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4.5 star rating: Recommended 40 Reviews

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  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Duration:  2-hour bus tourFlexible time on Alcatraz
Get the most out of your stay in San Francisco with this combo tour, which includes two iconic experiences in one day. Hop aboard the Magic Bus and travel back to the 1960s! On this 2-hour fun-filled historical tour, produced by the creators of the award-winning Alcatraz Cell House Audio Tour, learn about the Beatnik generation in North Beach, imagine life during the Summer of Love at Haight-Ashbury, visit the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, and learn about Eastern influences as you explore Chinatown. In the afternoon, hop on the ferry and head to famous Alcatraz Island for a fascinating audio walking tour of this notorious prison, featuring stunning sound effects and real interviews from former inmates and guards.

Highlights

  • San Francisco combo tour of the Magic Bus and Alcatraz
  • Travel back to the 1960s aboard the Magic Bus on a fun-filled historical tour
  • Visit North Beach, Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Park
  • Hear entertaining stories about the Beatnik generation and the Summer of Love from your costumed guide
  • Explore the notorious Alcatraz prison on a fascinating audio walking tour
  • Discover what prison life was like for some of history's most notorious criminals
  • Round-trip ferry ticket included

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

These people know their history and really know how to bring it alive. The trippy Magic Bus tour was produced by the same people who created the Alcatraz audio tour; both are rich with archival materials and deliver glimpses into what life was like on Alcatraz and in 1960s San Francisco.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Rock 'n' Roll Combo: Alcatraz and Magic Bus San Francisco Tour

Enjoy the Rock With Your Roll

1960s-Era City Tour
In the morning, head to Union Square and board the Magic Bus. Put a flower in your hair and travel back in time to the groovy 1960s! Using real archival material, the past comes alive with the original sights and sounds of 1960s San Francisco. Cruise through Chinatown, an important epicenter of Eastern philosophies that spread throughout the city in the 1960s.

Next, visit North Beach, where you’ll see the City Lights Bookstore, the hub of the Beatnik generation. This was an epicenter of social change in San Francisco, where many famous Beat-generation poems were published and Beatniks such as Jack Kerouac hung out.

Continuing your Magic Ride, watch modern San Francisco blend with the past as you travel through the Financial District and up central Market Street on the way to Haight-Ashbury – the home of the Summer of Love. As you discover this iconic neighborhood, you’ll see the past come alive with retractable projection screens that cover the windows!

Your next destination is the lush gardens of Golden Gate Park, where you’ll stop at the Conservatory of Flowers. Hear how America's largest urban park hosted the Human Be-In event in 1967 and the first Earth Day in 1970. If the weather is nice, you may even join a drum circle!

The '60s-era video, music and costumed staff of the Magic Bus will provide a fun, immersive experience of America's most memorable cultural movements. It’s not just a sightseeing tour – it’s a trip!

Your bus tour ends back in Union Square.

Alcatraz Walking Tour
Hop on the 3:50pm ferry from San Francisco’s Pier 33 and head to Alcatraz for an afternoon at your leisure exploring this famous former prison. Touring the whole island usually takes around 2.5 hours, but you're welcome to stay as long as you like.

Take the award-winning audio walking tour, produced by the same creators of the Magic Bus, which leads you on an immersive journey through the prison grounds. Featuring life-like sound effects and real interviews from former inmates and cell guards, you’ll discover what life was like here for some of history’s most notorious criminals, such as Machine Gun Kelly and Al Capone.

You’ll also learn about the history of Alcatraz Island, which was first utilized as a Civil War fort. After your tour, hop back on the ferry (departs every 30-40 minutes) and head back to San Francisco.


Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

We purchased this tour because that was the only way to get tkts to alcatraz. Our tour guide Gaya was full of energy and so much fun. You need to be open minded if you decide to go on this tour, if you go along with the whole thing you will enjoy if not you will not! We enjoyed it!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

This tour was tremendous fun, and quite exceptional, and combined with Alcatraz it was a tour that I would recommend to anyone.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

Really great tour! Enjoyed learning about the history. Great tour guide, very funny and entertaining!!!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

To be honest, I only booked this tour because I wanted Alcatraz tickets and this was the only way I could procure them. That being said, I had a great time on the Magic Bus. My husband, my three kids (21, 19, and 14) and my daughter's 18 year old boyfriend loved it as well. As a matter of fact they said it was one of their favorite things that we did in San Francisco. It was fun and whimsical, without being too hokey. I would recommend this tour, particularly for those traveling with older teens and college-age kids.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

HOST WAS GREAT AND VERY INFORMATIVE.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

I took this trip with my daughter, her husband, and their two daughters, aged 7 and 13. The girls loved it! The funky, interactive experience really brought home the vibe of SF during the Summer of Love and the tour hostess, Gaia ( her "flower child" name) made everyone feel like part of her "tribe." I would highly recommend this tour for kids of all ages. Be aware, when talking about SF during that itme the topics of drugs will come up. Nothing inappropriate whatsoever is shown on the video screens and Gaia does a wonderful job of censoring the subject matter. This is a great experience.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

Brilliant tour and the amazing "Gaia" was a fabulous tour guide. Bit of a mix-up with the Alcatraz tickets - our voucher said we should collect them on the bus, when in fact we missed the man outside the bus who wasn't obvious but who was handing them out, but they handled it very well and he met up with us quayside later on to give them to us. We laughed our way round the tour which was also very interesting with details that you don't get on the normal bus tours. All in all great value for money and a brilliant way to obtain Alcatraz tickets. Would totally recommend it - it was one of the highlights of our stay in San Francisco.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2014

One word, AMAZING!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2014

The tours were great! We wanted just Alcatraz, but they were sold out for 2 weeks, so we got this combo tour and enjoyed the Magic Bus just as much. The guide was lively and energetic and funny and the whole multimedia experience was a different and neat way to do a tour. The Magic Bus is a head turner. People on the street notice it and take pictures of it. You are transported back in time as the shades are drawn - the windows would open and there you were - right in the Haight while completely oblivious to the traffic outside. Don't know what I mean? Then take the tour! Alcatraz was Alcatraz. It's the biggest tourist draw in San Francisco. The audio tour is such a bonus - it's like your own private tour. You don't have to clamor around one dude or dudette who is trying to talk over other guides or other talkers in the group. We went in early July and it was FREEZING out on the cruise. Dress for cold and windy. Finally, I would like to add that that the Viatour staff had great customer service. They were a lot of help and friendly.

From USD $ 85.00

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Tour code: 5521MAGICTRAZ

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