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“We loved this area”
Review of The Castro

The Castro
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The Castro: Historical Walking Tour of San Francisco's Gay & Lesbian District
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Radical SF: Castro and Mission Districts
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Mini Majestic Electric Bike Tour
Ranked #54 of 562 things to do in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed 22 May 2014

The two of us went on a shopping spree for a gay friend of ours and loved this area. Very friendly and has a great buzz about it. If back in San Fran ever we will certainly go back.

Thank CorneliusfudgeGM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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290 - 294 of 784 reviews

Reviewed 20 May 2014

Great to go on the wild sf walking tour and see this place and really learn the history. Amazing stories of Harvey Milk here. I'd definitely get a guide though as you wouldn't necessarily be able to find out the history as you walk around. Lots to see here, twin peaks and etc. the hot cookie bakery is here too, which is great for a after walk rude snack.

Thank 24JessicaW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014 via mobile

I don't get people saying there is nothing here. The area is chock full of locally owned shops and restaurants, bars, clubs, parks, LGBT history, charming architecture, and more. My best friend and I spent an entire day exploring this neighborhood starting with brunch, then walking around, popping into Sweet Inspirations for a treat and go begin a guided walking tour of the Castro. Afterward we got pedicures together to heal our feet from the hills. We also went vintage shopping and checked out the LGBT History Museum. By the time we finished all this it was after 6:00pm. Since we were lucky to be staying in the neighborhood we did dinner and went out later as well. I truly felt by staying here versus downtown or the more touristy areas I was able to experience more of what makes the city San Francisco. Also the area was wonderfully diverse for a gay neighborhood.

1  Thank White2tn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

If for no other reason simply to see what all the fuss is about. Neighborhood like any other except this one is known for the main gay area of San Francisco. Nothing special here unless you enjoy sitting in a theater having a sing along to the movie Frozen.

1  Thank dyna47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

OK. Let's start by having you forget the Castro depicted in the film about Harvey Milk. Significant changes have taken place since then. First, increased gentrification. Second straight people with young children peacefully coexist with the LGBT community and are often its best friend. I see this as a good thing - come a long way from the gay ghetto of the 70's.

The Castro, blessed with a mild microclimate thanks to Twin Peaks keeping the fog at bay - er on the ocean side of town, has become a bit of an expensive enclave for locals - as if San Francisco isn't already expensive enough. Regardless, there is something there for everyone. But, please bring your open mind when you visit. There are still a few extreme, shall we say, factions which allow all of us, residents and visitors alike, to witness first hand the "freedom" some choose to display. Those of us who live here - in the area - hardly give anything a second look, something that might cause a visitor from Mobile to stop, look and scratch their head.

Some say it is progress, although I'm not sure. The Castro, once thought of as the area around 18th & Castro Sts, is now well underway pushing itself closer to the newest area of gentrification - mid-Market. (e.g., Twitter headquarters in the old mart building)

Amid the new condos and apt buildings lining Market St above Octavia, one finds really good dining, like the new seafood restaurant Pesce. For the more budget minded, try the Firewood Café on 18th St between Collingwood and Diamond. Order your own choices from the menu on the blackboard, and a server will bring it to you.

There are walking tours for those who want to learn more about the area's richly varied history. Or, just wander on your own from 19th & Castro, then at 17th bear right and the commercial district continues eastward to 15th St (for now).

A word of caution as I write this. Castro St between 17th and 19th is under construction now (May 2014). Among other things, sidewalks are being widened - something that was badly needed. It's kind of a mess right now, although the city has promised it will be completed before gay pride week in June.

IMHO, it is THE capital of people watching anywhere - except for the likes of La Rambla in Barcelona or the sidewalk cafes in Rio's Copacabana and Ipanema neighborhoods.

Oh, and a final word about Harvey. His camera store is now an HRC proceeds store (Human Rights Campaign). Harvey's is a bar and restaurant at 18th & Castro, formerly "The Elephant Walk."

BTW, the "F Market" vintage streetcar line (NOT the cable cars) runs between the Castro and Fisherman's wharf running on Market St and the Embarcadero. It's a great ride, and you'll see a vast amount of the city from the streetcar.

10  Thank Mark L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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