I have lived in Fremont since the 1970's, and have seen so many changes since then. If you're a young outgoing person, you will probably find Fremont painfully boring. On the other hand, it's a good place to raise a family if you can afford it. Fremont's cost of living is quite high. Back in the day, Fremont was always an affordable suburb, but nowadays it's overpriced. The population has grown tremendously in the last 10 years to the point that it's very crowded on the streets, supermarkets, shopping centers. The DMV in Fremont is ridiculously crowded! The laid back feel that Fremont always had has given way to densification. More and more high density condos are being built all over Fremont. Crime is still relatively low. The schools are generally good, but they are overcrowded and children sometimes get placed in schools outside of the attendance area. The 2 BART stations provide an easy way to commute to other Bay cities or to take it to San Francisco for real attractions/nightlife. Bottom line, Fremont is ok. The overall quality of living has slipped since it's peak days(pre 2000). It's become too crowded and expensive--and,there are a lot more homeless in Fremont.
I lived in Fremont, CA for almost five years as an undergrad at San Jose State a few years ago (2002-2006). Fremont is a diverse and wonderful city, with ample opportunities for entertainment, work, and safe place to find an abode. The cities of Newark and Union City are basically part of Fremont as well. Once a sleepy bedroom town, the development boom of the eighties and early nineties brought commerce and prosperity to the east bay town. It is now the fourth largest city in the San Francisco Bay metropolitan area and is a hub for business and new development. Fremont finds itself geographically situated for continuing prosperity, being close to Oakland and San Jose. The design and layout of the city places residential areas in the inner part of the city, leaving the industrial areas on the outskirts. The drive for me to San Jose State often only took half an hour with light traffic, but I lived on the closer side of town to San Jose for the majority of the time. Traffic could get quite horrendous at times, but that is the case with the entire Bay Area.
As a college student, entertainment is always less than a half hour drive away. Fremont itself has all of the typical basic entertainment needs (movies, wonderful restaurants, and shopping) without the need to leave the area. NewPark Mall, which is technically in the city of Newark, is one of the nicer malls in the East Bay area. In addition a farmers market is hosted in the parking lot every Sunday. I have heard that the local schools are also wonderful, but I have no personal experience with them. If you are looking for a large family oriented community in the East or South Bay area look no further.
Having grown up in the Bay Area with a Californian's healthy disdain for distance, I spent 20 years passing through the city of Fremont and watching it blossom. Although it started out as a working class suburb, it has become a northeastern extension of Silicon Valley.
Today, Fremont is home to such major technology companies as Lam Research, Lexar and Asus. Fremont started out as a mission community, one of the many that dot California's coast as the Spanish attempted to subdue the native populations. Today, the area surrounding that mission is an extremely affluent and desirable residential mecca.
As a suburb surrounded by all that the Bay Area has to offer, there is not a great deal to do in Fremont proper, although the city is only a short distance from San Jose and San Francisco and is linked to the former by the BART rapid transit system. Fremont is, however, backed by some of the highest hills in the Bay Area at over 2600 feet making for excellent hiking opportunities in Fremont.