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The Beat Museum

540 Broadway (at Columbus), San Francisco, CA 94133 (Chinatown)
415-399-9626
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Ranked #99 of 374 attractions in San Francisco
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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26 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
10 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 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
65 reviews 65 reviews
20 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 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
64 reviews 64 reviews
13 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 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
39 reviews 39 reviews
34 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 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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USA
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
6 attraction reviews
289 helpful votes 289 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

My daughter had researched this and added it to our agenda, and since it is just across the street from the famous City Lights Bookstore, it was no trouble to squeeze in a visit. From the size of it, I expected we'd spend 20 minutes there, but our whole family was fascinated with the exhibits and we spent over 1.5... More

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Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
26 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013 via mobile

We went on the request of our granddaughter who loves Jack Keroouac and other poets. The museum part had the best display of memorabilia from an era of poets gone by. The shop itself has a vast supply of books, materials. Glad she took us off the beaten path. Not in the best area of San Fran.

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uk
Top Contributor
195 reviews 195 reviews
54 attraction reviews
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

You don't have to be a big fan of the beats or very knowledgeable about their work to enjoy this place. If you have heard of kerouac you will get something out of this easy going private museum. If you have any interest in the counter culture,from the hippies to easy rider, this is a must. Without the beats it... More

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

I actually did not even know this place existed until I stumbled across it as I was walking through North Beach. I didn't know much about the beat generation but figured I would learn something and I paid the $5 student rate admission. This museum isn't expansive, but it is informative. A combination of paraphernalia, biographies, artifacts, literature and sociology... More

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
248 reviews 248 reviews
49 attraction reviews
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We decided to pop in after seeing it walking around the city, I have no knowledge of the beat generation and we were pressed for time so we did not pay the $8 admission to get into the museum. Maybe next time we visit San Fran.

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