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Although it's no secret to us gays, the mainstream readers of TripAdvisor just named San Francisco as the No.1 destination in the U.S. in their 2010 Traveler's Choice Awards. As one of the trusted aggregator sources for our signature Sherman Meter hotel ratings, we're inclined to agree.
So what good gay things are going on in the City by the Bay?
Every Wednesday from 4-8pm till October 27, the Pacific Coast Association Castro Farmers Market takes over the intersection of Noe Street at Market with farm-fresh veggies, artisanal cheeses, flowers, meats and plenty of tasty fruits for sale—and on parade.
May 22 marks California's first-annual Harvey Milk Day, the only state holiday to recognize an LGBT individual, on what would be the civil rights icon and martyr's 80th birthday. San Francisco grabs the bullhorn and celebrates its pioneering son with a citywide slate of events. Check local event guides for updates or stick to the Castro for a “Hotcakes for Harvey” commemorative breakfast, free screening of Milk at the deco-fabulous Castro Theater, free Cruisin' the Castro neighborhood tours, a street fair and more. Details can be found at MilkDay.org. History buffs will especially enjoy an exhibit in the windows of Harvey Milk's old camera shop curated by the GLBT Historical Society, which recently announced plans for the nation's first GLBT History Museum to open this summer.
The next day, May 23, AIDS Emergency Fund's annual Castro County Fair takes over the historic San Francisco Armory, a 200,000 sq-ft. massive and imposing Moorish “castle” in the middle of the Mission. (Fun fact: the complex is now owned by porn company Kink.com. Only in Frisco, kids!). Carnival games, food contests and hootenanny hoedowns get goin' 11am–6pm.
Frameline34: The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival heads to theaters 'round town June 17–27 with an eclectic, challenging and well-optioned mix of film fest favorites, avant-garde mind-benders, documentaries and entries from as far afield as China, Argentina and France. And of course, all the parties, VIP galas and film panels the glitterati love! Don't miss this year's Andy Warhol retrospective.
And on June 26–27, SF Pride: 40 and Fabulous takes to the streets with its famous Dyke March, parade, street fair and massive two-day concert and entertainment with multiple community-run stages and pavilions packing into downtown's Civic Center.
Need a Place to Stay?
Gay-owned Joie de Vivre hotels is having a chain-wide “Roadtrippin' California” promotion offering savings up to 50% plus fun packages with value add-ons such as free parking, experience-driven activities, and quirky amenities. With over 20 boutique properties in the Bay Area alone, poke around for the best deals to suit your style. Book by September 6.
Or stay in the thick of it at the Parker Guest House, a top-rated, super-comfortable and pristine B&B in the heart of the Castro. A serene garden, steam spa, top-shelf amenities and 21 rooms make it both a comfortable and unobtrusively personal home base to explore the city. To celebrate their new renovations, from now until June 10 (except holiday weekend) mention “Spring Fling” when booking by phone (888-520-7275) and receive $20 off each night of your stay.
For more gay-specific travel information, the official “Only in San Francisco” visitors bureau maintains an excellent microsite here.
For general trip-planning needs, check out our San Francisco Travel Guide.