Ghirardelli Square San Francisco – Shop, Stroll & Segway

It's a San Francisco landmark, a shopping square, and home to a famous chocolate company. Ghirardelli Square should be on your short list of things to do in the city. Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco has a lot going for it with stellar views of the bay and at night the buildings are illuminated with strings of lights.

Ghirardelli Square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Famous for its waterfront location and Old World charm, the Fisherman's Wharf area landmark square has recently undergone an extensive renovation.

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Eleven Things to Know About Ghirardelli Square

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Ghirardelli Square San Francisco


1. It Started As a Woolens Mill

During the Civil War, the square was the site of a woolens mill, but it was the famous chocolate factory built here by Domenico Ghirardelli that gave the square its name… and its fame.

2. Shopping

The factory was converted into an attractive commercial complex way back in the 1960s. The innovative renovation set the stage for retail conversions in other cities like Boston and New York.

3. The Mermaid Fountain

The Mermaid Fountain, in the central plaza, was designed by local artist Ruth Asawa, and is a popular meeting place. It's a playful statue with a blend of turtles, frogs, mermaids and a mermaid child. Asawa helped to create the San Francisco School of the Arts. She died in 2013 at the age of 87.

4. Free Entertainment

There is usually free entertainment within the square, which contains dozens of speciality shops, galleries and restaurants.

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Waterfront Segway Tour

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5. Waterfront Segway Tour

Take in the waterfront views as you cruise effortless on one of those crazy, cool Segways. The route takes you all along the waterfront, including the aquatic park, Fisherman's Wharf, the WWII Liberty ship, and of course Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco's's first retail conversion of an historic building.

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6. Ghirardelli's Ice Cream Parlor

Ghirardelli's Original Chocolate Manufactory is famous for their old fashioned ice-cream parlor and candy store that sells luscious hot fudge sundaes and five pound chocolate bars. Take a peek at the display of the original chocolate making machinery at the back.

7. More Chocolate!

There are two other Ghirardelli chocolate shop locations at the square — at West Plaza and Beach Street. The original ice cream and chocolate shop is at North Point.

8. Domenico Ghirardelli

Domenico Ghirardelli was born in Italy in 1817 and sailed around the world when he was 20 years old. He eventually landed in San Francisco with 600 pounds of chocolate in his luggage!

9. More Shopping!

The square is an artful blend of local retail, restaurants and public spaces. The square is comprised of several buildings — Mustard, Cocoa, Chocolate, Woollen Mill, Power House, Wurster, Plaza, Carousel, and the Clock Tower Building.

10. Lot of Events

Ghirardelli Square hosts many annual events including the 60-foot holiday tree lighting in late November.

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Fairmont Heritage Place

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11. Fairmont Heritage Place

You can stay at Stay on Ghirardelli Square at the five-star luxury Fairmont Heritage Place. It's often the top-rated hotel in San Francisco and offer luxury apartments, complete with gourmet kitchens.

Ghirardelli Square San Francisco – Annual Events

  • November & December
    Holiday Tree Lighting with a visit from Santa. There's also Light the Menorah for Hanukkah.
  • March & April
    Easter Celebrations. Kids hunt for Easter egg hunt with a visit from the Easter bunny.
  • April
    Celebrate Earth Day at Ghirardelli Square with live music, and eco-focused activities.
  • May
    Uncorked Wine Festival. Taste wines from top wineries of Northern California.
  • September
    Chocolate Festival. Sample chocolates, taste wine and attend cooking demonstrations.
  • October
    Fleet Week. Live music and other fun activities all around the square.
  • November
    Lighting of the Christmas tree.

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Ghirardelli Square San Francisco – Resources

Ghirardelli Square is at 900 North Point Street at the corner of Beach and Larkin Streets. Just west side of Fisherman's Wharf, it's two blocks east of Van Ness Avenue and one block west of the Cable Car turnaround at Beach & Hyde Streets.

There is a Ghirardelli parking garage. Look for the entrance on Beach Street & Larkin Street.

  • Sunday to Thursday: 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Friday & Sunday: 10 AM to 9 PM
  • Website

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