Travel

Union Square in San Francisco For The Best Shopping Experience

Union Square is a massive plaza in the middle of San Francisco, California. Long a destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment, this lively urban neighborhood has become a popular tourist destination as well. With over three million visitors per year to the area (and routinely over 100K people at one time), it’s hard to avoid bumping into many people you know while exploring the historic commercial district and surrounding neighborhoods.

This guide will help you navigate Union Square so that your trip will be convenient and enjoyable without losing sight of your purpose — which is shopping!

What to do in Union Square

It used to be that you had to go outside of Union Square for the best shopping. But in 2012, a 2-story Nordstrom (and associated restaurants) opened on the south side of Union Square, followed by a multi-story Bloomingdales on the north side in 2014. These two department stores plus Macy’s have put the shopping district right within Union Square. The new Union Square hotels are also adding to San Francisco’s popularity with tourists and locals alike.

Good food options

If you are looking for one of the best restaurant Union Square offers, I love 620Jones.

Other popular attractions in Union Square include:

Shopping: Union Square has over 80 shopping, clothing and accessory stores, mostly selling trendy San Francisco brands. There are also over a dozen high-end, designer jewelry stores around the square. It is always bustling with shoppers and tourists. Here is a small sample of the shopping around Union Square.

Events: Regular events take place throughout the year at Union Square. With hundreds of people coming in to shop and dine, it is a busy place every day, but good fun! The San Francisco Opera is held here every summer (July) and has been going since the early 30’s. Union Square also hosts many festivals like PrideFest that highlights the LGBT community. Here are some events where you can find families enjoying their time at Union Square.

A place to relax and enjoy the sunshine

If you like the shops, but would like to take a break from shopping, there are several things for families to do in Union Square.

Union Square has two large gardens in it. They are separate from the actual plaza plaza, but right next door. These are the Powell Garden and Hayes Garden. Both feature art installations and seating areas where you can read or just relax in the sunshine.

Another option is to just take a walk around the plaza and enjoy the art and the atmosphere. There are often street performers in this area to entertain you, and many interesting people watching!

A buskers union square fiddler , The buskers union square fiddler performing in front of the library building.Union Square sees over 100,000 people per day, so it’s hard to pick out a specific place where you’ll have a quiet spot.