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A Beatnik tour of San Francisco
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A beatnik tour of San Francisco

It’s been said that many people have left their hearts in San Francisco, and the Beatnik generation of writers and artists has left an equally indelible mark on the city. Drive your San Francisco car rental to North Beach, a neighborhood that embodies the free-thinking spirit of the generation. You’ll feel the spirit of Jack Kerouac’s "Dharma Bums" dancing in the night as you imbibe spirits in pubs that were once frequented by some of the most influential American writers.

The Hungry i & The Purple Onion
Many Beat writers became famous for their dark, haunting prose, but several performers emerged during the same time who refined and shaped comedy into incisive social commentary. Satirists used their craft to critique the American political landscape, and by driving your car rental in San Francisco to these two neighborhood venues, you’ll see where performers like Woody Allen first took to the stage. These landmark venues also were home to legendary musical acts such as the Kingston Trio, and continue to showcase emerging artists in an electrifying atmosphere.

City Lights Books
Take your San Francisco rental car to City Lights Bookstore and spend a couple of hours browsing through the impressive collection of rare books and classic favorites. This publishing house became a repository of revolutionary work during the 1950s and 1960s, and you’ll find a vast array of Beat literature on the second floor, along with postcards to send to your friends back home. The works of Ginsburg, Kerouac, Cassidy and Kesey line the walls, and you can easily find a piece of iconic literature that will give you a glimpse into the culture surrounding this San Francisco landmark.

Vesuvio
While you’re in the North Beach neighborhood, take your San Francisco car rental for a short spin over to Vesuvio’s, the pub of choice for the Beat generation. Kerouac retreated to Vesuvio’s after impressing Henry Miller with “Dharma Bums,” and chose to spend long nights amidst the smoke and smooth jazz in the pub on a regular basis. Now, Beat memorabilia and artwork adorn the walls, and the local watering hole offers a variety of eponymous drinks in honor of the literary greats that frequented the establishment. The Jack Kerouac is a delectable blend of rum, tequila and orange or cranberry juice, served in a large bucket glass. Cheers!