley and most of the San Joaquin Valley are usually placed in northern California.[citation needed]

The state is often considered as having an additional division north of the urban areas of the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento metropolitan areas. Extreme northern residents have felt under-represented in state government and in 1941 attempted to form a new state with southwestern Oregon to be called Jefferson, or more recently to introduce legislation to split California into two or three states. The coastal area north of the Bay Area is referred to as the North Coast, while the interior region north of Sacramento is referred by locals as the Northstate.[4]

Northern California is the name of a proposed new state on the 2018 California ballot created by splitting the existing state into three parts.[5]


Since the events of the California Gold Rush, Northern California has been a leader on the world's economic, scientific, and cultural stages. From the development of gold mining techniques and logging practices in the 19th century that were later adopted around the world, to the development of world-famous and online business models (such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Yahoo!, and eBay), northern California has been at the forefront of new ways of doing business. In science, advances range from being the first to isolate and name fourteen transuranic chemical elements, to breakthroughs in microchip technology. Cultural contributions include the works of Ansel Adams, George Lucas, and Clint Eastwood, as well as beatniks, the Summer of Love, winemaking, the cradle of the international environmental movement, and the open, casual workplace first popularized in the Silicon Valley dot-com boom and now widely in use around the world. Other examples of innovation across diverse fields range from Genentech (development and commercialization of genetic engineering) to CrossFit as a pioneer in extreme human fitness and training. It is also home to one of the largest Air Force Bases on the West Coast, and the largest of California, Travis Air Force Base.


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.[3] The 2010 U.S. Census showed that the Bay Area grew at a faster rate than the Greater Los Angeles Area while Greater Sacramento had the largest growth rate of any metropolitan area in California.

The state's larger inland cities are considered part of Northern California in cases when the state is divided into two parts. Important cities in the region not in major metropolitan areas include Eureka on the far North Coast, Redding, at the northern end of the Central Valley, Chico, and Yuba City in the mid-north of the Valley, as well as Fresno and Visalia on the southern end. Though smaller in every case except for Fresno than the larger cities of the vast region, these smaller regional centers are often of historical, and perhaps inflated economic importance for their respective size, due to their locations, which are primarily rural or otherwise isolated.

History Historical events to 1847

Inhabited for millennia by Native Americans, from the Shasta tribe in the north, to the Miwoks in the central coast and Sierra Nevada, to the Yokuts of the southern Central Valley, northern California was among the most densely populated areas of pre-Columbian North America.[6]

European explorers

The first European to explore the coast was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, sailing for the Spanish Crown; in 1542, Cabrillo's expedition sailed perhaps as far north as the Rogue River in today's Oregon.[7] Beginning in 1565, the Spanish Manila galleons crossed the Pacific Ocean from Mexico to the Spanish Philippines, with silver and gemstones from Mexico. The Manila galleons returned across the northern Pacific, and reached North America usually off the coast of northern California, and then continued south with their Asian trade goods to Mexico.

In 1579, northern California was visited by the English explorer Sir Francis Drake who landed north of today's San Francisco and claimed the area for England. In 1602, the Spaniard Sebastián Vizcaíno explored California's coast as far north as Monterey Bay, where he went ashore. Other Spanish explorers sailed along the coast of northern California for the next 150 years, but no settlements were established.

Spanish era

The first European inhabitants were Spanish missionaries, who built missions along the California coast. The mission at Monterey was first established in 1770, and at San Francisco in 1776. In all, ten missions stretched along the coast from Sonoma to Monterey (and still more missions to the southern tip of Baja California). In 1786, the French signaled their interest in the northern California area by sending a voyage of exploration to Monterey.

The first twenty years of the 19th century continued the colonization of the northern California coast by Spain. By 1820, Spanish influence extended inland approximately 25 to 50 miles (80 km) from the missions. Outside of this zone, perhaps 200,000 to 250,000 Native Americans continued to lead traditional lives. The Adams-Onís Treaty, signed in 1819 between Spain and the young United States, set the northern boundary of the Spanish claims at the 42nd parallel, effectively creating today's northern boundary of northern California.

Russian presence

Russians, from Alaska, were moving down the coast, and in 1812 established Fort Ross, a fur trading outpost on the coast of today's Sonoma County. Fort Ross was the southernmost point of expansion, meeting the Spanish northern expansion some 70 miles (113 km) north of San Francisco. In 1841, as the American presence in northern California began to increase and politics began to change the region, a deal was made with John Sutter and the Russians abandoned their northern California settlements.

Mexican era

After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico continued Spain's missions and settlements in northern California as well as Spain's territorial claims. The Mexican Californios (Spanish-speaking Californians) in these settlements primarily traded cattle hides and tallow with American and European merchant vessels.

Coast Redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument, in Marin County.

