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Best San Francisco Neighborhoods for LGBTQ

June 18, 2013 | Best Cities and Neighborhoods, Best Neighborhoods

The City by the Bay is well known for being a friend to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals, so the best San Francisco neighborhoods for LGBTQ are, well, all of them. But there are certainly some that stand above the rest, and if you plan on renting a San Francisco apartment in an LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood, then we’re here to help you separate great from greatest.

The Castro 

The Castro is the hub of San Francisco’s LGBTQ community, and was the site of a great deal of political turmoil in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, it’s a vibrant and stylish neighborhood, largely due to the spark of LGBTQ activism that occurred following the assassination of openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978. There’s nothing quite like San Francisco Pride Month in the Castro, and residents have access to a number of chic shops and bars and the iconic Castro Theatre year​-round.


Shorthand for South of Market, SoMa is an artsy district that’s packed with art spaces, loft apartments, design studios, independent bookstores and several popular LGBTQ bars and nightclubs. Because this San Francisco neighborhood is so expansive, it offers a bevy of cultural attractions, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the California Historical Society. Although the area is still filled with warehouses, many have been repurposed as offices or apartments.

The Mission 

As one of the trendiest districts in San Francisco, the Mission has a distinct flavor of Latin culture and is a popular spot among members of the LGBTQ community. The neighborhood prides itself on diversity, and many hipsters, artists and LGBTQ people rent San Francisco apartments in this neighborhood. Although the area has gentrified in recent years, it is still packed with caf​es, used-book stores and thrift shops–now there are just a few galleries and trendy restaurants thrown into the mix.

Bernal Heights

Located atop a steep hill just south of Mission Valley, Bernal Heights is the preferred neighborhood of artists, young families and the lesbian community. The area is populated with community gardens, tiny cafes, fruit stands and innovative restaurants. Bernal Park, an off-leash dog park, makes the area a stronghold for animal lovers as well. The neighborhood is slightly removed from the rest of San Francisco, which makes it ideal for anyone looking for a small-town feel amidst a bustling city.


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