San Francisco will wow first-time visitors with stunning seaside beauty, hilltop parks, and a certain suspension bridge spanning the epic bay. The city’s status as a gay mecca is well-deserved: gay activism in the 60s and 70s has established San Francisco as a coastal cultural haven, producing an array of neighborhoods, bars and lifestyles to suit many alternative tastes.
The largest gay neighborhood in San Francisco is the celebrated Castro District. It’s accessible by streetcar (those cute little trolleys you’ve surely seen in photos) from downtown on the bustling Market Street. The giant rainbow flag fluttering over Harvey Milk Plaza on Market and Castro Streets marks the colorful area containing untold numbers of gay-run bars, restaurants and shops. Walk the streets and check out this gayboorhood before checking into your misterb&b!
Outside of the Castro
While the Castro is the most well-known neighborhood, South of Market, typically referred to as SoMa, provides a more alternative scene that gay San Francisco is recognized for. The neighborhood is nearby downtown and a hop skip and a jump from the Ferry Plaza which will take you to the surrounding Bay area by boat.
Home to the Folsom Street Fair!
San Francisco hosts an assortment of gay events throughout the year, but the most celebrated is the infamous Folsom Street Fair held in late September. Thousands of leather-clad fetish fans bring their wildest fantasies to a weekend-long street fair with debaucherous parties every evening.
For the fainter of heart, San Francisco Pride is held the last weekend of June and features a street parade and many performances from top LGBT icons, while the Frameline SF International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival brings queer cinema to this iconic city.