San Francisco Union Square Pictures - Reasons to Go

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    Union Square Entrance

    Heart Sculpture in Union Square San Francisco
    ••• Heart Sculpture in Union Square San Francisco. Christina Lease / Getty Images

    Photo Tour of San Francisco's Union Square

    See our guide to Union Square for more information about visiting it, when to go and how to get there

    Pick up a map at the TIX booth. Stand in the middle of Union Square facing Macy's to get oriented. The Financial District and waterfront are on the left, in front of you (beyond Macy's) are SOMA (south of Market area) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Chinatown and North Beach are behind, and the theatre/art gallery district on the right.

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    Union Square North

    Union Square, San Francisco, in sunshine
    ••• North Side of Union Square in San Francisco. Larry Bray / Getty Images

    Above the stores on the north side of Union Square, you can see the Starlight Room, a popular local nightclub. Beyond it are Chinatown and North Beach.

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    TIX

    Tix, Union Square San Francisco
    ••• Tix, Union Square San Francisco. ©2014 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Within Union Square plaza, you'll find TIX, half-price ticket booth. Go here if you want to see a play or show without breaking your budget. For the best selection, get in line about 30 minutes before half-price tickets go on sale.

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    Union Square East

    East Side of Union Square San Francisco
    ••• East Side of Union Square San Francisco. Mitchell Funk / Getty Images

    At the plaza's opposite end, you'll find Emporio Rulli, a good place for coffee and pastry or an afternoon aperitif. Sit at an outside table to enjoy people-watching.

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    Union Square West - St Francis Hotel

    West Side of Union Square in San Francisco: Westin St. Francis
    ••• West Side of Union Square in San Francisco. Geri Lavrov / Getty Images

    Elegant St. Francis Hotel occupies the Powell Street-side of Union Square. Don't just stand outside looking at it, go in and take a look at the lobby, too.

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    Union Square at Christmas

    San Francisco Union Square at Christmas
    ••• San Francisco Union Square at Christmas. Ei Katsumata / Getty Images

    Facing the plaza, Macy's Union Square, the biggest department store west of New York City, stretches from Powell to Stockton along Geary and spills over into several nearby buildings.

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    Maiden Lane

    Lunch on Maiden Lane in San Francisco.
    ••• Lunch on Maiden Lane in San Francisco. Lonely Planet / Getty Images

    Maiden Lane runs into Union Square at Stockton. I don't know how it got such a virginal-sounding name, but in Gold Rush times, it was home to prostitutes! For foot traffic only, it's lined with art galleries and restaurants.

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    Walk of Fame at Hotel Diva

    Walk of Fame at Hotel Diva, San Francisco
    ••• Walk of Fame at Hotel Diva, San Francisco. ©Betsy Malloy Photography

    This Walk of Fame features some of the Hotel Diva's celebrity guests. Among them are Joan Rivers, Angelica Huston and Jermaine Jackson. This little walk of fame is at 440 Geary Blvd.

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    Xanadu Gallery

    V. C. Morris Gift Shop, now the Xanadu Gallery
    ••• V. C. Morris Gift Shop, now the Xanadu Gallery. ©2014 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Xanadu Gallery at 140 Maiden Lane is San Francisco's only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, a precursor for the Guggenheim Museum.

    Find out more about it here.

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    Neiman Marcus

    Ceiling of Nieman Marcus, San Francisco
    ••• Ceiling of Nieman Marcus, San Francisco. ©Betsy Malloy Photography

    At Stockton and Geary, Neiman Marcus preserves the old City of Paris department store's rotunda and magnificent stained-glass ceiling.

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    Gump's

    Gump's Department Store in Union Square
    ••• Gump's Department Store in Union Square. Robert Holmes / Getty Images

    Places of Note in the Union Square Area

    Some of the nicest shops are on side streets. A few highlights:

    • Geary Street: Britex Fabrics has a mind-boggling assortment of fabrics.
    • Post: San Franciscans have indulged themselves at Gump's Department Store since 1861.
    • Market Street: Near Powell Street and Market is San Francisco Shopping Center and Nordstrom's. The spiral escalators here are a destination in themselves.
    Are you ready to visit Union Square? Read our guide to visiting Union Square to learn more about what's there, when to go and how to get there.
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    Map of San Francisco Union Square

    Map of Union Square San Francisco
    ••• Map of Union Square San Francisco. Adapted from Google Maps

    To print a full-sized version of this map of San Francisco Union Square, click the map and it will open a larger version. Or you can go to the interactive version.

    Are you ready to visit Union Square? Read our guide to visiting Union Square to learn more about what's there, when to go and how to get there.