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Union Square

Union Square

Discover downtown San Francisco’s land of luxury


Union Square, the elegant plaza circled by tall palm trees in roughly the middle of San Francisco’s downtown, is a bustling gathering place that also serves as a hub for California luxury shopping.

What You’ll Find at San Francisco’s Union Square

Walk streets bounding the square to jot down your anything’s-possible wish-list of finds at Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Bulgari (as wells as major retailers such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Nike). Slip into the sultry Clock Bar, in the Beaux Arts–style Westin St. Francis, to clink martini glasses and compare notes. Anyone longing for a European vibe will feel right at home strolling the narrow, boutique-lined, almost-pedestrian-only Maiden Lane (car-free from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.). It’s just off the square, and is home to Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as cafes that set up little tables right on the street. Just south of the square, on Market Street, you’ll find Westfield San Francisco Centre, the city’s upscale, indoor shopping mall.

Union Square In Bloom Passport and Events

Carrying on the decades-old tradition of Union Square merchants’ nurturing of a flowery environment, the Union Square In Bloom event is a delightful springtime experience. Come to meander among the elaborate and colorful displays, or go for the full experience with a Bloom Passport, a booklet created in cooperation with participating area hotels, restaurants, and bars that offers details on the flowers you’ll see, interactive games, and more. And don’t forget: American Tulip Day is March 4, and Union Square is the place to be to immerse yourself in the splendor of 80,000 American-grown tulips.

Restaurants Near San Francisco’s Union Square

Of course, all that shopping can be exhausting. Union Square makes it easy to recharge: the square has plenty of sunny benches for relaxing. Or order an espresso and a flaky pastry at upscale Emporio Rulli, with pleasant outdoor seating under market umbrellas right in the square. World-class restaurants are clustered near the square as well—make a reservation at Akiko’s Sushi RestaurantBouche, or the Michelin-starred Campton Place, three of the high-end standouts. If you are on a tighter budget, enjoy the classic American diner experience at the Pinecrest Diner.

Season Events at San Francisco’s Union Square

Come on Sundays to include Champagne brunch in the lavishly luxurious Garden Court of the Palace Hotel (top spot for local doyennes spoiling their grandchildren), which is just one of many destination-in-themselves hotels in the area. During the holidays, Union Square transforms into a wintry, family-filled charmer, with an ice-skating rink and little ones staring up at an enormous Christmas tree, and glittering shop windows all around. Another reason to visit during the holiday season is to take advantage of Winter Walk SF, a two-block-long pedestrian-only activation on Stockton Street that features food trucks, an open-air cocktail bar, and live performances. Winter Walks in the past have proven to be extremely popular—when it was last held in 2018, it drew 2.2 million visitors during the ten-day run-up to Christmas, making it one of the most attended events in the city.

Insider tip: If traveling to Union Square by car, plan your tip with the help of this parking and street map of the area.


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