Things to do in
The Castro

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The Castro: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

1. San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

Following pickup, enjoy a 30-minute tour of San Francisco's waterfront where you will see notable landmarks such as Embarcadero, Levi’s Plaza, and Fisherman's Wharf. Enjoy a brief coffee break at the Ferry Building. Next, make your way to Pier 33 where you’ll board the ferry to start your Alcatraz Island tour. Listen to an audio presentation featuring recordings of inmates and guards that worked and inhabited the island.  Enjoy 2-3 hours on "The Rock" where you will have time for a guided tour and some free time to explore.  Take one of the late-morning ferries to San Francisco so you can join for the afternoon portion of your day tour. Cruise along San Francisco’s waterfront and the Marina District, and then visit the Palace of Fine Arts. Explore the culturally rich neighborhoods of San Francisco. Learn about what made the Haight-Ashbury, Mission, and Castro districts what they are today and why they’re important to so many. After a slow drive through Nob Hill and Chinatown, visit the charming Italian neighborhood of North Beach. Finally, enjoy a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and pause along the cliffs to admire the beautiful views of the “city by the bay”. Take in the spectacular beauty of Golden Gate Park before finishing your tour.

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San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

2. San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

Take a small-group day trip by bus around San Francisco. See the Golden Gate Bridge, spend time at the Muir Woods National Monument, and enjoy lunch in picturesque Sausalito. Meet outside Fisherman’s Wharf at your chosen tour time. After a brief roll call, you’ll board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 6 hours you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity and geography of the area. You will exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration, enjoying lunch in Sausalito and then spending over an hour in the beautiful Muir Woods National Monument. At the end of your amazing adventure, you’ll be dropped off at the same location where you boarded the bus.  Here are the places you will explore (photo stops noted by *): • Fisherman's Wharf - One of San Francisco's most popular destinations. From beautiful old shipyards, to Boudin's Bakery and the smell of fresh clam chowder, Fisherman's Wharf has it all • Chinatown - Boasting the largest Chinatown in the United States, this 24-block mecca is bustling with energy, amazing food and unique shops that give this area its charm • North Beach - Voted as one of the USA's ten great neighborhoods, North Beach is best known as the home of Little Italy. From delicious restaurants to authentic sidewalk cafes and bakeries, you will feel the charm of San Francisco as soon as you arrive • City Hall - This beautiful Beaux-Arts monument epitomizes the high-minded American renaissance of the late 18th and early 19th century. The site of Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe's marriage in 1954  • Pacific Heights* - Offering one of the most scenic outlooks in all of Northern California, Pacific Heights is home to Billionaire's Row, featuring the estates of politicians, tech titans and other San Francisco celebrities  • Presidio - Former military base, now a beautiful park that includes Crissy Field, Fort Point, Lucasfilm's headquarters and the Walt Disney Museum • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared "one of the 10 wonders of the modern world," the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco • Muir Woods* - Muir Woods National Monument is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful trees in the world. Many consider this stop to be the highlight of their trip. The National Monument entry fee is an additional expense to the paid on the day. • Fort Point* - Located just beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point gives you a front row seat to the Bay and is a great photo stop. This former military fortification was used during WWII • Tenderloin - Nestled near downtown San Francisco, the Tenderloin neighborhood continues to resist gentrification, all while spearheading the local arts movement. It's a must-see in this modern-day city • Sausalito* - Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge, this artistic enclave has the setting and beauty of a European mediterranean town. Enjoy your lunch on the San Francisco Bay • Lombard Street - All tour buses and vans are prohibited from going near Lombard Street, but you can be dropped close by at the end of the tour.

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LGBTQ Castro Tour: 2-Hour San Francisco Walking Tour

3. LGBTQ Castro Tour: 2-Hour San Francisco Walking Tour

This guided and intimate 2 hour tour lets you explore the diversity of the Castro community with a local resident and LGBTQ activist. You’ll relive the life and times of Harvey Milk, the slain Civil Rights leader and member of the San Francisco City Council. We’ll visit the part of the Castro where he lived and worked and served his community. In addition, visit the Harvey Milk Plaza, Milk's former camera shop, and the Civil Rights Academy. Stroll along the "Rainbow Honor Walk," a project honoring famous LGBTQs from history, and visit the Pink Triangle Memorial Park which honors homosexuals persecuted during WWII. You’ll also see the plaque dedicated to Vietnam veteran Leonard Matlovich. We’ll pass by the famous Castro Theater, the Hope for World Cure (AIDS) Mural and the LGBTQ Historical society.

