Diversity flag in the Castro, San Francisco

Castro / Upper Market

The Castro

Truly a place of acceptance, The Castro neighborhood of San Francisco became one of the first gay neighborhoods in the USA. As you stroll down the dip in the valley of Castro Street, with rainbow flags and gay pride symbols on most corners, try to look past the surface of the neighborhood, and really see the contentment and originality of the people living in this San Francisco pioneering area.

The Castro’s history hasn’t always been sunshine and happy-faces. Starting as a working-class immigrant neighborhood named Little Scandinavia, The Castro gradually morphed, through the 1960s and ‘70s, into the San Francisco gay-pride neighborhood we know today.

During the ‘80s, sadly, The Castro was devastated by the AIDS epidemic. As evidence of its resiliency, though, monuments such as the AIDS quilt have spawned from this tragedy.

Fast-forward to today, and The Castro is not only a thriving San Francisco neighborhood with interesting, vibrant people – it also includes attractions, such as the location of Harvey Milk’s old camera shop, Castro Camera, and the Twin Peaks Tavern (the first openly gay bar in the USA), and a few drinking establishments that feature – how do we say this – “entertaining videos” you have to see to believe.

If you travel to the end of Market Street using the F-line (a S.F. public transportation route), instead of closing your mind to this one-of-a-kind neighborhood called The Castro, we say open your mind and have a gander.

Where else, besides The Castro in San Francisco, can everyone feel accepted? Step outside your cultural boundary and enjoy this neighborhood treasure.

Castro Intersection

How Do I Find The Castro?

  • The Castro is easy to find. Just ride the F-Line (a public streetcar) away from the Ferry Building to the end of its route near the corner of 18th and Castro Street — Viola! You just found the neighborhood.
  • Use public transportation routes 24, 33, 35, 37, the F-Line, underground K, L, M or T, or you can walk to arrive here — although from Union Square we don’t recommend it. For a traveler, Market Street can be a busy and stressful promenade.
  • To reach Castro Camera from Union Square you can ride the underground K, L, M or T (20 mins) or take the F-Line (20 mins).
  • Notable landmarks and spots near/in The Castro include Hot Cookie, Orphan Andy’s, The Castro Theare, Badlands (for nightlife), Dolores Park, Mission Dolores, Twin Peaks, Philz Coffee and the LBGT Museum.

Castro Theatre

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

Feel free to visit The Castro anytime day or night. You’ll see in no time it’s a warm, loving and special place full of wonderful and caring residents. It’s a treasure not only San Francisco, but in America as a whole.

Location of The Castro