In 1825, the Hudson's Bay Company established a major trading post just north of today's Portland, Oregon. British fur trappers and hunters then used the Siskiyou Trail to travel throughout northern California.[8] The leader of a further French scientific expedition to northern California, Eugene Duflot de Mofras, wrote in 1840 " is evident that California will belong to whatever nation chooses to send there a man-of-war and two hundred men."[9]:260 By the 1830s, a significant number of non-Californios had immigrated to northern California. Chief among these was John Sutter, a European immigrant from Switzerland, who was granted 48,827 acres (197.60 km2) centered on the area of today's Sacramento.[10]

American interest

American trappers began entering northern California in the 1830s.[9]:263–4 In 1834, American visionary Ewing Young led a herd of horses and mules over the Siskiyou Trail from missions in northern California to British and American settlements in Oregon. Although a small number of American traders and trappers had lived in northern California since the early 1830s, the first organized overland party of American immigrants to arrive in northern California was the Bartleson-Bidwell Party of 1841 via the new California Trail.[9]:263–273 Also in 1841, an overland exploratory party of the United States Exploring Expedition came down the Siskiyou Trail from the Pacific Northwest. In 1846, the Donner Party earned notoriety as they struggled to enter northern California.

Californian independence and beginning of United States era

When the Mexican–American War was declared on May 13, 1846, it took almost two months (mid-July 1846) for word to get to California. On June 14, 1846, some 30 non-Mexican settlers, mostly Americans, staged a revolt and seized the small Mexican garrison in Sonoma. They raised the "Bear Flag" of the California Republic over Sonoma. The "Bear Flag Republic" lasted only 26 days, until the U.S. Army, led by John Frémont, took over on July 9.[11] The California state flag today is based on this original Bear Flag, and continues to contain the words "California Republic."

Commodore John Drake Sloat ordered his naval forces to occupy Yerba Buena (present San Francisco) on July 7 and within days American forces controlled San Francisco, Sonoma, and Sutter's Fort in Sacramento.[11] The treaty ending the Mexican–American War was signed on February 2, 1848, and Mexico formally ceded Alta California (including all of present-day northern California) to the United States.

Gold Rush and California statehood

The California Gold Rush took place almost exclusively in northern California from 1848–1855. It began on January 24, 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in Coloma.[12] News of the discovery soon spread, resulting in some 300,000 people coming to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. San Francisco grew from a tiny hamlet of tents to a boomtown, and roads, churches, schools and other towns were built. New methods of transportation developed as steamships came into regular service and railroads were built. However, the Gold Rush also had negative effects: Native Americans were attacked and pushed off traditional lands, the native oyster species became overharvested and nearly wiped out all the way into the Pacific Northwest, and gold mining caused environmental harm.

The Gold Rush also increased pressure to make California a U.S. state. Pro-slavery politicians initially attempted to permanently divide northern and southern California at 36 degrees, 30 minutes, the line of the Missouri Compromise. But instead, the passing of the Compromise of 1850 enabled California to be admitted to the Union as a free state.

Population and agricultural expansion (1855–1899) Farm near Mount Shasta

The decades following the Gold Rush brought dramatic expansion to northern California, both in population and economically – particularly in agriculture. The completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, with its terminus in Sacramento, meant that northern California's agricultural produce (and some manufactured goods) could now be shipped economically to the rest of the United States. In return, immigrants from the rest of the United States (and Europe) could comfortably come to northern California. A network of railroads spread throughout northern California, and in 1887, a rail link was completed to the Pacific Northwest. Almost all of these railways came under the control of the Southern Pacific Railroad, headquartered in San Francisco, and San Francisco continued as a financial and cultural center.

Substantial tensions during this era included nativist sentiments (primarily against Chinese immigrants), tensions between the increasing power of the Southern Pacific Railroad and small farmers, and the beginnings of the labor union movement.


Northern California's economy is noted for being the de facto world leader in industries such as high technology (software, semiconductor/micro-electronics, biotechnology and medical devices/instruments), as well as being known for clean power, biomedical, government, and finance. Other significant industries include tourism, shipping, manufacturing, and agriculture. Its economy is diverse, though more concentrated in high technology, and subject to the whims of venture capital than any other major regional economy in the nation especially within Silicon Valley, and less dependent on oil and residential housing than Southern California. It is home to the state capital, as well as several Western United States regional offices in San Francisco, such as the Federal Reserve and 9th Circuit Court.

Climate Köppen climate types in northern California

Northern California has warm or mild to cold climate, in which the Sierra gets snow in the late fall through winter and occasionally into spring. Summers are warm and dry while winters are cool and usually wet. The high temperatures range from 50s to 30s in the winters while summers temperature range is 90s to 60s or 50s, with highs well into the 100s for the Sacramento region. Snow gets covered on the mountains in mid January through February. Fog occurs infrequently or occurs normally in the west and coast.

