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North Beach
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North Beach: A Taste of Italy and Feel for the Beat Generation

San Francisco's "Little Italy" is also known as the home of the Beat Generation. If you come here seeking the stomping grounds of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, you'll likely end up indulging in the best lasagna in the city -- and vice versa.

Main attractions include City Lights, an independent bookstore that published Ginsberg's "Howl"; and the Beat Museum, which showcases a collection of books and memorabilia from Kerouac and his cohorts. Coit Tower, with its fantastic city views, is found at the top of Telegraph Hill. If you're up for some exercise, the panorama is well worth the hike up.

Choosing a noteworthy Italian restaurant or lively nightclub in North Beach is never a problem; they lie around every bend. But don't just think of the neighborhood as a nighttime destination. You'll be very satisfied passing the day in a coffee shop and people watching. Promise.