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Cities near San Francisco

Cities Near San Francisco | 🗺️ Populations, Distances, Information, Data & Map

Last Updated on: 6th October 2022, 06:56 am

San Francisco, CA is known for its amazing restaurants and food like seafood and sourdough bread. Of course, that’s along with the Stunning Bridge and fun cable car transportation. Located in San Francisco County, this bustling city has 873,965 residents, according to the 2020 census, also making the city the 4th largest by population in California. With a large city comes nearby cities or suburbs of the city. So, when it comes to living in cities near San Francisco, where should you go, and how do you know what’s the right fit for you?

Largest Cities Near San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is California’s fourth largest city with 873,965 people as of 2020. If you’re looking for another large city that isn’t San Francisco, then it’s worth checking out a few nearby cities. 

Some of these cities may not be as populated as some of the other major cities in California. This is because they’re at a further distance to San Francisco than what you’d want to travel. For example, Los Angeles is the largest city in California. However, Los Angeles is over 300 miles away from San Francisco, making it not one of the largest surrounding cities near San Francisco. 

Because California is super large, not all the largest cities in California will be close in proximity. For this specific parameter, we break down the largest towns and cities in California closest to San Francisco within 100 miles. 

San Jose – 48.4 Miles from San Francisco

San Jose is the 3rd largest city in California with a 2020 population of 1,013,240. The city has a population density of 5,774 square miles and a 177.81 square mile area. 

Being one of California’s largest cities, San Jose has a  lot to offer. For starters, the city is surrounded by rolling hills in Silicon Valley, which is known as a major technology hub in the California Bay area. Because of this, San Jose is home to the Tech Museum of Innovation, which is a great place to explore science and technology. San Jose also consists of tons of architectural landmarks dating back to 1883. In the historic district, you’ll find the Italianate-style Oddfellows building as well as Spanish Colonial structures.

Learn more about moving to or living in San Jose.

Sacramento– 87.6 Miles from San Francisco

Sacramento is the 6th largest city in California with a population of 524,943 The city has a population density of 5,491 square miles and a 97.73 square mile area. 

If you visit Sacramento, you’ll be visiting California’s state capital, smushed in between the Sacramento River and the American River. Visiting Sacramento means you’ll be exploring historical events of the Gold Rush Era. Spot wooden sidewalks along with wagon rides to feel as if you’re really going back into the old ages. The California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento takes you through the creation of the Transcontinental railroad, showing you a huge part of history. 

Oakland – 12.4 Miles from San Francisco

Oakland is the 7th largest city in the state with 440,646 residents as of 2020. The city has a density of 8,062 square miles and a 55.89 square mile area. 

Visitors can enjoy a day trip from San Franciso, whether you’re a baseball fan seeing the major league team, the Oakland A’s, or someone who enjoys going to Old Oakland to see Victorian architecture and boutiques. Oakland also has Jack London Square, which features a statue of the writer. Visitors can also see the Oakland Museum of California where you can learn about the state’s history as well as nature and art. You can also stop in uptown to enjoy art deco Fox and Paramount theaters as well as restaurants and bars as well as galleries. 

Read this article to learn more about moving to or living in Oakland.

Stockton – 83.2 Miles from San Francisco

Stockton consists of a population of 320,804, making it the 12th largest city in the state. The city has a population density of 5,254 square miles and a 62.17 square mile area. 

A city placed along the San Joaquin River, visitors can enjoy many outdoorsy excursions such as Oak Grove Regional park which consists of trains, a nature center, and a lake, or Micke Grove Regional Park with a Japanese garden. You can also enjoy the Haggin Museum and San Joaquin County Historical Museum. Families visiting this city near San Franciso will love seeing animals at the Micke Grove Zoo or playing at the Children’s Museum of Stockton, featuring hands-on exhibits. 

Fremont – 37.9 Miles from San Francisco

Fremont is the 17th largest city in the state, which shows just how big California is and how far a lot of the major cities are from one another. There are 230,504 residents as of 2020. The city has a population density of 3,018 square miles and a 77.47 square mile area. 

One of the cities in the San Francisco Bay area, Fremont consists of lots of museums, such as the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. There’s also Mission San José, a 1700s Spanish Mission. It consists of a reconstructed church and a museum. Fremont also has the Ardenwood Historic Farm which shows everything from horse-powered farming to a Victorian mansion. Furthermore, Fremont has a Central Park, which features Lake Elizabeth, and something your kids will love- the Aqua Adventure Water Park.

Find out more about what it’s like to live in Fremont here.

Modesto– 92.3 Miles from San Francisco

Modesto has a population of 218,464, making it the 19th largest city in the state. The city has a population density of 5,164 square miles and a 42.98 square mile area. 

The largest city in Stanislaus county, Modesto has a large agricultural industry and is based on the fertile farmland surrounding the city. For those looking for something a little more “adult,” Modesto is home to the largest winery in the world, E & J Gallo Winery. This is the perfect place to stop if you’re not looking for a whole day Napa/Sonoma wine excursion. 

Other Cities in San Francisco 

If you’re not looking to live in a major California city, the area around San Francisco actually contains several smaller cities that may suit your needs better. These cities around San Francisco can meet your living needs, whether you want to commute into the city for work, raise a family, or need that town-city balance, these are the places to be. However, they’re not too small and can still give off a city feel.

