Ghirardelli Square

Ghirardelli Ice CreamBack in the 1960s, the remaining  19th century Ghirardelli chocolate factory building was vacant and slated for imminent destruction when the chocolate manufacturing business transferred out of town; a group of concerned San Franciscans stepped up, rescuing the grand old complex and creating within the factory walls a unique collection of over 40 exclusive, of-the-day shops and fine restaurants; their project opened officially to the public in 1964. Today, visitors to the fabled Fisherman’s Wharf area in the City by the Bay can still partake of a bit of that restored Old World ambiance with a stop at the lovingly restored landmark; all are treated to delightful squares of  Ghirardelli chocolate as they enter this beloved attraction where the intoxicatingly nostalgic perfume of warm waffle cone fills the air! Browse fabulously eclectic boutiques and upscale shops;  grab a twirly, red vinyl stool and  burger, shake and fries or treat yourselves to a classic local repast of expertly-prepared fresh seafood; a fantastic variety of choices offer tantalizing treats and first rate, locally-sourced fare. Absolutely convinced nothing but a huge, ooey –gooey whipped cream, cherry and colored sprinkle-topped hot fudge sundae served up in a tall, frosty old-fashioned parfait glass will do? This is the place-savvy travelers flock to the factory for the old-fashioned ice cream, alone. If ice cream isn’t on your menu, why not select a yummy bakery treat-or two- from the ice cream shop to nosh while you sip your choice of any of their famously delicious specialty drinks and enjoy breathtaking views of Alcatraz and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge? While you’re there, be sure to snap up an assortment of chocolates to stash for later!

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