Shopping Centers / Malls, San Francisco
The Embarcadero Center was built in the middle of the financial district, replacing a part of Commercial Street, to provide impulsive financial workers a place to eat lunch and spend their money. The mostly corporate brand-name shops offer the type of modern tastes that a banker's wife would like. There are plenty of corporate style restaurants, such as a Chevy's, and there's also a cinema. What makes this place worth visiting for the tourist though is the wonderful views upward from the open air terrace gardens. Joggers and hikers will find the place virtually empty on the weekend, making multiple steps on the constantly moving escalators especially easy. Then, look up and view the various building in all their glory without street level obstructions. Walk over Front and Davis streets without traffic lights. Pass fountains and Statues until you reach the old Federal Reserve Building on Sansome street. Views of the Ferry Building and Bay are also possible from some vantage points. If you want to get coffee, several shops offer that, and there's even a cinema. See my
What to buy: Perfume, Wine, Flowers, Shoes, Men's & Women's business clothes, and other items of the well appointed business person. There's also a number of ethnic restaurants with a more than quiet atmosphere. Patio dining under the skyscrapers is available for some third level restaurants. There's also a cinema. The window shopping is made wonderful by the great views of the financial district. There's also several sculptures and fountains of interest here. For more great images of the Embarcadero Center, see my Things to Do Tip.
What to pay: Higher than average prices, but the service should be excellent.
thanks Rochelle for this suggestion, what a great shopping mall. I just loved it, and ruined myself there lol with the sales!!!
You have here most of the designers, specially for Europeans, some of the brands are more than half price here. My nephews always ask for a few T-shirts when I fly to USA, this time all family got clothes hehehe
The new and improved Ferry Terminal is our latest pride and joy. After years of renovation, it finally reopened last year.
The Ferry Terminal was built in 1896, and by the 1980s and 1990s it was decrepit looking and neglected. Thanks to major rebuilding by the City, the terminal is now an incredibly fun place to browse and eat.
What to buy: The San Francisco Ferry Terminal has shops that sell produce, books, cooking tools, gifts, olive oil, chocolate, meat, bread, wine, cheese, coffee, and a few delis, including the newly opened Japanese deli.
The San Francisco Ferry Terminal is used by Golden Gate Ferries. This is the place you would come to catch the ferry to Sausalito or Larkspur in Marin County.
San Francisco Shopping Center is located right downtown, across from the Powell Street cable car turntable. The nine-level shopping center is home to some of the world's largest American chains, including a five-story Nordstrom, a two-level Abercrombie & Fitch, plus almost every name that you can find in numerous malls across the country such as Victoria's Secret, Ann Taylor, Bebe, Nine West etc., including high-end retailers like Kenneth Cole and Club Monaco.
What to buy: A few times a year Nordstrom has big shoes sales, where you can get some good deals.
Even though we spent two weeks in San Francisco, I didn't get a chance to do that much shopping. I think I will have to return just to shop! However, I did make it to a few places. The Crocker Galleria is high-end shopping, but if you're strapped for time, why not shop the best?
If you're not into shopping, at least go to the rooftop garden and take in the view; the mall is covered by a glass dome, which reminded me of Eaton Centre in Toronto.
What to pay: Many of the stores carry expensive designer stuff... fun to browse too, if you're a little low in the cash department.
One day, I only had an hour and a half to shop. Where did we go? To the San Francisco Shopping Mall! I dumped my husband in the food court on the ground floor and did some guerrila shopping. I meant technique, sorry to disappoint those wishing to purchase animals.
This mall is housed in a cool, spiral-shaped nine story building that transports shoppers on cool, spiral-shaped escalators. Nordstrom's is at the top; it has a spa as well.
What to buy: Tends to be a little higher-end stuff, but not as expensive as the Crocker Galleria. Overall, I would rate the shopping excellent, if you have limited shopping time, as there are a good range of stores.
The upscale Nordstrom department store takes up four of the nine floors of the SF Shopping Centre, and smaller shops make up the balance. You can find almost anything here: clothing, books, chocolates.
Even if you don't like to shop, come to see the spiral escalators. They're beautiful and amazing to look at -- quite an engineering feat.
Discount shopping is easily done in San Francsico, and a short walk from Union Square to much cheaper designer items - if you want good deals on Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Nine West, Liz Claiborne and many sports brands of shoes, socks and caps, head to the following stores and get great discounts:
- Ross Dress for Less
- Burlington Coat Factory
All these stores get real designer clothes, end of season clothes, from major department stores - if you are a true bargain shopper, you will get to these stores and fill up your cart!!
What to buy: Ralph Lauren tops - $14.99 and $19.99
DKNY tops - $19.99
New Balance shoes at Marshalls - $34.99 (same price last year and this year!)
Perfumes - Bvlgari for $29
Guess watches - $34.99
Guess bags - $24.99
Michael Kors tops and bags - around $30-$50
Pants for work - Ralph Lauren - $16.99 and $24.99
Shorts - Dockers - $14.99
What to pay: Under $30-$50 for most items - jeans, tops, shoes, bags. On discounted days you can pay $10 or $12 for red ticketed discount items. I bought brown stiped office work pants for $4.99 at Burlington Coat factory. At Marshalls, they get new deliveries on Thursdays and you can pick great items up for a bargain!
