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.
Washington Walks offers a diverse list of walking tours, each lasting approximately two to three hours and led by passionate, knowledgeable guides. The Embassy Row tour, offered on Saturdays at 10 a.m., explores the highfalutin housing of the city's once-upper crust, and the nightly The Most Haunted Houses tour takes off Lafayette Park's shirt to expose its violent underbelly and stops at the highly haunted Octagon. Scholarly Sundays can be devoted to the Georgetown tour, which elegantly strolls through the Georgetown neighborhood to examine 200-year-old mansions and talks about the olden days when horse-drawn carriages were pulled by eagles. There's also a series of Saturday and Sunday tours dedicated to individual neighborhoods, providing locals with the opportunity to master their living zone.
Challenge Nation pioneered the urban-adventure race with a race season that includes visits to 35 cities across the country. Each scavenger hunt is personalized to the hosting city, exploring its many diverse neighborhoods with a series of clues that would test even the most skilled children's-book detective. The teams—comprised of at least two people—vie for a $300 first-place prize. The Amazing Race–style competition rewards quick wits and wise planning over physical fitness, so the best way to prepare is by doing logic puzzles while eating Funyuns and lounging in a La-Z-Boy. The top 25 teams qualify, the top five receiving free entry, to compete in the national championship, which rewards winning teams with a $5,000 cash prize.
Leave it to a DC bus company to build its service upon democratic principles: DC2NY lets its riders vote on issues such as whether or not to make rest stops or watch movies. This novel approach to customer service was developed by a senior management team with decades of experience in the hospitality industry, and it is no doubt part of the reason for a seemingly endless list of customer compliments. Riders also tend to be fans of the modern fleet of buses, which are equipped with free WiFi and bottled water, well-kept bathrooms, and electrical outlets in every other row.
Most of the roundtrip voyages take place between DC or Virginia and New York City, with convenient pickup locations at Dupont Circle and Union Station in DC, Penn Station in New York, and two Virginia-area Metro stations. Weekend trips often have express service with no additional pickups, and the summer season brings routes headed toward Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches in Delaware. For regular commuters, DC2NY offers a membership program, which grants special pricing, rewards points redeemable for tickets, and the privilege of declaring yourself mayor of your seat.