The San Francisco Peninsula is a peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area that separates the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. On its northern tip is the City and County of San Francisco. Its southern base is in Santa Clara County, including the cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Mountain View. The lion's share of the Peninsula is in San Mateo County, between San Francisco and Santa Clara counties, and including the cities and towns of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, El Granada, Foster City, Hillsborough, La Honda, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Montara, Pacifica, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Gregorio, San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Woodside.
In 1795, Governor Diego de Borica gave José Darío Argüello a Spanish land grant known as Rancho de las Pulgas. This rancho was the largest grant on the peninsula consisting of 35,260 acres (142.7 km2).
As a local geographic term, "The Peninsula" (or, "The Penny") is distinct from "The City", and refers to the portion south of San Francisco. The appellation may date to the period, prior to 1856, when the City of San Francisco and the County of San Francisco were separate entities, the latter then coextensive with contemporary San Mateo County and San Francisco City-County. The City-County owns several disjunct properties along the whole of the Peninsula (mostly water pumping stations connected to the Hetch Hetchy Valley on which San Francisco has a permanent leasehold); thus, most of the larger communities in San Mateo County are de facto suburbs of San Francisco, with the neighboring communities of Pacifica, Daly City, Broadmoor, Colma, South San Francisco, San Bruno, and Brisbane being immediate suburbs. The remaining suburban area of the Peninsula is on the east side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, along San Francisco Bay; the west and south-central portions of the Peninsula are mostly rural, unincorporated and unorganised areas.
Full article ▸