Castro Neon Sign

Castro District

San Francisco Activities

Between Market and 18th Street is Castro District, San Francisco: the center of our city's gay community and a lovely neighborhood teaming with shops, restaurants, bars and other institutions that cater to the area's colorful residents. It is a hotspot where history from the last two centuries collides with the energy of modern-day San Francisco, making an area unlike any other in the city.

Among the landmarks are Harvey Milk Plaza, set at the former home and campaign center of the celebrated political and gay rights activist. Here you'll also find the Castro Theatre, a one of the great movie palaces that has lasted since silent film days of the 1920's—their dramatic "Mighty Wurlitzer" is still played before shows.

Originally founded by immigrants of various ethnicities in the 1880's, Castro began to acquire its status as a thriving gay community during the late 1960's and early 1970's, when residents departed a neighborhood called Polk Gulch, which still retains a number of gay-oriented bars and stores. As one of the city's liveliest streets, Castro is a perfect place to shop for gifts—and partake in a thrilling nightlife scene.

Walking Directions (about 15 minutes):
Depart Metro Hotel and turn right down Divisadero Street, after 4.5 blocks Divisadero turns into Castro Street, follow Castro for 6 blocks to reach the Castro District.

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