Redwood City is on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately 27 miles south of San Francisco, and 24 miles north of San Jose, within the heart of Silicon Valley. Redwood City stretches from the San Francisco Bay towards the Santa Cruz Mountains between San Carlos to the northwest, Atherton to the southeast, and Woodside to the southwest. The Port of Redwood City is the only deep-water port directly south of San Francisco. Redwood Creek, to which several significant river deltas connect, is its major watercourse. The Hetch Hetchy water pipeline runs through Redwood City and supplies a vast majority of the surrounding area with low grain rated water.
Its earliest known inhabitants were the Ohlone people who used the port for lumber and other goods. Incorporated in 1867, Redwood City was the first city in San Mateo County to do so and has remained the county seat since SMC formation in 1856. In 1907, the Japanese immigrant Enomoto brothers grew what was perhaps the first commercially grown Chrysanthemums in the US in Redwood City, and its working-class demographic was further established.
RC is now home to many global technology companies including Oracle, Electronic Arts, Box, and Informatica. The city had an estimated population of 85,925 in 2019, and according to the US Census Bureau, the city spans an area of 34.7 square miles (19.4 miles of which is land, and 15.2 miles square miles water).
The northern area of Redwood Shores is part of northeastern Redwood City on the Bay side of Highway 101. Most neighborhoods, however, are northwest of Woodside Ridge and southwest of Highway 101: (Centennial, Downtown, and Stambaugh Heller are adjacent to the Highway, and Edgewood, Mount Carmel, Central, Eagle Hill, Roosevelt, Woodside Plaza, and the Farm Hills neighborhoods moving inland). Emerald Hills, Palomar Park, and North Fair Oaks are associated unincorporated areas. Today, its thriving downtown and central Silicon Valley location make Redwood City a very popular, and often more affordable, city in which to live than its Silicon Valley neighbors Atherton and Woodside.
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