Visitors looking to add a touch of originality to their off-the-beaten-path trip should visit the quirky Beat Museum, which is entirely dedicated to spreading the spirit of the Beat Generation. Often referred to as “The Beats,” this collection of writers, artists and thinkers congregated in 1950s San Francisco to express disappointment in mainstream culture after the atrocities of World War II. The goal was to promote tolerance, compassion and the courage to live individual truth, despite a reputation as a somewhat alternative and radical group.
This two-story museum boasts an exceptional collection of Beat-era artefacts and memorabilia—some of the key items include the ’49 Hudson (which was used in the 2012 movie adaptation of On the Road by Jack Kerouac), the Beat Cine Room and its historical footage and the Beat Shrine with its original poems and artwork. The Beat Museum also features a bookstore area, which is filled with classic and modern books by and or about the Beats. Lastly, the museum hosts an eclectic variety of events throughout the year, from film screenings to live music performances and art shows pertaining to the Beats era in the hope of influencing the young artists of today.
The Beat Museum is located at 540 Broadway Street in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. The museum is open seven days a week from 10am to 7pm. Admission costs $8 per adult and $5 per senior and student.