Union Square, San Francisco

4 out of 5 stars 65 Reviews

Bordered by Powell, Geary, Stocton and Post Streets (415) 781-7880

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  • Union Square on a sunny weekday afternoon
    Union Square on a sunny weekday...
    by Jefie
  • Union Square
    by wilocrek
  • view from powell
    view from powell
    by machomikemd
  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by apbeaches Updated Aug 27, 2015

    Union Square is a 2.6 acre public plaza and central shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds the plaza for several blocks. The area got its name because it was once used for rallies and support for the Union Army during the American Civil War, making it a California Historical Landmark. Today, Union Square is a busy tourist destination containing department stores, upscale boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and salons. Macy's (Separate men's and women's stores + furniture store) , Bloomingdale's, Barneys New York, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue (separate men's and women's stores), Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Stuart Weitzman, Burberry, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Boucheron, Hugo Boss, Tiffany & Co., Piaget, Oliver Peoples, Anne Fontaine, Brunello Cucinelli, Longchamp, Porsche Design, Loro Piana, Theory, Vince, Paul Smith, Bulgari, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, La Perla, Christian Louboutin, Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera, Jimmy Choo, Moncler, Maison Martin Margiela, Christian Dior & Dior Homme, Saint Laurent Paris, Polo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Salvatore Ferragamo, Cartier, Bijan, Marc Jacobs, Hermès, and the Goyard boutique. The Westfield San Francisco Centre and the Crocker Galleria are two malls with many stores and restaurants in Union Square. Union Square is busy 24/7 with many major hotels and small inns, as well as repertory, off-Broadway, and single-act theaters also contribute to the area's dynamic, 24-hour character.

    In there area of Union Square there are eight Starbucks, many casual restaurants, bakeries and upscale dining. Many of the hotels have very nice restaurants and rooftops with views of the Square.

    Beginning in 2009, painted heart sculptures from the Hearts in San Francisco public art installation have been installed in each of the four corners of the square. Each year, the sculptures are auctioned off to benefit the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation and new sculptures painted by various artists are installed in their place. Many of the sculptures are permanently relocated to various other locations throughout the city.

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  • Chinggis_n_Borte's Profile Photo

    The Union Square

    by Chinggis_n_Borte Updated Feb 7, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To many The Union Square perhaps is simply the centre of San Francisco but there's more into it than just being a centre plaza. The monument on the middle is in memory of The Battle of Manila Bay that took place in the Philippines during Spanish American War in 1899 defeating the Spanish colonizers of the Philippines under Admiral Montojo it was at the height of Spanish -American War when US Naval Warships entered Manila Bay under the command of Commodore George Dewey ( later promoted to Admiral ) at dusk in one early morning that resulted in the total annihilation and destruction of the biggest Spanish Naval Fleet in Asia.

    The high monument is called the Admiral Dewey memorial who was the hero of the famous battle of Manila bay. That's what it is about the high monument. But the plaza square is another story it is in memory of the Union Forces who fought in the Great US Civil War of what is also called the Emancipation War in the 1860's plus.

    We came here at the square on October 2014. It was barricaded and a big renovation and construction is on going at the square pavement but you can read the inscription from a distance of the Dewey Memorial monument There is a touristy cafe' at the square and it is always full pack of coffee lovers , locals and tourists.

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  • AVOID ALAMO RENT A CAR UNION SQUARE & ELSEWHERE

    by CivB Written Nov 18, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Never book a convertible Ford Mustang with ALAMO in California, they don't have requested cars.

    I have booked an PREPAID a Ford Mustang from alamo for 10 days from SFO (Union Square) to LAX. Despite two warning message asking them to reserve the Car in Union Square there where no such equivalent car ready. We where taken in hostage and constraint to hire a car from a different category (Dodge Challenger) and charged at convertible one.

    Even asking them to switch car in Montterey or Santa Barbara they could not give the wanted, asked, reserved, and paid the category wanted.

