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Fremont [38] is a suburban city in the southeast San Francisco Bay Area in Alameda County, California. Many people in Fremont work in the electronics industry, and many commute to the Silicon Valley for work.


Mission Peak is visible throughout Fremont.

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 five 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 towns (Newark) dropped out of the coalition because it was slated to become an industrial zone. The five remaining towns (Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San Jose, and Warm Springs) annexed all the surrounding land to form Fremont.

The oldest of the small towns was Mission San Jose, a Spanish mission founded in 1797. In the mid-1840s, John C. Fremont mapped a trail through Mission Pass to provide access for American settlers into the southeastern San Francisco Bay Area. The city of Fremont is named after him.

Fremont has been multicultural since its inception. Today's visitor is likely to hear half a dozen languages spoken even during a fleeting trip to the city.

Fremont is bordered by Milpitas to the south and Union City to the north, and it entirely surrounds the small city of Newark.

Get in

By plane

  • Oakland Airport (IATA: OAK) 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 (IATA: SJC) is about half an hour away via I880 or I680. During commute hours the traffic is horrific.
  • San Francisco Airport (IATA: SFO) 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 Oakland or San Jose instead. There is a BART station in SFO which can take you to Fremont.

By car

  • From Oakland and Berkeley, take I-880 south
  • From San Jose, take I-880 or I-680 north
  • From San Francisco and Palo Alto, take US-101 to SR-84 (the Dumbarton Bridge)
  • From the central valley, take I-680 south

By train

  • BART, 2000 BART Way (off Civic Center Drive between Mowry and Walnut), [1]. Bay Area regional train service with its southernmost stop in Fremont. From Fremont there are trains north through Oakland, with Richmond or Daly City as their final destinations. By changing trains it is also possible to go inland all the way to Dublin/Pleasanton or to continue beyond Daly City to Millbrae, passing San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on the way.
  • Amtrak Capitols, 37260 Fremont Boulevard (Amtrak station code FMT), [2]. The Capitols is a route from Sacramento to San Jose. Connects to long distance trains at Emeryville. Links to the western outskirts of Oakland and Berkeley, and a short bus ride away from downtown San Jose.
  • Altamont Commuter Express (ACE), 37260 Fremont Boulevard, [3]. The ACE train connects towns east of Fremont with the Silicon Valley. This train runs only from the east four times a day during the morning commute and to the east four times a day during the afternoon/evening commute.

By bus

  • Valley Transit Authority, [4]. Line 180 bus runs from downtown San Jose to Fremont BART even on weekends and holidays.
  • AC Transit, [5]. The U line runs from Stanford University and the Dumbarton Express runs from Palo Alto but only during weekday commute hours.

Get around

By car

This is the preferred method. Fremont streets are usually easy to navigate. Difficult intersections were re-engineered for efficiency decades ago. Motorists will find travel to be very slow during commute hours in the unfavorable direction.

Mission Boulevard crosses I-680 twice at Exit 16 and Exit 12. Locals sometimes refer to Exit 16 as "North Mission" and Exit 12 as "South Mission." Fremont Boulevard crosses I-880 twice at Exit 22 and Exit 13. The locals call Exit 22 "North Fremont" and Exit 13 "South Fremont." So if someone tells you to take "the Fremont Boulevard" exit, make sure you know which one they're talking about.

By bike

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 city of Fremont publishes a bikeway path on its website [39] showing bike paths, trails, alternate routes for bikes, and detailing which intersections are tricky or dangerous. Print copies of the map are available at various government buildings or by ordering through the web site.

By bus

The AC Transit bus system [40] 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. The Fremont BART station serves as a bus terminal for transferring between lines.


Mission San José de Guadalupe
  • Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., [6]. Tu-Su 10AM-4PM. Ardenwood is a 200 acre working farm originally founded in 19th century and was the home of gold miner and sharecropper George Patterson. On Thursdays through Sundays, park staff and volunteers dress in Victorian costumes and demonstrate farm chores. Visitors can help with the crops, visit the farm animals, ride a hay wagon or horse-drawn train, and observe a blacksmith at work. Tu W Sa Adults $2, Children $1; Th F Su Adults $5, Children $4.
  • Central Park, 40000 Paseo Padre Parkway, +1 510 790-5541, [7]. Huge park with lake. Great for a picnic, kite-flying or exercise. Boat rentals available.
  • 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.), +1 510 792-0222, [8]. The baylands around the south end of the San Francisco Bay have been turned into a Wildlife Refuge. The museum at the headquarters in Fremont is worth seeing.
  • Mission San Jose, 43300 Mission Blvd., [9]. Daily 10AM-5PM. Spanish mission founded in 1797. The original mission church is gone. The current mission underwent a four year reconstruction project and was reopened for daily Mass and tours. The only surviving building from the Spanish period is a monastery, which serves as a museum that houses a collection of artifacts, vestments, and memorabilia. The cemetery holds the graves of many prominent Spanish and American settlers.
  • Naz Cinema, 39160 Paseo Padre Parkway, +1 510 797-2000, [10]. Shows Bollywood Films' produced on the other side of the globe, most with English subtitles. The concession offers good-quality snacks like pakoras and samosas.
  • Niles Film Museum, 37395 Niles Boulevard, +1 510 494-1411, [11]. Sa noon-4PM. Silent Films, some produced locally. Films shown Friday and Saturday nights for a small fee, and fine homemade snacks are served.
  • NUMMI, [12]. Visit a high-tech auto assembly plant and see giant welding and stamping machines. By online reservation only. free.
  • Sunol Water Temple, (just east of Fremont proper on SR84, the Niles Canyon Road). M-F 9AM-3PM. All tourists will want to see some of California's infamous waterworks and the surprisingly attractive Water Temple is the closest exemplar.


