VW bus tours can help you explore San Francisco, discover the best breweries and guide you through Wine Country. Here’s a guide to our favorites!
During the Summer of Love in 1967, all across the globe televisions were filled with images of wildly dressed (or sometimes not dressed at all) young adults dancing to previously unheard of music from Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia.
Even though we recently celebrated the Summer of Love 50th Anniversary there has been a recent revival in #vanlife and VW bus tours in San Francisco ️✌️🚐💨
In recent years people have been trading in their San Francisco bus tours for a special experience with one of the most unique tours of SF in a Volkswagen bus.
Whether it’s a San Francisco city tour, an Alcatraz tour, a beer tour, even a trip to Wine Country — all can be enjoyed from the comfort of a VW bus.
In fact, some of the best bus tours in San Francisco are being led in VW buses.
BEST SAN FRANCISCO VW BUS TOURS
Use promo code “Vwtourtime” for 10% off these unique San Francisco tours!
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Our friends over at Vantigo launched back in 2013. When the husband and wife duo, Erik & Amy, hit the streets of San Francisco with a beautifully restored vintage VW bus from the early 70s.
Combining the Spanish word “contigo” (which means “with you”) with their iconic Volkswagen buses, Vantigo was born.
It didn’t take long for Vantigo to become a popular sight around town. Even our drivers at Dylan’s Tours are guilty of tossing up a peace sign when they pass one of the VW bus from Vantigo ️✌️
As much as we love Vantigo’s city tour, we are big fans of their San Francisco Brewery Tour.
During 3.5 hours you’ll visit a few different San Francisco breweries (Local Brewing Co., Harmonic Brewing, Barebottle Brewing, Cellarmaker Brewing Co., Speakeasy Ales & Lagers or Anchor Steam — all featured in our Guide to Beer Tasting San Francisco) during this VW bus tour.
If you’re trying to get to Napa from San Francisco, be sure to check out their wine tour options. These excursions are such a fun way for small groups (6 people or less) to explore Wine Country from SF.
During the busy summer months, when Alcatraz tickets sell out months in advance, we always suggest for travelers to check out Vantigo’s Alcatraz Tour. Because we think they have one of the best Alcatraz tours!
The VW buses from Painted Ladies Tours are easily recognized as “those VW buses with eyelashes”. You definitely feel like a bit of a celebrity when exploring the city in these unique vehicles because everyone is stopping and pointing as you drive along.
Their 3 hour San Francisco City Tour departs 4x a day — making this one of the best San Francisco tours for those booking last minute.
We love sending travelers over to Painted Ladies Tours when our own Dylan’s Famous Tour is sold out because this is the only VW bus tour that runs a Muir Woods tour! Please note, that since Muir Woods started requiring parking reservations and increased operating costs this Muir Woods Tour is only available as a private tour.
Taking their Wine Country Tour is especially nice for those touring on a budget because all wine tasting fees are included in your ticket price 🍷
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The San Francisco love tour was hands down one for the books. Our very knowledgeable and funny tour guide blessed us with nifty facts about the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, China Town, and The Castro among countless other attractions. I was definitely feeling the 60’s vibes. ☀️ 🎨 💜 🌈 🍭 @sflovetours #sanfranciscolovetours #sflovetours #lovetours #lovebus #views #hiddentreasures #citybythebay #hitcharide #sightseeing #sightseeingtours #volkswagen #hippiebuses #blueseats #hippievibes #goldengatebridge #lombardstreet #chinatownsf #thecastro #grooving #classics #sfattractions #girlbossrevolution #sheisnotlost #memories #stories #vwbuses
Out of all the VW bus tours in San Francisco, SF Love Tours is the one that really looks the part with their bus exteriors decorated with trippy technicolor murals and the interior filled with shag carpet and beaded curtains.
Much like the most iconic San Francisco hippie bus of all time — Ken Kesey and his Merry Prankster’s hippie bus “Further”. So you’ll really feel like you’re on a hippie tour of San Francisco!
SF Love Tours is a family run business, brothers and SF natives Allan & Roberto have been leading the charge in keeping the spirit of the Summer of Love alive on their tours.
Their most popular tour, the 2 hour Love Tour, covers a lot of ground exploring the Golden Gate Bridge, the Haight-Ashbury, Golden Gate Park and even driving down Lombard Street (the Crooked Street)!
Usually when it comes to San Francisco night tours, most travelers turn to the big corporate hop on hop off bus tours. Luckily there is *one* local tour company offering a night tour of San Francisco.
And it just so happens to be from the comfort for a VW bus tour!
They also offer a super duper cool hippie night tour, which you can check out here.
BEST VW BUS TOUR IN WINE COUNTRY
Heading out to Napa or Sonoma in Wine Country? There’s a VW bus tour waiting for you there!
The gorgeously restored VW buses at West Wine Tours are used to guide travelers through dedicated tours of Sonoma County, Napa Valley and Russian River wine tours.
Both Sonoma & Napa wine tours are available per person or you have the option to rent out the entire VW bus for your tour. Russian River & Brewery Tours are only available when reserving the entire vehicle — who doesn’t love a private tour experience?
Please note, wine and beer tasting fees are not included in the pricing.
BEST VW BUS TOUR DOWN THE COAST
Are you planning on driving the scenic Pacific Coast Highway to get between San Francisco and Los Angeles?
If so, Vintage Cruz Tours in Santa Cruz will be an incredible stop in between the two cities.
Sonoma & Napa get all the recognition for California’s wine culture. It’s a bit of a shame because there are so many great wineries tucked throughout California’s coastline.
Most notably in Santa Cruz.
These private tour excursions are about 4 hours long and include three stops at either Santa Cruz breweries or Santa Cruz wineries, all led by a Santa Cruz local in his beautifully restored 1971 VW bus.
A light picnic style lunch is included in the pricing, but beer and wine tasting is not included.