For other places with the same name, see Fremont (disambiguation).

Fremont is a sprawling suburban city in the southern part of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area; it is the 4th largest city in the Bay Area by population. Fremont is in the southern part of Alameda County, California, between Union City to the north, Sunol and the hills to the east, Milpitas and Santa Clara County to the south, and the San Francisco Bay to the west. The city of Newark, near the edge of the Bay, is surrounded by the city of Fremont.

Fremont industry is not particularly large relative to other parts of the Bay Area, but neither is it a bedroom community. Many people in Fremont work locally in the electronics and high-tech industry, while many others commute to Silicon Valley or San Francisco locations for work. Fremont, however, is growing again and attracting more and larger businesses; for example, Tesla Motors has taken over the former NUMMI factory owned by Toyota and General Motors.

The city is home to one of California's original "Hollywoods", the Niles district where many of Charlie Chaplin and other silent movie era stars established their careers. It is also home to one of California's missions, and many other interesting destinations.

The City of Fremont is named after Civil War general John C. Fremont, who prior to the war in the mid 1840s had mapped a trail through Mission Pass to provide access for American settlers into the southeastern San Francisco Bay Area. John Fremont was one of California's first senators and went on to be the first U.S. presidential candidate for the Republican Party.


Mission Peak is visible throughout Fremont.

Unlike most sprawling suburbs, Fremont was planned and designed to be the way it is. In the 1950s, fearing that they would be annexed by the growing city of Hayward to the north, eight very small towns decided to unite to avoid annexation. Two towns (Alvarado and Decoto) 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 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, from north to south - annexed all the surrounding land to form the City of Fremont.

The oldest of the small towns was Mission San José, named for a Spanish mission founded in 1797. When this Mission was founded it was named "La Mision del Gloriosisimo Patriarch San José" in honor of St. Joseph. It is sometimes incorrectly called the Mission San José de Guadalupe, after "El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe" founded (1777) 20 miles south near the Guadalupe River, which became the present day city of San Jose.

Fremont has been multicultural since its inception, and is home to dozens of immigrant communities and a broad range of ethnicities. Today's visitor is likely to hear half a dozen languages spoken even during a fleeting trip through the city. It is said that the largest population of Afghanis outside Afghanistan live in Fremont, and it also has a large and growing south Asian community as well.

Because of their entangled history and their present sprawl that makes them blend into one another, the three cities—Fremont, Newark, and Union City—are sometimes called the Tri-Cities.

Get in

By plane

By car

By train

By bus

Get around

The geography of city of Fremont and its street system is defined by the bay to the west and the hills to the east. Mission Blvd runs along the hills and most streets more or less perpendicular to it have address numbers increasing as you move away from Mission Blvd. Most streets running more or less parallel to the hills have address numbers in the five digits in Fremont, increasing as you move further south (e.g., 40000 is near Stevenson Blvd and represents roughly the 400th block from Lake Merritt, Oakland). Locals call streets running parallel to the hills north-south streets, although they are more like northwest-southeast.

Fremont Blvd is the main street running more of less parallel to the hills, cutting straight through the middle of the city of Fremont, making a turn at Irvington. In the middle part of city of Fremont, the major streets are on a grid, with Fremont Blvd and Blacow Rd one mile apart. Perpendicular to them, Central Ave, Mowry Ave, and Stevenson Blvd are also one mile apart, on the bay side of Fremont Blvd.

By car

Driving is the preferred method for getting around. Fremont streets are usually easy to navigate as difficult intersections were re-engineered for efficiency several decades ago, though some corridors such as Mission Blvd remain moderately congested.

The major freeways through Fremont are the bayside Nimitz (I-880) and the inland I-680. Although the two freeways are only a mile apart in Fremont-Warm Springs, they do not intersect. Motorists will find travel to be very slow during commute hours in the unfavorable direction; especially so on I-880.

Mission Blvd crosses I-680 twice at Exits 16 and 12. Locals sometimes refer to Exit 16 as "North Mission" and Exit 12 as "South Mission." Fremont Blvd 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 Blvd" exit or the "Mission Blvd" exit, make sure you know which one they're talking about. The exit number increases as you move north.

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 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 serves the city of Fremont as well as other cities in the East Bay. Bus routes and 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 the various bus routes.

By taxi

Taxis are not common in Fremont, and you will not be able to 'flag one down' while making your way about town. The only taxi stand of note is the one at the Fremont BART Station, where typically several taxis are lined up in a queue. There are many taxi companies that service the area, however you will not find many driving the streets all day. If you need to travel by taxi, plan ahead of time and schedule a taxi with one of the companies serving the area.



The main facade of the restored 1809 Mission San José chapel

Performing Arts



99 Ranch Market (大華超級市場), 34444 Fremont Blvd (at Paseo Padre Pkwy in North Fremont),  +1 510 791-8899. daily 9AM-9PM. One of the first 99 Ranch in the East Bay (opened in 1995) with a great hot deli takeout.
Maiwand Market, 37235 Fremont Blvd (near Peralta Blvd in Centerville),  +1 510 796-7090. Afghan grocery store, bakery, and butcher shop.
Marina Food (永和超級市場), 46196 Warm Springs Blvd (at Fulton Rd, north of Mission Blvd, in Warm Springs),  +1 510 249-9199. Brand new in 2010 and located in the new Fremont Times Square shopping center, this supermarket is the fourth Marina Food and the most modern.
99 Ranch Market Fremont Mission (大華超級市場), 46881 Warm Springs Blvd (southwest corner of Mission Blvd in Warm Springs),  +1 510 659-8899. Daily, 9AM-9PM. Was a Lion Food Center; remodeled and opened in 2011 as a new 99 Ranch Market and one of the cleanest.


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

The local blog: FREMONT foodie reports on the city's gastronomic offerings.


The City of Fremont provides useful maps on their website , including a downloadable Hotels Map in pdf.

Go next

Day trips

Moving on

Routes through Fremont

Concord Pleasanton  N  S  Milpitas San Jose
Oakland Newark  N  S  Milpitas San Jose
Oakland Hayward  N  S  Santa Clara San Jose

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