    WARNING ! all they want is people to book and paid theses popular car at a competitive price and give them what they have in stock.

    Look these pages; it is the same all over europe in any language...

    http://www.alamo.fr/usa

    http://www.alamo.it/usa

    Try to call them, they hide like cokroaches when you open the light !

    Can alamo give there convertible amount of car in CA. or give their succes/ booked ratio for Convertibles in California ? Certainly not

    Please accept my appologies for my bad english, writing from French Riviera

    Is this a huge crookery ?

    Same Issue? please respond and join i am making a complaint to FTC. and hire attorneys in SFO.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Wonderful Views Cheesecake Factory at Macy's West

    by machomikemd Updated Mar 17, 2012

    1 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    well the cheesecake factory atop the eight floor of Macy's west is a things to do tip also, why? because it offers panoramic view of the whole union square area and you will see the skyline of St. Francis Hotel, transamerica buidling, maiden lane, the square itself, the cable cars along powell street, the tunnel near sutter-stockton garage and others plus you will indulge in their wonderful and varied menus while enjoying the view and the ambiance but don't forget to order the cheescake which is their specialty! so why don't you go and enjoy the view here while eating a prime rib and enjoying the basic cheesecake! it is also a romantic place at night as my night pictures will show.

    Hours:
    Mon-Thu. 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

    Fri-Sat. 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.

    Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

    Attire: Casual
    Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

    the view smiling westin st francis hotel wonderful night view more wonderful night view
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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by cjg1 Updated May 20, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Union Square is a plaza dedicated to SF's first American Mayor, John Geary. The name of the square is due to its pro-union rallies during the US Civil War.

    This area is very popular with restaurants, hotels, shopping and theatres.

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    commercial center

    by mindcrime Written Jan 20, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Most of the visitors stay in a hotel near Union Square so you will walk around here sooner or later. It’s the touristic center and also the epicenter of a larger shopping area with many famous upscale stores located around the square, some famous malls like Macy’s (facing the square, it’s the biggest department store on the east coast) but also some five stars hotels. We didn’t do any shopping here because we had to protect our wallets and credit cards from the outrageous prices but we enjoyed a coffee at Maiden Lane (pic 5), a small side street with some cafes, restaurants and art galleries. During the Gold Rush era it was just a home for prostitutes though! Don’t get confused because of the name. It was given to the street after the big earthquake (the former name was Morton street). The square also houses the TIX booth, the ideal place to buy half price tickets for plays and shows. As the area is full of tourists no surprise the big number of beggars around.

    The history of the square goes back to 1849 when the first mayor of the city created this public square. The name came from the protests that took place around here for the Union of USA during the civil war. In the center of the square the Dewey Monument goes up to 30m (pics 1-2). It was built in 1903 to celebrate the victory of George Dewey against the Spanish navy in Manilla bay (1898)

    Dewey Monument at Union square zoom in Dewey Monument at Union square Union square instalation at Union square Maiden Lane

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by Dabs Updated Oct 15, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since we were staying in the Union Square area, our 1st day we had a walk through the area to see the few things that our guidebook said were must sees, we weren't interested in any of the high end shopping but we did stop to see some of the architectural sights along the way. Someone likened Union Square to Chicago's Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue) but they didn't strike me as being similar at all, I didn't see anywhere near the volume of people in Union Square that you see on Chicago's main shopping stretch, perhaps we were a bit early for the "ladies who lunch" as we were there around 10 am.

    Picture 1-140 Maiden Lane is the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in San Francisco, it now houses an art gallery, the interior curving ramp is said to be the model for the Guggenheim in NYC.

    Picture 2-Lotta's Fountain, named for gold rush era performer Lotta Crabtree who was showered with gold and silver after she performed, she gave the city this fountain in 1875, at the intersection of 3rd, Market, Kearny and Geary Sts.

