The Beat Museum

The Beat Museum, San Francisco: Hours, Address, The Beat Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

The Beat Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
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About
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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4.5
122 reviews
Excellent
57
Very good
50
Average
10
Poor
1
Terrible
4

mini
Fremont, CA166,968 contributions
I purchased my ticket and went to see The Beat Museum. There is a very good movie oo the Beatnick Movement. Some of the names of the Beatnick movement are Jack Keruac, Allen Ginsberg, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Timothy Leary, Ken Keasey and so forth. The movie is worth seeing.

Then on the 2nd floor are exhibits such as Allen Ginsberg's Organ, Banned Books Exhibit (City Lights Bookstore), and more.

I found it well worth my time and with the ticket price being so reasonable, I find it a very fun thing to do. Staff is very helpful.

There is also a store with books, etc, to buy if interesed.
Written January 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Torte_Sue
Vonore, TN1,401 contributions
Couples
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 go into the museum and see photos, placards, letters, handwriting, first editions, and items from Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kesey, et al. There are a number of exhibits on others from the time period as well and we saw some on the Beatles. The car that
Neal Cassady drove that became part of Kerouac's On the Road is on exhibit.

The front is a shop that sells used books, new books, the usual kind of mementos, as well as an assortment of magazines from the era (there are a lot of Playboys for example). I enjoyed the display on books that had been banned at various times and places-including Black Beauty!

It's just a fun place to relive memories for us over 60's! I understand that there are programs held here as well but we were just here on a visit. We enjoyed visiting with the young man working there. I wish I had asked him to turn the video on for us to watch. I only later learned about it.

I see that one reviewer said that the museum promotes drugs and sex. I certainly did not get that impression. Drugs and sex were presented only in relation to explaining some of the writers' lives. If you get offended easily, then maybe this isn't the place for you but it's not in the face pornography for goodness sake. I guess that is why we need displays on book banning. The attitude is still alive!
Written May 31, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mike D
Southington, CT13 contributions
Solo
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 so inviting. I even heard of someone actually spending the night there once! In order to fully appreciate the museum one should read some of the history which is printed along with the display of photographs, books and other items. Sometimes films are also shown in a small room which are also very educational. When I got home I decided to read up on Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg and many other writers of the so called "Beats". The museum has books for sale, some of which are collector items or you can go across the street to City Lights Bookstore which is quite an historic Beat landmark in itself. As a final note, I also got to meet Jerry Cimino, the curator of the museum, for a brief moment. He is a very friendly and knowledgable person and does a great job with the place. He really got me hooked on Kerouak and the whole Beat "scene".
Written January 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cindy V
2 contributions
Admission to this museum is $10 ($5 for seniors). This is a pretty small museum and there really isn't all that much on display. Lots of books behind plexiglass (the spines of the books are visible) and some books for sale. My husband needed a rest room and we were told there was no rest room in the museum. We were told to go to a restaurant, or a public park a few blocks away, to find a rest room.
Written August 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Élise M
1 contribution
Family
I was rudely 'ask' to leave because I had a talkative baby (not loud just a constant flow). The owner dislike children in general. He doesn't give a damn about them (his words, not mine). Please don't go there. Don't encourage this kind of behavior towards women and children.
Anyway, the bookstore is quite ordinary, not like the City lights. Some of the archive in the museum are doubtful.
Please again don't go there. My baby and I were verbally abused. The other employe was just as shocked.
Written July 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Daunrussell
York56 contributions
Couples
Fairly small museum, but packed with documents, photos and, of course, books. The main focus is Kerouac and Ginsberg, but the whole movement is represented here in the fascinating collection. The Kerouac film is worth watching, and there's a great book store, both new and second-hand. one of the real treasures, though, is the guy who runs the place, who is full of knowledge and enthusiasm - make sure you stop for a chat. I had only read the Beats back in my teens, but this spurred me to go back to books that I hadn't read for years, and to read more widely, which is definitely a Good Thing (I'd forgotten how goof Ferlinghetti was). My hadn't read any before, but was still fascinated.
Written December 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Charles H
Eugene, OR815 contributions
Friends
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
Written December 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gail L
Melbourne, Australia7 contributions
Couples
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 Kerouac et al.
Written October 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SilverStar-7
Berkeley, CA128 contributions
Couples
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 saw on TV as a kid. Fun facts and interesting videos. Worth a stop.
Written September 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BigD_1966_1
Melbourne, Australia1 contribution
Solo
I wouldn't bother. If you're a fan, you're not going to see anything interesting or learn anything you didn't already know. If you're just a casual visitor, you'll wonder why you were charged to wander around a room full of old furniture.
Written September 12, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Beat Museum

The Beat Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
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