Union Square is one of San Francisco’s most popular neighborhoods for staying in during a trip. It is central to all major public transport modes, making it convenient to all. Visitors love shopping and entertainment, and lovely historic buildings – all within walking distance of the largest hotels. Union Square is an excellent base for a San Francisco day as well as a great place to shop, eat and hang out. Some of the best theaters and art galleries of the city and a few top restaurants, great shopping opportunities and the opportunity to see some wonderful historic architecture and amazing views of the city are located here. Where do you start, then?
The area of Union Square was intended for a public square and built in1847 by the structural engineer Jasper O’Farrell, responsible for most of the San Francisco city plan. Just before the civil war, the park was used to support the Union troop and to give it its name, the Union Square, for the regular demonstrations. The area was considered a suburban neighborhood prior to the great earthquake in 1906, but was rebuilt following the earthquake and turned into a cultural and shopping mecca today. Thanks to a $25 million renovation in 2002, Union Square was transformed into a beautiful square with the monument to the goddess Victory built in 1903 still towering above it.
In this area, there may be plenty of history, but a completely modern part of the town is known for its great shopping. The Westfield Mall is in this location with all boutique shops, designer stores, antique shops. You can pick any street or alley in the neighborhood of Union Square and find great shopping.
- The Big Department Stores. The types of stores that fall into this category are Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales. Everything you will find here.
- The Big Brands. Many people like to shop at H&M, Victoria’s Secret and Urban Outfitters, for instance.
- The Big Names. The stores of designers such as Ferragamo, Betsey Johnson and Armani are near Union Square. One particular street to check out is Maiden Lane, a pedestrian-only street where stores such as Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent make their home.
- Jewelry Stores. So now is your chance if you have ever wanted to come to Tiffany. The neighborhood also has many other joy shops.
- Antique Stores. These are spread all around Union Square and include 333 Peking Arts, a top choice for antiques in Chinatown.
- Home Décor Shopping. Besides what you can find in the department stores, there are also choices in the neighborhood that include Baccarat, Villeroy & Boch, Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table and Gumps.
Today, the Square continues to be the center of a vibrant and diverse community as well as a political and cultural gathering place.