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The Castro, San Francisco

Get a true sense of the San Francisco vibe by visiting The Castro, one of the city's most colorful neighborhoods. The area rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s as the heart of the city's GLBT activist movement and culture scene, and to this day it remains a hub of relaxed atmosphere and liberal attitude. Visit the area's numerous clubs, cafes, and eclectic shops, see the sights, and immerse yourself in the local scene by visiting the GLBT Museum or the Castro Theatre. The area's famous nightlife makes it a major party destination. To gain even deeper knowledge of the neighborhood's history, look for the walking tours provided by the locals. Use our San Francisco route maker tool to add The Castro and other attractions to your San Francisco vacation plans.
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The Castro Reviews
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  • It's always a refreshing thing for those of us LGBTI folks who live in more provincial communities across the U.S. to be someplace where you are NOT the minority. Lots of history in this area, so read...  more »
  • This is the gay area in San Fran. It is easy to get there with public trans. It's one of the cleanest areas. Great stores and very friendly people. Really would go back.  more »
  • We were fortunate enough to visit San Francisco and stay with friends and even better be here for Halloween! The Castro area and its nightlife (and day too) was amazing and such a great, crazy and rid...  more »

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Where to stay in San Francisco

From inexpensive hostels in quiet residential areas to high-end hotels near the city center, San Francisco has accommodations for every budget. Key consideration is what kind of neighborhood you want to stay in. You'll find luxury hotels in Union Square, which has prime shopping, is near theaters, and is on the cable car line. Many hotels are in the northeastern portion of the city, near the tourist-driven neighborhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, both easily explored on foot. To get away from the tourist crowds, consider the smaller inns and family-run bed and breakfasts in some of the city's more charming neighborhoods, such as Noe Valley or Pacific Heights. There are also boutique hotels scattered around town. Avoid staying in the Tenderloin. If you plan to have a car with you, ask about parking availability and fees. Parking is often difficult and expensive.
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