Fourteen media from 11 international markets traveled to the Golden State to experience San Francisco's 50-year "Summer of Love" anniversary celebration, which included local events, exhibits and tours featuring the era's defining culture around the San Francisco Bay Area and other coastal destinations.
The summer of 1967 in San Francisco represents a culture of unapologetic self-expression and freedom in California. Fifty years later, while that same spirit never left California, destinations brought it to life in full force.
The "Summer of Love" press trip was one of a number of global tours designed to showcase the rich, historic arts and entertainment cultures that make California so iconic worldwide. Embedded in California's history, the seminal summer's influence still remains as vibrant as ever half a century later.
Visit California arranged for journalists from Japan, Korea, Mexico, Canada, Italy, France, India, the United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden and Denmark to journey from San Francisco on a "Summer of Love"-themed road trip down the coast. The group stopped in Berkeley, Monterey, Big Sur, Ojai, Ventura and West Hollywood, where they experienced California's iconic culture around every scenic bend.
International media outlets in attendance included ELLE Online Japan, National Geographic Traveler Latin America, Forward Travel, MTV UK, Vanity Fair Italy, Hearst Newspapers and many more.
In the summer of 1967, an unprecedented youth movement emerged in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The movement quickly spread to become a defining foundation of the entire state's unique culture, influencing the fashion, music and lifestyle that continue to inspire travelers to this day.
Partners at California Historical Society, San Francisco Travel, Visit Berkeley, Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Ventura, Ojai Visitors Bureau and Visit West Hollywood ensured that the media representatives left with a true understanding of the vibrant and laid-back California lifestyle.
"Summer of Love" experts arranged by the California Historical Society led a welcome dinner for the journalists, and free exploration through the famed Haight-Ashbury neighborhood followed the next day. Before embarking down the coast, the group attended an exclusive media presentation of the "Summer of Love: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll" exhibit at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.
Other experiences along the road trip included: a tour of "Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia" exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA); a personal tour of the Monterey County Fairgrounds, which is home of the Monterey POP Festival, with famed photographer Tom Gundlefinger O'Neal; a conversation with the 1960's "press conference" at NightBird Recording Studio; and a visit to the Sunset Strip.
With San Francisco serving as the epicenter of the Golden State's famous hippie culture, the welcoming spirit of 1967 still remains throughout California today. The "Summer of Love" global media tour delivered a deeper understanding of the history and illuminated the state's enduring culture of freedom, happiness and welcoming to California's key international markets.
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