This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the “Summer Of Love” when in 1967 thousands of people descended on San Francisco to join the hippie “movement”. Although the subculture was also simultaneously happening in New York (Greenwich Village) and Los Angeles (Sunset Boulevard and Laurel Canyon), San Francisco had the biggest counter-cultural scene. Most of the people were under 30, and the phrase “Don’t trust anyone over 30” was born. And it was that summer that the sexual revolution began…
According to those who were there, at one point thousands of people could be seen sprawled out on the streets of Haight Ashbury, also known as “Hashbury”, where the hippies were experimenting with cannabis, LSD,” free love”, and loving the one(s) you’re with. Wish I were there.
This summer you can re-live the spirit of 1967 with a fun bus tour called the “San Francisco Love Tour.” According to the tour company “San Francisco Sightseeing Tours aims to provide an enthusiastic and authentic way to get-to-know San Francisco. Hitch a ride for an experience that mixes both our love for modern day living and our memories of San Francisco in days gone by. Our 1970’s Volkswagen Buses, complete with neon blue seats, beaded curtains and shag carpets, foster a Hippie vibe that celebrates Peace Love Freedom & Adventure. You will see breathtaking marvels such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, China Town, The Castro and much more.”
The bus tours run in the daytime, or try the evening bus tour for a romantic date night. The tour also drives past the romantic Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, past the famous vintage row of Victorian houses called “The Painted Ladies,” and through Castro district (the “gayborhood”).
“Travel down unique streets where other buses are forbidden,” says the tour company. Visit the homes of San Francisco’s counter-culture icons such as The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, while grooving to the sounds of the 60’s and other San Francisco classics. In our little 6-passenger vehicle, we pack tons of historic facts, interesting stories and good old fun.”
The bus also stops for group photos, selfies, and belfies. “We also have some stops for amazing pictures opportunities to forever capture your adventure in San Francisco,” the tour operators say.
The bus also stops at the legendary Coit Tower, affectionately known as “Coitus Tower.” The penis shaped art deco tower was built in 1923 by eccentric socialite Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who smoked cigars and dressed in men’s clothes to sneak into gambling joints where women were not allowed. The building was designed to look like the nozzle of a fire hose to honor the city’s firefighters, but to this day is the tower is the subject of continued dick jokes. (And apparently, according to sex studies, a place where people secretly have sex.)
Kiss at the top of Coit Tower, a.k.a “Coitus Tower.”
Coit Tower at night.
The Love Bus takes you down curvy Lombard Street.