Union Square Shopping

There is something about travel that makes even the most curmudgeonly shopper reach for their billfold and work their plastic cards until they begin to blister from friction. Perhaps it is the desire for lasting mementos. Maybe it’s the sense of liberation that vacations provide. It could be that travelers know they are not likely to pass that way again. In any case, if you’re heading to San Francisco and you want to do a little shopping, there are plenty of trendy neighborhoods with plenty of trendy shops. But if your tastes run closer to Piaget than Target, then you must head to Union Square.

Located in downtown San Francisco, you can easily spend a day and a fortune in Union Square, as there are lots of things to see, places to go and flagship stores from major high-end retailers, such as:

  • Macy’s
  • Nordstrom
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Barney’s and many others

Take a quick stroll in any direction and you will also pass countless upscale boutiques, such as:

  • Gucci
  • Chanel
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Burberry
  • Prada
  • The aforementioned Piaget
  • And other retailers synonymous with luxury and quality.

Union Square Park is a marvelous place to put your swag down for a moment, have a seat and enjoy some of the best people watching in the city. There are often impromptu theatrical performances, political rallies, holiday events, art installations, street performers and other things to watch and hear while you relax. You can also relax and grab a bite in the many restaurants and cafes that surround the park and line the street in all directions. Whether your tastes (and budget) tend to favor foie gras or cole slaw, you’re certain to find it very close by.

It may be easy to shop ‘til you drop in Union Square, but it’s not easy to park. There is a large parking garage right off the Square but you’re better off spending that money on a new Burberry coat, as the parking rates are, in a word, egregious. That said, there are many different bus routes that pass through or near the Square and a BART station within easy walking distance. If you prefer, you could rent a lovely room or suite in one of the many tony hotels located on or near the Square. Many of the nicest hotels in the city are on the Square or quite near it and would make a nice base of operations for your visit. In short, this is one of the best places to shop in the Bay Area and even if you don’t love shopping, it’s a very cool place to walk around, especially during the holidays when the stores and the Square are looking their very best.