Population Historical population Census Pop. %± 185086,105—1860346,714302.7%1870516,08948.9%1880772,77849.7%1890961,62824.4%19001,147,72519.4%19101,569,14136.7%19202,003,07527.7%19302,632,27331.4%19403,066,65416.5%19504,654,24851.8%19606,318,48235.8%19707,849,57524.2%19809,359,16019.2%199011,490,92622.8%200013,234,13615.2%201014,573,94610.1%

The population of the forty-eight counties of northern California has shown a steady increase over the years.[13][14] The 1850 census almost certainly undercounted the population of the area, especially undercounting a still substantial Native American population.[citation needed]

The largest percentage increase outside the Gold Rush era (51%) came in the decade of the 1940s, as the area was the destination of many post-War veterans and their families, attracted by the greatly expanding industrial base and (often) by their time stationed in northern California during World War II. The largest absolute increase occurred during the decade of the 1980s (over 2.1 million person increase), attracted to job opportunities in part by the expansion taking place in Silicon Valley and the Cold War era expansion of the defense industry. The 2010 U.S. Census revealed that northern California grew at a faster rate than Southern California in the 2000s with a rate slightly higher than the state average.

Parks and other protected areas National Park System Main articles: List of areas in the National Park System of the United States and List of National Parks of the United States

The U.S. National Park System controls a large and diverse group of parks in northern California. The best known is Yosemite National Park, which is displayed on the reverse side of the California state quarter. Other prominent parks are the Kings Canyon-Sequoia National Park complex, Redwood National Park, Pinnacles National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park and the largest in the contiguous forty-eight states, Death Valley National Park.

National Monuments and other federally protected areas Main articles: List of National Monuments of the United States, United States National Marine Sanctuary, List of National Wildlife Refuges, and List of U.S. National Forests

Other areas under federal protection include Muir Woods National Monument, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Devils Postpile National Monument, Lava Beds National Monument, Point Reyes National Seashore, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries (both off the coast of San Francisco). Included within the latter National Marine Sanctuary is the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge; this National Wildlife Refuge is one of approximately twenty-five such refuges in northern California. National forests occupy large sections of northern California, including the Shasta-Trinity, Klamath, Modoc, Lassen, Mendocino, El Dorado, Tahoe, and Sequoia national forests, among others. Included within (or adjacent to) national forests are federally protected wilderness areas, including the Trinity Alps, Castle Crags, Granite Chief, and Desolation wilderness areas.

In addition, the California Coastal National Monument protects all islets, reefs, and rock outcroppings from the shore of northern California out to a distance of 12 nmi (22 km), along the entire northern California coastline. In addition, the National Park Service administers protected areas on Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. The NPS also administers the Manzanar National Historic Site in Inyo County, the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, and the Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument outside of Tulelake.

Other parks and protected areas This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. .mw-parser-output div.columns-2 div.column{float:left;width:50%;min-width:300px}.mw-parser-output div.columns-3 div.column{float:left;width:33.3%;min-width:200px}.mw-parser-output div.columns-4 div.column{float:left;width:25%;min-width:150px}.mw-parser-output div.columns-5 div.column{float:left;width:20%;min-width:120px}
  • Tilden Regional Park
  • Alum Rock Park
  • Angel Island
  • Bidwell Park
  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Castle Rock State Park
  • Butano State Park
  • Farallon Islands
  • Golden Gate Park
  • Henry Coe State Park
  • Humboldt Redwoods State Park
  • Lake Tahoe Basin
  • East Bay Regional Park District
  • Butano State Park
  • Marble Mountain Wilderness
  • Mount Tamalpais State Park
  • Suisun Marsh
  • Sacramento River
  • Turtle Bay Exploration Park
  • McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
  • Wilder Ranch State Park
  • Sequoia National Park
Educational institutions

Northern California hosts a number of world-renowned universities including Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley. Top-tier public graduate schools include Boalt Hall and Hastings law schools and UC San Francisco, a top-ranked medical school, and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the largest vet school in the United States.

