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The Beat Museum

540 Broadway (at Columbus), San Francisco, CA 94133 (Chinatown)
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Ranked #77 of 318 Attractions in San Francisco
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
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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.
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39 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2014 NEW

I have long been a fan of the Beat Generation authors, Jack Kerouac specifically, and when I was planning things to do on a recent trip to San Francisco, I had to include this on my list. Google Maps lied to me when it said it was a 23 minute walk from Powell/Market, it was way longer, lol. The building... More

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Wheatland, California
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
41 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2014

I must preface this by saying I knew absolutely nothing about the Beat generation or their work before visiting this museum. I have never read any of their books or anything. I saw the museum here on Tripadvisor and thought it would be interesting to learn...especially since it only costs $8 to get in. I even found a Groupon so... More

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Melbourne, Australia
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

We only have a few days here and on my husbands birthday we decided to go to Haight Ashbury and the Beat Museum. Haight Ashbury was cool but by far the highlight of the day was The Beat museum. Quaintly uncommercial and very informative. A fantastic bookshop with some rare books and other items for sale. Unmissable for lovers of... More

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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

This place is going to be awesome once they finish their collection. It's fairly small at the moment but full of knowledge and memorabilia. The location is key, being close to where several of these historical events actually took place. Awesome little museum, a must seem for fans of American literature.

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Berkeley, California
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
23 attraction reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014

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
9 reviews 9 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.

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 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
40 helpful votes 40 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

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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
10 attraction reviews
59 helpful votes 59 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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