Better known as the Castro, Eureka Valley is famed for LGBT nightlife and the historic theater palace from which it gets its moniker. But Castro Street is just one segment of this neighborhood and only tells one side of the story – Eureka Valley is a wonderful place to live, work, and play, regardless of how you identify.
A storied past
Eureka Valley is known as an LGBT mecca, but its history goes further back – it was a predominantly Irish, staunchly Catholic, working-class neighborhood up until the 1960s.
That decade saw the rise of the Beat Movement, with luminary Allen Ginsberg fighting obscenity charges for his poem, “Howl.” Prominent Beat writers like Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac would also reside here.
White-collar gay men started moving to the Valley as part of the massive shift to the suburbs at the time, buying up Victorians.
A police raid in Greenwich Village in New York set off the Stonewall riots in 1969. The neighborhood’s LGBT activists and allies marched in solidarity the following year, marking the start of SF’s annual pride parade.
The neighborhood would become a vibrant entertainment hub, thanks to its diverse nightlife options, as well as the Castro Theater, which hosts film screening and festivals to this day.
Eureka Valley continues to be an inclusive space where people from all walks of life can be whoever they want to be.
Mark your calendar for these local events:
- Castro Farmers’ Market
Buy fresh produce and listen to local bands play every Wednesday from March to December at Noe Street. The weekly farmers’ market rounds up some of the finest growers and food artisans in the area.
- Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Annual Easter Party
Celebrate Easter in Dolores Park. This family event offers lots of fun games and activities, including an Easter egg hunt and a bonnet-making contest. Organized by a fictional sect of queer nuns, the “sisters” also host a series of fundraisers throughout the year.
- San Francisco Pride
SF Pride is arguably the biggest LGBT event in the US, taking place in the last weekend of June to commemorate the Stonewall riots. The parade is the highlight of the event, but the two-day festivities also include pride-themed parties and film screenings.
- San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival
Organized by Frameline, a local nonprofit dedicated to the promotion and distribution of LGBT media, this festival brings you the work of up-and-coming LGBT filmmakers.
- Folsom Street Fair
This annual affair celebrates leather subculture, taking place in the last week of September. It caps off Leather Week, with over 200 vendors, exhibitors, and live bands. The event raises funds for local charities and attracts over 400,000 guests each year.
- Castro Street Fair
Founded by the late politician Harvey Milk, this community celebration brings some of the best artisans, vendors, and performers together in one place. A portion of the proceeds is set aside for local charities, and is used to fund the rainbow flag that hangs over Market and Castro streets. The fair traditionally takes place on the first Sunday of October.
If you want to live in this neighborhood, call Bernie and Mike Homes at 415.906.6000.