Wandering new streets and uncovering new styles is a highlight on any vacation. This is especially true in the diverse city of San Francisco. The City by the Bay is home to one-of-a-kind vintage stores as well as flagship locations of the world’s most recognizable brands. Find your hotel in San Francisco and hit one of the Bay’s eclectic streets to find something you can’t live without.
The Embarcadero District was originally known as the Barbary Coast, and its history dates back to the Gold Rush. As San Francisco was flooded with fortune seekers, many of the ships that brought them beached in the bay. The hulls of these ships were converted into warehouses, offices, and saloons where modern day Embarcadero now stands.
Embarcadero’s largest draw is the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market that happens every week. It’s one of California’s certified farmers market, and is acclaimed for the quality and diversity of the farm fresh products and foods. The market is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Saturday boasts a larger selection of vendors.
Union Square is simply the heart of San Francisco. It’s the most visited neighborhood in the city, and one of the most visited shopping destinations in the entire world. It boasts a juxtaposition of luxury stores, local boutiques, and major department stores. Within the square is Maiden Lane, the bay’s largest concentration of luxury retailers. The street is flanked by gates on either end that close from 11 AM to 6 PM, allowing pedestrians to roam free.
After you’ve visited the haute couture of Maiden Lane, head over to the Westfield San Francisco Centre. So much more than just a mall, Westfield San Francisco Centre is a beautifully designed home to hundreds of stores.
Fillmore Street is 12 tree-lined blocks of elegant, yet approachable shopping. Part neighborhood, part jazz mecca, and part shopping hub, this district is arguably one of San Francisco’s most vibrant. The district even has its own mobile app, Fillmore SF, which allows users to peruse all the shopping the street has to offer. Of the literally hundreds of Fillmore Street shops, the app is the perfect way for visitors to decide which ones warrant a visit.
Repeat Performance is the San Francisco Symphony’s resale shop. Music lovers, fashionistas, and philanthropists will be in heaven here, as the sale of high quality donations contributes to helping the San Francisco Symphony. Antique aficionados will rejoice at Mureta Antique’s, a charmingly cluttered shop that is just waiting to give visitors a jewel of a find. High-end style shoppers should visit Heidi Says, which sells curated fashions from both established and emerging designers.
Half of the famed Haight Ashbury district, Haight Street is a must visit for all travelers in San Francisco. Haight Ashbury was the heart and soul of 1960’s hippy culture, but don’t tell the residents that this time has passed. Subversive culture icons Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane all called the street home at one time. A trip to this district will transport shoppers to the 60’s as they wander in and out of high-end vintage stores and highly exclusive boutiques.
Some can’t-miss stores include Held Over, a vintage clothing store with clothes form the ‘60s and ‘70s. For even more hippy nostalgia, head over to John Fluevog Shoes. Its sign welcomes entrants with “Peace, good sole, and groovy love vibes to all who enter.” The designer John Fluevog produces a line of “Satan proof,” mostly unisex, and always unique footwear.
An entire day of shopping could be spent on this long, historic street. Union Street oozes with Victorian charm that envelopes the restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques. Be sure to explore the cross streets, they’re house unique stores that can only be found off the beaten path. Even if the path doesn’t stray from Union Street, visitors will be kept very busy with the dozens upon dozens of shops.
Ambiance S.F. has multiple locations throughout the city, including the Union Street location. The hip women’s boutique offers modern designer fashions and accessories in a fun space. V acationer’s four-legged friends can’t be forgotten. At Moulin Pooch, a dog boutique and villa, patrons will enjoy exclusive pet products. Paper your dog with custom baked goods, skincare products, and only the latest apparel.
Located near the San Francisco Ballet and Symphony, Hayes valley is a cozy shopping district on the cusp of fashion. The beautiful neighborhood wasn’t always as desirable, previously it was a seedier area of San Francisco. But now, Hayes Valley is experiencing fast build up and high real estate price tags. Despite this, it still retains a nonexclusive, community feel. The district houses the San Francisco Jazz center, art galleries, antique shops, and book stores.
Hayes Valley is where San Francisco antique and furniture store Zonal opened its first location. The stores motto is “Always repair, never restore.” Which they hold true to with the collection of American country furniture from the late 1800s to early 1900s. For some unique shopping check out RAG (Residents Apparel Gallery). The stores showcases one-of-a-kind fashions from a diverse selection of San Francisco designers who rent various spaces throughout the store.
IBeing a residential neighborhood, the selection of home shopping is outstanding on Sacramento Street. Stop into Anthem to experience one of the city’s newest luxury home stores. Here, you’ll find gifts, home accessories, and furniture from around the world. If you’re in the market for glassware, there is no better place to go than glassybaby. The tagline of this store is “one of a kindness,” which speaks to its meaningful mission. It was founded by 3-time cancer survivor Lee Rhodes and gives 10% on the sale of every glassybaby directly to organizations that support people in need.
If your money isn’t burning a hole in your pocket by now, it’s time to check your pulse. The City by the Bay has the ability to fill much more than just one day with shopping.