Ghirardelli Square San Francisco
Hotel Zoe Near San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square
There are tons of things to see and do when in the city of San Francisco. However, one particular place is famed for its rich history and delicious treats – Ghirardelli Square. Just half a mile or four blocks down the road from Hotel Zoe sits the original site of the Ghirardelli chocolate factory. You should definitely visit this favorite spot for afternoon strolls, shopping, and sweet treats.
How to Get There
Hotel Zoe is a hotel near Ghirardelli Square, which is just about 0.4 mi from the hotel’s front door. It’s a 3 to 4-minute drive, but you can also stroll down the North Point Street for a short walk on your way there to really enjoy the atmosphere. To get there, hop on a number 47 Muni bus at the North Point St. and Mason St. bus stop. It arrives there every day at 3:26 pm. Get off the bus on the North Point St. and Larkin St. stop, which is the 4th stop from the hotel. From there, cross the street towards Ghirardelli Square.
By foot, you can head west on North Point St. walking toward Taylor St. then after 0.4 miles, you will see Ghirardelli Square on your right. Turn right on Larkin St. in about 125 feet then turn left along the side of Fairmont Heritage Place. You should see the Ghirardelli Square fountain. Go around it to the left to reach the main area of the square.
Ghirardelli Square is the first ever adaptive reuse project in the United States with a story that stretches over more than a century and involves three continents. Domenico “Domingo” Ghirardelli, an Italian businessman, was the first owner of the property. At 20 years old, he went to Uruguay and sailed to Peru. There, he became a merchant of coffee and chocolate.
Through stories about the gold rush, Ghirardelli was convinced by a friend to come to San Francisco. However, after failing as a miner, Ghirardelli established a general store a year after carrying spices, mustard, coffee, and of course, his chocolate.
Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Factory stood over four different locations before the company stepped in the management of Pioneer Woolen Mills on North Point Street, the current site of the Ghirardelli Square.
During the 1960’s, the company was sold to San Leandro. However, an organization of San Franciscans decided to buy the property out of their fear that it would be demolished. They converted it into a complex featuring the fine cuisine and latest retailing shops reminiscent of old San Francisco. It was opened to the public on November 29, 1964.
In 1982, it was granted the status of National Historic Register, ensuring its preservation thanks to the owners’ effort. It now serves as a restoration model for the whole country.
Famous Ghirardelli Chocolates and Treats
There are three locations to buy the famous Ghirardelli chocolates within the complex that will surely delight and satisfy the sweet tooth of any kid or kid-at-heart. The first and biggest of all is the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate shop, where the line can inevitably extend to outside the door.
If you’d rather not wait, however, you can go to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace in the West Plaza or the latest Ghirardelli-on-the-Go shop on Beach street for a quick fix of chocolate goodies or hot chocolate. The Chocolate Marketplace is a smaller shop but carries the same treats while the Ghirardelli-on-the-Go is perfect for when the lines in the two other shops are too long.
One of the best parts of staying in hotels near Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California are the endless shopping opportunities and choices. Inside the complex, you will find several interesting boutiques and shops where you can buy amazing souvenirs, greeting cards, postcards, stationery, and cute gift items for yourself or loved ones back home.
Here and there, you’ll find dainty shops selling the best locally-made perfumes, candles, handcrafted artisan jewelry, luxury bath and products, and even pet accessories and toys!
Take a break from all that shopping and exploring by swinging by the many lovely restaurants that also offer stunning views of the bay. Even if you’re not much of a chocolate lover, you’ll surely find something here that matches your taste and appetite from classic Italian dishes like grilled meat, pasta, and pizza to all-American options of soda, southern bbq, burgers, and beer. There are also places where you can indulge in a gracious serving of seasonal seafood or fill your belly with delicious steaks. Looking for healthier options and energy boosting drinks? Try the newly opened Juice shop’s juices, smoothies, elixirs, and nutrient blends!
Annual Ghirardelli Square Events
Planning a staycation in a Ghirardelli Square hotel? Time your booking around many awesome events held at the Square throughout the year, including the annual Chocolate Festival every September. Here, you can savor delicious chocolate treats while listening to live music and entertainment such as ice cream eating competitions.
Other exciting events celebrated here are Easter, Earth Day, Fleet Week, Wine Festivals, Hanukkah, and the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. During these events, you can enjoy the best local food, sample the finest wines, dance to live music or participate in fun activities and contests the whole family will surely enjoy!
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