    Picture 3-Halladie Building, named for cable car inventor William Halladie, notable for the glass curtain exterior wall, located at 130 Sutter Street between Kearny and Montgomery

    Picture 4-Union Square, a nice open air spot with a cafe and on the day we were there, an art fair

    Frank Lloyd Wright Lotta's Fountain Halladie Building Union Square

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Shop 'til you drop!

    by Jefie Written Oct 7, 2009

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    The Union Square area is mostly known as San Francisco's shopping district. All the big department stores can be found on the streets that border the Union Square Plaza, along with some upscale boutiques and plenty of more affordable stores. Many of the city's most popular hotels are also located around Union Square, mostly thanks to its central location and easy access to public transportation. Union Square itself, a lively plaza at the center of which stands the Victory monument, is a fun place to hang out. We once stopped for lunch at the Emporio Rulli Caffe (http://www.rulli.com/il_caffe.php), located right on the Square. We enjoyed a nice salad and a good glass of wine on their outdoor terrace and had fun watching people walk around with their arms full of shopping bags! I too did my very best to do the whole shopping thing one evening. I even found a store - Forever 21 - that I really liked, but I quickly realized that it's a bit difficult for someone of my height and size to shop in the US, nothing fits! Thank goodness there was a Ghirardelli Chocolate store and a huge Borders bookstore to save the day - in the end I came back to our hotel with plenty of chocolate squares and four new novels :o)

    Union Square on a sunny weekday afternoon Sylvain having lunch at the Emporio Rulli Caffe

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  • sfwinegirl's Profile Photo

    1-Day San Francisco: Downtown

    by sfwinegirl Written Sep 11, 2009

    San Francisco is one of the most visited cities in the world, well-known for its liberal community, hilly terrain, Victorian architecture, scenic beauty, summer fog, and great ethnic and cultural diversity. Living in San Francisco makes it somewhat challenging to organize a 1-day itinerary. There are simply so many places to see! For the first installation of 1-day San Francisco, I will focus on the areas around downtown.

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  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Apr 14, 2009

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    Union Square is San Francisco's main shopping and cultural area. This neighborhood is named after the park called Union Square that was created in 1850. The area contains numerous theaters, art galleries, luxury hotels, and the end of the Mason and Hyde Street cable car line. I like the area's variety of restaurants and nightlife including areas such as the Little French Quarter and the numerous top-floor restaurants and lounges of the area. I was surprised to see that Union Square is the city's fourth most frequented tourist destination after Fishermans Wharf, Chinatown, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Union Square itself is bordered by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets, and was a popular place for pro-Union rallies prior to the Civil War. The area was decimated by the 1906 earthquake then rebuilt to the general size and shape you see today. The park was again reconstructed in the 1940s when a parking garage was built under the square and the park replaced at ground level on the garage's roof. In 2000 the park was again modernized with repairs made to the garage, and the park resurfaced mostly with stone and concrete rather than grass.

    Area of Union Square at night Union Square Union Sqaure from the Kinsington Park Union Square Union Square

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by sue_stone Written Feb 8, 2009

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    Union Square is a pedestrian plaza in the heart of downtown San Francisco. The paved square is a block in size and is home to public events such as concerts, art shows and protests. In the middle of the square there is a 30m tall monument to Admiral George Dewey.

    Union Square also refers to the surrounding area which is a mecca for shopping, hotels, theatre and dining. Macy's flagship store can be found on Union Square, and if you go to the top floor of the department store you can get a good view over the square.

    I was surprised by Union Square - I was expecting it to be larger and grubbier. When we visited there was an interesting art show in progress, and plenty of people sitting about drinking coffee, reading and people watching.

    Union Square Union Square Art in Union Square Art in Union Square
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    Maiden Lane

    by SteveOSF Written Sep 24, 2008

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    Maiden Lane is an upscale pedestrian only street in the Union Square district. Maiden Lane is home to some high-end retailers like Gump’s. Businesses covet a prestigious Maiden Lane address. However, Maiden Lane makes for a pleasant stroll in the Union Square Area. It runs from Stockton Street, directly across from Union Square, to Kearny Street. As Maiden Lane is closed to traffic most of the day, outdoor cafe’s take advantage of the opportunity. These outdoor cafe’s offer a nice alternative for lunch on a warm day.

