Progressive and celebratory, but also increasingly comfortable and wealthy, the Castro is the city’s centre of gay culture. Some people maintain it’s still the wildest place in town, others insist it’s a shadow of its former self. Many of the same hangouts remain from its 1970s heyday as portrayed in the 2009 film Milk, but these days they’re host to a slightly more conservative breed as cute shops and restaurants lend a boutique-like feel to the place. A visit to the district and its adjacent steep, manicured residential streets is a must if you’re to get any idea of just what San Francisco is all about – the liveliest time to stroll around is on Sunday afternoons, when the streetside cafés are packed.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

San Francisco features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Summer of Love: a journey through San Francisco 50 years on

Summer of Love: a journey through San Francisco 50 years on

San Francisco was the epicentre of the Summer of Love, a movement intent on changing the foundations of American society forever. Half a century later, Tamara…

04 Jul 2017 • Tamara Hinson local_activity Special feature
How to get your hippie on in San Francisco

How to get your hippie on in San Francisco

Born in California, the Summer of Love movement aimed at nothing less than transforming American society. And for a window of time, San Francisco was the centre…

26 May 2017 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
A day by day itinerary for the perfect weekend in San Francisco

A day by day itinerary for the perfect weekend in San Francisco

As inspiring and charismatic as its singular setting, San Francisco stands apart from other US destinations; in fact, you’ll struggle to find many places like…

17 Aug 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook