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From bustling cosmopolitan cities to quiet coastal retreats, the San Francisco Bay Area is incomparable. First-class attractions, world-class athletes, cultural diversity, remarkable skylines and breathtaking views make this region one of the world's most popular destinations.

Stanford's campus is located less than an hour's drive from San Francisco to the north, just minutes from the Silicon Valley to the south and within easy reach of the breathtaking coastal cities that line the Pacific Ocean to the west.

San Francisco has been named by Conde Nast Traveler magazine as the No. 1 travel destination in the United States for 15 years in a row. Surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, San Francisco is located on a hilly peninsula, occupying just 47 square miles of land. It is the center of the San Francisco Bay Area-the nation's fifth largest metropolitan area with a poulation of more than 7 million-and host to an estimated 16 million visitors each year.

South of the Stanford campus are the cities of San Jose and Sata Clara, the anchors to the Silicon Valley. Computer firms and software companies can be found throughout the region, which is considered the leader among the world's technology industry.

One of the world's greatest stretches of coastline is located within a short drive from Stanford. To the south is the Montery Peninsula, which includes the picturesque towns of Monterey, Carmel and Santa Cruz. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and 17-Mile Drive along Pebble Beach are musts for visitors.

Further north and east of Marin County is the home to the Napa Wine Country and within a few hours drive from the Bay Area is Lake Tahoe, home to some of the finest skiing in the country and the wonders of Yosemite National Park.

The Bay Area is also home to six major proessional sprots franchises, including the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco Giants, Oakland A's, San Jose Sharks and Golden State Warriors.