So I was previously one to scoff at the "Tourist Bus" approach -- you know, the hop-on-hop-off type with the voice track that tells you what you're seeing. I felt it was too impersonal, too surface and didn't let me explore the sights.
This past weekend I had a friend visit me in Southern California. I'm out here on business for several weeks at a time and spend my weekends bouncing around or working. She had never been to California so I bought her a ticket with points and she came out.
She had some recent back problems so walking all day wasn't an option and since we spent Saturday at Venice Beach and Santa Monica, she needed a lower-key day to relax for Sunday.
Reluctantly, I bought two tickets on the StarLine Tour bus so she could see Hollywood and Beverly Hills. It turned out to be perfect for her and saved me having to drive all over town and find parking at every spot.
I had reservations for a quaint little Brunch on Sunday morning and from there it was a short drive to our tour bus pick up point. We were able to listen to the GPS-tagged recording that told us what to look for as we drove around Hollywood and Beverly Hills. We got off at a couple of locations, walked around until she was tired and then got back on.
While I'm not a full convert and wouldn't buy a ticket if I'm by myself, I do understand where they fit in the tourist-circle-of-life. I will not scoff so readily at those riding them in the future.
Glad to read your post and want to say I have always been a fan of these hop on/off buses!
Have only done them in Paris and London, but that's a great way to see a city, especially on your first trip, the very first full day you are there if possible!
Saw some in Chicago last week, and I would do it there on my next trip!
Did not know about the Hollywood Bus, but would do that on my next trip there as well! Parking is such a problem and "Meter Maids", cut you know slack most anywhere!
You may enjoy some of these pictures:
Big Red Bus in front of County Hall Marriott in London! Looking across the Westminster Bridge, with Big Ben in the background.
Great way to see Paris! But it was a "Tad cold", in December!
Thanks for "Bringing back some great memories!
I've always looked at these buses as painful, like being a fish in a fish tank however; after reading this it might be a fun way to have a change of pace from our usual tourist trends and for sure avoid parking hassles if one was driving.
jerrycoin you look like you're ready for another type of venue!
I really have enjoyed my times on these buses.
Have just got off where I want to, stay as long as I want and then go someplace else. Really has been helpful at "The Tower of London" and Notre Dame in Paris.
Have found, when traveling with friends, or loved ones, they really like the ease of sightseeing. It sure saves the legs!
I've seen them in various forms and shapes all over and, until now, ignored them. We even have the "Fredericksburg Old Towne Trolley" where I live in VA and I never understood why anyone would ride on one when they could walk. Now I do.
I'll certainly give them a look-see next time I'm in London or Paris...especially where driving can be extra challenging.
Now maybe my opinion of Segway tours will change, but I'm not so sure.