Committing their enterprise to eco-friendly tourism, the women at SegZone Tours guide visitors through the historic streets of Annapolis, along the city waterways of Dover, and around the track at Dover International Speedway—all aboard segways. For groups or private parties, tour leaders can also focus excursions on local gardens, architecture, and wildlife in areas often unreachable by car or paraglider. They also guide themed seasonal tours, such as rides along haunted-house routes or past holiday-light displays. With an eye toward safety, staff members always provide thorough instruction on riding before tours or rentals, though they often give customers license to race or argue over whose segway would look better with flames painted on the side. When not leading guided excursions for customers or school groups, the team organizes corporate team-building events as well as indoor obstacle courses for recreation.
Licensed professional tour guides could tell you about the design plan of the U.S. Capitol, the specifics of the congressional resolution to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the quotes engraved on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Or, they could show you.
Excellent Tours' four experienced guides share their knowledge of the capital during three narrated tours aboard vans, mini-buses, and coach buses. Each tour includes stops at the White House, Capitol building, Lincoln Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which is where the similarities end. Tours run at three different times and visit several different additional sights, such as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the World War II Memorial. During each excursion, guides divulge facts such as how President Theodore Roosevelt gave the White House its name in 1901, and why the engineer who laid the cornerstone of the Washington Monument used the same trowel George Washington used nearly a century earlier instead of the nice one his mother bought for him.
Touring Washington D.C. can get tiring very quickly, whether because of trying to cover its expansive acreage on foot or in a bus crowded with an exorbitant amount of passengers. ELD Touring Enterprises opts for a less weary mode of transportation, as guides chauffeur groups of six people around the city in minivans and SUVs. This makes each tour private or semi-private, giving sightseers more intimate access to the destinations they're exploring. Longer daytime tours hit many of the major destinations, including Arlington Cemetery and the White House, while evening tours are reserved for those landmarks that are dramatically lit at night, such as the Lincoln Memorial or Teddy Roosevelt's hot tub. Groups can also opt for themed tours, such as an African-American history tour, or work with ELD guides to come up with a custom route.
Kim Yates's passion for the macabre spawned from a 1973 ride through the Haunted Mansion at Disney World, after which the child collected props and crafted monsters for her parents' front porch. Over the next several decades, Kim channeled her energy into drumming for a Baltimore metal band and building a sprawling Halloween attraction in her front yard and then watching it blossom into a full-scale haunted house in 1994. Despite various relocations, her indoor haunt has been growing ever since.
Featured in the Baltimore Sun, Kim?s Krypt sets Charm City teeth chattering with 25- to 30-minute adventures teeming with unexpected spooks and surprises in a show that adds new scenes annually. A terror-ridden tradition for more than 21 years, the indoor haunt invites brave patrons to test their nerve against killer clowns soliciting screams, zombies seeking fresh flesh, and blood-spattered apparitions recklessly searching for change for a $20 bill. Staffers fortify patrons for their harrowing journey with a range of concession fare as they converse at the covered waiting area after receiving their first shock of the night in the form of free parking. A force of uniformed and plainclothes police officers patrol the building to ensure visitors scare in safety.
The Marshy Point Nature Center is enshrouded in nearly 3,000 acres of natural terrain from the combined Marshy Point Park and neighboring federal land. In this emerald oasis, a variety of wildlife including Barred Owls, Bald Eagles, and Red Fox make their home amongst the three miles of wooded trails and ponds. Hikers and birdwatchers can gather to see these creatures in their natural habitats or take a canoe out to the middle of the Dundee Creek and practice walking back to shore. Throughout the year, the Marshy Point Nature Center also runs activities including a spring festival with a muddy obstacle course and the Popsicle Plunge, which immerses swimmers into the Chesapeake Bay for the sake of charity or really sweaty tendencies.
For Denise and John Wilkerson, owning a vineyard had always been a shared dream, but not one they thought would ever be realized. Wandering through the French regions of Dijon and Bordeaux on their honeymoon, the two sampled myriad wines and mustards, refining their palates and developing an appreciation for wine-dipped mustard sandwiches. Back in the states, the two tried their hand at cattle farming before making a dramatic decision: they'd sell the cattle, work on beautifying their 20 acres of land, and find a sunny patch of earth to plant those first few rows of wine grapes.
Today, the two curate tastings of their award-winning wines in a renovated barn, where barrels have been re-purposed into tables, and grapes have been re-purposed as alcohol. Through open doors, the rustic tasting room looks out over the Wilkersons' 20 acres, which are populated by rows of grapes and the lush undergrowth of native plants.