The historical Castro district in San Francisco has so much to offer. The first thing that probably comes to mind for most people when they hear of the Castro, is the rich history in the LGBT+ community and advancement of equal rights. Whether you are a member of the LGBT+ community or not, you would be doing yourself a huge disservice by not paying the Castro a visit.
I've put together a list of things you should check out and experience while you are in the neighborhood.
The GLBT Museum which is located at 4127 18th Street is a great place to get educated on the rich history of the LGBT community. According to their website, "The GLBT Historical Society collects, preserves and interprets the history of GLBT people and the communities that support them. Founded in 1985, we are recognized internationally as a leader in the field of GLBT public history." The museum also hosts a number of events which you can check out on their calendar. Admission is also free on the first Wednesday of every month!
One of the most fun things in the world is going to a Castro Theatre Sing Along! The Castro Theatre itself is a beautiful work of art built in 1922 which became a registered landmark designated by the City of San Francisco in the 1970s. It is also one of only a few theaters in the United States from the 1920s era still operating, so yeah, it's glam.
Every month, Castro Theatre hosts sing alongs to classic movies or musicals. When you arrive, you are greeted by the hosts of the event and given interactive swag (like bubbles, a crown, etc.) that fits the theme of the movie that is used as an audience with the movie. The lyrics are put on the screen to help out the lyrically challenged and it really is a blast.
Even though it is primarily adults that attend, it is family/kid friendly and even has a costume contest for kids and adults before the movie, which I'm proud to say I've won before! #KingTriton. You can check out the film schedule on the Castro Theatre calendar.
There are lots of dining opportunities in the Castro that range from a boozy brunch, to sit down tapas, to taquerias, to gourmet hot dogs. While yelp is always a handy friend, I've put together some of the places I like to go with links to the restaurant menu.
One thing the Castro is known for is nightlife. Originally, the bars and pubs in the Castro were the only place where LGBT folks could meet other people in the community in a relatively safe environment. There is literally something for almost everyone but I would recommend the following.
- Wine: Blush!
- Dancing: Badlands, Beaux, The Cafe
- Craft Cocktails: Blackbird
- Non-Traditional: Brewcade
- Beer: The Pilsner
- Patio Seating: Toad Hall, The Mix, The Lookout
- Sports Bar: Hi Tops
If you're out for a "Sunday Funday", a lot of sports teams will do beer bust and jello shot fundraisers for their teams as well as teams raising money for AIDS Life Cycle, so you can feel good about supporting a good cause while letting it all hang out. And if you are going to be in town this upcoming weekend, you'll be able to enjoy the Castro Street Fair on Sunday, October 2nd.
Hot Cookie! For all of you sweet tooth people out there, this is THE place for you! The venue may be small, but it's packed with amazing sugary masterpieces that explode in your mouth!
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