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49 Mile GoCar Special - All Day For The Price Of 5 Hours

4. 49 Mile GoCar Special - All Day For The Price Of 5 Hours

Let a GPS-guided, talking GoCar be your guide during this exciting full-day tour of San Francisco. GoCar lets you experience the beauty of San Francisco and visit places tour buses cannot go – all at your own pace. Zip around in a cute, yellow, storytelling GoCar as it takes you on your own GPS-guided tour. The GoCar is easy and fun to drive and, since it's GPS-guided, it knows where you are – even if you don't. With you in the driver's seat, GoCar not only tells you where to turn, it tells stories that bring San Francisco to life. Follow the directions, or for those more adventurous, blaze your own trail. GoCar will show you the best of San Francisco from the urban parks to the golden beaches, Downtown and Chinatown. You take control of the pace and routes to create a memorable day on the streets of San Francisco. You'll see many of San Francisco's famous tourist destinations such as Pier 39, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Palace of Fine Arts. You'll be guided through some of San Francisco's most beloved neighborhoods, such as the Haight-Ashbury, the Mission, North Beach, and the Castro District. Explore at your own pace, stop for lunch along the way, and see almost all of the famous 49-mile drive past all the beaches, parks, and districts San Francisco has to offer. Let GoCar take you on the road less traveled today.

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Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

5. Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

Cross San Francisco Bay on a journey to the notorious Alcatraz Prison by ferry. This world-famous prison served as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 and housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the Birdman. Take the award-winning 45-minute Cellhouse audio tour and hear the tales of those who lived in Alcatraz. This tour brings history alive through the recounting of tales from correctional officers and prisoners. Your bike tour will take place the previous day at 11:00. On this 4-hour bike tour you’ll explore the back alleys of North Beach’s Little Italy and have up-close views of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Building. See Barbary Coast and San Francisco’s historic supper clubs. Find out how the neighborhoods have transformed from scandalous to sparkling.  You’ll ride around the Giants’ Oracle ball park, and into the culturally rich Mission, Castro, and Haight Ashbury neighborhoods. See ever-changing street art and the locals that rule each area and make each community unique.  Cruise Nopa and take in the charming Painted Ladies of Alamo Square before visiting the Civic Center. Ride through Polk Gulch, which is San Francisco’s original gay neighborhood, and finish your ride at Aquatic Park. The tour ends at festive Fisherman’s Wharf. Important note: All bike tours take place one day prior to your selected Alcatraz departure. The date and time selected on your confirmation is for your Alcatraz tour on the second day.

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Streets of San Francisco Electric Bike Tour

6. Streets of San Francisco Electric Bike Tour

Enjoy a half-day electric bike tour around the back alleys of San Francisco, exploring North Beach’s Little Italy district up-close. Get panoramic views of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid building, and much more. The flat route takes in the Barbary Coast and San Francisco’s historic supper clubs. Find out how the neighborhoods have transformed from scandalous to sparkling. Cycle around the Giants’ Oracle Ball Park, and into the culturally rich Mission, Castro, and Haight Ashbury neighborhoods. Look at the ever-changing street art scene, and see the locals who rule each area to make their communities unique. Go to Nopa, and take in the charming Painted Ladies of Alamo Square, before visiting the Civic Center. Pedal to Polk Gulch, San Francisco’s original gay neighborhood. Finish your tour with at look at Aquatic Park, before cycling to Fisherman’s Wharf.

