Beyond the aroma of cappuccino and focaccia, the café tables spilling onto the sidewalk, and the convivial air, North Beach is alive... more » with the spirit of the Beatniks, those revolutionary artists who electrified San Francisco and shocked the country in the 1950s and '60s. Listen for the rhythm of Beat poetry, of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, which still pulses in the city's Italian neighborhood.
In front of City Lights Books, the heart of Beatnik San Francisco.
3 hours, including time to peruse the bookstore and museum and imbibe at either Vesuvio or Caffè Trieste. About half a mile.
A seat at Caffè Trieste.
Best Time to Go:
On sunny weekend afternoons you'll feel like you've been transported to Italy, but browsing City Lights at night and downing a nightcap at Vesuvio will take you back to the Beat days.
Saturday afternoon opera at Caffè Trieste; a postcard view of Francis Ford Coppola's green-patinaed Sentinel Building on Columbus; Grant Avenue's glorious jumble of boutiques. less «