|This article is about the fictional State of San Andreas in the 3D Universe. For the game, see Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. For the city in Grand Theft Auto 1, see San Andreas (2D Universe). For the state as it appears in Grand Theft Auto V, see State of San Andreas (HD Universe).|
The State of San Andreas is a fictional state in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is mostly based on California and Nevada (only having the city Las Venturas based on Las Vegas and the surrounding desert region) while there are other notable areas and landmarks nodding to areas of Arizona (mainly the desert and forest areas).
San Andreas appears to be comprised entirely of islands, as the state is surrounded by water; however, several maps throughout the state depict the northern regions (Tierra Robada and Bone County) connecting to the mainland (despite this, in the game, it's possible to completely circumnavigate the state by boat). The in-game San Andreas is square-shaped and its area is estimated to be 33 square kilometres in size (12.7 square miles), the largest setting in the Grand Theft Auto series up until Grand Theft Auto V's rendition of part of the same state.
The state is divided into three cities and five counties: the cities of Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas; and the counties of Red County, Flint County, Whetstone, Tierra Robada and Bone County.
There are hints that more areas of San Andreas exist, but are simply not included for gameplay purposes. For example, some maps found in the game connect San Andreas to a mainland. There is also mention of a capital, but goes unnamed and unseen.
Los Santos is the largest city, both by population and area in San Andreas. It is based on Los Angeles, California. It is filled with references to famous L.A. landmarks, including the Hollywood Sign, the Watts Towers, the Capitol Tower, the U.S. Bank Tower and the Santa Monica Pier, among many others. It borders Red County to the north and Flint County to the west. Los Santos also includes several fictional districts that resemble cities in L.A. County, such as Santa Maria (Santa Monica), Rodeo (Beverly Hills), East Beach (Long Beach), Ganton (Compton), Idlewood (Inglewood) and Vinewood (Hollywood).
San Fierro is the smallest city in area and the second largest in population in San Andreas, situated on a peninsula in the western portion of the state. It is based on the city of San Francisco, California, with the additional references of two Firth of Forth bridges in Scotland, the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge, the latter being made to also resemble the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in both design and physical location. South of San Fierro lies the massive Mount Chiliad and the little town of Angel Pine in Whetstone. North of the city, across the Gant Bridge (San Fierro's version of the Golden Gate Bridge), lays the small town of Bayside. Northeast of the city lies the county of Tierra Robada. To the east is the Panopticon, and to the southeast is Flint County.
The city bears visible scars of an earthquake, a likely reference to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, 3 years before the game takes place. However, news on the radio reports on the aftermath of an earthquake early in the game, suggesting that a major earthquake had hit the state recently.
Las Venturas is a fictitious city based on Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the second largest city in area and smallest in population in San Andreas, and like its counterpart, Las Venturas is located in a desert region and enjoys legalized gambling, sporting casinos such as The Camel's Toe and Caligula's Palace.
The city is also notable for its freeway system. The Julius Thruway is a freeway that circles the whole city. Freeways from both Los Santos and San Fierro intersect with it. Another major road is the Harry Gold Parkway, which runs through the middle of the city and intersects twice with the Julius Thruway and then leads to Los Santos (though it is not called the Harry Gold Parkway once it leaves the city). At one point in the game, the game's protagonist, Carl Johnson, pulls off an Ocean's 11-esque heist in Caligula's Casino, subsequently fomenting relationships between Carl Johnson and Salvatore Leone.
Las Venturas is translated from Spanish to English as "The Fortunes."
Counties & Smaller Towns
In addition to the three principal metropolises, San Andreas state is home to several smaller towns and suburbs that are scattered over several counties.
Red County is a rural county located among forests consisting of primarily tall redwood trees and streams. The county is based on the quintessential American countryside and is populated with stereotypical rednecks. It is based on San Fernando Valley, which is just north of Los Angeles, and also Orange County, which is south of it.
