Visit the Epicenter of Fun in San Francisco: The Legendary Castro District

There's lots to celebrate these days in The Castro, San Francisco's historically gay neighborhood. California's Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage, has essentially been overturned. And the Castro has been ground zero for what many have called this generation's biggest civil rights battle: the recognition of the right of marriage for all.

Although The Castro has a long and proud history of battling for gay rights (and may be best-known for electing this country's first openly gay supervisor, Harvey Milk), this neighborhood does not let politics get in the way of having a good time. No matter your political or sexual persuasion, this neighborhood is all about putting differences aside to make way for joy and fun. Remember the best rules for etiquette: never bring up religion and/or politics in social situations. And definitely don't be the stick-in-the-mud who wants to debate policy when the bass line is thumping, the Happy Hour is in full swing, and there's an endless dance floor just waiting for your best disco moves. So when you're finished with the necessary (but comparably mundane) tours and talks throughout San Francisco, put your best party outfit on and boogie down at one of our choice Castro nightclubs below. 

The Castro


Although it's in The Castro, Pilsner Inn could be located anywhere in San Francisco because it has that everyday bar feel to it. Big TVs for sports and lots of beers on tap, plus a garden patio that's surprisingly peaceful even on most...  Read More



The Cafe's motto is definitely "Go Big or Go Home." This large venue has been completely remodeled and features three full bars, a huge ance floor with LED "dance-grid," State-of-the-art sound system, twelve HD flatscreens, an open air patio...  Read More



When you need a break from the "traditional" Castro nightclub scene, head to Blackbird Bar. This crowd has vowed to "bring the neighborhood bar back," and the vibe at this modest but comfortable space is relaxing and always welcoming. Where...  Read More



This well-loved concert venue, also one of the hippest 18 and up dance clubs in San Francisco, is set in a 1907-era subterranean speakeasy and still exudes an alluring old-school ambiance. Deep red walls and Victorian-style mirrors surround a...  Read More

The Castro


If you're visiting The Castro on a Saturday night, its' best to sample as many nightclubs as possible. Pretend like you're desired guest, so many friends to see at so many different locations. However, if you've walked the hills of San Francisco...  Read More

San Francisco Badlands


There are Castro nightclubs, and then there is SF Badlands. If you're serious about taking in a true Castro night, then your first and last stop has to be SFBadlands. This is where the dancers go to dance, and the floor is packed almost every...  Read More

The Castro


If you're looking for a younger and livelier crowd in The Castro, head to Q Bar. Something's always stirring in this large, raucous atmosphere that features drink specials and dancing every night of the week, including Monday's 2 for 1 drinks...  Read More



Named after the home of Toad in the classic children's story "Wind in the Willows," Toad Hall was one of the first gay clubs in the Castro. It's run by the same management as Badlands, another Castro classic. The 2-1 cocktails from Monday...  Read More



If you've been to some of the younger clubs on the Castro strip, and your eyes and smarting from too many glow sticks and your head pounding from overamped bass, then head to Twin Peaks Tavern. There's still revelry here, to be sure, but it's...  Read More

Moby Dick Bar


Another venerable Castro club (not as old as Herman Melville, don't worry), Moby Dick is known for its 2 for 1 frozen margaritas. With a deal like that, even Ahab could forget about his white whale to drink, laugh and dance the night away at...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom