Fountain in Ghirardelli Square.

Willy Wonka would tip his hat to Domingo Ghirardelli (gear-ar-deli), whose business became the West’s largest chocolate factory in 1893. After the company moved to the East Bay, two sweet-talking developers reinvented the factory as a mall and landmark ice-cream parlor in 1964. Today, the square is getting comfortable in its third incarnation as a boutique luxury time-share/spa complex with wine-tasting and a new cheese-making school – care for wedge of Mt Tam and some merlot with your Ghirardelli chocolate sundae?

The square is lately looking even spiffier, with local boutiques such as elizabethW, plus a new minigolf operation, a brewpub and the nearby Cartoon Art Museum.