Fans of Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and William S. Burroughs will want to head to The Beat Museum, a celebration of the Beat Generation in San Francisco's North Beach. The location of the museum was hardly chosen at random - North Beach is where the influential bohemian artists gathered in the 1950s. According to the museum's founder, the intersection of Broadway and Columbus might as well be the center of the universe.
Founded in 2003, The Beat Museum has an extensive collection of Beat memorabilia, including thousands of photographs, rare books, first editions, and personal effects. Many of the items have been donated by people who knew the Beats personally. Entry to the museum costs $8. If you'd prefer a guide to walk you through the museum as well as take you around the surrounding area, you can attend a tour on weekends. It's $30 - a bit steep, but worth it for new-Beats.
When you're done learning about the Beat Generation, it's time to wash down your newfound knowledge with some potent Chinese Mai Tais. Adjacent to Italian North Beach is Chinatown, which is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. Ignore the shops selling cheap, kitschy souvenirs and head straight to Li Po at the intersection of Grant and Washington. Founded way back in 1937, Li Po is a cave-like dive bar with super friendly bartenders, spot on music, and quite possibly the best mai tai mix on the West coast. Grab a stool - you're gonna be here a while.
Meeting point: The Beat Museum entrance.
Leaders, if you've signed up for a walking tour, please mention that in the comments so that everybody else can buy their ticket!