Best Boutiques in the San Francisco Bay Area
The city is full of quirky boutiques, where one-of-a-kind treasures are yours for the picking.

Map icon place
Post display cropped a2737380bb150ed855cce8dd2485065b

Learn about the Beats at City Lights Bookstore in North Beach

Large arrow left

A beacon for beatnik culture, City Lights bookstore in San Francisco is best known for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems, and as the site of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s obscenity trial in the 1950s.

Opened in 1953 by Ferlinghetti, the independent bookstore and publisher has stood in the same spot in North Beach since its inception, and has attracted millions of visitors looking to learn more about the beat generation—not to mention those just looking for a good book.

Stop by City Lights and peruse the extensive collection of new and used materials, and feel free to linger for hours. Read in the upstairs room and enjoy the comfy chairs and views over the neighborhood.

Still feeling beatnik-y? Head to the Beat Museum after your stop at City Lights.

City Lights is open every day from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Large arrow right
read moreread less>
Thumb 27df781bd0604cd1a2ab757995b34252
by Liv Combe
AFAR Contributor
I've been here
1 person has been here.
Does this place need a closer look by our editors? Let us know.