San Francisco Peninsula
The San Francisco
Peninsulain Californiaseparates the San Francisco Bayfrom the Pacific Ocean. On its northern tip is the city of San Francisco. Its southern end is part of Santa Clara County, including the cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Mountain View. San Mateo County, located south of San Francisco, includes Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, El Granada, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, La Honda, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Montara, Pacifica, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Gregorio, San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Woodside.
"The Peninsula", used as a local
geographicterm, refers only to the parts south of, and excluding, the city of San Francisco. It is roughly equivalent to the area served by the 650 area code, or to San Mateo County itself. A couple of the aforementioned cities in the northern part of the county are considered to be suburbs of San Francisco, Daly City and South San Francisco in particular. Parts of the peninsula on the bay side are sometimes referred to as the "West Bay".
The east side of the peninsula is a largely densely populated area that includes portions of
Silicon Valley. It forms a commuter area between San Francisco to the north and San Jose to the south. A number of major thoroughfares run north-south: El Camino Real (SR 82) and US 101 on the east side along the bay, Interstate 280 down the center, Skyline Boulevard(SR 35) along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and Highway 1 on the west along the Pacific. The Caltraincommuter rail line runs roughly parallel to the El Camino and Highway 101 corridors.
Three bridges—the Dumbarton Bridge, the
San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, and the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge—cross San Francisco Bayfrom the Peninsula. To the north, the Golden Gate Bridgeconnects San Francisco with Marin County
Along the center line of the Peninsula is the northern half of the
Santa Cruz Mountains, formed by the action of plate tectonicsalong the San Andreas Fault. In the middle of the Peninsula along the fault is the Crystal Springs reservoir. Just north of the Crystal Springs reservoir is San Andreas Lakeafter which the famous geologic faultwas named.
The San Francisco Peninsula contains a gamut of habitats including estuarine, marine,
oak woodland, redwood forest, coastal scrub and oak savanna. There are numerous species of wildlife present, especially along the San Francisco Bayestuarine shoreline, San Bruno Mountain, Fitzgerald Marine Reserveand the forests on the Montara Mountainblock.
The county is home to several endangered species including the
San Francisco garter snake, the Mission blue butterflyand the San Bruno elfin butterfly, all of which are endemic to San Mateo County. The endangered California clapper railis also found on the shores of San Francisco Bay, in the cities of Belmont and San Mateo.
A number of noteworthy parks and nature preserves are found on the San Francisco Peninsula, including:
Edgewood Park, San Mateo County
Golden Gate National Recreation Area- several units are located on the Peninsula
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District- several preserves
Sanborn Park, Santa Clara County
There are a number of well known structures and complexes on the San Francisco Peninsula:
Bay MeadowsRacecourse, San Mateo (soon to be shut down)
Carolands Mansion, Hillsborough
Coyote Point Museum, San Mateo
Cow Palace, Daly City
Crocker Mansion, Hillsborough
Crystal Springs Reservoir, unincorporated central part of county
Dakin Building, Brisbane
* Filoli mansion, Woodside
* The "
Flintstones House", north of the Eugene Doran Bridgeon the east side of Interstate 280 [http://www.thewavemag.com/pagegen.php?pagename=article&articleid=24784]
* The "
House of Doors", Half Moon Bay [http://www.halfmoonbaymemories.com/category/house-of-doors/]
Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, which incorporates Ralston Hall
* Oracle World Headquarters, Redwood Shores (aka the "Emerald City")
Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Pescadero
Point Montara Lighthouse, Montara
Pulgas Water Temple, Woodside
San Francisco International Airport
Sanchez Adobe, Pacifica
Stanford University, Palo Alto
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