    Trendy Maiden lane was actually a red light district at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. However, the area was destroyed during the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. As the City rose from the ashes of devastation, citizens and civic leaders saw to it that the area was rebuilt in a more respectable fashion.

    Maiden Lane
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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Center of Union Square

    by machomikemd Updated Aug 30, 2008

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    Where can you find a Statue Comemorating the Exploits of Admiral George Dewey in the Battle of Manila Bay (and Sadly the US-Philippine war, the first Iraq, due to Theodore Roosevelt's Manifest Destiny of "Christianising" Filipinos who were already Christians and Catholics since the 1500's! way before the North Americans). The answer is in Union Square in Downtown. Union Square was built and dedicated by San Francisco's first American mayor John Geary in 1850 and is so named for the pro-Union rallies that happened there before and during the United States Civil War and later became a memorial to the Spanish American War.

    Presently this is the center of Luxury Shopping in the West Coast where you can find all the prestigous brands. Inside Union Square itself in an underground parking, A See's Candy Shop, Emporio Rulli Coffeeshop, Free Concerts and TIX Half-Price Theater Tickets.

    Center Commemoration of Battle of Manila Bay Emporio Rulli coffee shop live band See's Candy
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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Center of Luxury Shopping in Downtown!

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 30, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Where Can You Find A Macy's, Sak's Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus Stores so near each other? Where can you find a Statue Comemorating the Exploits of Admiral George Dewey in the Battle of Manila Bay (and Sadly the US-Philippine war, the first Iraq, due to Theodore Roosevelt's Manifest Destiny of "Christianising" Filipinos who were already Christians and Catholics since the 1500's!). The answer is in Union Square in Downtown. Union Square was built and dedicated by San Francisco's first American mayor John Geary in 1850 and is so named for the pro-Union rallies that happened there before and during the United States Civil War and later became a memorial to the Spanish American War and presently is one of the largest collection of department stores, upscale boutiques, tourist trinket shops, art galleries, and salons in the Western United States.

    view from Macy's Facing Macy's and Union Square at Back! Again union Square! view from Sutter view from powell
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  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Dewey Memorial Statue

    by atufft Updated Jun 8, 2008

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    Union Square is actually one of my least favorite plazas in town, in part because it is almost fully paved concrete ambiance, but also because of the centerpiece Dewey Memorial, which celebrates the victory of the USA over the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay. The 1896 war, which eventuated in the annexation of Cuba and the Philippines as American territory was a blantant opportunist imperialist act that resulted in many decades of turmoil in these two nations, which argueably have yet to recover their proper nationalism and liberty. Indeed the Iraq War has been compared to the Spanish-American War. However, the 95-foot high statue, designed in 1901 by sculptor Robert Aitken, and architect, Newton Tharp, also capped a period of pride in San Francisco just prior to the great earthquake and fire of 1906. Alma Spreckels, later the lovely wife of sugar baron Adolph Spreckels, was the nude model for the figure, which Aitken used to symbolize "the Republic, dignified and graceful, on a pedestal of granite. In her outstretched hand he placed a palm, denoting work well done, a tribute to the memory of the beloved president. In her other hand he gave her a trident, the three-pronged fork which was the scepter of King Neptune, king of the sea (see link below)." Thus, the memorial is both a tribute to victory in war and recently martyred President McKinley. Alma had sprung from humble beginnings and later married into the Spreckels wealth, so the statue, which survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, as well as several reconstructions of Union Square, came to symbolize more than the men whose names are on the memorial base. This memorial came to symbolize for San Francisco a determination to rise from ashes and return to a great city of wealth and splendor.

    Dewey Memorial, Union Square, SF Dewey Memorial, Union Square, SF Union Square, SF
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