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“Back to the Summer of Love”
Review of Magic Bus

Magic Bus
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$105.50*
and up
Rock 'n' Roll Combo: Alcatraz and Magic Bus San Francisco Tour
Ranked #93 of 289 Tours in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Bus Tours, Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: Magic Bus. Magic Bus blends past and present in a psychedelic journey through San Francisco's rich counter-culture history. This two-hour “trip” aboard a brightly painted vintage bus weaves a visual narrative of San Francisco from Beatniks to the Summer of Love and beyond! With retractable window screens and digital micro-projectors, Magic Bus uses innovative technology to create a mobile movie theater on a bus. See San Francisco through a new window of altered perception and historical context. Sing along to classic tunes with our hippie hostess. Flash peace signs to passers-by as bubbles swirl from the bus. Stroll through the grass in Golden Gate Park with a flower in your hair, all on your time-traveling adventure aboard Magic Bus! Building on a 30 year history of original, site-specific productions, including the original Alcatraz Cell House Tour, Antenna Theater presents a new kind of tour experience- the Magic Bus!
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
114 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Back to the Summer of Love”
Reviewed July 27, 2012

This unique tour brought me back to 1967, the Summer of Love. We were greeted by a tour guide in full hippie costume who welcomed us aboard the multicolored, bubble-emitting school bus shaped bus. Once aboard, we spent about two hours touring the San Francisco sites that were important in the Summer of Love. At intervals, screens rolled down over the windows, and we watched footage from that summer. At one point, we got out of the bus and strolled through Golden Gate Park, each one of us with a flower in our hair. I was a flower child in the Northeast in 1967, and it was like seeing historical sights ( and sites). It was a thrill to see Haight Ashbury and City Lights Bookstore, about which I had heard so much.

It was also a lot of fun to see the people looking at at The Magic Bus in amazement, and taking pictures of it.

I would have liked to have gotten out in Haight Ashbury and at City Lights Bookstore as we did in Golden Gate Park.

In my opinion, this tour is most thrilling if you were a part of or are interested in the flower power movement in the late 60's. My husband, who was definitely not part of it, was less than thrilled with the tour But I was. It was a time machine to an important part of my past.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Cardone15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 reviews from our community

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English first
Aberdare, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Magic Bus Tour, SF.”
Reviewed July 27, 2012

The best two hours spent in San Francisco! Whilst throngs of tourists were hopping on the Red Buses, six of us hopped on the Magic Bus to be transported back in time to the Summer of Love '67. We laughed, sang, danced and wore flowers in our hair as our bus (with bubbles cascading out of its rear end) took to us to all the places you'd want to visit if you were a child, grandchild, or, great grandchild of the 60s. Through the voice of our 'guide' and the onboard commentary (which included slide shows of historical events of the time) we were able to experience a feeling of almost being there and, perhaps, being part of the 'scene'. Prior to going on this vacation with my wife, I did some research on what to do that might be different and this site popped up. If you want to do something away from the mainstream then I would recommend this 'trip' 100%! Get off the Red Bus and get on the Magic Bus! There's even a sliding scale fee on what you think you should pay Can't say fairer than that. We paid the maximim.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank TonyK1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Sort of fun history lesson”
Reviewed July 12, 2012

The performance artist on the bus was great. We had the screens down to watch old footage of the 60s for a decent amount of the ride and although that was the point, we could have seen a bit more city and a bit less history lesson. Also, getting out in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood would have been nice.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank gymmom1118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Quirky and fun”
Reviewed July 12, 2012

It is such fun travelling through the city on a multi-coloured bus with a bubble machine attached, wearing a flower in your hair and recapturing the 60's. You could go to those areas on your own easily enough but you wouldn't get the sense of the times that you get with the unique touch of the movie screens periodically covering the windows to show you what it was like way back then. The kooky guide did a fabulous job recreating the mood. This is one not to be missed when in San Francisco.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank FAinsley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
2 reviews
“Magic Bus Through Time!”
Reviewed July 7, 2012

The Magic Bus was such a well thought out, innovative, creative, fun way to learn and experience history...yes...it's about much more than a city tour!!! San Francisco is truly unique for all the material it provides on multiple levels to all these great voices about the city!

The opening and closing of the windows, giving glimpses of references and commentary given was just an incredible experience. What a great idea!

The film and sound clips, enhancing the "feeling" of the time in history, was SO effective...truly NEVER experienced a tour like it! I was transported through the years...to all those layers of historical events that have brought us up to the present!

The opportunity to let your hair down and join in...enjoying pop culture and beyond was UNIQUE!

I LOVED it...probably do it again, and again, and again!!!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank AnitaMe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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