Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco

Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco

Once a chocolate factory and a wool mill, this is the most attractive of San Fran's refurbished industrial facilities. Looming above the Maritime National Historical Park with its mix of old red-brick buildings and modern stores and restaurants, this shopping center retains the famous Ghirardelli trademark clock tower and original electric roof sign.

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Manufactory on the plaza beneath the tower still houses vintage chocolate-making machinery and sells the confection. These days, you can find pretty much everything under the sun here (if you know where to look), from succulents to small souvenirs and mementos to coffee, cheese, and ice cream sundaes.

At the square, there is always some live music playing. Its centerpiece, Andrea's Fountain, is decorated with bronze sculptures of mermaids and turtles and is the most popular gathering point for shoppers, day and night, much as the top location for all Instagram-ers looking for a perfect backdrop.

The views at night, opening from the end of Van Ness Pier, are even better. You can frame the quaint square (with high rises looming up behind it), the Coit Tower on the left, and a quiet cove full of sailboats immediately in front. And the whole image is reflected in the water.

Tip:
The chocolate shop gives out free samples every day, so stop in and give yourself a treat.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Francisco. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Ghirardelli Square on Map

Sight Name: Ghirardelli Square
Sight Location: San Francisco, USA (See walking tours in San Francisco)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Francisco, California

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