- This page is about the fictional State of San Andreas. For the game, please see Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. For the city in GTA 1 see City of San Andreas.
San Andreas is a fictional state in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, based on the real states of California, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon. 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. San Andreas is estimated to be 36 square kilometers in size (13.9 square miles), the largest setting in the GTA series.
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.
Los Santos is the largest city 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. It is the hometown of Carl Johnson, who returns from living in Liberty City for five years, after his brother informs him of their mother's death. After a deadly shootout under the Mulholland Intersection in Los Santos, Carl Johnson is dragged by Officers Frank Tenpenny, Eddie Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez to Angel Pine. Los Santos also includes several fictional boroughs that resemble cities in L.A. County such as Ganton (Compton), Idlewood (Inglewood) and Vinewood (Hollywood).
San Fierro is the smallest city in San Andreas, situated on a peninsula in the western portion of the state. It is a fictional city based on the real 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), lies 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 Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, 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 San Andreas, and like its real-life 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.
Counties and 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.
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. A mention on K-Rose radio station mentions a football game between Palomino Creek High School & Blueberry High School, in Blueberry (although there is no football field or high school in either city).
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 houses the large farm estate which contains the Quad.
Blueberry is a fairly large town. On the outskirts of town, there is a large farm and brewery. The town itself is home to a liquor store and an Ammu-Nation. 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 south-west 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 is notable because it contains a hospital from which Paramedic missions can be performed. It also contains a sheriff's office, a saw mill, an Ammu-Nation and a trailer park. Interestingly, 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 shot.
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 license. 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 primarily based on Sausalito, 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 sheriffs department as well as a medical center. 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".
Las Barrancas is located within viewing range of the Sherman Dam, and is also located just beside a cliffside ruin. "Las Barrancas" is Spanish for "The Ravines".
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 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 center, 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.
Restricted Area (Area 69)
Area 69 is a restricted, fenced-in military base, patterned 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" (a reference to the Lil' Ale Inn), dialog on the base's PA system during the "Black Project" mission, and by dialog 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 above-ground 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 town of Rachel, Nevada, which is the closest habitation to Area 51. North of the town is Area 69, as well as the smaller town of Las Payasadas. It has a small hospital and a sheriff's office. There is also an Ammu-Nation just outside of town. 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.
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 Probe Inn is Area 69. Its name is a mix of the real-life 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 San Andreas website to emit radiation that results in birth defects in the local populace, specifically where newborns are born without ears. Fort Carson is also seen in The Introduction. Ken Rosenberg was in rehab in the town's hospital.
Las Payasadas (Spanish for "clowning off") 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".
In real life, there is a fault named the San Andreas Fault, which runs the whole length of California. Since 3/4 of San Andreas is based off of California, Rockstar probably chose that the name was suited for the state. San Andreas means "Saint Andrew" in spanish.
- The state is referenced in GTA IV in the radio, commercials etc. Places like Las Venturas, Vinewood and The Los Santos Freeway (which probably is the Mulholland Intersection or the Mulholland Drive) are mentioned.
- San Andreas is the only GTA III Era setting to not have been re-created or re-used in another game.
- San Andreas is the largest GTA location to date.
- San Andreas is very similar to the GTA III Era version of Liberty City in many ways. Both are split into 3 islands, both have a district within the city beinging with "P" and ending in "Creek" (Palomino Creek (SA), Pike Creek (LC)), the third island unlocked is the most extravagent and both have a long and beautiful bridge (Gant Bridge (SA), Callahan Bridge (LC)).