San Francisco day trip: Celebrate your individuality in the Castro District

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Skylar De Paul/Staff

In honor of Pride Month, the San Francisco day trip series is back to shine a prismatic light on one of the districts most important to the history and culture of the city — the Castro District, or the Castro. Nestled right above Noe Valley, the Castro is filled with unique character and vibrant life, as seen by the rainbow-striped crosswalks and flags spread out along the main street. On your day in the land rich with LGBTQ+ heritage and some of the cutest spots in San Francisco, make sure not to miss these Castro gems.

Drunk history: Twin Peaks Tavern

Twin Peaks Tavern is most famous for being one of the first public places in the Castro that allowed people to celebrate gay culture openly without feeling the need to hide their pride. While most gay bars and drag clubs in the 1960s and 1970s kept black paint on their windows, Twin Peaks Tavern was the first to remove the barriers and stop feeling the need to hide in 1972. Now one of the more popular gay bars in the district, this venue exudes a classy-but-fun attitude that anyone older than 21 can vibe with.

Fun flicks: Castro Theatre

If you’re looking for a nice place to catch a movie, the Castro Theatre is a gorgeous venue to sit back and watch a wide variety of films — from “Sound of Music” singalongs to the Frameline42 San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival that it hosts each year. This vintage theater is comfortable and conveniently located right next to our next destination, Hot Cookie bakery.

Sweet takes: Hot Cookie

With wall-to-wall magazine clippings of shirtless men and cookies with names such as the Basic Bitch and the Sticky Nikki, Hot Cookie bakery is prime for a sweet time. The small storefront is not hard to miss with the iconic neon sign out front alongside the store’s branded Hot Cookie boxers. If you’re looking for some phallically shaped baked goods, look no further.

New reads: Dog Eared Books

Lovers of cute bookstores, this one’s for you! Dog Eared Books holds diverse sections ranging from LGBTQ+ history and culture to world cookbooks, feminist coloring books and a precious children’s section to keep your little ones occupied while you shop! Aside from the books, the store has boxes and boxes of cute posters, vintage postcards, buttons and stickers to spend your time browsing through. Here’s another picture of the store below because it’s just that cute. 

Pride looks: Outfit Castro

Need that last-minute outfit for the Pride Month festivities? Castro Street is brimming with shops to fulfill your rainbow-accented needs 24/7. Stores such as Outfit Castro and Knobs have everything you could need to dress your entire squad to get ready for the most colorful Pride Month pictures you could ask for.

Paint the town: Insta-worthy everything

The entire Castro District is covered with bright color and scenic views — nothing short of perfect for a fun photoshoot with friends! While you may be busy exploring all the Castro has to offer, don’t forget to take in the gorgeous murals adorning the walls and beautiful scenery all around you.

Contact Skylar De Paul [email protected].