The Panopticon is a little area situated in Red County.
Palomino Creek is a town located in north east Red County in the state of San Andreas. It is home to a bank, which has suffered from many robberies, a Pizza Stack, and Hanky Panky Point, a popular destination for teenage couples and weird old men. K-Rose radio station mentions a football game between Palomino Creek High School and Blueberry High School in Blueberry (although there is neither a football field nor high school in either town).
Palomino Creek is the largest settlement in the state outside of the major cities.
Dillimore is located on the northern outskirts of Los Santos. Although it is a small town, it contains a sheriff's office, a Pay 'n' Spray, a gas station and a diner. It also has a safehouse and houses the large farm estate which contains the Quad.
Blueberry is the biggest rural town in Red County. On the outskirts of town, there is a large farm and brewery. The town itself is home to a liquor store, Ammu-Nation and safehouse. The climate resembles that of San Fierro. It is possible that the buildings on the outskirts of town are a high school, and the fields could possibly be a football field of some sort, which would answer an announcement on K-Rose about a football game between Blueberry & Palomino Creek.
Flint County is an undeveloped rural part of San Andreas. There are no towns and only a couple of farms. There are only a few missions in Flint County throughout the game which mostly involve racing through it.
Whetstone is located in the southwest corner of San Andreas, just south of San Fierro. The county is home to Mount Chiliad, the tallest mountain in the state at a half-mile (800 m) in height.
Angel Pine is a logging town in Whetstone, located on the foot of Mount Chiliad. It notably contains a hospital (Angel Pine Medical Center) from which Paramedic missions can be performed. It also contains a sheriff's office, a sawmill, an Ammu-Nation and a trailer park. A hearse may also be found parked near the hospital. Carl Johnson was dropped off here by Frank Tenpenny, Eddie Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez after Sweet Johnson was arrested.
Tierra Robada (based on the Sierra Nevada area) is a small, peninsular county north of San Fierro.
Bayside is a waterfront town located on the western tip of Tierra Robada, just north across the bay from San Fierro. The sole access point to the town is directly linked to San Fierro via the Gant Bridge. The town contains two notable features: First, its boat school, where Carl can obtain his boating licence; second, the town has a helipad, usually with a helicopter present, useful for traveling. It is a common rest stop for people traveling from San Fierro to Las Venturas.
The presence of the Bayside Marina and its proximity to the Gant Bridge suggests that the town is based on Sausalito, California, and Tiburon, California, before their upscale development, which is almost geographically similar to Bayside, in addition to having one of its access points connected directly to the Golden Gate Bridge.
El Quebrados is home to a sheriff's department, a medical centre (El Quebrados Medical Center), and a safehouse. The town is located east of Bayside. The name El Quebrados, which is an improper mix of singular and plural Spanish, translates roughly to "The Bankrupt," or "The Broken".
Aldea Malvada is a ghost town located in Tierra Robada overlooking El Quebrados on the outskirts of town. It literally translates into English as "Evil Village".
Bone County, most likely based on Nye, Esmeralda, and Mineral counties in Nevada, is one of the most important areas of the game, other than the major cities themselves, containing many areas and missions needed for continuation; a large amount of Easter Eggs are also located within it. The county's two most prominent features include a secret military base named "Area 69" (based on Area 51) located at its centre, as well as the Verdant Meadows Aircraft Graveyard, directly north of Area 69. Bone County boasts an oil field (Octane Springs), a quarry, and several unique natural features such as mesas.
The Sherman Reservoir and Dam
The county is bordered in the west by the Sherman Reservoir and Sherman Dam (based on the Hoover Dam) as well as Tierra Robada county. Las Venturas is located to its east, and Red County to its south. The county as a whole is obviously based on rural portions for the American state of Nevada, because it has a similar climate, terrain and topography. A Dinghy raft and a Sea Sparrow can be found docked on both sides of the reservoir. Also, a Skimmer can be found just north of the dam, right at the part where the river (based on the Colorado River) splits.
