While San Francisco isn’t home of the Beat Generation, it certainly was its stomping ground. A muse to many writers, the city was a launching point for poet Allen Ginsberg; a setting for numerous books by Jack Kerouac; and home to author Amy Tan.
The list goes on, dating as far back as Mark Twain in the 1860s. As shown in its art and music, there’s something about the city by the bay that inspires. Want a taste of the writers’ side of the city? Check out these literary spots and activities in San Francisco.
This bookstore and publisher founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953 is a legendary literary institution. It was City Lights that first published Howl by Allen Ginsberg, a famously-banned poem that became a counterculture manifesto of the times. This bookstore and publisher has a reputation of always erring on the side of insurgence. No visit to SF is complete without stopping by the City Lights at 261 Columbus Avenue in nearby Chinatown, just a 10-minute walk from Stanford Court. Its selection is impressive – look for a book you haven’t been able to find elsewhere and chances are you’ll find it at City Lights.
Most writers are fond of a good drink, so it’s no surprise that such a spirited bar is located right next to City Lights bookstore. Vesuvio is a local, kitschy watering hole that was frequented by Neal Cassady, Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac, and Bob Dylan – a true beatnik hangout. It’s still open today and is a choice place to stop in for a drink after browsing the shelves at City Lights. Between the bar and the bookstore is Jack Kerouac Alley, a small pedestrian walkway that has been dedicated to the late author.
Liquake in SF is one of the most treasured literature fests in the country. With three-quarters of the festival events free to the public, it draws great participation and a wide collection of voices. Writing workshops, readings, performances, and films are just some of the events that make up the 10-day fest that takes place throughout San Francisco. See who’s making an appearance this year and what kind of activities are in store on the website.
Enjoy some quiet time in the reading and music room at Stanford Court Hotel during your stay. Pick up a book off the library wall and sink into one of our comfortable couches. Our library collection includes history, landmarks and local highlights of the San Francisco area.
Come and enjoy the great offerings of Stanford Court Hotel in Nob Hill today. Check out our specials here.