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The Castro district is one of San Francisco's most famous neighborhoods and known as San Francisco's Gay District. Before the 1960's the Castro was largely a working class Irish neighborhood; however, in 1963 The Missouri Mule opened up on Market Street (the Castro's first gay bar) and thus began the influx of gay men to the neighborhood. In the late 60's and early 70's there was an upsurge in the gay population in the Castro. As queer individuals began to recognize that they could be welcomed as part of a community for the first time, numbers in the Castro skyrocketed. Today, the Castro is still a hub for queer people and is perhaps the largest queer community in the country. Tons of gay bars, upscale sex shops, bakeries, cafes, and restaurants grace the streets of this vibrant neighborhood. The Castro Theatre on Castro street and Market is the center of the neighborhood and is a famous San Francisco institution. But you certainly don't have to be queer to live in or visit the Castro; it's simply a lively neighborhood full of history, gay rights activism, and some funky and unique shops. Below we have recommended some of the best places to check out, however, it's also fun to just walk up and down the streets going in and out of shops.

Utrip Tips

*The Castro Theatre
*GLBT History Museum (the first in the nation)
*The Hot Cookie Bakery
*Cliff's Variety Store
*Ike's Sandwiches
*The Squat and Gobble
*Best spot for SF Pride Celebrations

Open in Google Maps: Castro St. and Market St.

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