Best Bus Tour to the Dark Side (2010)

Crime Bus Tours

Do you wish you’d been old enough to go drinking with Charles Bukowski? Are you dying to visit Bay City as created by Raymond Chandler? How about “Crawling Down Cahuenga” in Tom Waits’ footsteps? Esotouric has just the tour for you. Esotouric grew out of the Crime Bus Tours, themselves an offshoot of the 1947project blog started by Kim Cooper in 2005. Cooper and partner Richard Schave are obsessed with L.A. and the many personalities who have made it weird. Esotouric debuted in May 2007 and now offers more than a dozen bus tours celebrating the city, ranging from the Erik Davis-led “Visionary Hollywood” to John Buntin’s “L.A. Noir” crime tour to tours focused on local literary lions John Fante, James Ellroy and Bukowski. For those of a more contemporary bent, pop music historians Kim Cooper and Gene Sculatti lead “Where the Action Was,” a return to the ’60s Sunset Strip and Hollywood’s punk locales. Coming soon, “Blood and Dumplings” heads to the San Gabriel Valley, combining a dumpling dining experience with visits to crime scenes including Phil Spector’s Alhambra mansion. Danger lurks in the shadows of sunny Southern California; Esotouric will show you where. esotouric.com. —Lisa Horowitz