Union Square, San Francisco was built in 1850 and was the gathering sight for pro-Union demonstrations prior to the Civil War. It is home to some of the City’s oldest buildings, historical landmarks, beautiful architecture, amazing city views, cable cars, art and more. So, come visit us here in The Square to see these 10 must-see sights!
1. The Cable Car Turn Around – The San Francisco cable car system was established between 1873 and 1890 and is the last manually operated cable car system in the world. Come see the Cable Car Turn Around on Powell St. and Market St. and watch those guys hand turn the cable and then why not take a ride to Chinatown, North Beach or Fisherman’s Wharf?
2. The Hearts of Union Square – The hearts in Union Square Park are the best photo opp in the city! Take your picture with our beautiful neighborhood in the background and check out these hand painted works of art that help support the San Francisco General Hospital.
3. Union Square Park & The Dewey Monument – OK, this one may be obvious, but standing in the center of Union Square Park definitely makes you feel like you’re at the center of the universe. Take a moment to say hi to Alma (our affectionate name for the Dewey Monument), which was modeled after local celeb Alma de Bretteville Spreckels in 1901.
4. Barbary Coast Trail – The Barbary Coast Trail is a walking tour that connects 20 historical sites and museums in San Francisco. It’s a 3.8 mile walk that consists of approximately 180 bronze medallions that highlights the Pony Express Headquarters site, the Old Mint, Maiden Lane, the plaza where Sam Brannan kicked off the Gold Rush, and much more!
5. Maiden Lane – This lovely little pedestrian alley in Union Square features some of the top luxury shops in San Francisco including Maison Martin Margiela, Tory Burch, Alexander McQueen and more. Plus, you can occasionally catch the Red Umbrellas open air art exhibits, fashion shows, and food and wine events here as well.
6. The Flood Building – This beautiful 12-story building is a rare survivor of the 1906 earthquake and fire that happened here in San Francisco. It was home to the Baldwin Hotel and Theater, it served as the headquarters of the Southern Pacific Railroad, it was a medical and dental center, home to Woolworth’s Department Store and is now the flagship location for Gap, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.
7. The Westin St. Francis Hotel – One of San Francisco’s most historic buildings, the Westin St. Francis hotel has been in Union Square since before the 1906 earthquake. It was the fashionable place for celebrities, film actors and presidents to stay, the scene of Hollywood’s first great scandals and it still operates the world’s only silver coin cleaning operation that started in order to keep their guests’ white gloves clean in the 1930’s.
8. The Grand Hyatt Hotel - The panoramic view of the city of San Francisco from the 36th floor of the Grand Hyatt hotel is a view that will take your breath away. Normally an event space, it’s worth it just to ride the elevators up or try to attend an event there.
9. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building – This stunning landmark located at 140 Maiden Lane is the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in San Francisco. From its intricate exterior brick archway, its spiral ramp to its black walnut furnishings and hanging baskets, this is one building that’s worth a looksy.
10. The Dome at Westfield San Francisco Centre and the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus - The dome at Westfield San Francisco Centre and the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus are both stunning sites to see. If you are looking for a peaceful place to grab a bite, enjoy happy hour or have afternoon tea these two places are some of our favorite spots here in The Square due to their unique, and rare beauty.