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Gay San Francisco

San Francisco City Hall:

An elegantly restored historic landmark, San Francisco City Hall schedules various events: conferences, receptions, social galas art exhibits and weddings. Look for the Harvey Milk memorial here. Located at 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.

www.sfgov.org/cityhall
James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center:
Pin 2James C. Hormel G&L Center (100 Larkin Street)

The James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center has collections that document lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered history and culture, with special emphasis on the San Francisco Bay area. It's located on the 3rd floor at the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street -- a destination in it's own right.

sfpl.org/index.php?pg=0200002401
GLBT Historical Society:

Collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of GLBT people and their communities. Exhibit galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday, 1-5pm. The  archives house one of the world's largest collections of primary source GLBT historic materials for use by filmmakers, academics, journalists, and students. Located at 657 Mission Street.

www.glbthistory.org
Harvey Milk Plaza:

At the corner of Castro and Market, a small brick plaza with a plaque dedicated to a very big man. Also check out 575 Castro, the former site of his camera store.

www.thecastro.net/milk/milk+20.html
National AIDS Memorial Grove:

The only federally sanctioned memorial to the struggle against AIDS. Located at Bowling Green Drive at Middle Drive E, in Golden Gate Park.

www.aidsmemorial.org
Pink Triangle Park:

The first monument of its kind in the US, dedicated to remembering the many gays and lesbians killed in the Holocaust. Located near the intersection of Market and Castro, behind the City Athletic Club.

www.pinktrianglepark.org
Fisherman's Wharf:

Tourist favorite in the waterfront district, full of restaurants, including those with the city’s freshest seafood, street entertainers, bikers, and skaters. Also here: the Cannery waterfront marketplace;  Pier 39 festival marketplace;  the SS. Jeremiah O'Brien Liberty Ship; the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf; and the Aquarium of the Bay with over 20,000 aquatic animals from the San Francisco Bay and surrounding waters.

www.fishermanswharf.org
Chinatown:

The largest Chinatown in the western world, the oldest in North America. Many restaurants, markets, crafts stores and buildings of architectural interest; also herbal shops to buy the ingredients for Chinese medicine.

www.sanfranciscochinatown.com
Golden Gate Bridge:

Drive, walk, or bike to this world-class marvel. It's a short to the Fort Point overlook from the southeast parking lot for a good view. A gift center in the Roundhouse, and cafe are located on the southeast side, behind the Strauss Statue (chief engineer during contruction in the 1920's).

www.goldengate.org
Golden Gate Park:

The city's largest green space, and contains the de Young Museum and the Academy of Sciences. You'll spot the de Young by its 144-foot tower, which offers panoramic views of the park. The Academy of Sciences houses an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and a four-story rainforest. Also in the park are the Japanese Tea Garden and the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, with it's full-size windmill surrounded by tulips in springtime.

www.golden-gate-park.com
Castro Theatre:
Pin 3Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street)

Icon, movie house, stage and performance space in the historic landmark at the heart of one of the city's main gay districts. The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival takes place here, among their many events.

www.castrotheatre.com
Gus Presents - SF gay dance parties:

Never-ending series of dance parties each month, including Adonis, Underworld - world's largest underwear parties, Easter Sunday Epic T-dance, and Collosus Pride weekend party. Also Boy Bar & Poppers each week in the Castro.

www.guspresents.com
New Conservatory Theatre Center:

Another stage of gay interest is at 25 Van Ness Avenue. The New Conservatory Theatre Centre has productions such as West Coast premiers of the musical Boys Will Be Boys, and the comedy The New Century by Paul Rudnick  "turning gay stereotypes into bullet-deflecting armor and jokes into an inexhaustible supply of ammunition."

www.nctcsf.org
Off the Grid - street food vendor markets:
Pin 55Off the Grid - Fridays (Fort Mason Center)

Roaming mobile food extravaganza -- street vendors from trucks and tents, delicious, inexpensive food, free music, and crafts. Eight markets a week, lunchtime and evenings: Mondays Civic Center; Tuesdays UN Plaza; Wednesdays 5th at Minna; Thursdays Upper Haight and UN Plaza; Fridays Fort Maison Center and Civic Center; Saturdays McCoppin.

Largest is Friday nights at Fort Mason Center parking lot, near Fisherman's Wharf. Options include: Chairman Bao's sticky barbecue pork belly on bun - or make that red sesame chicken or crispy garlic tofu; seafood chowder in scooped-out bread; Indian food; midwestern barbecues; Filipino-inspired tacos; desserts from the Crème Brûlée Cart. See website for exact locations, numbers of food trucks and tents.

offthegridsf.com
Public nudity in San Francisco:

On November 19, 2012 San Francisco banned public nudity in a vote of 6 to 5. The law took effect on February 1, 2013, after a federal judge heard and rejected an appeal to suspend the ordinance. Representives for the pro-nudists have said a legal challenge is being filed.

For now the commonly-seen naked men (and women) in the Castro, the Folsom Street masturbation and street sex are illegal, as is all public nudity without a parade permit in San Francisco. But at the "Buff Stop" in Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro, naturalist activists have been seen in this summer (2013), and Pride Weekend in June continues to be somewhat clothing optional. Bars, with liquor licenses to protect from the California Alcohol Beverage Commission, do not allow nude strippers, but a current police directive allows for toleration of casual nudity or exposure by bar customers.

