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In the Castro


The Castro Theater on Castro Street, which runs through the Castro District

In a Nutshell...

Once known locally as "Little Scandinavia", the Castro District is now known world wide for something a little different. Starting in the 1970's, the Castro district became less an enclave of ethic minorities to one of sexual orientation minorities. Today, of course, it is often called the gay capital of the world. But despite its fame, its commercial district is surprisingly small. Castro Street itself, the main drag of the district, only has two blocks of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. There are neighborhood businesses spilling out onto the cross streets, but these peter out pretty quickly too. Most of the shops are mundane, day-to-day type of business that you can find anywhere, but there are more than the average sex shops selling items for those who have specialized needs. The Castro is also known for its stylish apparel stores where shoppers can find clothing and accessories that reflect the character of the neighborhood.


Looking down Castro Stree towards Market Street


The main landmark of the district is San Francisco's the grandest movie palace, the Castro Theater. Almost everyone agrees hearing its mighty grand Wurlitzer organ before the show starts is worth the cost of admission alone. Check the above link for listings and upcoming special events.


Another old neighborhood institution, just down the street from the theater, is Cliff's Variety Store, aka, The Gay Home Depot, which sells every must-have item from the kitchen sink to feather headdresses.


I feel pretty


At night, the bars open and the district becomes much more lively. This district is considered the hippest night club district in a very hip city.


The might fit me


To find the Castro all you need to do is follow Market Street away from the bay. From the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, Market Street makes a bee line towards Twin Peaks. Market Street ends when it hits the base of the hills and this is where Castro Street starts. You will know when you are in the district when you see all the gay pride rainbow flags on the street posts. There is a street car line that runs back and forth between Fisherman's Wharf and the Castro district. You will know this line since it is the only one that has the historic vintage street cars (not to be confused with the cable cars). While the district is definitely gay, all are welcome, regardless if straight or gay, local or tourist.


The Trolly Stop at Castro and Market Streets


View Castro Street Shopping in a larger map


Random Shots in the Castro...


In the Castro




On Castro Street




Just some shops on Castro

















bottem of the shadow


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