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San Francisco: Private 2-Hour Tuk Tuk City Tour

7. San Francisco: Private 2-Hour Tuk Tuk City Tour

See the San Francisco sights you want to see and see them at a pace that suits your group with a private tuk-tuk tour. Your friends and family can cover more ground in an eco-friendly Tuk Tuk than they ever could on foot. Climb San Francisco’s tallest hills in this small but mighty vehicle. Marvel at the sparkling San Francisco Bay and city skyline, and enjoy the sights and smells of Fisherman’s Wharf. Your experienced, entertaining tour guide narrates your 2-hour excursion, stopping often for Instagram-worthy photos! Meet your tour guide in Fisherman’s Wharf. Private tours are perfect for 5 riders per Tuk Tuk (6 guests are ok with a group that includes children and adults). Larger groups can rent multiple Tuk Tuks to cruise around together. Tour highlights may include: Fisherman's Wharf, Dungeness crab stands, and picturesque fishing harbors, The Palace of Fine Arts, Fort Point located underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park (De Young, Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers), Haight Ashbury, The Castro and the Castro Theatre (optional stop), Mission Dolores Park and street murals (optional stop), Alamo Square and the Painted Ladies, City Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, War Memorial Opera House, Asian Art Museum, Union Square, Dragon’s Gate in Chinatown, and Lombard Street - the most crooked street (traffic permitting)

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Golden Gate Park: Full-Day Self-Guided Bike Tour

8. Golden Gate Park: Full-Day Self-Guided Bike Tour

On this full-day self-guided bike tour you’ll ride through the historic Haight Ashbury neighborhood, once home to peace, love, and the Grateful Dead! Check out the gorgeous Victorian homes you’ll see throughout the area before heading into Golden Gate Park. Inside the thousand-plus acre park, the opportunities are endless. Visit the Conservatory of Flowers, Arboretum/Botanical Gardens, Shakespeare Garden, and Japanese Tea Gardens. Lock up your bike and visit 2 world-class museums, the California Academy of Sciences and the DeYoung, before circling around Stow Lake. Head to the beach, and ride along the oceanfront bike path. Real adventurers can continue on to the zoo before heading back past the Bison paddock and Spreckels Lake. Other options include riding north along the coast by the Cliff House, Sutro Baths, and Land’s End to the Golden Gate Bridge. You could decide to explore Alamo Square, the Civic Center area, the Mission, and the Castro. You’ll ride with maps mounted on the handlebars, clearly detailing 3 different routes to choose from! 

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San Francisco 3-Hour Castro & Twin Peaks Urban Hiking Tour

9. San Francisco 3-Hour Castro & Twin Peaks Urban Hiking Tour

Make the most of San Francisco's unique geography and history on a 3-hour urban hiking tour and get breathtaking views with your workout. Explore the secret stairways, hilltops, and hiking trails of the city and discover hidden forests of eucalyptus and more. Whether you've been in San Francisco for 10 minutes, 10 days, or 10 years, you're guaranteed to see something new. This hike is 5 miles (8 kilometers) and takes 3 hours to complete in full. It is moderately strenuous due to hills and stairways, but for the active will provide alternative views of this Californian city for a unique San Francisco experience.

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San Francisco: Private Walking Tour of Castro and Mission

10. San Francisco: Private Walking Tour of Castro and Mission

Join this tour to explore Castro and Mission with a private guide, both known for their LGBTQ+ community and cool, artsy vibe. On this tour you will explore Harvey Milk’s ground zero and immerse yourself in the legacy of California’s first openly gay elected official. As you explore Castro, your local tour guide will teach you about the extraordinary protests and accomplishments of San Francisco residents. See the colorful streets and LGBTQ+ bars while you hear about how locals have affected positive change in feminism, peace, and LGBTQ+ rights. In Mission District, venture down Clarion Alley and admire urban graffiti and satirical political street art. Pop into the Mission Dolores to see the oldest building in San Francisco and fall in love with Missions buzzing cultural mix.

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Other Sightseeing Options in The Castro

Want to discover all there is to do in The Castro? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about The Castro

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 263 reviews

We did this tour on the first full day we were in San Francisco and we felt it was a great introduction to the city! Joseph was our tour guide and Archie was our driver and they made a great team with their combined knowledge from growing up in the area. Alcatraz was awesome and we were lucky enough to experience it during fleet week with the Blue Angels flying above us. Highly recommended activity!

Kathy, our tour guide and LGBTQ+ activist, was extremely knowledgeable and inspirational regarding the diverse community, past and present, in the Castro district. This is a very worthwhile tour for anyone interested in the LGBTQ+ community.

Our minibus tour was very informative and covered many of the famous landmarks in the Bay area. Would definitely recommend to others and will likely take another tour with Dylan's myself in the future.

A great overview of the sites and history of San Francisco. Our guide Sully was very knowledgeable and an excellent driver!

Jake was fun and informative. It was a great tour. Thank you