  • Alameda Creek Trail, (Niles Staging Area on Old Canyon Road), [13]. 5AM-10PM. 12 mile long bike trail follows the Alameda Creek flood-control channel from the hills to the bay. The paved trail is entirely car-free thanks to underpasses beneath each cross-street. 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.
  • Coyote Hills Regional Park, 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, [14]. Apr-Oct 8AM-8PM, Oct-Apr 8AM-6PM. Good place for hiking, biking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Isolated small hill near the bay with a great view of San Francisco on a clear day. $5 per motor vehicle.
  • Mission Peak, [15]. A great place for a challenging hike where you are rewarded with a very nice view of the Bay Area. The peak overlooks the Santa Clara valley and the Bay. To the east you can see Livermore and on a clear day, the Sierra Nevada. Bring a coat in the Fall and Winter.
  • Broadway West, 4000-B Bay Street, (510) 683-9218, [41]. A stage company that performs five plays every year in a very intimate setting. Expect well-performed, offbeat plays. They also hold dinner mystery theaters, and plays by local writers.
  • Niles Canyon Railway, 37001 Mission Blvd, [16]. On the first and third Sunday of each month you can take a train ride on what was known as the Historic Transcontinental Gateway to the San Francisco Bay. The railway offers scenic one-hour locomotive excursions through the very canyon where Charlie Chaplin's "The Tramp" was filmed. A donation of $5-10 is suggested. (37.579753,-121.982038)
  • Sharks Ice Arena, [17]. A pleasant place to ice-skate that has public hours nearly every day.


  • Asian Supermarkets. The cheapest way for Americans to travel to the Pacific Rim is to visit one of these stores, which are full of exotica but also a great place to buy Asian cookware or pick up healthy take-out food.
Ranch 99, 34444 Fremont Blvd (in north Fremont at Paseo Padre), +1 510 791-8899. daily 9AM-9PM.
Lion Food Center, 46881 Warm Springs Boulevard, +1 510 659-8899.
Maiwand Market, 37235 Fremont Boulevard, +1 510 796-7090. Afghan grocery store, bakery, and butcher shop.
  • Farmers' Market, (in Centerville (Bonde Way and Fremont Boulevard)), [18]. Lots of towns have Farmers' Markets but Fremont's features the tastes and smells of the Far East: opu melon, malabar spinach, gai lan, balut and innumerable others. Of course there are heirloom tomatoes and apples as well.
  • Fry's Electronics, 43800 Osgood Road (Auto Mall Rd exit off I-680), +1 510 242-5300, [19]. M-F 8AM-9PM, Sa 9AM-9PM, Su 9AM-7PM. The famous electronics store chain with hundred-foot high ceilings and acres of space.
  • Niles district, Niles Boulevard, [20]. An old fashioned Main Street with lots of antique shops, art galleries, and restaurants.


Many restaurants cater to Fremont's large immigrant community. Chinese, Indian, and Afghani food are very common.

