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Sunol, California

Historic Sunol Train Depot, on  the Niles Canyon Railway
Historic Sunol Train Depot, on the Niles Canyon Railway
Location in Alameda County and the state of California
Location in Alameda County and the state of California
Country  United States
State  California
County Alameda
 • Total 27.764 sq mi (71.91 km2)
 • Land 27.751 sq mi (71.87 km2)
 • Water 0.013 sq mi (0.03 km2)  0.05%
266 ft (81 m)
 • Total 913
 • Density 32.884/sq mi (12.697/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 925, 510, 341
FIPS code 06-77042
GNIS feature IDs 1670341, 2410033

Sunol (Spanish: Suñol) is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Alameda County, California. Located in the Sunol Valley of the East Bay, the population was 913 at the 2010 census. It is best known as the location of the Sunol Water Temple and for its historic tourist railroad system, the Niles Canyon Railway.


The first Sunol post office opened in 1871 and the name was changed to Sunolglen the same year. The name reverted to Sunol in 1920. The town's name is in honor of Antonio Suñol, first postmaster in nearby San Jose and part owner of the historical Rancho Valle de San Jose land grant that once contained the site of the town.


Sunol is located adjacent to two railroads and lies near the crossroads of Interstate 680 and State Route 84. These connect Sunol with Fremont to the south and west, Pleasanton to the north, and Livermore to the northeast. Sunol sits 17 miles (27 km) north of the center of San Jose and 32 miles (51 km) southeast of San Francisco.

The town lies near Alameda Creek at the northwest edge of the Sunol Valley. The San Antonio Reservoir lies 3 miles (4.8 km) to Sunol's east, and the Calaveras Reservoir lies 8 miles (13 km) south of the town.

North of the town is Kilkare Woods, accessible only through Sunol.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the Sunol CDP has a total area of 27.8 square miles (72 km2), of which 99.95% is land and 0.05% is water.


2010 Census data

The 2010 United States Census reported that Sunol had a population of 913. The population density was 32.9 people per square mile (12.7/km2). The racial makeup of Sunol was 780 (85.4%) White, 1 (0.1%) African American, 6 (0.7%) Native American, 48 (5.3%) Asian, 7 (0.8%) Pacific Islander, 19 (2.1%) from other races, and 52 (5.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 91 persons (10.0%).

The Census reported that 100% of the population lived in households.

There were 362 households, out of which 76 (21.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 228 (63.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 20 (5.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 9 (2.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 16 (4.4%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 5 (1.4%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 81 households (22.4%) were made up of individuals, and 24 (6.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52. There were 257 families (71.0% of all households); the average family size was 2.90.

The population was spread out, with 148 people (16.2%) under the age of 18, 74 people (8.1%) aged 18 to 24, 164 people (18.0%) aged 25 to 44, 377 people (41.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 150 people (16.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.8 males.

There were 394 housing units at an average density of 14.2 per square mile (5.5/km2), of which 362 were occupied, of which 272 (75.1%) were owner-occupied, and 90 (24.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.1%. 708 people (77.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 205 people (22.5%) lived in rental housing units.

Area attractions

Sunol water temple
The Sunol Water Temple
  • The Sunol Water Temple is an unusual Roman-inspired structure that marks the confluence of three sources of water that flow into the Sunol Valley.
  • Elliston Vineyards. Offers wine tasting on the weekends, and is a popular wedding destination.
  • Nella Terra Cellars. Another vineyard and wedding destination, with wine tastings for large parties.
  • The Niles Canyon Railway Sunol Depot was built in 1884, and is the last surviving example of a Southern Pacific standard design known as a "One-Story Combination Depot #7." The building has been restored and is operated by the Pacific Locomotive Association.
  • Niles Canyon Road runs westward from Sunol and is a scenic 7-mile (11 km) drive to Fremont.
  • A statue of Bosco, the dog elected mayor, sits in front of the Post Office. Bosco achieved a degree of international notoriety in 1990 when the Chinese newspaper People's Daily reported on his tenure as an alleged example of the failings of the American electoral process.
  • In 2007, Songwriter Will Stratton released a song named after the town on his first album.
  • Sunol Regional Wilderness
  • Sunol Valley Golf Club, home to the Cypress & Palm golf course

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Sunol (California) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Prominent Hispanic scientists
Severo Ochoa
Sarah Stewart
Mario J. Molina
Rodolfo Llinás
F. J. Duarte
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