Best MonthsAll year
Traveller TypesCouples, Families, Friends
Rank81 out of 487 attractions in San Francisco
Places to stay near North Beach
Reviews • 3
Next, visit North Beach, where you will see the City Lights bookstore. City Lights was the epicenter of profound social change in San Francisco, where many famous Beat-generation poems were published and Beatniks like Jack Kerouac hung out.
After dark, North Beach is the place to be. Located at the corner of Columbus Ave and Jack Kerouac Alley (check out the murals newly painted to honor Mr. Kerouac) is considered the epicenter of Beat locales: Vesuvio’s Bar. Like the volcano Mt. Vesuvius, this little pub erupted the Beat world on October, 1955 when Neal Cassady (a.k.a. Dean Moriarity of On The Road fame) decided to grab a drink before heading to a poetry reading. This is also where the beatnik look became infamous due to Wally Hedrick who sat in the window dressed in full beat regalia: beard, turtleneck, and sandals, creating improvisational drawings and paintings. Today Vesuvio’s has a great collection of Beat memorabilia as well as serving one potent cocktail.
So the sun had begun to hide behind the clouds as dusk drew above us and, along with my cousin and friends, I went to what they called the "Little Italy" of San Francisco. With pristine blue waters facing us on the shores, I stood on the North Beach and so did little treats from Italy; while we relished on pizzas at Italian cafes and bistros on one side, we ended our meal at the gelato patisserie and the tiramisu it offered on the other side. It seemed like the perfect end to my day as we then headed to Vesuvio bar to celebrate life the San Francisco way!