San Francisco/Castro Street
This is the best way to get to the Castro. The Castro is on the K, L, or M underground Muni lines at the Castro stop or the Church Street stop. The J Church line can also get you to the Castro, although it comes above ground and turns south on Church St. For a more scenic ride, take the historic F Market line street car. San Francisco has refurbished historic street cars from around America and the world which run along Market street and end in the Castro. Bus lines 24, 33, 35, and 37 also serve the neighborhood.
Don't drive into the Castro. Use public transit, instead. There is a public parking garage on Noe just north of Market, but it is small. Street parking is very hard to find, especially on the weekends. If you park at the Safeway on Market and you don't go exclusively there, you will be towed.
The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, between Mission and 18th Street. (415) 621-6120. A lovingly restored Art Deco jewelbox of an independent movie theatre, with a Wurlitzer organ and splendid organist, special sing-along showings, and more. It tends to be part of film festivals, and to play unusual but worthwhile film festivals.
Roxie Cinema. 3125 16th Street, at Valencia. (415) 863-1087. This cinema is a close walk for art flick and documentary buffs.
There are several major cultural festivals/events in the Castro annually, including the Gay Pride Block Party in late June, the Castro Street Fair on the first Sunday in October, and a Hallowe'en block party on the last Saturday in October.
Don't miss Cliff's Variety 479 Castro between Market and 18th Street, (415) 431-5365, fax (415) 431-0803. Mon-Sat 9:30a-8p. Toys, gifts, kitchenware, hardware, and the newly remodeled annex next door is where to shop for do it yourself home decor items and is THE place to get rhinestones.
Not far from Cliff's is A Different Light bookstore at 489 Castro Street, (415) 431-0891. This is the place to find GLBT books; especially ones too "controversial" for more mainstream bookstores. Its also still possible to pick up community newspapers from outside the area; when there's still some left.
ImagiKnit, 3897 18th Street at Sanchez. (415) 621-6642. Mon-Sat 11a-630 p, Sun 11a-4p. These women opened up the yarn shop that they'd like to hang out in and the whole neighborhood concurs that they're doing it right.