Castro District, San Francisco

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 47 Reviews

Castro and Market Streets

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  • Castro Theater on Castro Street
    Castro Theater on Castro Street
    by Jefie
  • the Flag!
    the Flag!
    by machomikemd
  • Welcome!
    Welcome!
    by machomikemd
  • Geisha_Girl's Profile Photo

    The Pride of San Francisco: Our pal Dave!

    by Geisha_Girl Written Jun 30, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dave says,

    One of our good friends was volunteering with his Rugby Team during this event.

    Dave is the one on the left.......some of you VTers have met Dave already. Dave is "straight" as an arrow but supports the fabulous fellas on his Rugby team when trying to raise funds at one of the booths during the celebration.

    Way to go Dave! (okay, disregard the fact that he was at the Jose Cuervo booth where he was "lit up" with free tequila shots all afternoon....Dave really is a TEAM PLAYER!)

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    The Castro 1

    by Tami_G Written Jun 15, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Castro Theater

    The Castro is a very vibrant and colorful neighborhood (it's the gay neighborhood). It's full of rainbow flags and I think it's worth visiting to get a bit more of the feel of this great city where everyone can be different. It's got the Castro theater which shows independent movies. It's just nice to walk thorugh the streets and see all the pretty houses and friendly people around.
    We had lunch at a place called Harvey's and we really enjoyed it.

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    The Pride of San Francisco: The After-Parties

    by Geisha_Girl Written Jun 30, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Post Parade Party you'll find us at the Zuni

    After spending a gorgeous sunny afternoon at the Civic Center celebration, the natural place to flock is to the Castro area for a late afternoon cocktail and more people-watching.

    Zuni Cafe is "one of those places we go when we want to feel good about life and don't want to get dressed up to celebrate it." When the day is unusually sunny and bright and we're thinking of a crisp cool cocktail, the Zuni is the place for it.

    Cool, good-looking crowd.....and a dressed up bar that serves killer Bloody Marys and of course.....mojitos!

    Best place for us to unwind after being surrounded by such *fabulousness* at the Gay Pride Event.

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    The one and only Castro District

    by Jefie Written Oct 6, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Castro Theater on Castro Street
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    Pretty much everyone has heard of the Castro District as the world's most famous gay neighborhood, and I for one was very curious to see it. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but I was thinking something along the lines of Montreal's gay village, only bigger and perhaps even funkier. However, I was a bit surprised to see that apart from a few rainbow flags, the Castro is a pretty down-to-earth, mostly residential neighborhood. It's a really charming area, with plenty of nice little cafes on Castro Street, but I'm guessing that a lot has changed since the days Harvey Milk used to run his camera store. It's still worth stopping by if only to enjoy the fun and casual atmosphere around Castro Street, but it seems to me like Montreal's "Le Village" has more to offer in terms of diversity and culture.

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    The Castro

    by sarahandgareth Updated May 26, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Castro Theatre

    The Castro is without a doubt the most famously gay area on the planet, a small slice of real estate that is now predominantly gay-owned and populated. It's pretty-boy heavy, as even the Castro's own web presence might imply (Valencia St in the Mission, a short-ish walk away, has a more lesbian-oriented collection of businesses).

    The Castro is very much on the tourist trail, but there's not, per se, all that much to see in terms of buildings and so forth: the area's claim to fame is the fact that gay people are very much in the majority, and while straight people are more than welcome to visit, they should be respectful of local mores. Tolerance wasn't always the byword: when the gay population became increasingly vocal in the 1970s, other residents fled more or less en masse.

    Harvey Milk Plaza may well be where you arrive by MUNI subway, and that's appropriate, since no-one is more closely identified with the struggles of San Francisco's gay and lesbian community. Milk, the city's first gay Supervisor, was assassinated in 1978, along with Mayor George Moscone. There are shadows of other traumas, too, such as the storefront dedicated to the AIDS quilt just next to the Castro Theater, a beautiful old building.

    There are plenty of other interesting stores, too, especially if you're interested in costumes, leather gear, or adult paraphernalia, or, on the somewhat tamer side, books with gay themes at A Different Light.

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    The Castro

    by Tami_G Written Jul 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    @ The Castro

    If you are gay: visit the Castro!
    If you are not gay: visit the Castro also!
    Visiting the Castro neighborhood is another SF experience. It's a really nice area with beautiful houses, more friendly people, lots of shops, and rainbow flags!

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  • the Capital of the gay world

    by Manyana Updated Oct 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Castro
    1 more image

    or so was i told!

    a few years back, i always loved the rainbow colours, then discovered it was the peace flag, then little by little it was 'converted' to be the gay flag, i wonder in the next years who will claim it again? :D

    this district is usually very crammed and crowded over summers for the famous San Francisco Pride - one of the must-see event in the bay area

    this place is surprisingly - at least to me - very expressive of the sexuality of the gay community in SF or perhaps in whole california! rainbow flags are everywhere, all men walking hand in hand no exception, and the commercial ads all say one line 'Are You Gay. com'! though haven't see any women really!

    another interesting point besides the expressiveness level, california state still considers gay marriage to be illegal regardless of how gay-friendly it can be. domestic partnership is benefit-restricted for gay couples compared to the marriage benefits.

    this very contradictory and interesting!