  • Chaat Cafe, 3954 Mowry Avenue (Next to Borders at Fremont Blvd.), +1 510 796-3408, [21]. A good Indian food place that serves wraps, kebobs and curries.
  • Chinese Buffet, 5035 Mowry Avenue, +1 510 818-1908. Don't let the generic name stop you from coming in; it's quite good for a Chinese Buffet. All you can eat crab, beef ribs, sushi, Mongolian barbecue, shrimp, duck, and other food. Expect a fifteen-minute wait to get in.
  • The Country Way, 5325 Mowry Avenue (Between Farwell and I-880. Enter from Farwell.), +1 510 797-3188. This restaurant is of notoriety for Fremont residents. Ask anybody and they will tell you that this place has the best, most filling meals. Especially for breakfast.
  • De Afghanan, 37405 Fremont Blvd, +1 510 745-9599. Across the street from Salang, and not quite as good.
  • Dino's Family Restaurant, 36930 Fremont Blvd. (just north of Thornton Ave.), +1 510 792-6533. Be sure not to confuse this with Dina's Family Restaurant on 40800 Fremont Blvd. Dino's is a charming "mom & pop" American food diner: complete with friendly staff, plentiful portions, and very reasonable prices. Don't be surprised when you're called "dear" or "sweetheart," here.
  • Elephant Bar Restaurant, 39233 Fremont Blvd. (between Mowry and Walnut), +1 510 742-6221, [22]. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. A better than average chain restaurant, at about the usual price for a slightly upscale restaurant. Kids meals are cheap here.
  • Fu Lam Moon, 40460 Albrae St. (west on Stevenson exit from I-880), +1 510 668-1333, [23]. M-F 11AM-2:30 5PM-midnight, Sa-Su 10AM-3PM 5PM-midnight. A fine place for dim sum on weekends from about 10-2. Not recommended for regular meals.
  • Habibi Restaurant, 3906 Washington Blvd. (Irvington Shopping Plaza), +1 510 659-9034, [24]. M-Sa 11AM-9PM, closed Sunday. "The Flavor of Lebanon." A small and noisy neighborhood place with tasty food.
  • King Noodle House, 39226 Argonaut Way, +1 510 795-2888, [25]. Daily 9AM-9PM. Cheap, fast and filling Asian cuisine.
  • Kinnaree Thai Restaurant, 39620 Mission Blvd, +1 510 742-5152, [26]. Tu-W 11AM-9:30PM, Th-F 11AM-10PM, Sa-Su noon-10PM. $15.
  • La Casita Restaurant, 41420 Fremont Blvd., +1 510 657-8602. This restaurant has some of the best mexican food in town! Try the enchiladas there may be a wait on Fridays.
  • Salang Pass, 37462 Fremont Blvd., +1 510 795-9200. An upscale, superb Afghani 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. No alcohol is served.
  • Yuki Japanese Restaurant, 1932 Driscoll Rd. (near Paseo Padre Parkway), +1 510 656-5021. Outstanding sushi and traditional Japanese dishes prepared with flare. Quite possibly Fremont's finest restaurant. Be prepared to wait during peak hours.

If you want a fancy restaurant, consider crossing the Dumbarton Bridge to Palo Alto.


  • Hyatt Place Silicon Valley/Fremont, 3101 West Warren Ave, +1 510 623-6000, [27].
  • Best Western Garden Court, 5400 Mowry Avenue, +1 510 792-4300 (fax: +1 510 792-2643), [28].
  • Courtyard Fremont Silicon Valley, 47000 Lakeview Boulevard, +1 510 656-1800 (fax: +1 510 656-2441), [29]. Located off I-880 gives you easy access to San Francisco the rest of the Bay Area. Being in the Bayside Business Park, it is near Fremont attractions like the historical San Jose Mission and Lake Elizabeth with its boating and fishing. $139-$199.
  • Days Inn Fremont, 46101 Warm Springs Blvd, +1 510 656-2800, [30]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM.
  • Hampton Inn, 6500 Landing Parkway, +1 510 498-1900, [31].
  • Hawthorne Suites, 42200 Albrae St, +1 510 651-7373 (fax: +1 510 651-7362), [32].
  • Holiday Inn Express, 47031 Kato Rd, +1 510 490-2900, [33].
  • La Quinta Inn and Suites, 46200 Landing Parkway, +1 510 445-0808, [34]. Good free breakfast, free high-speed internet in some rooms, but call the local number to maker sure you are really getting one of the right rooms--don't rely on the description when booking on the web.
  • Lord Bradley's Inn, 43344 Mission Boulevard, +1 510 490-0520 (fax: +1 510 490-3015).
  • Motel 6 Fremont North, 34047 Fremont Boulevard, +1 510 793-4848 (fax: +1 510 791-8170), [35]. 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.
  • Motel 6 Fremont South, 46101 Research Avenue, +1 510 490-4528 (fax: +1 510 490-5937), [36].
  • Residence Inn Fremont Silicon Valley, 5400 Farwell Place, +1 510 794-5900 (fax: +1 510 793-6587), [37].
  • Silicon Valley/Fremont AmeriSuites, 3101 West Warren Ave, (510) 623-6000, Fax: (510) 623-6001, [42].

Get out

Day trips

  • Get touristy by going to San Francisco via BART. Ride the cable cars from the Powell Street BART Station to Fisherman's Wharf, thereby accomplishing two of the most touristy things on the West Coast.
  • The Oakland Museum of California [43] in Oakland is the best museum about California history. Take BART to the Lake Merritt station in Oakland. Exit the station to 9th Street and walk down Oak Street with the one-way flow of traffic. The entrance to the museum will be on the right side of Oak Street midway between 10th and 12th Streets.
  • Ride the Rails to the California State Railroad Museum [44] in Sacramento. Take Amtrak's Capitol Corridor [45] train to Sacramento. From the Sacramento station, walk across the parking lot (under the overpasses) west about a block. The museum has one of the largest collections of antique trains in the United States. On summer weekends you can also catch a short steam-train ride. The museum is in Old Sacramento which provides touristy shops and food. Be careful when reading the train schedule: buses are used for some segments at certain hours, so make sure the schedule says you get a train and not a bus.
  • See the ocean by going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium [46] in Monterey. It's about two and a half hours by car. A great place to both see and learn about the local ocean. After the museum, grab a seafood dinner at the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf [47] or Cannery Row. If you have an uncontrollable desire to swim in the freezing Pacific water, the beach in Carmel (just south of Monterey) is the place to try it.

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