Great Places to Buy Gifts Traveling to San Francisco

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The holiday season is upon us! That means family time, cozy nights by the fire, baked goods…and scrambling to buy presents! But here’s an idea for you -save some time by grouping your holiday travel and holiday shopping!

If you’re traveling to San Francisco this holiday season, we’ve compiled a few local stores you absolutely must check out for your holiday gift needs. You’ll get to explore a new place, avoid the online shopping shipping wait, and best yet -by shopping small you’ll be supporting the local economy and small business owners!


If you’re looking to do your shopping in an adorable boutique that specializes in gifts, then you need to go to Picnic. This “urban emporium” located in the Russian Hill neighborhood is a self-proclaimed “wonderland of treasures”. You can find apparel and jewelry, eclectic home goods, and unique gift items. Picnic is currently offering free local delivery.

826 Valencia

826 Valencia is a non-profit organization serving under-resourced children with free writing programs. They run a store to support their mission, which carries three whimsical collections: The Pirate Supply Store, King Carl’s Emporium, and Woodland Creature Outfitters, LTD. You can find zany gifts for anyone with a sense of humor, especially kids, such as lumberjack repellent, temporary tattoos, and unicorn horn polish.


Neighbor, across the bay in Oakland, stocks home décor with a nostalgic, summer cabin vibe. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fishing lodge or a ranger station when you go to browse their selection of cozy home goods and artisan kitchenware. This is a great place to buy gifts for men and women alike!


Independent bookstores are such cornerstones of their communities and therefore great places to support! Get your holiday shopping done at one of these:

·        CITY LIGHTS Booksellers and Publishers in the North Beach neighborhood is a true San Francisco institution. It’s been around for 50 years -since beatniks used to meet there! Today, you can browse three floors full of books.

·        Black Bird Bookstore is located in the Outer Sunset neighborhood. This cute, modern shop offers free gift-wrapping to make your holidays a bit easier. They’re also known for their curated boxes of books and merchandise that each fit a particular theme, like Cooking, Poetry, Storytime, Older Kids, Garden, and many more!

San Francisco International Airport

Of course, if your hectic holiday has you rushing straight from the plane to a family gathering, you won’t have time to browse through the boutiques in downtown San Francisco. Don’t worry, the San Francisco Airport has you covered! This massive airport has a ton of options, but here are a few of the great shops you’ll find inside:

·        Compass Books, with locations in Terminals 2 and 3, is certified as both a local business and a green business.

·        District Market, in Terminal 3, is green-certified and carries souvenirs, books, and sundries.

·        Chalo and Greetings from San Francisco, both in Terminal 3, have San Francisco themed gifts.

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