Gay Rights, Riots & Revolution in Harvey Milk's Castro District - San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

  • Painting of Harvey Milk on the wall of the Human Rights Campaign Store.
  • The Pink Triangle Memorial stands with strength and defiance.
  • Views of the rainbow flag from the Pink Triangle Memorial.
  • Pictures of Milk's supporters on view in Harvey Milk Plaza.
  • The entrance to the Muni station in Harvey Milk Plaza.
  • The giant windows of Twin Peaks Tavern.
  • Nutcrackers sit behind the bar inside Twin Peaks.
  • The penis-shaped, chocolate-dipped coconut macaroon at Hot Cookie
  • The chocolate chip cookie against a backdrop of men in red undies at Hot Cookie.
  • A peak inside the ornate Castro Theater. Photo: Barak Shrama.
  • The Sing Along at the Castro Theater makes for the best night ever.
  • Harvey Milk in front of his shop, Castro Camera in April 1973. Photo: Scott Smith.
  • Castro Camera as it looked in 1978. Photo: Max Kirkeberg.
  • Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy.
  • The mosaic filled facade of Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy.
  • Buttons on display at the GLBT History Museum.
  • Artifacts from Harvey Milk's campaign for city supervisor.
  • The San Francisco Examiner reports on the assassination.
  • Harvey Milk, Mayor George Moscone and Dan White.
  • The rainbow crosswalk in the Castro.
  • Artisanal pic of the rainbow crosswalk in the Castro.

45 minutes
0.6 mi
Guided by Chris
Chris Bateman


In 1978, Harvey Milk became the first openly gay elected official in the United States. In a time when the LGBTQ community was persecuted, Milk used his charisma and perseverance to win over a city. Come explore the stories of Milk's rise, impact and tragic murder through the monuments, institutions and streets of the Castro District. We'll see the first gay bar in the city, Milk's campaign headquarters, his hangouts and several other fixtures of his life. This is an exploration of human rights, hope and understanding for everyone.

About Your Guide

Heroes: String, Richard Gere, anyone who loves dogs. The perfect big spoon - I'm 6'2". Practicing to be the best uncle in the world. Love to cook but I can only pull off 3 recipes without setting fires. Denver-bred, Chicago-schooled, San Francisco-welcomed. One days aspire to be a comedian, astronaut or card counter.

Go on this Sidewalk

Guide Points

  1. Pink Triangle Park

    What this plaza lacks in size, it makes up for in significance.

  2. Harvey Milk Plaza

    This Muni transit center is in the midst of undergoing a welcome facelift (see the proposed redesign in the pics above).

  3. Twin Peaks Tavern

    Named for the mountain above the neighborhood, Twin Peaks is the first gay bar in the United States, welcoming the homosexual community sin…

  4. Hot Cookie

    What's not to love about a cookie store powered by sugar, dance music and knock-you-over-the-head innuendo?

  5. The Castro Theatre

    The Castro Theater stands as one of the oldest movie theaters in the city. It sold tickets for silent films when it opened in 1922.

  6. Human Rights Campaign Store / Castro Camera

    The Human Rights Campaign is the largest civil rights organization for LGBTQ equality. They sell a variety of clothing, jewelry and home de…

  7. Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy

    We find ourselves at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, a public school for grades K-5.

  8. GLBT History Museum

    With all the history created in the Castro, it is only fitting that the neighborhood houses a museum to celebrate and preserve it.

  9. Harvey's

    Head on inside Harvey's and find a seat at the counter. The bar is known for their seven types of Bloody Mary, each named for an iconic Mar…

  10. Rainbow Crosswalk

    The neighborhood has evolved since the tumultuous aftermath of Harvey Milk's assassination of the '70s and the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the '80…

Sidewalk Reviews

  1. 3 Reviews

    1. Anonymous

    Oct 8, 2019

    1. martina de majo

    Nice And informative!

    Feb 11, 2019

    1. Jason

    Jun 27, 2018

About Sidewalk

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