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The Beat Museum

Certificate of Excellence
North Beach / Telegraph Hill
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Address: 540 Broadway (at Columbus), San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone Number: 415-399-9626
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10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

The mission of The Beat Museum is to spread the values of The Beat...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 67 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 27
  • 33
    Very good
  • 5
  • 1
  • 1
A quirky time capsule.

A must-see attraction for all lovers of Jack Kerouak and his generation of friends. This museum, which boasts a small period movie theatre screening a documentary on the Beat... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
Melbourne, Australia

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67 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A must-see attraction for all lovers of Jack Kerouak and his generation of friends. This museum, which boasts a small period movie theatre screening a documentary on the Beat Generation characters, is also a bookstore and souvenir outlet. Located literally around the corner from the famous City Lights Bookstore, the $8 entry fee is money well spent.

Thank MelTee3003
Cincinnati Ohio
Level Contributor
50 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2015

Well worth the price of admission. The owner is friendly. The memorabilia is mainly books and some other things which are interesting.

Thank Maxine J
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
169 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2015

We stumbled onto the Beat Museum after checking out Kerouac's hang-out across the street, Vesuvio. Both venues honoring the Beat legacy are on the same block as a concentration of neon-blasting strip-clubs, some pretty legendary. The Beat Museum store is in the front (sort of overlit...but then Beats usually wore shades, right?). Kerouac's car is well-preserved and actually made me... More 

1 Thank cdub333
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
217 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2015

If you're a fan of the beat poets, this is a fun museum to see. It's mostly books and artifacts, but also photos and some context (they could provide more context). The museum itself is quite disorganized, but I guess that makes sense given the subject matter. The museum store is also an experience, and they have lots of 1st... More 

Thank LGBTtraveler
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2015

Worth the price of admission. Owner is very knowledgeable and friendly. Vinyl and books and memorabilia for sale in the shop. Recommended!

Thank Andru E
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
107 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2015

What a great little museum. Hidden gem that is great to explore, especially if you're into the beat generation. I thought they would have a lot more considering the City Lights is around the corner, but they do have quite a bit. Also, it does cost to get in, not so beatnik, but then again, this isn't the world of... More 

Thank pixiedreamer
Level Contributor
52 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2015

This tiny museum is the best way to feel the beat generation and have a look at original books, pictures and keepsakes! The staff is nice, and in the bookstore you can find some gems and rare books!

Thank Isy z
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2015

This museum was everything that Jack Kerouac would want it to be, it is not too gentrified to commercialize the work of the beats, instead the museum communicates the attitudes, philosophies and works of the beat generations heroes in an engaging series of rooms and theatres that really capture the essence of the movement.

Thank britthad
Level Contributor
240 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

I'll be honest. I wasn't even aware there was a beat museum. My girlfriend and I had explored the neighborhood and were waiting for an Uber when we came across this place. We cancelled our ride and took a walk around and the place is awesome. Part museum, part book/music thrift store, this place has tons to check out. Even... More 

Thank Jameson B
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

Fuzzy on Kerouac? Still questioning Ginsberg? Want to learn more about Burroughs? The Beat Museum is the place to go. Great collection of old editions and artifacts from the beat writers, many for sale, along with insights into the writers and their works.

1 Thank HumbleTraveller18

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Staying in North Beach / Telegraph Hill

Neighborhood Profile
North Beach / Telegraph Hill
The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans, the sounds of opera, and the sights of the romantic Italian ristorante come together to create the charming neighborhood of North Beach, once the stomping grounds for the Beatnik Generation. Although parts of North Beach are known for nightlife that’s not always suitable for younger visitors, few neighborhoods in the city exude as much European charm and style. Peruse a bookstore for the literature of Kerouac, Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg, grab some gelato and head to Washington Square for a perfect afternoon of people watching. Just east of North Beach, the hills and staircases of Telegraph Hill are a unique delight. At its peak, the art deco Coit Tower provides sweeping panoramic views of the bay and city. The beautifully landscaped Filbert Street Steps, a street too steep for a roadway, rewards those willing to hike uphill. Keep your ears open and you might even hear the squawk of the wild parrots who call this neighborhood home.
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