We’ve compiled a list of other cities near San Francisco with a population of under 100,000, but no smaller than 70,000. All of these cities close to San Francisco are also still within a 100-mile parameter. This way, you get the feel of smaller cities near San Francisco but are close enough to the city if you ever want to stop in for the day or need to commute there. 

There are 18 cities and towns near San Francisco 100 miles or less with a population from 70,000 to 100,000. The following table also shows the distance in miles so you can find the closest cities to San Francisco.

Towns & Cities Near San Francisco 

County Population (2020) Distance from San Francisco (miles)
Arden-Arcade Sacramento 94,659 97.0
Tracy San Joaquin 93,000 63.0
San Leandro Alameda 91,008 22.5
Livermore Alameda 87,955 44.6
San Ramon Contra Costa 84,605 36.1
Manteca San Joaquin 83,498 76.4
Redwood City San Matteo 84,292 24.6
Mountain View Santa Clara 82,376 39.3
Carmichael Sacramento 79,793 99.0
Milpitas Santa Clara 80,273 46.2
Pleasanton Alameda 79,871 40.2
Rancho Cordova Sacramento 79,332 100.1
Napa Napa 79,246 48.3
Alameda Alameda 79,174 14.3
Pittsburg Contra Costa 76,416 40.9
Dublin Alameda 72,589 34.8
Walnut Creek Contra Costa 70,127 25.3
Union City Alameda 70,143 31.7


Map of Cities Near San Francisco and Surrounding Area

Small Cities & Towns Near San Francisco, CA

Although California may be huge with lots of large cities, there are few places near San Francisco that are smaller and maybe a better fit for you and your needs. This is perfect for those who want to transition from a bigger city to a smaller town, or those who love the smaller town vibe, but don’t want to be too far from San Francisco. 

We’ve compiled a list of other cities near San Francisco with a population of under 20,000 to 15,000, this way you can get an idea of what types of cities and towns near San Francisco you can choose from. These will also all be within a 100-mile parameter, so you can have both the small-town life and still can easily get to San Francisco.

Towns & Cities Near San Francisco


County Population (2020) Distance from San Francisco (miles)
Orinda Contra Costa 19,514 17.8
Pinole Contra Costa 19,022 22,7
Dixon Solano 18,988 66.2
Moraga Contro Costa 16,870 22.1
Ripon San Joaquin 16,013 82.2
Rio Linda Sacramento 15,944 95.2
El Sobrante Contra Costa 15,524 21.9
Cherryland Alameda 15,808 36.2
Discover Bay Contra Costa 15,358 62.9
Alamo Contra Costa 15,314 28.3


Major Cities Near San Francisco

The San Francisco area is large…there are 10 counties in the San Francisco Bay Area region: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Napa County, San Francisco County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Solano County, and Sonoma County. While there are plenty of large and small cities in San Francisco surrounding cities,, there are also very well-known cities not too close to the city. However, if you want to visit another major city, whether it be for a long weekend trip or a long getaway, we’ve compiled a list of bigger cities within a 600-mile distance that you could drive in a few hours or a day.

Major Cities Near San Francisco

Population as of 2020 Distance from San Franciso, CA
Sausalito, CA 7,177 9.8 miles
Berkley, CA 123,065 14.3
Sonoma, CA 10, 739 44.4 miles
Fresno, CA 542,107 186.5 miles
Reno, NV 250,903 219 miles
Bakersfield, CA 403,455 283.1 miles
Medford, OR 82,098 363 miles
Los Angeles, CA 3,898,747 381.9 miles
Malibu, CA 12,280 396.8 miles
Long Beach, CA 466,742 405.2 miles
Anaheim, CA 346,824 408.1 miles
Irvine, CA 307,670 426.5 miles
Las Vegas, NV 644,594  562 miles


Nashville Area Cities FAQs

What is the closest city to San Francisco?

When looking at the map, there are a lot of very close cities to San Francisco. But if you’re looking at the closest cities to San Francisco, it happens to be one of the major cities near San Francisco- Oakland, which is around 12 miles outside of the city

What major cities are near San Francisco?

If we’re looking at the surrounding cities of San Francisco, some might be a little further away, which you can turn into all-day trips or weekend adventures. However, some of the closest major cities near San Francisco include Oakland, Fremont, San Jose, Stockton, and Sacramento…all in California!

What towns are in San Francisco and what cities are in San Francisco? 

The San Francisco Bay Area region has a large and dense population, consisting of so many cities and towns around San Francisco, including the following (note: not all may be major cities or well-known cities):

  • Alameda
  • Benicia
  • Berkeley
  • Calistoga
  • Concord
  • Fremont
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Livermore
  • Marin
  • Napa 
  • Oakland
  • Pleasant Hill
  • Pleasanton
  • Richmond
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Rosa
  • Sausalito
  • Sonoma
  • Tiburon
  • Walnut Creek
  • Yountville

San Francisco has a lot of major cities near and far, with other smaller cities and towns sprinkled in. You’ll never get bored of things to do in the areas near San Francisco, and you’ll always be a short drive away from this major city. Whether you’re new to the San Francisco area or have been a long-time California resident, we understand that moving can be stressful, especially when you’re packing up your whole life and taking it with you. Let us at BEKINS AMS Relocation, Inc. help you do the moving. Put your trust in us to ensure your move to this new area is easy and stress-free to start your new journey!


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