Clubs & Bars
Around the Castro District, you’ll find a whole host of gay bars and clubs. 440 Castro welcomes tourists as well as locals and features gogo boys, daily happy hours and a special underwear night every Monday. Esta Noche attracts a diverse clientele with its gay, Latino drag appeal. Midnight Sun is widely renowned as a pioneer in the video bar industry and features entertainment on the screens all night long. If you want to get a little more adventurous, pay a visit to Blow Buddies, the city’s most famous sex club, or The Hole in the Wall for a raunchy time.
Harvey’s on Castro Street is a gay bar that doubles as a restaurant. Serving a variety of different foods and with happy hour from 3-6pm every day, it has become a symbol of the gay Castro District and is a favorite among the gay community. If you like a bit of entertainment while you eat, check out AsiaSF featuring world famous transgender stars that perform hourly and serve you a popular blend of Cal-Asian food.
Gyms & Saunas
Fitness SF on Market Street is labeled the “quintessential queer gym” and is recommended by locals. Members love their yoga classes and the steam room is among the cruisiest around. There’s also another Fitness SF on Brannan Street that has been branded the “gayest gym on Earth”. Kabuki Springs & Spa is a relaxed and exotic bathing facility, Japanese-style. Featuring a sauna and steam room, a hot pool, a cold plunge and Japanese seated baths; it provides an almost magical experience to visitors.
Things to Do
There are many things to do in San Francisco beyond partying and one of the absolute necessities is to visit Twin Peaks. Accessible by foot if you use the Stairways of San Francisco, or the 37 bus, the view from Twin Peaks extends from the Golden Gate Bridge to San Jose. If you really want to take in some culture on your trip, pay a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art which features an incredible collection of art in a stunning building. The Colt Tower is another building of interest, designed to look like the nozzle of a firehouse and offering spectacular views from the top. Of course, no trip to San Francisco is complete without taking a walk (or a bike ride) across the Golden Gate Bridge.
San Francisco is home to many gay-specific stores and boutiques. A Different Light is the go-to store for gay publications and literature if you enjoy reading; while Does Your Mother Know carries a variety of different gay bric-a-brac items. Under One Roof has raised over $11 million for people living with AIDS through selling a wide range of gay merchandise. Worn Out West is a value clothing store selling new, used and custom leather clothing and accessories, along with jeans, boots and other garments. Take a walk through the Castro District and you’ll find a wide array of different stores carrying all kinds of merchandise, both gay-specific and not.
A lot of options for accommodation in San Francisco are gay friendly. If you want to stay in the center of the action, staying somewhere in Castro would be ideal but hotels are few and far between. Beck’s Lodge is a basic motel in the Castro District that had a reputation in the 70’s but has since tamed. The Parker Guest House is a 21 room guest house also located in the district with a wine social every afternoon. The Clift Hotel, Castro Suites and Village House are other options you may want to explore.