For the past several years, Washington, DC Legend Tours, operated by Jerusalem DC Tour and Transportation, has shuttled passengers around the nation?s capital on entertaining and educational tours. Captained by Yohannes Zeleke, PhD, founder and current research collaborator at the National Museum of Natural History, the company?s guides exude passion while sowing the seeds of history in different languages, including English and Russian. They lead four-hour treks through surrounding neighborhoods and past notable monuments, such as the US Capitol building, as well as helm comprehensive eight-hour tours that delve deeper into iconic sites such as the Arlington Cemetery. When not on a tour, the company uses its fleet to bus customers to and from area airports?a safer alternative than trying to inconspicuously squeeze a moped into the president?s motorcade.
City Segway Tours was born in Paris in 2003. Back then, Segways were still newfangled contraptions that most people hadn't even heard of much less ridden or snared with a lasso. Immediate success followed, and soon, they had their sights set on North America. Today, City Segway Tours has locations parked across the world, including San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
Besides the Segway itself, each tour includes three main components: a guide, a helmet, and an orientation. During the orientation, riders familiarize themselves with their Segways, learning the vehicle's controls and the location of the eject button. At the head of every tour, a friendly, knowledgeable guide leads the way, dishing out facts and historical tidbits while groups buzz past local landmarks. Additionally, tour group sizes are kept small, making for a more intimate experience.
There are plenty of famous landmarks to see in Washington D.C.: the White House. The Lincoln Memorial. Jefferson's vault of pudding. However, more obscure (but just as interesting) sites lie off the beaten path, and Zohery Tours whisks its patrons to many of them. In between stops at the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool and the American Red Cross Headquarters, Dr. Zohery introduces visitors to the spots where dignitaries go jogging and politicians take their morning coffee breaks. He also opens their eyes to the cultural aspects of the city, which include seven universities, the National Gallery of Art, and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Regardless of the locale, the guide taps into 25 years of experience hosting D.C. tours, regaling visitors with historical facts and answering questions about the political process.
An American government professor may not seem like the first person to ask about ghosts. But if you want to learn about the D.C.'s spectral past, then Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg possesses inside knowledge on the capital's paranormal past. A presidential consultant for PBS's website and founder of Scary DC, the professor heads up a staff made up of fellow Schoenbergs and a cast of storytellers that lead visitors on weekly tours. Trips explore the haunted history of sites across the city, possibly encountering John Quincy Adams residing over the Capitol Building or James Madison checking out a book about himself at the Library of Congress.
CitySights DC's signature double-decker bus tours of the United States's capital come which comes with hop-on, hop-off privileges?and there's plenty of reason to do both. Hopping on means informed narration in eight languages, including Portuguese and German, and a break for tired feet. Hopping off is appealing too. It means leisurely exploration of some of the country's most important landmarks, such as the White House, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial, whose beard grows if you stare at it long enough. Other tours cover similar terrain in different ways. On boat tours, passengers see the sites from the Potomac River, and on bike tours, they pedal themselves from locale to locale.