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The Beat Museum

540 Broadway (at Columbus), San Francisco, CA 94133 (Chinatown)
415-399-9626
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Ranked #83 of 377 Attractions in San Francisco
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Type: Specialty Museums
Owner description: The mission of The Beat Museum is to spread the values of The Beat Generation--tolerance, inclusiveness, and having the courage to live your own... more » Owner description: The mission of The Beat Museum is to spread the values of The Beat Generation--tolerance, inclusiveness, and having the courage to live your own individual truth. Our first floor contains our book shop and gift shop, as well as the entrance to the Beat Museum. The second floor contains six rooms of exclusive Beat era memorabilia. « less
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35 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Berkeley, California
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
22 attraction reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014 NEW

We stumbled on this while waiting for a restaurant down the street to open. It was a nice surprise. They have done a nice job laying out the history, poetry, and music of the time. There are two floors of information, posters, and if you are one of the younger baby boomers, this will remind you of the shows you... More

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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

I noticed this museum while on a bus tour of the city. Being a fan of the Beat writers I doubled back to check it out. It was a very enjoyable experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who has read Kerouac, Ginsberg and the other post-World War II radicals.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

Really enjoyed our visit today. My daughter and I had wanted to go, my son not. However he came away saying it was really interesting and he had learnt loads. Gave him better understanding of all that had come after Staff and owner were friendly, knowledgeable and really approachable. Happy to share their knowledge. Thanks - keep up the good... More

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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
62 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

Being a Kerouac fan and being in San Francisco, there was absolutely no way I was going to miss this opportunity. The Beat Museum is a must for all fans of the Beat Generation. It is overflowing with gems from a classic literary era. There are many displays and the whole museum is tastefully laid out. Yes, downstairs is the... More

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Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

This is a funky little museum in an old building. There's nothing showy about the place, you might even consider it kind of musty. But - this atmosphere really fits the theme of the times of the Beat generation. The museum has been really well-done, and there are some priceless writings, posters, photos, and pieces to view. You'll admire these... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
10 attraction reviews
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014 via mobile

The museum is compact and filled with interesting original items, print media and video providing insight into the Beat Generation and the familiar - and some unfamiliar - characters. We enjoyed the hour that we spent reading through all of the displays and are glad we took the time to visit the museum. The staff were friendly and welcoming and... More

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Irvine, California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
20 attraction reviews
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

Now, this is not a "museum" in the sense you might expect. But it's a nice immersion in a weird, interesting, emotional, funny part of the history of American culture. And it's cheap. And run by people who - you can tell - are in it mainly for passion. You don't have to be a Beat Generation fan, or to... More

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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014 via mobile

Loyal to the Beat generation, the museum's collection is not exhibited in the usual glossy setup. It's a faithful overview of its main characters and overall a worthwhile visit.

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Purdue-Indiana
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
13 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

For $8 you can learn a LOT about the beat movement in this chock-filled two story museum just north of Chinatown. It was a significant time in history and had quite an impact in the literacy movement of the US. I met a guy from Scotland while I was there who said it had a revival in the UK during... More

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Fortaleza, CE
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
34 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

Small but loads of cool things to see. Very friendly staff and worth the price. One of my favorite places in San Francisco! Just cross the street to visit the City lights bookstore and the Vesuvio!

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