Many of California’s cities can thank the California Gold Rush for their births and Mission San Jose was among them. Unfortunately, the 1868 Hayward Earthquake caused its demise, but from the rubble sprang Fremont, California.
There’s no need to wonder why this gem of Alameda County acts as a magnet to those who excel in their chosen field. When you buy a home in Fremont, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of some of the world’s greats — award-winning author Khaled Hosseini, multiple award-winning coach Bill Walsh, Dennis Eckersley, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and 1992 Olympic champion, and two-time World champion Kristi Yamaguchi.
Read on to learn why they chose to call Fremont home.
Fremont quick facts
- The population of Fremont was 230,000, at the last census.
- Fremont was incorporated in 1956.
- The first Macintosh computer was manufactured in Fremont.
- Fremont has an area of 90-square miles.
- The city is located in Alameda County, about 17 miles from San Jose, about 37 miles southeast of San Francisco and 33 miles south of Oakland.
- Fremont has been named among the Best Cities to Start a Family, Best Cities for Millennials, Best Cities to Buy a Forever Home, Best Cities for Women in Tech and Top 100 Best Places to Live, among others.
- Elizabeth, South Australia, is Fremont’s Sister City.
The Fremont Unified School District serves the 35,000 public school students who live in Fremont with 42 schools. The top schools in the district include:
Mission San Jose Elementary – ranked 5th of 5,621 California elementary schools, this K through 6th grade school serves more than 400 students. In 2016, the school performed better than 99.7 percent of all California public elementary schools.
William Hopkins Junior High – ranked 10th of 2,472 California public middle schools, the 990 students have increased their standardized test scores every year since 2011.
Mission San Jose High School — ranked 11th of California’s 2,044 public high schools, Mission San Jose has an Advanced Placement® participation rate of 91 percent. U.S. News ranks the school as the 76th best high school in the country and awarded it a gold medal.
Fremont is also home to the Northern California campus of the California School for the Deaf.
Some of the more than 20 private schools in the community include:
- BASIS Independent
- Bethel Christian Academy
- Fremont Christian School
- Holy Spirit Elementary School
- Kimber Hills Academy
- Mission Peak Christian School
- Montessori School of Fremont
- New Horizon Schools
- Our Lady of Guadalupe School
- Peace Terrace Academy
- Prince of Peace Lutheran School
- Joseph Elementary School
- Stratford School
Ohlone College, located in Fremont and administered by the Ohlone Community College District, has been recognized among the Top 10 Community Colleges in California.
Aside from general education courses, Fremont’s Northwestern Polytechnic University offers a School of Engineering and a School of Business for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Getting around in Fremont
Getting around Fremont is easy with two major highways traversing the city – Interstates 880 and 680. The Dumbarton Bridge’s eastern end is in Fremont, offering a convenient commute to Menlo Park and points beyond.
Commuting by rail is convenient as well, via the Altamont Commuter Express and BART. Until the extension of the latter into San Jose, Silicon Valley commuters hoping to avoid freeway traffic rely on the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s bus service.
Business and industry in Fremont
Fremont’s largest employers include the Tesla factory (with about 6,000 employees), Fremont Unified School District and Washington Hospital.
The largest industry, employing the most people, is manufacturing, but Fremont is also a center for research and development, assembly and biotechnology jobs.
Fremont arts, entertainment and events
Fremont has the arts covered in a way that many similar-size cities can’t compare. The Olive Hyde Art Gallery, operated by the city, features famous Bay Area artists. The Fremont Art Association presents various art shows and offers classes as well. Two galleries of note include the Nova Gallery of Fine Art and the Olive Hyde Art Gallery.
Fremont is home to several interesting museums as well. The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is a self-described “ . . . resource for all facets of silent filmmaking, from their planning and production to their presentation.” Freemont residents have access to weekly screenings of silent movies.
The Museum of Local History acts as a repository for Southern Alameda County documents and artifacts.
Freemont residents also appreciate the area’s Gary Soren Smith Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, Broadway West Theatre Company, Star Struck Theatre and the Fremont Symphony Orchestra.
Shopping, dining and entertainment in Fremont
Farmers markets are a favorite of Fremont residents and they shop on Saturday mornings among four, scattered throughout the city.
Freemont also offers several shopping malls including The Fremont Hub, Pacific Commons Shopping Center and NewPark Mall. Then, there are strip malls throughout the city.
Pizza is at the top of the list of favorites in Fremont so, naturally, the city is home to some favorite Bay Area eateries. Some of the most popular in Fremont include Three Guys Pies and Bombay Pizza House.
Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine is also in demand and several fine restaurants meet that demand, to the delight of many Fremont residents.
Annual events in Fremont include the Fremont Festival of the Arts, the Summer Concert Series, Movie Nights, Downtown Trick or Treating, the Halal Festival, Fremont Burger & Brew Fest and the Kids ‘n Kites Festival.
Getting outdoors in Fremont
Getting outdoors in Fremont in the summer, if you have kids, will absolutely include trips to Aqua Adventure Water Park. Friday nights in the summer are designated “Family Friday Nights,” and they take advantage of the splash pool, Oasis Pool, Bucket Bay and the Lazy River. The park offers showers and concessions as well.
Lucky Fremont residents have access to a wide variety of parks with amenities to meet even the most demanding outdoor enthusiast. Central Park is a local favorite, with 450 acres of park and the additional 80-acre Lake Elizabeth. Here, Fremont residents use the 2-mile pathway around the lake, picnic, shoot hoops, play tennis, fish in the lake or use the skate park. There are boat rentals and a dog park as well. Finally, the par-32, executive-track Fremont Park Golf Course is located on the northeast edge of Central Park.
For less structured recreation, head to Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and hike, kayak, fish from the Dumbarton Fishing Pier and more.
Mission Peak Regional Park is the place to go to get into a more wilderness environment. The park’s most iconic feature is the 2,517-foot mountain peak, depicted in the City of Fremont’s logo. Hiking the peak is an activity that draws folks from across the Bay Area.
Fremont anglers enjoy the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area and Horseshoe and Rainbow Lakes in particular. But there are other activities of note in the area as well, from boating to swimming, hiking, picnicking and nature areas in which to walk the dog or ride your bike.
Area hikers, bikers and equestrians also enjoy the 978-acre Coyote Hills Regional Park.
Homes in Fremont
Fremont is home to nearly 74,000 housing units, 62 percent of which are owner occupied. More than one-fourth of the area’s homes were built between 1980 and 1989 and nearly as many during the 1990s. Fremont’s oldest homes (only 2 percent of all homes) were built in the 1940s.
Over the past year, home values in Fremont have appreciated at more than three times the national rate. Nearly 40 percent of the homes here are valued between $500,000 and $749,999 and nearly one-third are valued between $750,000 and $1 million or more.
The least expensive homes for sale in Fremont are mobile homes, typically priced less than $200,000. Condos for sale in Fremont will run you about $400,000 or more and prices for single-family detached homes for sale in Fremont start at around $700,000 and can reach as high as $12 million.