History of Castro District

About Castro District

You can enjoy a variety of fun activities both day and night in this city. There is a lot to do in this city including a walking tour, trying out some local cuisine, taking a break in one of its many parks, or just having a drink and getting to know the people.

This area of San Francisco is internationally known for its support of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community, which is highly prevalent in the Castro district. Harvey Milk, who was one of the most important gay rights activists of the 1970s, lived in this progressive and accepting neighborhood.

It was once a farming community that was surrounded by dirt roads and dairy farms, but now this area has become one of the city’s most thriving and cohesive communities, filled with an array of fashionable cafes, bars, and shops so popular that patrons spill out onto the streets. Following the 1887 completion of the Market Street Cable Railway, which connected Eureka Valley, as it was known then, with the rest of the city, Irish, German, and Scandinavian immigrants began flooding the outer reaches of San Francisco in search affordable land, which eventually became suburbs. As a result of the friendly and generous homesteaders who built beautifully crafted Victorian homes for their large families, today’s residents have somewhere to pour their money, and the vast majority of classic houses in the neighborhood have been lovingly restored to their former glory.


Castro residents took the unusually large windows of the Twin Peaks bar at Market and Castro streets as proof that they were sure of their gay identity thanks to the activism of the ’60s and ’70s. However, there were tensions and violent clashes with the police, and during the 1970s, Harvey Milk, an openly gay San Francisco supervisor, was assassinated, which was a turning point for the gay community. AIDS and Milk’s Death brought the gay community together and enabled almost everyone to be activists; the Castro became more than open about its thriving gay and lesbian community; it became a place for celebration.

Apparently, the Castro’s queer identity is today itself the enticement to throngs of tourists from all over the world, who flock to this historic spot. It has been discussed for a long time that since the introduction of F Market Streetcar, which shuttles unwittingly loyal Midwestern families down from Fisherman’s Wharf, locals of the gayest place on earth have lamented its demise and dilution. However, the unprecedented proliferation of stores selling adult accessories, ahem, with neon signs proclaiming “Lube 4 Less” reveals even to the uninitiated the fact that there is an established community here.

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Is Castro District safe?

Without a doubt. It’s actually one of the safest districts in San Francisco due to the strong sense of community it has. In the center of the Castro there is a flurry of activity and walking traffic that makes it a lively and enjoyable neighborhood to stroll around. There are many opportunities for children to spend time outdoors in this part of the city as it has warmer, sunnier weather than western parts of the city, and it has many options for outdoor recreation, so they have lots of opportunities to spend time outdoors. On your first visit to the community, you can see immediately that the community takes the concept of having fun to the streets all the way down to the names of some of the bars, restaurants and shops in the area. 


a concrete garden walkway