When you think of shopping in America, you probably don’t think of San Francisco, but it is nonetheless a great place to shop no matter what you are looking for. It has little boutiques, huge department stores and gift shops galore and you are bound to find something here that will part you with your money!
For the hardened shopping addicts, you’ll want to head to the Union Square area which is much like any other city centre. There are all the high street favourites – H and M, Abercrombie and Fitch and many more besides. With space being less at a premium than say New York, the stores here are much more spread out than they might be elsewhere. Although compacted in a fairly small area, the shops themselves are huge. For those that like department stores, you could be forgiven for thinking you are actually in New York because all the big hitters are here: Bloomingdales, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue and they are worth a day of your time in themselves. Whether you want to catch the latest fashions or you want to wander around the mouth watering food halls, you’ll be in heaven here.
If you are looking for souvenirs, your best bet is the Fisherman’s Wharf area, where you’ll find every single souvenir you can imagine and then some. On Pier 39 there is an Alcatraz gift shop where you can pick up things that you forgot to get on your trip over to the island, although there are many other shops that sell the same or similar for less. One of my favourite shops was the magnet shop on Pier 39. As one who collects a fridge magnet from every place I visit, I enjoyed perusing the huge displays of magnets from those with famous sayings to those with the sights on. We even picked up a ridiculously oversized tub of popcorn magnet for my sister! In Fisherman’s Wharf there are lots of galleries, so if art is your thing you can pick up works by famous artists as well as some of the local ones too.
Chinatown is another great place to shop as well although it is a different experience entirely here. The streets are lined with stalls selling everything you can imagine from traditional Chinese art to tacky gifts that will make you laugh. We didn’t try it ourselves, but I imagine haggling would be more than welcome here. There’s also plenty of places you can rest your feet after a hard days’ shopping, with lots of the Chinese cafes offering extremely good value lunch menus.
So whatever you want, you will find it in San Francisco, a city that is fast becoming a big player in the shopping mecca stakes!