San Fierro is the second fictional city encountered in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and is based on real-life San Francisco, California.
San Fierro is the smallest metropolitan area in San Andreas, situated on a peninsula in the western part of the state. South of the city lies the massive Mt. Chiliad and the small town of Angel Pine in Whetstone County. To the north of the city, across a re-creation of the Golden Gate Bridge (Gant Bridge), lies the town of Bayside, and northeast of the city lies the county of Tierra Robada. San Fierro is a moderately sized city with a beautiful bay to the north and the Panopticon to the east. San Fierro is connected to Los Santos and Las Venturas by road, rail and air.
There is a sizeable country club complete with a golf course within San Fierro. One of Carl Johnson's girlfriends, Katie Zhan, exercises here a lot when not at the dojo. In addition to this, San Fierro has a district marked by rainbow signs meant to emulate San Francisco's famous Castro district, home to a sizeable gay population. San Fierro is also home to the famous football team, the San Fierro 69ers, a double entendre referring to both the San Francisco 49ers and the "69" sexual position.
The city bears visible scars of an earthquake, a likely reference to the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, 3 years before the game takes place, though dialogue suggests that an earthquake has occured just recently.
- Doherty - Dogpatch
- Hashbury - Haight-Ashbury
- Garcia - The Mission
- Easter Basin - China Basin/Hunters Point
- Queens - The Castro
- Kings - Noe Valley (and Pierre Valley)
- Santa Flora - Twin Peaks
- China Town - Chinatown
- Juniper Hill - Russian Hill
- Juniper Hollow - Cow Hollow
- Calton Heights - Pacific Heights
- Palisades - Presidio Heights
- Downtown/Financial - Financial District
- Esplanade East - Embarcadero
- Esplanade North - Fisherman's Wharf
- Ocean Flats - Ocean Beach
- Paradiso - The Presidio
- Battery Point - Fort Point
As with every other city in San Andreas there are emulated landmarks. In San Fierro, these include:
- Transamerica Pyramid; known as the Big Pointy Building. One can travel to the top for a bird's eye view of San Fierro. One parachute (And only one, so exercise caution) is provided, in case players have the urge to jump off.
- The Golden Gate Bridge makes an appearance as the Gant Bridge. This bridge links San Fierro and the town of Bayside. The bridge appears to have functioning tollbooths, as evidenced by the fact that cars heading into San Fierro stop at the toll plaza. However, the player is apparently immune to the toll.
- The Oakland Bay Bridge makes an appearance as the Garver Bridge. This bridge links San Fierro and Tierra Robada near Las Venturas. Along side the Garver Bridge is the Kincaird Bridge, which is modelled after the Forth Rail Bridge, which itself resides beside the Forth Road Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland. This may also be a reference to the home of Rockstar North, where the original bridge is located. The Forth Road Bridge and the Oakland Bay Bridge look remarkably similar.
- Lombard Street, known as the crookedest street in the World, is Windy Windy Windy Windy Street.
- Fort Point makes an appearance in the game, underneath the Gant Bridge. However, the fort has been taken over by Jizzy, a pimp, and is known as Jizzy's Pleasure Domes.
- The Castro district is emulated as "Queens", a tongue-in-cheek reference to the neighborhood as being the heart of San Francisco's gay community.
- The San Fierro City Hall, based on the Beaux-Arts styled San Francisco City Hall, is located at the west end of Queens.
- A replica of Mount Sutro's Sutro antenna tower is located atop Missionary Hill just south of San Fierro. An observation area is located nearby, offering a pristine view of the city's southern side.
- Foster Valley, located between Missionary Hill and the Easter Bay Airport, may be inspired from planned cities such as Foster City (which may explain the origin of the name as well). The contemporary buildings in the area, as well as a row of identical cylindrical shaped buildings along an artificial lake, mildly resemble Oracle Corporation's World Headquarters at Redwood Shores, Redwood City, which is, coincidentally, also located near Foster City.
- The Zombotech Corporation, a parody of Umbrella Corporation from Resident Evil, is headquartered in San Fierro as well. The sign on the inside says "Zombotech: Sinister Zombie Research Corporation, Welcomes Visitors!"
Although cars are prominent, there are cable cars (trams) that circle San Fierro. Players are, however, unable to ride them, as they are literally unstoppable, and will plow through any obstacle without incurring damage.
The Brown Streak Railroad stops at Doherty's Cranberry Station across from CJ's garage.
The Easter Bay Airport is located to the southeast of the city, off Exit 3, the second to last exit, from the Garver Bridge Approach.
After a deadly shootout under the Mulholland Intersection in Los Santos, Carl Johnson is dragged by Officers Tenpenny and Pulaski to the little town of Angel Pine, where they deposit him, using the recent incarceration of CJ's brother Sweet as leverage to convince CJ to do their dirty work, which includes murdering witnesses. Along the way, Tenpenny employs CJ to help him obtain crack, and introduces him to the pot-growing hippie, The Truth. At this point in time, Cesar calls CJ, informing him that his gang has been disbanded, and that his life is now in danger. After escaping Los Santos, Cesar meets with CJ, and they street-race with the mysterious Wu Zi Mu. After CJ attempts some very unsuccessful robberies with Cesar's cousin, Catalina, he flees to San Fierro with The Truth.
Once there, CJ finds that all is wrong. The garage he won in a street race with Catalina is derelict, and he discovers the disturbing truth about the Loco Syndicate, the crime organization responsible for the spread of drugs in Los Santos. The syndicate is run by Mike Toreno, a shady person with a surprising background. T-Bone Mendez, a San Fierro Rifa, serves as the muscle of the organization, along with Ryder, CJ's homie from Grove Street, and Jizzy B, the biggest pimp in town. As he is investigating the Loco Syndicate, CJ also discovers that Wu Zi Mu (Woozie) is actually the head of a Triad gang, and at war with the Da Nang Boys, a Vietmanese crime organization.
After many odd jobs and errands for multiple bosses, CJ, Woozie and Cesar decide to take down the Loco Syndicate. CJ first pays Jizzy a visit, the promptly proceeds to kill him in a high-speed car chase. Then, he heads down to Pier 69, and kills T-Bone and Ryder. Finally, Woozie informs him that Toreno is getting ready to leave in a helicopter, and CJ shoots him down with a rocket launcher. He then destroys the syndicate's crack lab in Doherty, ending the Loco Syndicate once and for all.
CJ then receives a mysterious call from a "friend" who claims knowledge of Sweet's whereabouts, prompting him to head out to the desert, to find none other than Mike Toreno. From there, a new chapter in the San Andreas storyline unfolds.