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The Beat Museum

Address: 540 Broadway (at Columbus), San Francisco, CA 94133 (Chinatown)
Phone Number: 415-399-9626
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Ranked #75 of 330 Attractions in San Francisco
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
Owner description: The mission of The Beat Museum is to spread the values of The Beat...
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Attraction details
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
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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47 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Southington, Connecticut
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2015

I must have spent about 2 hours in this little museum which is housed in what otherwise would be a hip apartment, at least I began to almost feel as though I lived there after a while. Perhaps it is the decor which includes an old 1940s era sofa and other furniture from the beat generation that made the place... More 

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Eugene, Oregon
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
43 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2014

For an aging hippie this place is a must. It is one of the most interesting places to visit in all of San Francisco. You won't find your usual mixture of tourists here, it is a very different kind of museum, exceptionally well done. Make sure to chat with the curator, he is a wealth of beat knowledge

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2014

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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Wheatland, California
Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
43 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Melbourne, Australia
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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
105 reviews 105 reviews
24 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
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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
107 reviews 107 reviews
65 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 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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