Hayward, California

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The City of Hayward: Overview

Located in Alameda County and often called the “Heart of the Bay,” Hayward is the sixth-largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area and the third largest within the county. It sits on the eastern side of the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge and is about equidistant from Milpitas and Oakland, making this a popular city for commuters. Residents also enjoy Hayward’s mild Mediterranean climate and large collection of public parks. The Hayward Fault Zone runs directly through the city.

Around Hayward

Originally developed as an agricultural community, the Hayward of today is largely made up of manufacturing and high-tech companies, as Hayward is considered to be Silicon Valley’s northernmost point. Hayward is also known for its abundant park space and is notably home to The Eden Landing Ecological Preserve, which contains 600 acres of salt ponds along the shoreline. The three-and-a-half-acre Japanese garden is also a popular regional attraction.

The cost of living in Hayward is higher than the state and national averages. Hayward is a popular spot to live due to its proximity to many key employment hubs in Silicon Valley. The high real estate prices also drag up the cost of good and services, groceries, health care, and more.

The proximity of Highways 880 and 580 make it easy for residents to commute north to Oakland or south to San Jose. Commuters can also hop on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge if they work on the west side of the Bay, in cities like Palo Alto, Cupertino, or San Bruno. Residents also have several options when it comes to public transportation. The AC Transit services Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, making it convenient for commuters who work within the surrounding area. Those who work in Oakland can take the Amtrak, or the Warm Springs/South Fremont - Richmond BART line, to get up to Oakland. A combination of BART and bus can take commuters down to San Jose as well. There is also a BART station in Hayward that takes commuters directly into San Francisco in about 45 minutes.

The Hayward Unified School District services the city of Hayward, providing 36 elementary, middle, and high schools for the community. The district also includes a collection of public charter schools, including Leadership Public Schools and Impact Academy of Arts and Technology. These charter schools consistently perform above average.

Hayward is home to quite a few parks that are part of the East Bay Regional Park District. Garin Regional Park was once a ranching area, and today, visitors can stop by the seasonal visitors center to learn more about Hayward’s ranching past. Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park is another beloved destination, and residents come to stroll along the creek and see the farm animals. In addition, the more-than-1,700-acre Hayward Regional Shoreline offers waterfront trails that are perfect for jogging, and Lake Chabot is a prime destination for hiking and fishing. The Southland Mall is Hayward’s largest shopping destinations, with many national retailers and eateries to choose from. Hayward is also home to the California State University, Hayward campus.


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