Fremont is a suburban city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. For the most part, people in Fremont work in the electronics industry, and usually commute to the Silicon Valley for work.
Unlike most sprawling suburbs, Fremont was planned and was meant to be the way it is.
In the 1950s, fearing that they would be annexed by the growing city of Hayward to the
north, seven very small towns decided to unite to avoid annexation. The two towns closest to
Hayward quickly incorporated into Union City. The six remaining towns got together and
extensively planned how things would be. Space was allocated both for industry and homes.
Space for roads large enough to support the massive traffic flows was set aside. One of the
small cities (Newark) dropped out of the coalition because it was slated to become
an industrial zone. The five cities annexed all the surrounding land to form Fremont.
The oldest of the small towns was Mission San Jose, a Spanish
mission founded in 1797.
- Oakland Airport is about twenty minutes away by car via I880 depending on time of day. Or you can take a shuttle from the airport to BART, which runs to Fremont.
- San Jose Airport is about half an hour away via US101 and I880. During commute hours the traffic is horrific.
- San Francisco Airport is about 45 minutes away via US101 and SR84 (The Dumbarton Bridge). This is the most difficult airport to get to and also the worst for flight delays in the area. Avoid SFO if you can get a flight direct to to Oakland or San Jose instead. There is a BART station in SFO which can take you to Fremont.
- From Oakland and Berkeley, take I880 south
- From San Jose, take I880 or I680 north
- From San Francisco and Palo Alto, take US101 to SR84 (the Dumbarton Bridge)
- From the central valley, take I680 south
The BART rapid transit system is a Bay Area train which stops in Fremont. http://www.bart.gov
The Amtrak Capitols route is a local train which makes a stop in Fremont. Long
distance Amtrak trains run to Emeryville, which is on the Capitols route. http://www.amtrakcapitols.com
The Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) train also stops in Fremont. The ACE train runs from
towns in the east bringing commuters into the Silicon Valley. This train isn't very
convenient for a traveller since it's loaded with passengers, and only travels from the
east three times a day during the morning commute. http://www.acerail.com
This is the preferred method. Fremont streets are usually easy to navigate. Difficult
intersections were re-engineered for efficiency decades ago.
Bike 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 AC Transit bus system serves Fremont poorly. Bus 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. http://www.actransit.org
- Mission San Jose, 43300 Mission Blvd., Daily 10-5. Spanish mission founded in 1797. The original mission church buildings are long gone, but the current rebuilt mission is nice with a good museum.
- Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, (Take SR84 west toward the Dumbarton Bridge. Go south at the Thornton Exit. After a quarter mile, turn right onto Marshlands Rd. At the stop sign, turn left into the refuge parking lot), 510-792-0222. The baylands around the south end of the San Franciso Bay have been turned into a Wildlife Refuge. The museum at the headquarters in Fremont is worth seeing. http://desfbay.fws.gov
- Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd. Tue-Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A working farm founded in 19th century. Organic produce available. Old buildings. Demonstrations of 19th century trades. http://www.ebparks.org/parks/arden.htm
- Central Park, 40000 Paseo Padre Parkway. Huge park with lake. Great for a picnic or exercise. Boat rentals available. http://www.ci.fremont.ca.us/Recreation/CentralPark
- Bike The Alameda Creek Trail is a great place to go for a ride. Start at the east end where the creek comes out of the hills on Old Canyon Road. The paved trail runs 12 miles to the San Francisco Bay, and there isn't a single motor vehicle on the whole trail. 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. http://www.ebparks.org/parks/alameda.htm
- Hike At Coyote Hills Regional Park. Isolated small hill near the bay with a great view of San Francisco on a clear day. http://www.ebparks.org/parks/coyote.htm
- Fry's Electronics. Admit it: you want to see the electronics store with hundred-foot high ceilings and acres of space.
Many restaurants cater to Fremont's large immigrant community. Chinese, Vietnamese, and Afghani food are very common.
- Cafe Bellisimo, 1688 DeCoto Road, Union City (510) 324-1463. A top-notch Italian restaurant in a bottom-notch location. Expensive, but everything is prepared freshly, from scratch.
- Copper Chimney, 5255 Mowry Ave., (510) 505-9003. A spicy Indian restaurant with nice decor.
- Elephant Bar Restaurant, 39233 Fremont Blvd., (510) 742-6221. A better than average chain restaurant, at about the usual price for a slightly upscale restaurant. Kids meals are cheap here.
- Salang Pass, 37462 Fremont Blvd., (510) 795-9200. An upscale, superb Afgani 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.
- Vy's Restaurant, 6180 Jarvis Avenue Suite T, Newark (510) 739-0126. Good, inexpensive Vietnamese food in an Asian mall. The best part of the restaurant is the owner, Anne. Use the menu for ideas of what they can cook, but ask your waitress (probably Anne) for recommendations off the menu. Don't tease the fish.
If you want a fancy restaurant, consider crossing the Dumbarton Bridge to Palo Alto.
- Hampton Inn, 6500 Landing Parkway, (510) 498-1900. http:///www.hamptoninn.com
- Residence Inn, 5400 Farwell Place, (510) 794-5900. http://www.residenceinn.com
- La Quinta Inn and Suites, 46200 Landing Parkway, (510) 445-0808. http://www.lq.com
- Motel 6, 34047 Fremont Boulevard, (510) 793-4848. This 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. http://www.motel6.com
- Newark is a town close by with good places to stay.