The name Ghirardelli may sound familiar because they make chocolate candy. They haven't made it as Ghirardelli Square since the 1960s, but the former Pioneer Woolen Mills was their manufacturing site for almost seven decades before that and today it's a shopping and dining complex centered on their "Chocolate Manufactory" and Soda Fountain. The retail shop is a good place to buy San Francisco-themed chocolates for the chocoholics back home.
The chocolate lovers in your family will enjoy the soda fountain treats, shakes and sundaes, which are more than big enough to share. Otherwise, you'll find a small shopping area and a couple of restaurants.
Pros and ConsA trip to Ghirardelli could easily overload the kids' energy meter, but it's also a fun place for a sweet vacation treat. To bring the bouncing-off-the-walls level back down to normal, head for the park just down the hill or hike up Hyde to the top of Lombard Street and back down again.
If you aren't interested in the chocolate or the restaurants, there's not much here that you can't find somewhere else.
More about Ghirardelli SquareGo in depth about Ghirardelli Square and what's nearby.
See where it is on a map. It's the medium-blue balloon with a black dot.