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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
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Description: 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 63 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 24
  • 32
    Very good
  • 5
  • 1
  • 1
Fun to see

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 22, 2015
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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63 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
210 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 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 

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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!

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Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
88 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 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 

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Level Contributor
52 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 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!

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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 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.

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Level Contributor
203 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 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 

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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.

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Henderson, Nevada
Level Contributor
469 reviews
166 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 357 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2015

Visitors over 60 will find this most interesting. Photos, stories, mementos, diaries and period pieces from the 1950's. Focuses on Kerouac and a bit on Ginsberg but information on many other locally prominent hipsters is also displayed. Watch a complete movie in the small screening room. This is a good idea if the weather is bad. Lots of souvenirs available.... More 

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White Rock, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2015

Had not planned on seeing this, but enjoyed it.. They have the 1949 Hudson from the movie 'On the Road' in there and the front is full of nostalgic books, Kerouac and those of that generation, and memorabilia. It brought back a few memories for me and introduced the GF to a few new ideas in literature.

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Vonore, Tennessee
Level Contributor
564 reviews
319 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 689 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2015

My husband and I grew up with and love the works of many of the Beat Generation. Even though we were a bit younger, these writers had an immense influence on the writers of the 60's and later. So we thoroughly enjoyed paying the few dollars ($8 pp but I later learned there is a senior rate of $5) to... More 

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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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