Best Places to Shop in San Francisco
The City by the Bay is also the city with an amazing amount of fashionable shopping destinations. San Francisco may not be the easiest city to navigate, but when you finally do reach your shopping destination (provided you can find your way through the coastal fog) it will all be worthwhile. There is so much shopping in San Francisco, it’s difficult to determine the best starting point. But we’ll give it a shot.
Downtown San Francisco around Stockton and Post Street is where you’ll find Union Square, the quintessential San Francisco shopping experience. Union Square offers an unparalleled selection of shops, restaurants and entertainment. Who needs Rodeo Drive when you have Barney’s, Chanel, BCBG, Bloomingdale’s, Ferragamo, and more at Union Square? But let’s not stop there. While you’re exploring the fine shopping in downtown San Francisco, head over to the Embarcadero Center located in San Francisco’s Financial District. The Embarcadero Center is home to several popular store brands including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and GAP. Need more? Check out Union Street in the Marina District, home to such favorite stores as Williams-Sonoma, Bebe, and Sephora. Once you’ve wrapped up the Marina District, hope on a cable car or grab a cab and head to 865 Market Street where you’ll find the one and only Westfield San Francisco Center. Appropriately named because this mall is at the center of it all! The San Francisco Center offers residents and visitors alike, 1.5 million square feet of shopping delight with more than 170 retailers. This mall is a city in itself. And the stores aren’t too bad either. Have fun maxing out your credit cards at the likes of Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Coach, Calvin Klein, H&M, BOSS Hugo Boss, and more. And last but not least within the city limits is Stonestown Galleria, located near San Francisco State University. Stonestown boasts over 130 stores of mid to upscale shopping, including Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Coach and more.
Moving over closer towards San Jose and the Silicon Valley area, you will find 3 exceptional shopping destinations worthy of building an extra closet for your home. Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto is an outdoor upscale shopping center with fabulous stores like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry. The Westfield Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara is home to over 250 stores as well as a vibrant food court. Shop at Jessica McClintock, Apple Store, Tiffany & Co., Montblanc, Boss Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom, Williams Sonoma, Coach, Sephora and more. And finally we have Santana Row in San Jose. This outdoor Silicon Valley upscale luxury shopping destination certainly reflects the bank accounts of the area. Retail brands here include Gucci, Ferragamo, Tommy Bahama, Sur La Table, Anthropologie and many more.
Rounding out the list of San Francisco area shopping malls and destinations worth exploring if you are ever in the area are The Streets of Brentwood west of San Francisco, an open-air shopping area with stores like LOFT, Banana Republic, Chico’s, J. Jill, Talbots and White House Black Market. The Village at Corte Madera, located in wealthy and beautiful Marin County. The Village at Corte Madera is a sumptuous treat for those that enjoy a well rounded shopping experience with retailers such as Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma, and Nordstrom. Bay Street Emeryville is a popular outdoor downtown shopping and entertainment destination in the East Bay area hosting stores like Williams Sonoma, Sephora, Pottery Barn, and more. At Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek west of the city you’ll find Nordstrom, Macy’s and other popular stores. In San Mateo, you’ll run across the Hillsdale Mall with its vintage vibe. Hillsdale is home to some 130 stores, including Nordstrom. Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton is located east of San Francisco along I-580 and I-680. Stoneridge is home to more than 150 stores including favorites like Nordstrom, bebe, and Coach. The Sunvalley Mall in Concord, located northeast of San Francisco, offers a nice collection of stores including Coach, Bebe, and MAC. And finally there is the Westfield Oakridge Mall in San Jose, with mall favorites such as Nordstrom Rack, Forever 21, Gymboree, Coach, and The Disney Store. Something for everyone!
Bargain hunters rejoice! The Bay Area has you covered. With 4 outlet style mall favorites including the Great Mall Milpitas, located just north of San Jose. The Great Mall is part regular mall part outlet mall. If you are a fan of the Premium Outlets brand, you’ll find 3 of them. The Gilroy Premium Outlets on the 101 south of San Jose, the Napa Premium Outlets in Napa, and the Petaluma Village Premium Outlets, north of the city at the 101.