San Francisco Nightlife

The San Francisco nightlife is diverse and enticing. Each neighbourhood's bars, clubs and lounges have a unique atmosphere, and there are also plenty of cafés and performance arts venues to enjoy. The San Francisco Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian have nightlife listings and are available free from bars, restaurants and street-corner boxes.

For electronic music clubs, hip hop and art lounges try the SOMA area, while the Mission and Marina districts are good for bars. Gay-friendly bars and clubs are prevalent in the Castro area, and North Beach boasts neon strip joints and bars. Hemlock Tavern in the seedy Tenderloin district hosts live upcoming bands, and Amber is a grungy lounge bar where smokers are welcome.

The San Francisco Opera stages a free performance of Opera in the Park, followed by occasional free performances throughout the city. Ballet and modern dance can be seen at the Cowell Theater and Marina Boulevard. Other live performances can be caught at San Francisco Performances in the Bay Area.

If there is one live performance to see in San Francisco it has to Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest running musical revue in history. It's a unique show that has achieved cult status with its witty spoofs of popular culture and show-stopping tunes. The costumes are outrageous, especially the enormous hats which grow in stature as the show progresses. The finale features a hat that takes up half the stage. Beach Blanket Babylon was founded by the late Steve Silver and has become a San Francisco institution, as popular with locals as the astounded and delighted visitors. The venue is at Club Fugazi in North Beach.

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