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    A fun, unique neighborhood

    by USCgirlie Updated Mar 22, 2006

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    The Castro district is famous worldwide for being a very tolerant, liberal, and accepting area for homosexuals. This is the place where the annual San Francisco Gay Pride parade is held every year, as well as the Castro Halloween gathering. However, don't let this stop you from visiting if you are heterosexual. It is a fun, colorful neighborhood with lively cafes, unique shops, and just a wonderful energetic atmosphere. You can reach the Castro district via the L, N, K, and J lines easily from downtown (just a few stops away from Powell Station). It is the liveliest on the weekends!

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    Castro Theatre at Christmas

    by makiro Updated Jul 14, 2006

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    The wonderful Castro theatre is great to visit anytime of the year, but they have special classic and more recent holiday films in December (Nightmare before Christmas, Miracle on 34th St, Its a Wonderful Life, etc.).

    But the best part is before the movie, they often play 15 minutes of holiday songs on the wurlitzer organ that magically rises from the below the stage. The Castro's interior is very diverse and has Spanish, Oriental and Italian influences. The auditorium seats over 1400 people. The theatre was built in 1922 and features murals inside.

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    Gay Mecca . . . Sort Of

    by PVHS02 Updated Mar 11, 2007

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    The entire city of San Francisco has this laid back feel to it that makes you feel welcome, no matter who you are. But what I found most appealing was that it was a place where people felt comfortable being themselves. The Castro district seemed to exemplify that feel of the city, at least for me. Not to mention, it was very colourful.

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  • cheap_tourist's Profile Photo

    The Castro

    by cheap_tourist Updated Jul 20, 2005

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    Castro Theatre

    I first learned about the Castro District from the Travel Channel's feature on San Francisco. It's interesting to know that there is a place where gays and lesbians predominate--a distinct community.

    I have been to this area several times before but I have never felt at ease. I always worry that I may be breaking some taboo that I don't know about. For example, I don't just take pictues left and right because I may be stepping on other people's privacy. But, hey, it's just me. I am sure that the Castro, with its unique shops and restaurants, is a wonderful place to explore at leisure.

    It is easy to go to the Castro. Take the "F" vintage streetcar; its terminal, which is not Fisherman's Wharf, is the Castro.

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    Gay Pride in San Francisco

    by mydreamquest Written May 29, 2005

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    Castro and Market Street

    Landmarked by the avante garde Castro Theatre, which plays avante garde movies of yesterday and today, this area represents the central hub of San Francisco's influential Gay/Lesbian community.

    I first lived on Hartford Street, one block away from here back in 1980, and, it hasn't changed that much. In fact, 3 or 4 blocks down on 17th and Church Street, I went to Everett Middle School. My Homeroom Teacher used to teach O.J. Simpson when he went to school there.

    Around the time I arrived in San Francisco, the AIDS epidemic hit hard. There many poignant stories of people lost, and as I walked down 18th Street, I felt the ghosts of those many Gay Americans who died of AIDS. There's a specialness to me about the Castro District. If you walk about it at night, there's even a sort of New England haunted November feeling about it.

    Moby Dick on Hartford and 18th is where I seriously injured myself while learning how to skateboard. It's a special place. Walk around the Castro, start off at the ironical Chevron Gas Station (incidentally where many gay bashing occurred, the perfect metaphor of Corporate Conservatism attempting to Pacify alternative methods of expression).

    A great movie to watch which gives meaning to Gay Pride is "The Life and Times of Harvey Milk." A documentary of the United States first openly gay politician.

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    Gay, bi, straight, trans, metro or just curious...

    by jglsongs Updated Apr 17, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the Castro

    Castro may be synonymous with rainbow flags, but it's more than just the GLBT Capital of the World: Castro is a very typical San Francisco neighborhood- eclectic architecture, shopping, eating, walking, hills, views, and streetcars.

    The landmark structure, the Castro Theatre (which I wish the management would brighten up the marquee) is the heart of the Castro neighborhood. Their website is www.thecastrotheatre.com and features a live Wurlitzer organ.

    By day or night, there's a lot of life going on.

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    The curiosity of The Castro.

    by worldkiwi Written Sep 14, 2007

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    The Castro, San Francisco.

    Any visit to San Francisco wouldn't be complete without a wonder through the neighbourhood called The Castro. What most surprised me about this area was how suburban it felt. The second interesting thing about this neighbourhood is that it has heaps of good restaurants that aren't very expensive. In fact, if the prices of inner city restaurants are giving you worries, head out here on the subway or bus and eat well, for reasonable prices. On my way back from the nearby Mission District on foot, I stopped here for a Japanese dinner that was excellent. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the restaurant.
    Apart from the restaurants there isn't much else to do in The Castro, but a visit there adds to one's collection of San Francisco experiences.

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    Friendliest People in town

    by fonseca_1404 Written Jun 27, 2006

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    The Castro district (the main gay district) - I met some of the nicest people there on my trip. It was the only place where I stood with my map in my hands (disorientated again) where someone came up and asked me if I needed help. Again, just really interesting to wander up and down the streets and have a coffee. Some nice health food shops in this area also. There are some great muriels on some of the walls and a really old movie theatre if you're interested in architechture.

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