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Union Square/Downtown

Pros: From H&M to Barney's it's all here
Cons: Can drop a bundle in a nanosecond
Best For: The ultimate shopping spree

People come from all over the world to shop Union Square in San Francisco. It was built and dedicated by Mayor John Geary in 1850, named for the pro-Union rallies that took place there before and during the American Civil War. Bordered by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets, the plaza itself has the dubious distinction of being home to the first underground garage in the world.

If your feet hold up you can hit all six department stores, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Macys and Nordstrom. Major brand designer shops also abound including, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Cartier, Prada, Chanel, etc., etc. Of course there are oodles of less expensive choices such as H&M on all the sidestreets surrounding the square, plus interesting boutiques and places to grab a bite to eat. Head over to Claude Lane between Sutter and Bush Streets and check out Cafe Claude.

Still have energy left? There are more big-name stores on Market Street, just south of the square including the recently renovated mall, Westfield San Francisco Centre. Serious shoppers book rooms at nearby hotels such as the Sir Francis Drake, or Campton Place just for the convenience of being able to do this much shopping, followed by immediate dropping.

Noteworthy: In Alfred Hitchcock's thriller, The Birds, Tippi Hedren looks up to see hundreds of evil birds swirling around the square.
Here's a website with all you need to know:
Union Square San Francisco