8.8 out of 10

20th St, Castro District

Ranked 1st best street in Castro District
37.7578597022847 -122.431821077015
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
Not great for
  • Shopping Options
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"The Beach Without the Ocean"

Church Street at the border with Castro and Mission is all about Dolores Park. Dolores Park is the beach with everything except the sea. On warm days—which as true San Franciscans know doesn’t mean the summer necessarily given our finicky weather—Dolores Park fills with sun bathers looking for the perfect tan. People often knock Nor Cal for not having any good beaches, but So Cal does not have Dolores Park. I would argue that Dolores Park is better than any beach in Nor Cal for sun bathing.

Plus, what those other beaches north and south don’t have (except maybe Venice from what I have heard) is the diverse mix of people we get at Dolores Park. First, of course, you get the pretty gay boys that come over from neighboring Mission. They have no interest in a girl like me, not even as a shopping buddy, but they are friendly and great to just to eaves drop on—no one knows how to gab like the effeminate guys from Castro. You will also get your share of Butchy moms and older gay dads who come with kids (usually a rainbow coalition of children that not even Jesse Jackson couldn’t hope to match).

Second, you get the Mission beatniks and crazies who come over either to hit on you or to try to sell all kinds of less than legal and often unidentifiable substances. Sample at your own risk—not everyone comes back from some of the trips they started in Dolores Park. They are mostly harmless however and some are the truly talented artists and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Watch for the Butterfly Man, a guy in a butterfly costume who likes to ride around Dolores Park doing all sorts of crazy stuff.

Finally, the cute college guys. Dolores Park is better than any single’s bar because you can get a good look at the guy and his friends, and you can actually hear what they are saying, even over the usual blend of Grateful Dead and weird alternative beats.

There is also a great ice cream place on the north side of the park that people literally line up for. Great place to take the newbie you just met at the park—they say nothing mimics falling in love like chocolate ice cream.

I wouldn’t want to be a student at the high school on the northern end of the park. I would never make it to class with this park right next door. It would be like a surfer trying to go to school in Santa Cruz.
Pros
  • great for sunbathing
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
  • FABULOUS!!!
Cons
  • druggies and some odd balls
  • a little dangerous late at night
  • not for the uptight
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
2yrs+

"One of the City's Best Spots"

This is THE best park in San Francisco, not to mention one of the coolest places in all of the Bay Area (which is certainly saying something). The park itself spans from 18th to 20th Streets, with Dolores to the east and church to the west. On weekends, especially in nice weather, the park can get crowded, which may be problematic for some but really speaks to the diversity of San Francisco and makes it feel like a party.

To the south, you will find the slacklining section, where several generous individuals string up webbing between trees and allow passerbys to try this addictive sport. The atmosphere is very social, as some of the skilled athletes give tips to novices. Unique skill sets come in other forms as well, including hula hoopers and poi (fire twirlers - don't worry, they don't twirl the real thing!) Athleticism and fitness are also prevalent, as many people show up on bikes (which doubles as a way to alleviate some of the neighboring traffic.

Best of all, the park has no open bottle rules, so six packs and wine bottles are fair game. Bring a picnic, bring a blanket, come relax, and come people watch! It should be noted that the park is also 420-friendly, which could be a huge incentive for some and a deterrent for others. Don't worry about bringing the kids as this is a very family-friendly park, and one of the best places to people watch. The diversity and friendliness of San Francisco alike come alive in this vibrant, exciting park.
Pros
  • Great ice cream place nearby
  • Interesting street performers
  • great for sunbathing
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
Cons
  • a little dangerous late at night
  • druggies and some odd balls
  • not for the uptight
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

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Best Streets in Castro District

1

20th St

4.5/5
"The Beach Without the Ocean"
37.7578597022847 -122.431821077015
2

Castro St

4/5
"A Celebration of Gay Life!"
37.7594184442335 -122.434864754546
3

Noe St

4/5
"Tranquil and Sunny Noe St."
37.759660096016 -122.432662226085
4

Church St

4/5
"quiet and quaint in Noe Valley"
37.7614564611173 -122.428370762331
5

Liberty St

4/5
"Small residential street."
37.7573053805679 -122.428402227519
6

16th St

3.5/5
"A commuter's street"
37.7643884959267 -122.430626243283
7

Cumberland St

3.5/5
"Street with nice homes in a friendly neighborhood"
37.7587560138793 -122.430343669198
8

18th St

3/5
"Some Unique Spots"
37.760407303588 -122.442860635593

Unranked Streets in Castro District

19th St

3.5/5
"Long established neighborhood in SF"
37.7590528660183 -122.438778088746

21st St

3.5/5
"Living in the sunny gem that is the Mission"
37.7561072065786 -122.434664119794

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