Beat Museum

Beat Museum information

Location
San Francisco , USA
Address
540 Broadway
Telephone
+1 1 800 537 6822
Getting there
Tram: Powell-Mason
Bus: 8, 10, 12, 30, 41, 45
More information
www.kerouac.com
Prices
adult/student $8/5; walking tours $25
Opening hours
museum 10am-7pm; walking tours 2-4pm Mon, Wed & Sat
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The closest you can get to the complete Beat experience without breaking a law. The 1000+ artifacts in this museum's literary ephemera collection include the sublime (the banned edition of Ginsberg's Howl ) and the ridiculous (those Kerouac bobble-head dolls are definite head-shakers). Downstairs, watch Beat-era films in ramshackle theater seats redolent with the odors of literary giants, pets and pot. Upstairs, pay respects at shrines to individual Beat writers. Guided two-hour walking tours cover the museum, Beat history and literary alleys.

You enter the museum through a turnstile in the adjoining museum store, where you can buy poetry chapbooks and obscure Beat titles you won't find elsewhere. Entry to the store is free, and so are readings held here (check website). You'll notice there's a dusty old car parked downstairs: that's a 1949 Hudson roadster, and it's covered with dust accumulated over 4000 miles of driving coast-to-coast for the filming of 2012's On the Road movie.