San Pablo is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The city of Richmond surrounds nearly the whole city. The population was 29,139 at the 2010 census.
The area in which today’s San Pablo is situated was originally occupied by the Cuchiyun band of the Ohlone indigenous people. The area was claimed for the king of Spain in the late 18th century and was granted for grazing purposes to the Mission Dolores located in today’s San Francisco. Upon Mexico’s independence from Spain, church properties were secularized and in 1823, the area became part of a large grant to an ex-soldier stationed at the San Francisco Presidio, Francisco María Castro.
The grant was given the name Rancho San Pablo, thus originating the name for today’s city as well as for one of the East Bay’s oldest principal roads, today’s San Pablo Avenue (called in the prior Spanish era “El Camino Real de la Contra Costa”).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2), all land.
San Pablo lies on a sedimentary plain between the northern end of the Berkeley Hills and San Pablo Bay, although the city limits do not extend to the bayshore. The city is traversed by two principal creeks, Wildcat Creek and San Pablo Creek, both of which originate in the ranges to its southeast. The minor Rheem Creek also runs through the city. It is also traversed along its northeast limits by the Hayward Fault, a major branch of the San Andreas Fault which lies to the west.
Interstate 80 (Eastshore Freeway) passes through San Pablo.
There are several communities to the north of the City and separated from the City, but which have San Pablo, California mailing addresses. These include the census areas of Tara Hills, Bayview, and Montalvin.