The Castro District in San Francisco – LGBT Capital of The World

If you are visiting San Francisco, Castro District is unmissable! This lively neighborhood welcomes visitors with rainbow banners on flagpoles, storefronts and crosswalks. Welcome to San Francisco’s gay district and one of the most famous LGBT areas of the world!

Rainbow flags at Castro District

How to get to Castro District

Castro is located in the middle of San Francisco, easily accessible from downtown. The fastest way to get here is by Bart (San Francisco’s underground) but the coolest way to get to Castro is by catching one of the streetcars that run along Market St. Hop on one of the streetcars on Market and head down to Castro while enjoying views of the city!

Things To Do in The Castro

The best way of getting to know the area is by walking along Castro Street. Enjoy the brightly colored rainbow flags in every direction you look.

Learn about the area’s history by walking down the Rainbow Honor Walk that displays many plaques on the sidewalk that features people that fought for the equality and rights of the LGBTQ community.

Castro District San Francisco
Wells Fargo ATM covered in rainbow colors
Rainbow crosswalk at Castro
Rainbow cake at Castro Fountain Bakery

Shop in the district’s many vintage shops and try the rainbow cake at Castro Fountain Bakery.

When the sun goes down, the Castro truly comes alive! In Castro, that means happy hour. Get a drink in one of the areas diverse bars like the well known karaoke bar the Mint.

June is a special time here in Castro as thousands of people from all over the world gather here to celebrate the pride month. For inspiration, check out some cool pictures from 2019 San Francisco Pride Parade.

Pride at Castro District

The Castro Theater

The Castro Theater in the heart of the district and is the area’s best known landmark. Built in 1922 the theater was designed by Timothy L Pflueger who is also behind the designs of other similar buildings in California such as Oakland’s Paramount Theater.

The exterior of the building is decorated by beautiful arched windows, and very detailed ornaments throughout. The big neon sign “Castro” on the side of the building is hard to miss. It’s worth it to get a glimpse inside too! The building’s interior boasts ornate decor and small luxurious details.

Castro Theater

Castro theater schedule

The theater runs a variety of shows year round like movies and events with a multicultural focus. Many events at the Castro Theater also focus on the LGBT events such as the SF International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Check out the schedule for Castro Theater here.

Other Cool Neighborhoods Near Castro

The Pride House

What’s more, there are other great areas near the Castro District to explore. Mission District, which is famous for its beautiful street art and murals, is a short walk away and is easy to combine with a walking tour around Castro. I personally tend to combine these two areas whenever I’m wandering around this part of the city.

Dolores Heights

If you want to explore a little further, head to Noe Valley. Climbing over Dolores Heights can be a little tough but the views are definitely worth the climb. From Dolores Heights make your way down to Noe Valley. This month was my first time exploring Noe Valley and I cant recommend it enough! It’s a laid back neighborhood with a somewhat small town vibe, beer gardens, boutiques and local restaurants.

Street art at Castro District

Final Thoughts

You may have heard of Castro District before with its colorful history and architecture but there is so much more for you to discover especially when exploring on foot.

Castro is where San Francisco’s culture of love shines brightest!

What are your favorite things to do around Castro?
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