San Francisco is one of the most exciting cities in the world. From its beautiful city skyline to the major attractions, San Francisco has something to offer every visitor. Among the attractions and districts in the city, Castro is one of most vibrant and colorful districts in San Francisco. Also known for being a gay and lesbian community, you will be welcomed into a world of rainbow flags, which symbolizes LGBT pride, once you arrive.
Day time will be the best period to explore
Getting to Castro is easy with the efficient public transportation in San Francisco. You should take the historic trolley car, which is a fun experience, and alight at the end of the line. Bars will open at night, but daytime is the best period to explore the district when all the shops and restaurants are open. There are regular voluntary guides who hold a free tour around Castro, so if you would like to have a deeper understanding behind this place, join the tour. The guides do not expect payment, but you can leave a tip for him or her at the end of the tour, which usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours. One of the recommended tours will be by San Francisco city guides, where voluntary guides organize a free tour twice a week starting at 11am. Do check out their website for the dates on the available tours around Castro.
The long struggling history behind Castro
Castro has come a long way to become what it is today. At one of the crossroads, you will notice several pink pillars forming a triangle. This is known as the pink triangle which is to commemorate those who were killed by the Nazis because of their sexuality. If you follow one of those local tours, the guide will explain the significance of these triangles to you.
Castro welcomes everyone
Along the tour, you will also come across the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, and also the Harvey Milk café where one can enjoy a good meal! Harvey Milk was the first openly gay American politician who was elected. Sadly, he was assassinated and killed at the age of 48, less than 11 months after the election. Though it was not clear if the assassination was due to his sexuality, his death resulted in a protest in the city. It is noted that his existence left a deep historical imprint on the streets of Castro. The Harvey Milk cafe serves good breakfast, so get there in the morning to grab some food before you start exploring the district.
If you are thinking twice about visiting Castro because of safety, Castro is just as safe as any other part of San Francisco. Nonetheless, you still need to be careful of petty crimes, just as you would be in other places.
Castro is a welcoming place for everyone. You would see tourists, heterosexual couples with their young children, and solo visitors on the street, like all of the other major districts. No one is going to stare at you or approach you, in case you think they would. This is a completely safe and interesting place to visit!
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A beautiful old theatre
The Castro Theatre is one of the historic landmarks along the district, which was opened in 1922. You will spot it almost immediately, with its neon-light signage outside. The theatre features off-beat movies, musical plays, etc. Those who are interested should catch a show or play in the theatre, and prices for adults are priced at 11 USD. Seniors above the age of 62, and children below the age of 12 can purchase a discounted ticket for only 8.50 USD! However, do check their schedule online first to avoid any disappointment.
Besides the theatre, there is a famous store known as Hot Cookie, which is well known for its fresh-baked cookies. Buy one and munch on it along your walk through Castro!
Rows of beautiful houses
Houses are beautiful in Castro, and you will immediately notice differences, such as those painted in bright bold colors, and you can even spot some Victorian houses. Spend some time strolling along the residential section of Castro to envision the daily life of the locals. You can expect to spend around 2 to 3 hours within Castro.
An alternative place to visit
Castro is a beautiful district, decorated with rainbow flags along the street. It may not seem like a usual or welcoming destination to some tourists, but if you would give it a chance, you may start to notice how amazing this district can be.
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