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January 19, 2016

Your Arts & Culture Guide to the Castro

Visit the Castro, a neighborhood that welcomes friendly people of all stripes. Explore historical sites, enjoy a meal, and shop until you've worked up a thirst for one of its many bars and nightclubs. While exploring this easily accessible neighborhood, check-out the Rainbow Honor Walk, featuring 20 bronze plaques placed on the sidewalks honoring the heroes and heroines who were prominent in the LGBT community. No trip to the Castro is complete without stopping at Cliff’s Variety Store, a landmark shop that sells an eclectic mix of goods, including housewares, home furnishings, toys, and costumes. Shop like a local at Local Take, a San Francisco focused boutique that features art, clothing, accessories and gifts that highlight diverse aspects of the city, created by independent-local designers. Both shops host great opportunities to pick up unique gifts to take home to your loved ones.

Experience San Francisco's Queer Smithsonian
The first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States
The GLBT Museum, located in the heart of the historic Castro District, displays exhibitions featuring papers, photos, art and artifacts, ephemera and audiovisual recordings that span a century of queer history. Founded in 1985, the GLBT Historical Society is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of GLBT public history. The GLBT Historical Society holds one of the world’s largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical material.

A Park That Feels Like A Beach
On sunny afternoons people flock to the park to play, picnic, and lounge
One of San Francisco’s most popular parks recently received a complete make-over and now offers visitors lush green lawns shaded by tall palm trees, a soccer field, six tennis courts, one basketball court, a playground, a dog play area and a clubhouse. Dolores Park is located in the Mission and right around the corner from the Castro neighborhood. It’s known for hosting quirky festivals, performances, and cultural events for diverse patrons. The best photos can be captured at Church and 20th Streets where you can experience spectacular views of the city’s skyline--so don’t forget your camera! Bounded by Church, Dolores, 18th, and 20th Streets, the Muni Metro J-Church line runs along the park’s most western edge.

What's Happening At Harvey Milk's House?
It’s not a camera shop but it still supports human rights and the LGBT community
The San Francisco Human Rights Campaign Action Center and Store in the Castro District is located in the historic home of civil rights legend Harvey Milk. This is where Milk worked, lived and organized the political campaigns that eventually led him to be the first openly gay man elected into a major public office as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Whether you're visiting for the San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade or the Castro Street Fair, stop by and take home a wide spectrum of merchandise that features the signature Human Rights Campaign's equality logo.

Links to Help Plan Your Tour
Download the ItinerarySF Muni Schedule | San Francisco Travel Association

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