The North Bay is a subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, United States. The largest city is Santa Rosa, which is the fifth-largest city in the Bay Area. It is the location of the Napa and Sonoma wine regions, and is the least populous and least urbanized part of the Bay Area. It consists of Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.
The North Bay is connected to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge and to the East Bay by the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge, Carquinez Bridge and the Benicia–Martinez Bridge. Several ferry routes operate between the North Bay and San Francisco, from terminals located in Angel Island, Larkspur, Sausalito, Tiburon and Vallejo.
The Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), a commuter rail line from Larkspur to Cloverdale, was approved by voters in November 2008. Passenger service began between the Sonoma County Airport station and San Rafael in August 2017 and was completed as far south as Larkspur in 2019.
The area is said to have been populated by Pomo Native Americans before European intervention. The Russians first settled the area at Fort Ross as a fur-trading post, but the area was later settled by the Spanish-Mexican Alta California. The Bear Flag Revolt took place in the town of Sonoma, which is also the location of the last of the California Missions. General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, the last secretary to the Governor of California before its annexation to the United States, kept his home in Sonoma; his ranch, now a National Historic Landmark, was in nearby Petaluma.
The North Bay remained isolated and rural well into the 20th Century. The opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930s transformed Marin County from a dairy farming region into an upscale suburban area. Until the 1990s, the region's growth was at a gradual pace, with significant restrictions on development being imposed in Marin and Napa Counties in the 1970s (future Senator Barbara Boxer was an important figure in the North Bay's open space preservation movement).
The largest city in the North Bay is Santa Rosa, with a population of 175,000.
Other major cities include: (sorted by population)
Sonoma County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 483,878. Its county seat and largest city is Santa Rosa. It is to the north of Marin County and the south of Mendocino County. It is west of Napa County and Lake County.
Santa Rosa is a city and the county seat of Sonoma County, in the North Bay region of the Bay Area in California. Its estimated 2019 population was 176,753. It is the largest city in California's Wine Country and Redwood Coast, as well as the fifth most populous city in the Bay Area after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont; and the 27th most populous city in California.
Coast Miwok are an indigenous people that was the second-largest group of Miwok people. Coast Miwok inhabited the general area of modern Marin County and southern Sonoma County in Northern California, from the Golden Gate north to Duncans Point and eastward to Sonoma Creek. Coast Miwok included the Bodega Bay Miwok, from authenticated Miwok villages around Bodega Bay, and the Marin Miwok.
San Pablo Bay is a tidal estuary that forms the northern extension of San Francisco Bay in the East Bay and North Bay regions of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California.
State Route 37 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that runs 21 miles (34 km) along the northern shore of San Pablo Bay. It is built from U.S. Route 101 in Novato and runs through northeastern Marin County, the southern tip of Sonoma and Solano Counties to Interstate 80 in Vallejo. It serves as a vital connection between the four counties of the North Bay Area, north of San Francisco; Sonoma Raceway and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom are accessible from Highway 37.
Sonoma Valley is a valley located in southeastern Sonoma County, California, in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. Known as the birthplace of the California wine industry, the valley is home to some of the earliest vineyards and wineries in the state, some of which survived the phylloxera epidemic of the 1870s and the impact of prohibition in the early 20th century. Today, the valley's wines are protected by the U.S. Federal Government's Sonoma Valley and Carneros AVAs.
Golden Gate Transit (GGT) is a public transportation system serving the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, United States. It primarily serves Marin County, Sonoma County, and San Francisco, and also provides limited service to Contra Costa County.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa in California is a diocese, or ecclesiastical territory, of the Roman Catholic Church in the northern California region of the United States, named in honor of St. Rose of Lima. It comprises the Counties of Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma. Also known as the See of Santa Rosa in California, it is led by a bishop, currently Bishop Robert Francis Vasa, who pastors the mother church in the City of Santa Rosa, the Cathedral of Saint Eugene.
Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is a passenger rail service and bicycle-pedestrian pathway project in Sonoma and Marin counties of the U.S. state of California. When completed, the entire system will serve a 70-mile (110 km) corridor between Cloverdale in northern Sonoma County and Larkspur Landing in Marin County.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is a special-purpose district that owns and operates three regional transportation assets in the San Francisco Bay Area:
The Northwestern Pacific Railroad is a railroad covering the 62 mi (100 km) stretch between Schellville and Windsor with freight and Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter trains. Formerly, it was a regional railroad that served the entire North Coast of California, with a main line running 271 miles (436 km) from Schellville to Eureka, along with an additional portion of the line running from the Ignacio Wye to the edge of San Rafael. The portion of the NWP main line between the Ignacio Wye in Marin County and the depot in Healdsburg is owned by SMART. The Schellville–Ignacio and Healdsburg–Eureka portions are owned by the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA). Private contractor NWPco operates freight service under NCRA lease. California's 2018 Great Redwood Trail Act repurposes the abandoned railroad right-of-way from Eureka to the San Francisco Bay in Marin County for future use as the "Great Redwood Trail" rail-trail.
San Francisco Bay in California has been served by ferries of all types for over 150 years. John Reed established a sailboat ferry service in 1826. Although the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge led to the decline in the importance of most ferries, some are still in use today for both commuters and tourists.
Sonoma County Transit is a public transportation system based in Sonoma County, California.
Golden Gate Ferry is a commuter ferry service operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in San Francisco Bay, part of the Bay Area of Northern California, United States. Regular service is run to the Ferry Building in San Francisco from Larkspur, Sausalito, and Tiburon in Marin County, with additional service from Larkspur to Oracle Park and Chase Center. The ferry service is funded primarily by passenger fares and Golden Gate Bridge tolls.
The San Rafael Transportation Center is an intermodal transportation center located in downtown San Rafael, California. It is a primary transfer point for several local and regional bus operators, and a commuter rail station on the Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) system.
Stol Air Commuter was a United States commuter airline that began service around 1974. The air carrier was also known as STOL Air Commuter thus reflecting its use of STOL aircraft. It served the San Francisco, California Bay Area and northern California. The airline was based in San Rafael in Marin County just north of the city of San Francisco and also had administrative offices located in Santa Rosa, CA at one point. Stol Air Commuter operated scheduled passenger air service connecting several cities in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as northern California with San Francisco International Airport (SFO). According to the airline's system timetable, in the spring of 1975 Stol Air Commuter was operating 66 daily flights serving SFO via United Airlines gate 10 at the airport.
The Santa Rosa Transit Mall is a major transfer point for several bus routes serving the city of Santa Rosa, California, located in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, in the United States. From the Transit Mall, passengers can travel throughout Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, plus destinations that connect the city with the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Redwood Empire.
Haystack Landing is a historic property in Sonoma County, California, now owned by Dutra Materials. Haystack Landing was a passenger and freight connection on San Francisco Bay via the Petaluma River and San Pablo Bay. The landing is currently the site of a historic steamer dock, a railroad bridge, and of a planned asphalt production and storage facility. Haystack Landing was featured in then-congressman Frank Riggs' election campaign in the 1996 California First Congressional District race, when his ties to the property drew criticism.
Larkspur station is a Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) station in Larkspur, California. The terminal station opened to revenue service on December 14, 2019. It is located across Sir Francis Drake Blvd 1⁄3 mile (0.5 km) from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.