San Francisco is known to be one of the most tolerant cities in the United States, so much so that it was one of the first cities to have openly gay communities, and led the fight for equality in opportunities for the LGBT community. And we had the chance to tour around with Kathy, our guide on Cruising the Castro to learn more about the rich history of the neighborhood.

Even though all of San Francisco is “gay-friendly”, Castro is a worldwide staple of activism and gay pride.

cruising the castro review san francisco

Cruising the Castro in San Francisco.
Photo Credit: Dayana Barrionuevo

If you are planning on visiting Castro, my advice is to use public transportation as you will be in the heart of Castro and then you can walk and look around.
If you are going to tour around the morning is a great choice as there is few people walking out and about, if you want to experience nightlife then you could be starting at around 6PM.

About our tour, when we arrived, sharp on time there was Kathy and a few more people who would be our “walking fellow tourists” ready for a two hour tour. Kathy was very sweet and answered every single question we had, and we always have a bunch. She gave us historical information, talked about the people, the LGBT community and San Francisco in general. For instance we learned that there are over 80 LGBT flags
representing different subgroups of the community.
Another thing we learned, during The Gold Fever era there were many more men than women in the area, making homosexual relations much more common and open in the area, and that´s how the bandana in the back pocket sign started, because that was a signal for miners interested in other men.

There is a lot of graffitti and murals everywhere in Castro and you will enjoy the street art very much. We certainly did.
The Human Rights Museum is in Castro and is very interesting, and you will also learn a lot about Harvey Milk, who was one of the biggest activists of the cause.

All in all a nice tour that will be insightful, and once you finish you can stay in the neighborhood and eat or snack and have a good time. I hope this Cruising the Castro review (The Tour Website here) helps your trip planning. Let me know any questions I may answer too. You can also follow me on Twitter for more travel tips and reviews.