San Francisco shopping can involve a lot of different experiences, and as is true of the nightlife, the shopping scene varies depending on which district you're in. In the Haight Ashbury district, for example, the shops are eclectic have a decidedly bohemian appeal, which lends to the district's bohemian nature. Tantalizing boutiques can be found throughout San Francisco, and shopper's can also satisfy the shopping bug at a few different department stores. Since tourism is a major industry in this beautiful northern California city, shopping for souvenirs is just one more option.
When searching for a good San Francisco shopping center to hang out at for a while, both Ghirardelli Square and the Ferry Building deserve a look. Ghirardelli Square grew out of a chocolate factory, which was founded in 1852. In addition to a handful of upscale shops, Ghirardelli Square also boasts the original Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, which is one of the best places to get some chocolate in the entire city. The Ferry Building can be found relatively close to Ghirardelli Square off the Embarcadero. In addition to being a transportation hub, the Ferry Building also features some excellent gourmet food shops. A trip to the Ferry Building San Francisco shopping center is highly recommended, as the shops offer up some of the tastiest treats you'll find anywhere.
Across the street from Ghirardelli Square is Fisherman's Wharf, which is a touristy, waterfront district that is home to a bunch of shops. Those who do some San Francisco shopping at Fisherman's Wharf can stock up on souvenirs, and there are also candy shops that can satisfy a sweet tooth. Visitors to Fisherman's Wharf can stop by one of the food stations to pick up some clam chowder, a perfect complement to a San Francisco vacation. This savory stew is most often served in a sourdough bread bowl, and many visitors choose to enjoy it while taking in the views of San Francisco Bay. When shoppers aren't getting their fill at places like Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman's Wharf, they can head south to Union Square, which is one of the top shopping destinations in town.
Union Square is the most popular San Francisco shopping center, and many of the best shops in this area are bordered by Montgomery, Taylor, Market, and Bush streets. In addition to a number of upscale specialty shops, Union Square is also home to most of the city's larger department stores, including Macy's. There are lots of good hotels in and around Union Square, and they figure among some of the most popular hotels in the city. Some of the city's other top hotels can be found in the SoMa district, which is also home to some shops. For those who are interested in San Francisco outlet shopping, the stores that are housed in former warehouses in SoMa are excellent discount shopping centers.
SoMa and Union Square are in relatively close proximity to one another, and the exciting Chinatown neighborhood isn't very far off to the north. Pairing some Chinatown shopping with some SoMa and Union Square shopping can make an excellent day, or days for that matter. Chinatown is one of the most interesting districts in San Francisco, and it is home to scores of tourist shops. While it can be fun to visit these shops, the real joy when it comes to shopping in Chinatown is hitting the Chinese shops that sell items such as jewelry, herbs, and art. It's also fun to check out the grocery scene in Chinatown.
San Francisco shopping offers more in the way of variety than some visitors will know what to do with. From the upscale shops and charming boutiques to the cheap tourist shops and the discount warehouses, finding some interesting things to buy won't be hard. In addition to visiting the warehouses in SoMa, those who are interested in San Francisco outlet shopping can also plan side trips to the outlet malls that can be found in the area. These area outlet malls are within a hour or two hour's drive of the city, and they can make excellent destinations when getting a good deal is the aim. Perhaps a visit to the liberal college town of Berkeley will be in order. The Ross store in Berkeley can satisfy those who are interested in San Francisco outlet shopping. The Ross brand of discount stores enjoys a major presence in California, and these stores can be excellent places to get deals on anything from clothes to home decorations.
Image: San Francisco CVB