Restricted Area (Area 69)
Area 69 is a restricted, fenced-off military base, modeled after Area 51 and named for the 69 sex position. The base houses various clandestine government projects, including the "Black Project" jetpack. It may possibly house some projects involving UFOs and/or extraterrestrial life, as suggested by the presence of the nearby "Lil' Probe Inn", dialogue on the base's PA system during the "Black Project" mission, and by dialogue on Marvin Trill's in-game radio show.
Much of the base consists of underground research labs, although the player can only enter the labs during the course of one mission, or by finding a way into San Andreas' "Blue Hell", an area under the main terrain mesh, and finding the underground base there. The aboveground structures include a series of control towers, guard posts, and garages for military vehicles. These garages are the first area in the game in which tanks and military helicopters will automatically spawn. The player automatically receives a five-star wanted level for entering, attempting to enter, or flying over the base (at a low altitude); surface-to-air missiles will be fired at the player from the base if he attempts to fly over. The SAM sites which launch the missiles can be destroyed however, and if flying a Hydra aircraft, flare decoys can be deployed to reduce the likelihood of being shot down.
Fort Carson is the largest town in Bone County, and also its county seat, as indicated by the small red building in the main street, having been significantly undeveloped as of 1992. It is based on the real-life towns of Rachel and Carson City, both being in Nevada: Rachel due to it being the closest inhabited settlement to Area 51 and housing the Little A'Le'Inn; Carson City for the appearance of the town itself; the main street, the town hall and the surroundings. North of the town is Area 69, as well as the smaller town of Las Payasadas. It also has a small hospital (Fort Carson Medical Center), a sheriff's office and a safehouse. There is also an Ammu-Nation just outside of town. Fort Carson is also seen in "The Introduction". Ken Rosenberg was in rehab in the town's hospital. The town is located west of Las Venturas. A small cropduster is known to appear next to one of the houses near here and it is flyable.
Lil' Probe Inn
The Lil' Probe Inn, a fictional bar/motel, is located north from Fort Carson. The Lil' Probe Inn is actually a parody of the Little A'le Inn in Rachel; the interior of the Probe Inn matches the interior of the real-life Little A'Le'Inn. Down the road from the Lil' Probe Inn is Area 69. Its name is a mix of Little A'Le'Inn, while also referring to "probing", the alleged anal probes used in alien research.
The Big Ear
The Big Ear, a large satellite dish located west of Area 69, is claimed by the official Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas website to emit radiation that results in birth defects in the local populace, specifically where newborns are born without ears.
Las Payasadas (Spanish for "clowning off" or "antics") bills itself as the home of "The Big Pecker — the world's largest cock", which in fact is a huge animatronic rooster designed to advertise a store called "Pecker's Feed and Seed". It is located in northern Bone County. Possibly based on Palisade, Nevada.
Las Brujas is another ghost town located in the El Castillo del Diablo (Translation: The Castle of the Devil) region of Bone County. It is located right off the Verdant Meadows airstrip. Its name is Spanish for "The Witches". It is based on Bodie, California.
- According to a radio advertisement in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and in San Andreas itself, the Glory Hole Theme Park is located in San Andreas, but it is not evidenced anywhere in the state.
- In GTA Vice City Stories, sometimes pedestrians will mention San Andreas.
- The game shows evidence of an earthquake affecting the entire state yet the real-life counterpart to the 1989 earthquake only affected the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Entering a locked area before completing a certain mission will give the player an automatic 4 star wanted level.
- Fire Trucks display the name "San Andreas County" instead of "State of San Andreas" on its decals.
- The original release on PS2 (and possibly other versions) contains an odd glitch in which aircraft may randomly crash near C.J. as he explores San Andreas, with this actually becoming a potentially deadly risk when exploring some areas (such as downtown Los Santos or San Fierro) on foot.