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The Beat Museum

540 Broadway (at Columbus), San Francisco, CA 94133 (Chinatown)
415-399-9626
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Ranked #82 of 376 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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32 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 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
23 helpful votes 23 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
19 helpful votes 19 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
54 reviews 54 reviews
10 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 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
73 helpful votes 73 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
29 helpful votes 29 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
290 helpful votes 290 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
32 reviews 32 reviews
26 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 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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