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Arts & Entertainment

This SF fleet of Volkswagen tour buses is powered by nostalgia

Painted Ladies Tour Company showcases San Francisco, one bus ride at a time. | Courtesy Painted Ladies Tour Company

No vehicle is more closely associated with San Francisco’s hippie history than the Volkswagen bus. Nostalgic for a time they never experienced themselves—the Summer of Love—local couple Josh Armel and Virgine De Paepe decided to transform a fleet of VW buses into roving time machines. They’ve owned and operated the Painted Ladies Tour Company since 2015. 

Armel and De Paepe, who playfully finish each other’s sentences, had been renting out a room on Airbnb in their Mission District home and found themselves fielding perennial requests from their guests for a locals’ tour of San Francisco. They briefly considered squiring folks around town in their beat-up Ford Explorer but then lit on a brighter idea…

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