Public institutions
  • Six University of California campuses:
  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Davis
  • UC Hastings
  • UC Merced
  • UC San Francisco
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • Eleven California State University campuses:
  • California Maritime Academy
  • Chico State
  • CSU East Bay
  • CSU Monterey Bay
  • Fresno State
  • Humboldt State
  • Sacramento State
  • San Francisco State
  • San Jose State
  • Sonoma State
  • Stanislaus State
  • A large number of local community colleges
Private institutions

(Partial list)

  • Brandman University
  • Dominican University
  • Drexel University Sacramento
  • Fresno Pacific University
  • Holy Names University
  • Mills College
  • Northwestern Polytechnic University
  • Pacific Union College
  • Stanford University
  • Santa Clara University
  • St. Mary's College
  • Sierra College
  • Simpson University
  • Touro University California
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of the Pacific
  • William Jessup University
  • Academy of Art University
  • Notre Dame de Namur University
  • Samuel Merritt University
Research institutions

(Partial list)

  • American Institute of Mathematics
  • Bodega Marine Reserve
  • Hopkins Marine Station
  • Joint Genome Institute
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Lick Observatory
  • Long Marine Laboratory
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • Owens Valley Radio Observatory
  • Pacific Institute
  • Point Reyes Bird Observatory
  • White Mountain Research Station
  • Alameda
  • Alpine
  • Amador
  • Butte
  • Calaveras
  • Colusa
  • Contra Costa
  • Del Norte
  • El Dorado
  • Fresno
  • Glenn
  • Humboldt
  • Inyo
  • Kings
  • Lake
  • Lassen

  • Madera
  • Marin
  • Mariposa
  • Mendocino
  • Merced
  • Modoc
  • Mono
  • Monterey
  • Napa
  • Nevada
  • Placer
  • Plumas
  • Sacramento
  • San Benito
  • San Francisco
  • San Joaquin

  • San Mateo
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Shasta
  • Sierra
  • Siskiyou
  • Solano
  • Sonoma
  • Stanislaus
  • Sutter
  • Tehama
  • Trinity
  • Tulare
  • Tuolumne
  • Yolo
  • Yuba


The following regions are entirely or partly within northern California:

  • Big Sur
  • Cascade Range
  • Central California
  • Central Coast
  • Central Valley
  • Coastal California
  • East Bay (SF)
  • Eastern California
  • Emerald Triangle
  • Gold Country
  • Greater Sacramento
  • Klamath Basin
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Lassen Peak
  • Lost Coast
  • Metropolitan Fresno
  • Mount Shasta
  • North Bay (SF)
  • North Coast
  • Russian River
  • Sacramento Valley
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • San Francisco Peninsula
  • San Joaquin Valley
  • Santa Clara Valley
  • Shasta Cascade
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Silicon Valley
  • South Bay (SF)
  • Telecom Valley
  • Tri-Valley
  • Trinity Alps
  • Wine Country
  • Yosemite
  • Yuba-Sutter Area
Cities and towns in northern California with more than 50,000 inhabitants Largest cities (city proper) in northern California City Population (2010) Alameda 73,812 Antioch 102,372 Berkeley 112,580 Brentwood 51,481 Chico 86,187 Citrus Heights 83,301 Clovis 95,631 Concord 122,067 Cupertino 58,302 Daly City 101,123 Davis 65,622 Elk Grove 153,015 Fairfield 105,321 Folsom 72,203 Fresno 510,365 Fremont 214,089 Hanford 53,967 Hayward 144,186 Livermore 80,968 Lodi 62,134 Madera 61,416 Manteca 67,096 Merced 78,958 Milpitas 66,790 Modesto 201,165 Mountain View 74,066 Napa 76,915 Novato 51,904 Oakland 390,724 Palo Alto 64,403 Petaluma 57,941 Pittsburg 63,264 Pleasanton 70,285 Porterville 54,165 Rancho Cordova 64,776 Redding 89,861 Redwood City 76,815 Richmond 103,701 Rocklin 56,974 Roseville 118,788 Sacramento 466,488 Salinas 150,441 San Francisco 805,235 San Jose 945,942 San Leandro 84,950 San Mateo 97,207 San Rafael 57,713 San Ramon 72,148 Santa Clara 116,468 Santa Cruz 59,946 Santa Rosa 167,815 South San Francisco 63,632 Stockton 291,707 Sunnyvale 140,081 Tracy 82,922 Tulare 59,278 Turlock 68,549 Union City 69,516 Vacaville 92,428 Vallejo 115,942 Visalia 124,442 Walnut Creek 64,173 Watsonville 51,199 Woodland 55,468 Yuba City 64,925


Metropolitan areas

Northern California is home to three of the state's four extended metropolitan areas that are home to over three-fourths of the region's population as of the 2010 United States Census:[16]

Metropolitan region Population San Francisco Bay Area 7,468,390 Greater Sacramento 2,461,780 Metropolitan Fresno 1,081,315 Major business districts

The following are major central business districts:

  • San Francisco Financial District
  • Downtown Oakland
  • Downtown Sacramento
  • Downtown San Jose

See also categories:

  • Transportation in Alameda County
  • Transportation in Alpine County
  • Transportation in Amador County
  • Transportation in Butte County
  • Transportation in Calaveras County
  • Transportation in Colusa County
  • Transportation in Contra Costa County
  • Transportation in Del Norte County
  • Transportation in El Dorado County
  • Transportation in Fresno County
  • Transportation in Glenn County
  • Transportation in Humboldt County
  • Transportation in Inyo County
  • Transportation in Kings County
  • Transportation in Lake County
  • Transportation in Lassen County
  • Transportation in Madera County

  • Transportation in Marin County
  • Transportation in Mariposa County
  • Transportation in Mendocino County
  • Transportation in Merced County
  • Transportation in Modoc County
  • Transportation in Mono County
  • Transportation in Monterey County
  • Transportation in Napa County
  • Transportation in Nevada County
  • Transportation in Oakland
  • Transportation in Placer County
  • Transportation in Plumas County
  • Transportation in Sacramento
  • Transportation in Sacramento County
  • Transportation in San Benito County
  • Transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Transportation in San Francisco

  • Transportation in San Joaquin County
  • Transportation in San Mateo County
  • Transportation in Santa Clara County
  • Transportation in Santa Cruz County
  • Transportation in Shasta County
  • Transportation in Sierra County
  • Transportation in Siskiyou County
  • Transportation in Solano County
  • Transportation in Sonoma County
  • Transportation in Stanislaus County
  • Transportation in Sutter County
  • Transportation in Tehama County
  • Transportation in Trinity County
  • Transportation in Tulare County
  • Transportation in Tuolumne County
  • Transportation in Yolo County
  • Transportation in Yuba County
Airports within northern California Main article: List of airports in California San Francisco International Airport or SFO is the largest and busiest airport in northern California and second in the state and tenth in the United States.

There are 11 airports in Northern California categorized as Primary Service Commercial airports by the FAA:[17]

