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San Francisco’s Sweetest Treat: The Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival
One of the best CityPASS values for visitors to San Francisco is the Muni & Cable Car 7 Day Passport. It gives a CityPASS holder unlimited transportation on Muni for seven consecutive days – and that inlcudes unlimited cable car rides (it’s normally five bucks for a one-way trip). And a cable car is the perfect way to ride in style to the 16th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival, taking place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11, at Ghirardelli Square.
The square is named for Domingo Ghirardelli, who came to San Francisco during the 1849 Gold Rush and made his fortune not in mining, but by selling chocolate. And Domingo’s square gets especially sweet for this annual chocolate festival, a benefit for Project Open Hand, a San Francisco based organization that provides meals for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as senior citizens and homebound critically ill persons.
To get there, just take the Powell-Hyde cable car from the heart of the city (aka Union Square) to the very end of the line at Hyde and Beach. Then it’s just a hop and a sweet skip up Beach Street, past the street vendors peddling their arty wares, to Ghirardelli Square – home to the world-famous Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop.
During the weekend festivities, thousands of attendees will partake in delicious and decadent bites of various chocolate concoctions, as well as sip-worthy samples of wine from a variety of vendors. Chef demonstrations (chocolate! cupcakes!) and ice-cream-sundae-eating competitions for all ages round out the weekend events – not to mention live music and live painting.
And if anyone needs an excuse to bite into a piece of the good stuff, according to recent published reports, both wine and chocolate (in moderation) are supposed to be great for your body, mind and heart. So not only is the 16th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival for a good cause, it's good for you, too.