SAN FRANCISCO, December 14, 2012 – San Francisco, California, is one of the best shopping cities in the world. From major department stores to the smallest of boutiques, the city’s offerings provide a great excuse to shop ‘til you drop.
Here is your guide to eight shopping hot spots in the San Francisco Bay area:
1. Union Street, San Francisco: Union Street between Fillmore and Gough.
You won’t find many large chain retail shops on Union Street. What you will find is small boutiques selling clothing and accessories, beauty products and chocolate, art, antiques and eye wear. Favorites: Ambiance (women’s fashion), Cocoa Bella (chocolate), Lush (soaps & beauty), Carol Doda’s (lingerie).
2. Union Square, San Francisco
Union Square is a big retail shopper’s dream. All the big boys are present: Macy’s, Neimen Marcus, Tiffany’s and Nike. There are also as many art galleries as there are Starbucks here. Favorites: Ted Baker (men’s fashion), Crocker Galleria (art & fashion), ALESSI (home), and local faves Shreve Co (jewelry) and Levi’s flagship store. Here are a pretty handy map and guide.
3. Fillmore Street, San Francisco: Fillmore Street between Bush and Clay.
The Fillmore shopping district has really come into its own over the past few years, growing from just a handful of cool shops to becoming one of the hottest shopping districts in San Francisco. Here you will find major international brand shops right alongside boutiques. Favorites: Scotch & Soda (men’s and women’s fashion), De Novo (women’s fashion), Gimme Shoes, Crossroads Trading Company (resale) and Kiehl’s (beauty).
4. Haight Street, San Francisco: Haight between Stanyan and Fillmore
If you have a hard-to-please hipster on your list, then Haight Street shopping might be just what you need. Haight Street retail shops are a funky blend of emo hipster meets urban chic hippie. Favorites: Amoeba Music, Verd’s Funk, Stuf (accessories), Bang-On San Francisco (vintage t-shirts), La Rosa (vintage clothes & collectibles 1920s-70s).
5. Westfield Centre, Market Street, San Francisco
The Westfield Centre is the third largest urban shopping center in the country. With over 200 stores and restaurants, this urban 9-floor indoor mega mall will have something for everyone on your holiday list. Don’t miss the breath-taking turn-of-the-century glass dome Grand Rotunda on Level 4. Favorites: Watch Station, Michael Kors, Aritzia, L’Occitane, H&M, and the Burke Williams Day Spa.
6. Premium Outlets: Gilroy, Livermore, Napa, Petaluma, Vacaville
With the economy being what it is and the fiscal cliff looming, everyone is looking for a great deal this holiday season. Head to the Premiere Outlets, collectively featuring over 500 stores located in five locations throughout the Bay Area; Gilroy (South Bay, 80 miles southeast from SF), Livermore (East Bay, 45 miles east of SF) Napa (wine country, 50 miles north of SF), Petaluma (North Bay, 40 miles north of SF) and Vacaville (North Bay, 55 miles northeast of SF). Join their VIP Club to receive exclusive coupons and promotions.
7. Downtown Sonoma Plaza (40 miles north of SF)
Any holiday shopper will be hard-pressed to find a town more charming and cozy than downtown Sonoma. The Plaza is the center of Sonoma’s historic downtown, dating back to the nineteenth century. Nearly everything can be found on the blocks right around the Plaza. With artisan shops, 18 local winery tasting rooms, and dozens of delicious restaurants, Sonoma is a must this holiday season.
And you can experience it on foot. Favorites: Baksheesh Fair Trade (home/clothing/jewelry/music; certified green business), Chateau Sonoma (antiques/collectibles/home), My Girlfriend’s Closet, PK Sonoma (home and bath; handmade products) and Spann Vineyards (wine & art). Here is a handy map of downtown Sonoma.
8. Santana Row, San Jose/Campbell (50 miles southeast from SF)
Santana Row is an outdoor shopping neighborhood of about ten city blocks, and houses 70 retail stores and boutiques, 20 restaurants, nine spas/salons, and even a movie theater and boutique hotel. Santana Row features a Mommy Shopping Day on Fridays throughout the year from 8am-2pm. You can leave your kids for up to three hours in Santana Row Playcare while you shop, spa and dine. Reservation required (look under events for info).
Santana Row is also holding their annual Shop, Enjoy & Give Wine Walk benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank on December 18th from 6-8pm, $10 donation.
Additional boutique shopping hot spots in San Francisco include:
- Sacramento Street, Laurel Heights, San Francisco
- Castro Street, Castro, San Francisco
- North Beach, San Francisco
- Chestnut Street, Marina, San Francisco
- Hayes Valley, San Francisco
- Mission Street, San Francisco
- Polk Street, San Francisco
If you are feeling in an ambitious shopping mood, check out SF Gate’s Top 100 Shops in San Francisco.
Columnist Sherrie Perkovich offers an insider’s perspective of the very best San Francisco has to offer. Join her weekly to experience the best the City by the Bay has to offer - from parties to parks and everything in between.
Sherrie is a San Francisco local that fancies herself an extroverted fine dining, wine drinking, know-it-all. If it’s happening in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sherrie is in on it. Follow her column, for the widest range of Out and About San Francisco treats.
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