Airport ID City Category 2016 Enplanements San Francisco International Airport SFO San Francisco Large Hub 25,707,101 Oakland International Airport OAK Oakland Medium Hub 5,934,659 San Jose International Airport SJC San Jose Medium Hub 5,321,603 Sacramento International Airport SMF Sacramento Medium Hub 4,969,366 Fresno Yosemite International Airport FAT Fresno Small Hub 761,298 Monterey Regional Airport MRY Monterey Non Hub 192,136 Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport STS Santa Rosa Non Hub 167,151 Stockton Metropolitan Airport SCK Stockton Non Hub 93,076 Arcata-Eureka Airport ACV Arcata Non Hub 69,732 Redding Municipal Airport RDD Redding Non Hub 43,414 Mammoth Yosemite Airport MMH Mammoth Lakes Non Hub 21,826 Railroad The 19th Street/Oakland BART station in downtown Oakland
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) – commuter subway connecting most of the core Bay Area including San Francisco and Oakland with their suburbs with ongoing expansion to San Jose and Antioch
  • Caltrain – commuter rail between San Francisco to Gilroy (south of San Jose)
  • Muni Metro (San Francisco)
  • VTA Light Rail (San Jose)
  • Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) – commuter train connecting Stockton and the Central Valley with San Jose and the Bay Area
  • Sacramento Regional Transit District light rail
  • Amtrak:
    • California Zephyr – connects Chicago to the Bay Area
    • Capitol Corridor – San Jose to Auburn (eastern suburb of Sacramento)
    • Coast Starlight – coastal train between Los Angeles and Seattle with northern California stops in San Jose, Oakland, and Sacramento
    • San Joaquin – Central Valley train linking Bakersfield in Southern California to Sacramento and Oakland
Major transit organizations
  • AC Transit
  • Arcata and Mad River Transit System
  • County Connection
  • El Dorado Transit
  • Eureka Transit Service
  • Fairfield and Suisun Transit
  • Fresno Area Express
  • Golden Gate Transit
  • Lake Transit
  • Mendocino Transit Authority
  • Monterey-Salinas Transit
  • Porterville City Operated Local Transit
  • Redwood Transit System
  • SamTrans
  • San Benito Express
  • San Joaquin Regional Transit District
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
  • Santa Cruz Metro
  • Solano Express
  • SolTrans
  • Sonoma County Transit
  • Tri Delta Transit
  • Visalia Transit
  • VINE (Napa County)
Major transit ferries The historic San Francisco Ferry Building is the busiest ferry terminal on the West Coast and connects Downtown San Francisco to various parts of the Bay Area.
  • San Francisco Bay Ferry
  • Golden Gate Ferry
  • Blue & Gold Fleet
  • Angel Island - Tiburon Ferry
Freeways See also: Category:San Francisco Bay Area freeways. Interstate highways
  • Interstate 80 (Eastshore Freeway/Lincoln Highway)
  • Interstate 280 (Southern Embarcadero Freeway/Southern Freeway/Junipero Serra Freeway/Sinclair Freeway)
  • Interstate 380
  • Interstate 580 (Eastshore Freeway/MacArthur Freeway/Brown Freeway)
  • Interstate 680 (Joseph P. Sinclair Freeway/Donald D. Doyle Highway/Blue Star Memorial Highway/Luther E. Gibson Freeway)
  • Interstate 780
  • Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway)
  • Interstate 980 (Grove-Shafter Freeway)
  • Interstate 238
  • Interstate 205 (Robert T. Monagan Freeway)
  • Interstate 5 (Golden State Freeway/West Side Freeway)
  • Interstate 505
  • Interstate 80 Business (Capital City Freeway)
U.S. Routes The Golden Gate Bridge is one of northern California's most well known landmarks and one of the most famous bridges in the world.
  • U.S. Route 6
  • U.S. Route 50 (El Dorado Freeway)
  • U.S. Route 101 (South Valley Freeway/Bayshore Freeway/James Lick Freeway/Central Freeway/Redwood Highway/Michael J. Burns Freeway/Redwood Highway)
  • U.S. Route 395
  • U.S. Route 97
  • U.S. Route 199
I-80 and I-580 in Berkeley in the Bay Area State Route 120 is one of the many highways that traverse the isolated areas of inner northern California Principal state highways
  • State Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway/Cabrillo Highway)
  • State Route 3
  • State Route 4
  • State Route 9
  • State Route 12
  • State Route 13 (Ashby Avenue/Tunnel Road/Warren Freeway)
  • State Route 17
  • State Route 24
  • State Route 29
  • State Route 35 (Skyline Boulevard)
  • State Route 36
  • State Route 37 (Sears Point Tollway)
  • State Route 41 (E.G. Lewis Highway, Yosemite Freeway, Southern Yosemite Highway, Wawona Road)
  • State Route 44
  • State Route 49 (Golden Chain Highway)
  • // State Route 61 (Webster Tube/Posey Tube/Doolittle Drive/Davis Street)
  • State Route 70
  • State Route 82 (Monterey Highway/El Camino Real/Mission Street)
  • State Route 84
  • State Route 85 (Stevens Creek Freeway/West Valley Freeway/Norman Y. Mineta Highway/CHP Officer Scott M. Greenly Memorial Freeway)
  • State Route 89
  • State Route 92 (J. Arthur Younger Freeway/Jackson Street)
  • State Route 99
  • State Route 108
  • State Route 113
  • State Route 120
  • State Route 121
  • State Route 132
  • State Route 140
  • / State Route 185 (International Boulevard/East 14th Street/Mission Boulevard)
  • State Route 160 (North Sacramento Freeway/River Road)
  • State Route 236
  • State Route 237
  • State Route 238 (Mission Boulevard, Foothill Boulevard)
  • State Route 254 (Avenue of the Giants)
  • State Route 262 (Mission Boulevard)
  • State Route 275 (Tower Bridge Gateway)
  • State Route 299
Communication Telephone Area Codes
  • 209 — Northern San Joaquin Valley (Stockton, Modesto, and Merced).
  • 408 — Most of Santa Clara County (San Jose and Gilroy).
  • 415 — San Francisco, Daly City, and Marin County. One of the three original Area Codes in California.
  • 510 — Inner East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, and Fremont). Originally part of area code 415.
  • 530 — A large northeastern section of the region including Tehama County, Shasta County, Lassen County, Yuba County, Sutter County, Butte County, and Nevada County. Split from area code 916 in 1997–1998.
