This two-level museum is likely to see an uptick in visitors in response to the 2012 film version of On the Road, whose director donated the 1949 Hudson from the movie. Check out exhibits such as the "Beat pad," a mock-up of one of the cheap, tiny North Beach apartments the writers and artists populated in the 1950s, complete with bongos and bottle-as-candleholder. Memorabilia include the shirt Neal Cassady wore while driving Ken Kesey's Merry Prankster bus, "Further."
An early photo of the legendary bus is juxtaposed with a more current picture showing it covered with moss and overgrowth, labeled "Nothing lasts." Indeed. There are also manuscripts, letters, and early editions by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The gift store has a good selection of Beat philosophy, though it's nothing you won't find across the street at City Lights.