The California Supreme Court, in 1972, held that sunbathing on an isolated beach was not lewd. A principle upheld and extended in subsequent court cases. "Mooning" is also not considered to be lewd conduct. In the parks of San Francisco, including Golden Gate Park, Park Rangers offer nudists the chance to cover up, before criminal charges are filed.

See also Wikipedia.

www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=1861
Take a walk:

Bring a good pair of shoes, as San Francisco is a walkable city. Be sure to take a stroll around Ocean Beach, where there's a great hike to the north side of the Cliff House. Come OUT to the Castro with Cruisin' The Castro, or for "comedy walking tours" try  Foot! tours. For other places to walk to City Pass San Francisco can help out with admission to five local attractions, plus unlimited cable car access, for a single price of  $64.

Theater Rhinoceros:

America's oldest professional queer theater now plays in houses larger than it's original home on 16th street, in several venues around the city.

In 2013-14 Theatre Rhino offers 4 premieres and a special event. This 36th anniversary season begins with a premiere family drama by John Fisher, To Sleep and Dream, followed by the San Francisco premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s only gay musical, Road Show; and The Habit of Art, Alan Bennett’s witty bioplay of gay Brits W. H. Auden and Benjamin Britten and his humorous glimpse backstage at the Royal National Theatre.

Then it's the annual Benefit with LGBT favorites, and a season wrap with a fun and funny journey into the lives of young African-American lesbians: Laurinda D. Brown’s Walk Like a Man (based on her Lambda Award winning book).

www.therhino.org
California Academy of Sciences and Steinhart Aquarium:

Aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and its own rainforest. Located at 55 Music Concourse Dr. in Golden Gate Park.

www.calacademy.org
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art:

The West Coast's premier modern and contemporary art museum with mission dedicated to the idea that art and museums can transform lives. "By embracing the challenge of the new and unexpected, we hope to encourage fresh ways of seeing, thinking, and engaging with the world." Located at 151 Third Street.

www.sfmoma.org
Pedal power:

Despite all the hills, San Francisco is bicycle obsessed. Bike lanes are everywhere, and there are a number of places to rent bikes when you get into town. Be sure to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito, a quaint bayside city in Marin County.

Take a cruise:
Pin 6Blue and Gold Fleet (Pier 39 at Beach Street)

A variety of cruises that showcase the best views of the city, from the water. Find them at Pier 41 on the waterfront.

www.blueandgoldfleet.com
Stinson Beach:

A Romantic getaway by the sea near Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais. Three and a half miles of sand provide plenty of room for swimmers, surfers, and sun bathers. The 51-acre park adjacent to the beach has over 100 picnic tables (some with grills - available on a first come basis). The snack bar is open April through September and the park is open until sunset.

www.Stinsonbeachonline.com
Beach Blanket Babylon:
Pin 2Beach Blanket Babylon (678 Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard)

The longest-running musical spoof in theater history with parodies of pop culture and current events, in extravagant costumes and huge hats at Club Fugazi.

www.beachblanketbabylon.com
Gay Vineyard Getaways:

Wine Country holiday, with nature, food, and an education in wine for groups of two to twenty, in Napa Valley. Wine buying tour of small wineries with a local's expertise, accommodations in a cottage among the vines. Napavalley.com

For accommodations in Downtown Napa, the Candlelight Inn, (1045 Easum Drive, 800-624-0395) built in 1929, is an exquisite example of English Tudor architecture with whitewashed plaster set between blackened oak timbers; a bed & breakfast that's a perfect stoppover for a visit to the wine country.

Also see Sonomavalley.com to visit laid-back Vineyard towns near the dramatic coastline where the faultline meets the Pacific.

Gay Asian Pacific Alliance:

San Francisco Bay Area gay & bisexual Asian/Pacific Islanders organization dedicated to establishing a supportive community. Social events this summer include a pool party, the GAPA GAMazing Race, the Mr and Miss GAPA Runway Pageant, and performances of the GAPA Men's Chorus. They also publish the Lavender Godzilla Newsletter.

www.gapa.org
Levi-Leather, Motorcycles & Good Times:

The Golden Gate Guards is a leather-Levi, motorcycles and uniforms lovers organization, open to men and women of the San Francisco Bay Area. They aim to promote fun, fellowship, camaraderie and social interaction with people of the alternative-lifestyle communities. Their many events include the annual run, dinners, clothing optional pool parties, twisted games, costumes and awards. Check their website for details and dates on their calendar.

www.ggguards.com
Bears' Affairs:

Bears of San Francisco (BOSF) provides diverse activities for Bears to promote fun, friendship, and fraternity, to support charitable causes, and to foster community. They also sponsor the Bearracuda parties.

Big throws "the phattest events for large men and their admirers" for Chubs, Bears, Cubs and Chasers to go dancing. They did Massive, a June Pride dance party at Mist, and on every third Wednesday they sponsor Bare Bear at the Watergarden bathhouse, in San Jose. Big! is their every 3rd Sunday of the month dance at the Stud, San Francisco. Check their website for the fine print.

The San Francisco Movie Bears get together every Wednesday for a night of fun, great conversation and a chance to relax, hang out, visit with friends, meet new friends, and take in a movie together. Sometimes, they do a Karaoke night, or some other show related to bears. See their website for what's on this week.

Castrobear's annual summer Lazy Bear Weekend in Guerneville skipped a year to go to Cologne, Germany for the Gay Games this year. Check back for 2011 plans.