The Bay Area is an area in California, containing San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose and other urban centres. It's fairly extended, with millions of inhabitants. There's a plethora of highways, and it's probably better to see the Area as one huge city, with "The City" (San Francisco) as its cultural centre.
Note that because the Bay Area is so spread out, just getting around within it can cost significant cash (exacerbated by the distance-based fares charged by the BART and Caltrain rail systems, and the fragmentation of the bus system between different agencies in different parts of the area). Getting from one end of the area to the other can cost $12 to $15. But at least within SF itself it's not so bad, walking between most points in the city is pretty feasible and the $2 Muni bus fare covers unlimited rides for 2-3 hours.
Each area is very much cyclable and you can bring bikes for free to BART trains.
The Embassy San Francisco could be worth checking out.
Wild camping is probably illegal but there are many many people doing this.
- Food Not Bombs is a grassroots movement that cooks and serves free vegan/vegetarian meals nearly every day in San Francisco (find location at http://sffnb.org ) and also in Berkeley at People's Park at 3pm daily (http://ebfnb.org/)
Wifi is everywhere.