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Located south of Hayward, and north of the San Jose Metropolitan area, it serves many needs for many people. Surrounded by mountains and water, the city has preserved much of this very scenic open space for its residents and visitors. In the hills above Fremont is Mission Peak Regional Preserve, and just below is the old Mission San Jose area that includes the historic San Jose Mission, and Ohlone College. The mission, established in 1797, was the 14th of the missions established in Alta California. It offers tours to locals and visitors.
Fremont is a community unique in the Bay area, in that it is composed of five separate smaller towns that were previously established in the area. As such, it has combined the uniqueness of each of these towns into its larger presence. In 1956, Fremont was incorporated as a result of a merger with Centerville, Niles, Mission San Jose, Irvington and Warm Springs. It is a very large city as a result of this combination. With 220,000 residents, Fremont is the 4th most populous city in the San Francisco Bay area, and centrally located to serve residents who may work in San Jose to the south or Silicon Valley to the west.
Another popular historic spot is Niles. This quaint small town is the site of early movie making by Charlie Chaplin and others, and features the Essanay Silent Film Museum which tells the area history, and features movie night showing the "old time" movies of the era. It is also a very popular source of antique stores, which visitors will see line the streets of NIles and feature a wide variety of choices.
The San Francisco Bay plays a large role in the educational and recreational offerings in Fremont. Water oriented sites include the Coyote Hills Regional Park with its marshes and grasslands, which encourage hiking, bird watching and bicycling. Also well attended is Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Center which encourages boating, picnicking, and swimming.
With the large population, there is a serious demand for shopping and entertainment. This is furnished by the many stores, movie theaters, restaurants and big box stores in New Park Mall, The Fremont Hub and Pacific Commons centers.
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