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Ghirardelli Square for the Holidays

Ghirardelli Square for the Holidays

Ghirardelli Square for the Holidays: A Festive Gem in San Francisco

Nestled in the heart of San Francisco, Ghirardelli Square illuminates the city with its festive spirit during the holiday season. This historic landmark, once the home of the original Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, transforms into a winter wonderland, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists.


Ghirardelli Square’s journey began in 1862, evolving from a woolen mill to the famed chocolate factory. Today, it stands as a testament to successful adaptive reuse, housing a vibrant mix of shops, restaurants, and a luxurious hotel​​.

Today The square today is a bustling hub of activity, offering an array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. With its stunning bay views, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a meal or indulge in the famous Ghirardelli ice cream and chocolates​.

Not to be Missed

During the holidays, Ghirardelli Square comes alive with a plethora of activities:

  • Movie screenings in Fountain Plaza, featuring holiday classics​​.
  • Concerts and entertainment, including live music and Hanukkah celebrations​​.
  • A variety of crafts and activities, from ornament decorating workshops to mistletoe making​​.

Location, Address, Website, and Hours

Located at 900 North Point Street, San Francisco, CA 94109, Ghirardelli Square is accessible daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more details, visit their official website at


Why You Should Visit

Visiting Ghirardelli Square during the holidays offers a unique experience that combines historical charm with festive joy. It’s an opportunity to create lasting memories with loved ones, surrounded by the magic of the season.

Did You Know?

  • Ghirardelli Square was the first successful adaptive reuse project in the country.
  • The square hosts a variety of events throughout the holiday season, from movie nights to live concerts, making it a dynamic destination for holiday cheer


Info provided by
Ghirardelli Square considered the first successful adaptive reuse project in the country, has a history that spans more than a century and covers three continents. 
This specialty retail and dining complex, housing shops, and restaurants, was originally a chocolate factory established by Domenico “Domingo” Ghirardelli. Born in 1817 in Rapallo, Italy, Ghirardelli served as a Genoa confectioner’s apprentice and at a young age developed a strong interest in the business. He left for Uruguay when he was 20 years old, then sailed around Cape Horn to Peru where he became a coffee and chocolate merchant. James Lick—Ghirardelli’s neighbor in Lima—left for San Francisco in January 1848 taking 600 pounds of Ghirardelli’s chocolate with him. He arrived just thirteen days before the first shiploads of gold rush pioneers. Lured by his friend’s tales of the gold rush, Ghirardelli joined Lick a year later and opened a general store supplying mustard, coffee, spices and, of course, chocolate.
Between 1852 and 1895, Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Factory was located at four different sites before the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company took over the Pioneer Woolen Mills on North Point Street—today’s site of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Manufactory & Soda Fountain and Ghirardelli Square.
In the 1960s the chocolate manufacturing operation was sold and transferred to San Leandro. A group of San Franciscans, fearing Ghirardelli Square might be demolished, purchased the property. Unique shops and restaurants were created within the old factory, combining the latest in retailing and fine cuisine with the flavor of old San Francisco. The project officially opened on November 29, 1964.
Today, Ghirardelli delights visitors with its lively retail mix, while maintaining Ghirardelli’s tradition as a trendsetter for the rest of the world. In 1982 the owners applied for and were granted National Historic Register status, a move that ensured the preservation of Ghirardelli Square for future generations.

Other Holiday Tour Destinations in San Francisco

PIER 39 Holiday Tree with Nightly Tree Lighting Shows Experience the holiday magic at PIER 39 in San Francisco, where a towering Christmas tree lights up the waterfront, offering a festive backdrop to a season full of joy, shopping, dining, and the famous sea lions

Fisherman’s Wharf for the Holidays -Fisherman’s Wharf celebrates with lighted fishing boats in the harbor, a Boat parade, and the Crab wheel sign light for the holidays

Experience the holiday magic at the Fairmont San Francisco with its life-sized Gingerbread House, crafted from thousands of gingerbread bricks and adorned with candy. A festive tradition that delights visitors of all ages.

Union Square Christmas Tree, Ice Skating Rink, and more – Take in one of the largest holiday displays in San Francisco including the 83-foot tree at the center of Union Square

Cable Cars are decorated for the Holiday Season: open to the public since 1873, this fascinating mode of transportation conveys visitors from Market Street to Beach Street, where Fisherman’s Wharf is less than a ten-minute walk away. Be sure to watch operators move the cable car on a turntable to point it in the right direction for the return trip to Market Street!

Experience the magic of the holiday season at San Francisco’s City Hall and Civic Center. 50′ Tall Holiday Tree with City Hall light up in holiday colors as the perfect backdrop.

Holiday Magic at Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco’s historic landmark, where festive lights, holiday movies, and the aroma of chocolate create a perfect holiday escape

Umbrella Alley All Holiday Lights and Sights Tours start at Umbrella Alley in Fisheman’s Wharf. Mural-filled alley with perfect backdrops for Instagram and Tik Tok. Located at 757 Beach Street near Hyde St.

Ghirardelli Square is part of the Holiday Lights Tours

Lucky Tuk Tuk holiday lights sites tour San Francisco

Holiday Lights & Sites Lucky Tuk Tuk Tour in San Francisco

Celebrate the season in a Tuk Tuk! Our 1.5 hour San Francisco Holiday Lights outings include yummy hot chocolate, candy canes, fuzzy Santa hats and plenty of sing-along holiday karaoke tunes on board.

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