If you want a less urban shopping experience, try the nearby malls.
Stonestown located on the southwest side of the City is accessible by MUNI light rail. The two largest stores there are Macy's and Nordstrom's.
Serramonte is south of the City at Colma. The main stores there are Macy's, Mervin's, and Target. If you are a Target fan, just cross under the freeway and you'll find a larger Target store in a strip mall there.
Tanforan, the former racetrack, was recently remodeled. It is a little further south than Serramonte and is in South San Francisco. (It is nearly due west of the airport.) The big three there are J. C. Penny's, Sears, and yes, Target.
What to buy: These might be good choices if you have a car, fear urban driving, and want to do some mall walking.
What to pay: Dealer's choice.
OK for travelers outside the US, Bloomingdale's is an upscale, top class department stores.
In SF they are located at the Westfield San Francisco Shopping Center - at Market St & Powell.
This is a wonderful shopping center. They have got a huge Bloomindale's (good place to look for out-of-season designer clothing at marked down prices), food court at the basement with 10 or so different good take outs, and other brand name stores like Banana Republic, Guess, Kenneth Cole and Hugo Boss.
Even if you're not planning to spend any money; a good place to window shop :)
MyWife is a huge devotee to Michael Kors and loves his handbags. The shop in the Westfield Mall is one of her favorites when we are here in SF. During a recent MR to SF we stopped in to see if they had a bag that my wife had wanted. Upon entering we were greeted by a sales associate "L.A" who my wife loved instantly. At this point I became the background as the two of them flitted around the store trying on bag after bag and enjoying themselves. It was rather comical to watch the two of them desribing bags as "delicious" and "yummy" as I sat back taking it all in. After about 45 minutes of their perusing the store and having a grand time with each other; my wife decided on her bag of choice.
She chose the Edie Large Shoulder tote in Vanilla. L.A. was as thrilled with her choice as she was as I headed to the register to pay for the bag. After exchanging cards and several hugs(my wife & LA); my wife ans I left with her new "baby" as she calls her bag. that afternoon my wife recieved a voicemail from LA professing how much he "Looooves her and misses her"...too funny.
What to buy: Our most recent purchase was the Edie Large Shoulder Tote in Vanilla. The bag was $540 with tax.
The Westfield is a huge mall right in the heart of the city. The mall is a large structure with a domed ceiling. Inside there are plenty of stores to suite any taste and buget. The malls also has some incredible food options in their food court to grab a bite after some serious shopping.
Whenever my wife and I are in SF; we stop here for some retail therapy. Some of our favorite stores are here: Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Tourneau, Bose, Tommy Bahama, Michael Kors, J. Crew, Sanrio, White House Black Market and Victoria's Secret. Our last trip to SF in February, we enjoyed a nice day of shopping as well as some snacking in the food court.
What to buy: Anything you could possibly want or need.
More than 400 stores, 30 restaurants and a multiscreen movie complex at this San Francisco urban shopping mall. Anchored by Nordstroms and Bloomingdales.
Mall hours: Monday through Friday 9:30 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am - 9:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
The Westfield center opened in October 1988 as San Francisco Shopping Centre with approximately 500,000 square feet of space, the then-largest Nordstrom store (350,000 square feet) on the top several floors, the first spiral escalators in the United States, and connecting through to the adjoining Emporium-Capwell flagship store. The Nordstrom department store, known for its outstanding service and shoes, is the Bay Area flagship. It offers an extensive collection of designer clothing for men, women, and children.The new Bloomingdale's is the second largest in the chain and features an outstanding collection of designers and other luxuries
What to buy: Westfield San Francisco Center houses numerous high-end stores and provides enough reasons to walk from Union Square and spend your shopping time in comfort!
Hours: Mon-Thu 9:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Fri-Sat 9:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Sun 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
What to pay: maxx out your credit card!
Macy's has long stood as the pinnacle in department store shopping, and when visiting San Francisco you'll have the chance to take in the Macy's West experience at it's flagship store here in Union Square. This seven-story Macy's West Union Square features contemporary fashions for women, juniors, and children, plus jewelry, fragrances, cosmetics, and accessories. The sixth floor offers a "hospitality suite" where visitors can leave their coats and packages, grab a cup of coffee, or find out more about the city from the concierge. The top floors contain home furnishings, and the Cellar sells kitchenware and gourmet foods. Across the street, Macy's East has five floors of men's fashions. A good Way to unwind is to Hang around the Cheesecake Factory at the top.
opens: Monday to Wednesday - 10:00am to 8:00pm
Thursday to Saturday - 10:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday - 11:00am to 6:00pm
What to buy: Macy's is a shoppers haven. Where else can you get everything you need under one roof!
they also have a shoppers tour special priced at $ 59.00includes:
Fashion consultation with a Macy's Personal Shopper who will gather the latest fashions to compliment your lifestyle.
$25 Macy's Gift Card
$15 dining certificate for The Cheesecake Factory
Exclusive Savings Pass
Souvenir Macy's tote
What to pay: maxx out your credit card!