Concord, California

about san francisco bay area

IEC@DVC will permanently close at the end of the current session (August 23-October 13, 2021).
Please contact our sister program IEC@OCC for programs

About the San Francisco Bay Area

What is life like in the San Francisco Bay Area? Technology, commerce, the arts, and nature come together in Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area (also known as “The Bay Area”). The Bay Area is known for its culturally diverse population, beautiful coastal and mountain landscapes, rich combination of cultures, well-connected metropolitan areas, and high-ranked universities.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is the train that runs through the San Francisco Bay Area. Both DVC and IEC@DVC are easily accessible by bus to BART stations.

bart map dvc
Map of San Francisco Bay Area


The Bay Area includes San Francisco, a city at the hub of commerce and culture, and Silicon Valley, the center of the technology industry. The Bay Area has more Fortune 500 companies (including Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Chevron, Visa, Tesla, and Coca-Cola) than any other region in the U.S. other than New York City. Within San Francisco, you will find many unique neighborhoods such as the Mission District, Chinatown, the Financial District, Fishermen’s Wharf, and the Embarcadero.

Although known for its urban spaces, the Bay Area is also home to a surprising number of wildlife preserves and natural habitats. Residents are known as being health-conscious people who regularly exercise and eat well. Many take advantage of the region’s natural spaces and go hiking, kayaking, surfing, skateboarding, running, or biking in their free time. In the city of San Francisco alone, there are more than 200 miles of paths for recreational use.

The Bay Area is also home to many professional sports teams, including the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s baseball teams, the San Francisco 49ers football team, and the Golden State Warriors basketball team. Additionally, the city of San Francisco and its surrounding areas have impressive art museums, theaters, and public gardens.

Bay Area residents are diverse: roughly 32% were born in a country other than the U.S., and several Bay Area cities are some of the most ethnically diverse in the nation.

Colleges and Universities

The SF Bay Area is home to some of the world’s best universities, including Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Many students first attend one of the area’s many community colleges and then transfer to a CSU, UC, or private university after completing the required credits.

Academics in the Bay Area are often focused on business, medicine, and technology. The Arts are also prevalent, which is a reflection of the rich art culture of the area.

Nearby attractions

Short drives or flights take Bay Area residents to some of the most beautiful and exciting locations in California, including:

  • Santa Cruz and Monterey
  • Napa and Sonoma Valley
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Yosemite
  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego

The region’s many airports and well-connected transit ensure quick and easy travel.


The Bay Area has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and dry summers. This allows residents to enjoy the outdoors year-round. Warm winter days are common and allow for outdoor activities (the nearby mountains of Lake Tahoe are perfect for a day spent skiing or snowboarding). The waters of the Pacific Ocean are the warmest in August and September: many use wetsuits in order to swim or surf during the colder months of the year.