Jul 4, 2013

Segway Tour of Washington DC's Monuments

Happy Independence Day! Raisin Bread and I are lucky enough to live in a great historic city with so many sights that bring out the patriots in all of us. On Saturday, we decided to play tourists in our own town by doing a tour of DC. It wasn't any old tour though. It was a tour by segway! Neither of us had ever been on a segway before, but it was something we both have always wanted to try. This seemed like a winning combination.

We booked our 2.5 hour tour with Bike and Roll. The tour leaves from the Old Post Office Building, but our tour guide mentioned that they may be moving soon due to Trump's impending takeover of the world building.

After checking in for our tour, we were shown a safety video (featuring stick figures falling off segways) and signed a waiver. Then our guide demonstrated the ins and outs of operating a segway. Each of us then took turns riding a distance of about 10 feet before we were each given our own segway. For about 15 minutes, we had the chance to further familiarize ourselves and get comfortable with our new mode of transport by riding around a small courtyard. My segway was named Fala, after FDR's Scottish Terrier.

When it was time to roll out, our group of six people had fallen to four. The segway appeared to be too powerful for some, but that was okay.  It turned out that three of us were locals and the remaining participant was visiting from Germany. 

We traveled down Pennsylvania Avenue to the National Archives and US Navy Memorial

National Archives
U.S. National Archives

The segways were set to a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour. In crowded areas with lots of pedestrians, it was difficult to maneuver and get to a higher speed. There were definitely times during the tour, however, when we could get out of our single file line and go a little faster. I made it over 10 miles per hour at some points. You can call me, Speed Racer. 

Our tour continued past the Newseum and to the Embassy of Canada

Embassy of Canada
 Embassy of Canada

We were able to hop off our segways here and explore the Embassy's Echo Chamber, which I had no idea existed and found to be really cool. ECHO Echo echo echo...

Passing by the National Gallery, we headed towards the U.S. Capitol.

US Capitol Building
U.S. Capitol

We rode to the Visitors Center side of the Capitol, which required us to go up and then down hill. That made me a little nervous, but I survived!

From there, we headed onto the Mall, viewing the Botanic Garden, a number of Smithsonian Museums and making a bathroom and snack stop at the Smithsonian Castle.

Then it was to the Washington Monument, which as you can see is still sick from earthquake damage. From there, we had a not-so-great view of the White House, which we would revisit later on in the tour.

Washington Monument
Washington Monument

Then it was on to the World War II Memorial and a detour to the Martin Luther King Memorial. I'm not sure if this is part of the normal tour because our guide asked us if we wanted to go to it. 

Martin Luther King Memorial

We could see across the Tidal Basin for a view of the Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial

One of the funniest things about the day was seeing people's reactions to a line of segways coming towards them or zipping past them. Some people would just make comments like, "Look! Segways!" or "We should ride a segway!" While others would have a look of sheer terror, knowing that a bunch of amateurs might run them over at any moment.

We jumped back on our segways to see the exterior of Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial

The Reflecting Pool was recently refilled after a long while of being dry.

Reflecting Pool
Reflecting Pool

To end our day, our guide fulfilled our German friend's wish of a better view of the White House, so our tour guide took us off roading to get this shot.

White House
White House

From there, it was back to the Old Post Office to return our segways and enjoy a freezy pop.

The day was a lot of fun. I actually had pretty low expectations going in, but I really enjoyed myself and would not hesitate to jump on a segway again if the opportunity presented itself! 


  1. What a fun way to see your city! I think it would be more comfortable to try a segway for the first time in your own territory.

    Glad that the German tourist got his wish!

    1. It was a blast! I agree. It was more comfortable knowing how far things were from each other and where we were going. So much fun!

  2. Traveling is my passion, exploring new places and learning so many things and multiple culture. I have visited most of the places in USA and Washington is one of my favorite. I would love to visit here again and again. It has something that attracts me every time. Just got cheap flight tickets to Washington and now i am all the way to Washington.

  3. I really like your blog. I hope you have fun on trip. The photos are superb and I definitely want to visit these places. Thanks for sharing.