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Florida Guide > Other Activities

Sightseeing by Segway

Visiting the Gulf Coast I was fascinated to see people riding around on ‘Segways’. It looked a really cool fun way to travel. So I decided to look into these vehicles a bit more as I wanted to try one!

Segways are becoming more and more popular, particularly in the US since they went into production in 2002. But if you’re not familiar with Segways, they are quiet vehicles that you stand and balance on with a pillar, whilst you hold handle bars to control it. (It reminds me of an old fashioned push lawn mower without the grass box attached. ) Segways are powered by battery and can reach speeds of up to 12 mph. Leaning forward or back makes it go faster or slower whilst they can go up to 24 miles before the battery needs recharging. They’re very compact and can be manoeuvred in small areas. I’ve seen them used at airports, shopping malls as well as tourist areas.

So having seen these I wanted a go! I started to do some research on this to find out what was available in Central Florida. I found that no experience is required to try out this new form of technology as pre-tour training is provided. Costs vary but most charge between $40 - $85. (You may want to check the tour operator’s insurance cover or that you are covered by your own travel insurance. )

The first opportunity I found was at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge a place I’d enjoyed visiting. Here you can take a Segway tour around the resort on a two hour exploration of the scenery. Their criteria is that riders must be 16 years old and weight no more than 250lb. The cost is $85.

Moving on more I found Segways could also be experienced at Disney’s EPCOT. Here you get to ride Segways around the World Showcase before this area is opened to other guests. Like the Wildnerness Lodge this tour lasts two hours, costs $85 and runs twice a day at 8. 30 and 9. 30.

At St Petersburg I found a Segway tour could be done on Tuesdays through to Saturdays at 1030 and 2. 00. The cost for this is $61. Alternatively an hour’s long tour is offered on Sundays at 12. 30 and 2. 30 - this too is $45. At St Petersburg riders need to be 13 years old.

As I looked into this more and more I found there were many Segway tours on offer in Florida! Sarasota, Naples. …

As for me? My family had a great tour in St Peterburg where our thirteen year old could ride. We had a short training session and then we were off! I have to say we got more comfortable as we became more competent and familiar with our Segways. There was no pressure from our tour guide who accepted we were all us novices. We travelled along the beautiful bay front where we saw dolphins and pelicans in the glistening sea and on through some very pleasant parks. A great new way of sightseeing – and where you even become something to sightsee as you travel around watched by people intrigued by these vehicles. We had a lot of fun – why don’t you have a try?

Author: Denise and Nigel Taylor (Villa link: click here)
Other articles by this author: click here

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Page added on: 2 March 2009
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