  • 559 — Southern San Joaquin Valley (Madera, Fresno, and Visalia).
  • 628 — Overlay with 415.
  • 650 — San Francisco Peninsula (San Mateo, Redwood City, and Palo Alto). Originally part of area code 415.
  • 669 — Overlay with 408.
  • 707 — The North Coast section of the region from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. Cities include Eureka, Ukiah, Santa Rosa, Napa, Vallejo and Fairfield.
  • 831 — Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. Originally part of area code 408.
  • 916/279 — Sacramento County and the Sacramento suburbs in western Placer and El Dorado Counties. One of the three original area codes in California, formerly covered all areas now within 530.
  • 925 — Outer East Bay (Concord, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Pleasanton and Livermore). Originally part of area codes 415 and 510.[18]
Sports See also: Bay Bridge Series and Sports in California § Northern California–Southern California rivalry Major league professional sports teams Sport League Team Venue Baseball MLB Oakland Athletics (American League) Coliseum San Francisco Giants (National League) AT&T Park Basketball NBA Golden State Warriors Oracle Arena Sacramento Kings Golden 1 Center Football NFL Oakland Raiders Coliseum San Francisco 49ers Levi's Stadium Ice hockey NHL San Jose Sharks SAP Center Soccer MLS San Jose Earthquakes Avaya Stadium Arena Football AFL San Jose SaberCats SAP Center College sports teams
  • California Golden Bears
  • Stanford Cardinal
  • Fresno State Bulldogs
  • San Jose State Spartans
Sports venues
  • Laguna Seca Raceway (motorsport)
  • Sonoma Raceway (motorsport)
  • Olympic Club (golf)
  • Silverado Country Club (golf)
  • TPC Harding Park (golf)
  • TPC Stonebrae (golf)
Sports events
  • Pac-12 Football Championship Game (college football)
  • Emerald Bowl (college football)
  • AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (golf)
  • Open (golf)
  • Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic (golf)
  • Grand Prix of Sonoma (motorsport)
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350 (motorsport)
  • Monterey Sports Car Championships (motorsport)
  • Superbike World Championship (motorsport)
See also
  • California portal
  • San Francisco Bay Area portal
  • California megapolitan areas
  • Central California
  • History of California through 1899
  • History of the west coast of North America
  • Jefferson (proposed Pacific state)
  • Megaregions of the United States
  • Southern California
  1. ^ Morgan, Neil (April 19, 1963). "Westward Tilt: Northern California". Lodi News-Sentinel. Lodi, California. Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ John E. Kent, eds. (1917). Kent Guide Manual (Harrison Narcotic Law) and Progressional Registry. San Francisco: The Service Press. p. 6. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Metcalf, Gabriel; Terplan, Egon (November–December 2007). "The northern California megaregion". The Urbanist. San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. Retrieved November 21, 2009. 
  4. ^ Wiles, Tay (January 22, 2018). "A separatist state of mind". High Country News. Archived from the original on June 17, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2018. 
  5. ^ Myers, John. "Radical plan to split California into three states earns spot on November ballot". Retrieved June 14, 2018. 
  6. ^ R.F. Heizer (1966). "California Indian Tribes map". Retrieved February 10, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo: A Voyage of Discovery". U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved February 10, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Hunters and Trappers at Upper Soda Springs". Museum of the Siskiyou Trail. Retrieved February 10, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b c Bancroft, Hubert Howe (1886). History of California, 1840–1845, Volume 4. A. L. Bancroft. OCLC 9475460. 
  10. ^ "Sutter's Fort Historic State Park". California Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved February 10, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b "American Transition to Early Statehood". California Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved February 10, 2007. 
  12. ^ "vents from January 1848 through December 1855 generally acknowledged as the 'Gold Rush' .... After 1855, California gold mining changed and is outside the 'rush' era." "The Gold Rush of California: A Bibliography of Periodical Articles". California State University, Stanislaus. 2002. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  13. ^ Historical census data by U.S. Census Bureau[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ U.S. Census data for year 2000
  15. ^ Population figures are the most recent figures contained in the respective Wikipedia articles, in the List of cities in California (by population), or in the State of California, Department of Finance 2007 estimates Archived March 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine..
  16. ^ Excerpted from 2010 United States Census
  17. ^
  18. ^ For current information, see, the North American Numbering Plan Administration site.
External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to Northern California.
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Fodor's Northern California: with Napa & Sonoma, Yosemite, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe & the Best Road Trips (Full-color Travel Guide)
Fodor's Northern California: with Napa & Sonoma, Yosemite, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe & the Best Road Trips (Full-color Travel Guide)
Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for over 80 years.Northern California is filled with rugged redwood forests, pristine stretches of Pacific coastline, and towering mountains. But it also has more than its share of creature comforts, from Napa Valley's wineries and spas to San Francisco's destination restaurants and exclusive boutiques. Packed with in-depth insider information, illustrated cultural features, and spectacular photography, Fodor's Northern California showcases the best the region has to offer.

