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A Weekend on Union Square (San Francisco)

Author: Adrienne L.
Date of Trip: January 2010

San Francisco remains one of the world’s favorite cities and it is also one of ours. With so many choices of activities – from dining to entertainment to museums,and the list goes on — our biggest dilemma is where to start our adventure once we enter the city. Although we usually favor boutique hotels, a recent visit to the city found us at the Grand Hyatt on Stockton so that we could use Union Square as our launching pad. This outdoor plaza surrounded by trendy boutiques, hotels, street vendors and fine restaurants, makes for a great people-watching spot. The ice skating rink, a real treat for Californians, was filled with many skaters, from novice to expert level. The open-air tour buses passed quite frequently, as did the cable cars, filled with excited tourists from around the globe. It is possible to stand at any spot on the square and hear several languages being spoken, or engage in conversation with someone from another country.

Although the area is known for fine dining, it also a great area to “eat on the cheap”. There are even sidewalk hot dog vendors. On this trip we chose to focus on affordable dining and enjoyed a great lunch at Hubert Keller’s (of Fleur De Lys fame) Burger Bar on the sixth floor of Macy’s; hands down the best turkey burger we’ve ever eaten. The view of Union Square from its window is worth a visit in itself.

Shopping on Union Square is legendary, and it never hurts to look. And window shopping certainly never hurt anybody’s wallet. Choices abound and include Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barney’s as well as designer shops like Prada, Gucci and Mont Blanc. All were still running exceptional after-Christmas sales so there were many great deals to be had. Service is one of the most enjoyable aspects of shopping there. At Neiman Marcus we were assisted by a delightful French lady named Josiane, who offered several recommendations for our upcoming trip to Paris.

San Francisco is an international city and the blending of many cultures makes its energy electrifying. We are fortunate to live in the area and will continue to be frequent visitors to our favorite city.

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