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.
Joan Elias began her career as a shampoo girl at the age of 15 and quickly accomplished her goal of becoming a stylist. Today, she owns Annapolis Boutique Spa and oversees a staff of stylists, massage therapists, and aestheticians. Drawing upon her more than 30 years of experience, Joan helps her team cater to their clients’ aesthetic concerns while attempting to promote their physical well-being. Skincare treatments revitalize dermal layers with potent blends of essential oils instead of buzzword-heavy pep talks, and bodywork sessions promote the body's natural healing process with therapeutic massage modalities and holistic energy-balancing treatments. The treatment menu also includes a variety of hair and nail services and spa packages.
When Pete and Kate Vonderheide moved from Hawaii to Annapolis to live closer to their family, they thought they'd have to give up a career of ocean kayaking to resume responsible office jobs. Soon they recognized the historic city harbor's lack of kayak tours and knew they couldn't stay inside forever. Their shared passion for history spurred them to research and interview the locals until they'd compiled enough historic material to start leading tours. Today, their tours can teach something new even to locals.
The Vonderheides continue to assemble a team of outdoor guides certified in CPR and first aid who all bear a well-researched knowledge of area wildlife and history. These experts lead two-hour scenic tours through the historic harbor. Starting each excursion with a brief paddling lesson, they put first-timers at ease with basic instruction and an amiable demeanor, unlike guides who rely only on their convincing Captain Ahab impressions. Excursions begin at the Spa Creek headwaters in Truxtun Park and lead participants into open-harbor waters to drift in full view of the state capitol building, the US Naval Academy, and historic Eastport. Trips peak at the City Dock, where participants receive a break to take photos and rest. On the return trip, guides field open-ended questions about city history such as presidential visits, the crabbing and oystering trade, and whether George Washington had to swim using floaties.
Discover Annapolis Tours hauls history seekers to some of the town’s most beautiful and significant centuries-old sites. Clamber into the climate-controlled tour trolley for a non-car-chased cruise through Annapolis as your guide points out notable real estate such as the Maryland State House, St. John’s College, and the City Dock, where 19th-century pirates would park their jet skis for their fortnightly euchre tournaments. Tours skirt the sides of the Naval Academy and wheel past breathtaking Victorian and Georgian homes still covered in the fine white dust left by their powdered-wigged inhabitants. Although today’s deal is for adult tickets only, children are welcome on the tours (tickets are $9 for kids 11–15, $3 for ages 10 and below, and free for preschoolers), as are dogs—sparing pet owners the chore of reenacting the experience for four-legged history buffs using only Milk-Bones and rawhide.