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Lonely Planet Northern California (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Northern California (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Northern California is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Hike subalpine valleys in Yosemite National Park, take in views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, sample America's best wines in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Northern California and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet Northern California: Color maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, customs, film, television, music, arts, literature, landscapes, wildlife Over 18 color maps Covers San Francisco, the Bay Area, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Coastal Highway 1, Redding, Gold Country, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, the Sierra Nevada, Sacramento and more The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Northern California, our most comprehensive guide to Northern California, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less traveled. Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet California for a comprehensive look at all the state has to offer. About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves. The world awaits! Lonely Planet guides have won the TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' -- Fairfax Media 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

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Homesick Scented Candle, Northern California
Homesick Scented Candle, Northern California
There’s a feeling that exists within every state, small town or city – an energy all its own. The smell of the air, the sounds of the morning and the memories that reside there can fill us with nostalgia when we return or rifle through mementos. These places exist in our memories, and though life often relocates us, the sentiment for our experience there remains.

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Roadside Geology of Northern and Central California
Roadside Geology of Northern and Central California
California’s geology makes headlines when faults shift, volcanoes puff steam, and coastal bluffs fall into the sea. The latest edition of this popular book explores the state’s recent rumblings and tremulous past with the aid of full color illustrations. Spectacular photographs showcase multihued rock, from red chert and green serpentinite to blue schist and gray granite. The color geologic road maps, based on the 2010 Geologic Map of California, are detailed and easy to read. The geologic information, particularly for the Klamath Mountains, Modoc Plateau, and northern Sierra Nevada, has been updated to reflect the more recent geologic understanding of these complex areas. For your next road trip, replace your tattered, dog-eared copy of the old edition with this gorgeous new volume.

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Birds of Northern California
Birds of Northern California
David Quady and his nationally acclaimed fellow authors have written text for the over 390 species of birds that are found from Monterey County to the northern border of California in our best-selling format: Description, Similar Species, Seasonal Abundance, Where to Find, Habitat, Diet and Behavior, Voice and Did You Know. More than 500 photographs illustrate species, often in different plumages. The photos have been selected and reviewed by the team of authors for regional accuracy. Two maps illustrate key birding spots and the northern California habitats. A Quick Guide to Local Birds, at the front of the book, provides an easy reference to the pages that provide a complete description of the different birds. A ten page habitat section introduces the sixteen unique geographic regions that support the bird diversity of northern California and highlight the importance of habitat conservation.

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Backroads & Byways of Northern California: Drives, Day Trips and Weekend Excursions (Backroads & Byways)
Backroads & Byways of Northern California: Drives, Day Trips and Weekend Excursions (Backroads & Byways)
Take to the road and explore the "other" Northern California, with its rugged beauty, small-town ambience, and, of course, all that wine. Covering not just Wine Country, Backroads & Byways of Northern California takes you places the other guides don’t know about. From her base in San Francisco, Michele Bigley has the inside knowledge of a local and the keen eye of a seasoned travel writer; she shows you the best spots and the best, most interesting routes to reach them. Each chapter’s itinerary is a new adventure. Take to the road and explore the other Northern California, with its rugged beauty, small-town ambience, and, of course, all that wine. 122

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The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast
The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast
In The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast, Kirk Lombard combines a startling depth of knowledge with wry humor and colorful storytelling to guide readers' quests to hook fish, dig clams, and pick seaweed for themselves. Leighton Kelly's stunning, occasionally idiosyncratic illustrations complement practical instructions for gathering a variety of fish and seafood and delicious recipes for what to do with each catch. Lombard, a former staff member at the state Department of Fish and Game and founder of the foraging tour company/seafood delivery service Sea Forager Seafood, insists that his readers follow all regulations and encourages sustainable practices above and beyond what the State of California requires. This quirky and useful how-to is sure to inspire an empowering epicurean adventure.

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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide San Francisco and Northern California
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide San Francisco and Northern California
The best places to visit in San Francisco--from the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and Coit Tower, to contemporary SFMOMA and the buzzing Fisherman's Wharf--are showcased in this guide with fantastic photography, illustrations, and detailed descriptions.Reviews of shops, restaurants, and where to stay in San Francisco will help you plan your perfect trip. Escape the city to tour the Napa and Sonoma Valley wineries, go hiking in Yosemite National Park, or relax on one of Northern California's best beaches. Discover the sights of this vibrant, West Coast city and beyond with DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: San Francisco & Northern California. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: San Francisco & Northern California truly shows you this city as no one else can.

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Northern California Nature Guide
Northern California Nature Guide
Learn to identify plant and animal species and their various roles in the diverse ecology of Northern California. Over 400 species of common plants and animals are described, with natural history, behaviors, ranges, and native uses. Over 450 color illustrations and 10 maps.

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Lonely Planet Northern California (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Northern California (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Northern California is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Take in the culture of San Francisco, get up close and personal with the world's tallest trees, and sip your way through Napa Valley; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of northern California and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet Northern California Travel Guide: Color maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, lifestyle, people, arts, architecture, wildlife, landscape, music, architecture, literature, visual arts, food, wine. More than 70 maps Covers San Francisco, Marin Country & the Bay Area, Napa & Sonoma Wine Country, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park & the Sierra Nevada, the Central Coast and more The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Northern California, our most comprehensive guide to the region, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less traveled. Looking for a guide focused on San Francisco? Check out Lonely Planet's San Francisco guide for a comprehensive look at all the city has to offer; Discover San Francisco, a photo-rich guide to the city's most popular attractions; or Pocket San Francisco, a handy-sized guide focused on the can't-miss sights for a quick trip. Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet's California guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer, or Discover California, a photo-rich guide to the city's most popular attractions. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, John A Vlahides, Sara Benson, Alison Bing, Celeste Brash, Beth Kohn, Tienlon Ho About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveler community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travelers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

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