Arriving at the Hub
Being from Philadelphia myself, my segway tour experience is probably a little different than someone coming to tour the City of Brotherly Love for the first time. That being said, since I do know the city so well, it was up to Philly Tour Hub to provide a unique adventure that would leave me wanting more despite having previously visited most of the landmarks on the tour.
When I first arrived at the Hub, I was greeted by a cheerful employee at the front desk who took my information, gathered the waiver forms that I had to sign, and even chatted about some exciting events happening around the city later in the day.
It is important to mention that I signed up for the Philly Cheesesteak Segway Tour, and I did book the tour with a group of friends; however, there was also a man who booked the same time as us and he joined our group. This was a pleasant surprise because we were able to interact with someone who was from New York who had never been to Philadelphia before!
We all got there a few minutes early, meaning we had time to walk around the main office and admire some of the beautiful photography hanging up on the walls, played a quick game of foosball (yes, they have a foosball table), and then relaxed with a cold refreshment while we waited for the training to begin.
**Helpful Tip: If you are taking the tour in the later fall or winter months, be sure to BUNDLE UP! Our tour guide told us that it feels about 10-20 degrees colder out on the segways, and they were not lying. We went in January, and if I didn’t bring my scarf and gloves, I may have turned into an icicle.
The Segway training video is sure to bring you back to that time in 3rd grade when you were forced to watch a science lab safety video, but as we learned, it is important to pay attention and actually listen to what they are saying to avoid harming yourself or others.
Once the 15-20 minute is complete, we were ushered over to the segways to put what we just learned to the test. Trust me, if it is your first time riding a segway, you’ll be eternally grateful of the indoor training conducted by your tour guide.
Riding a segway might appear to be incredibly easy (because your guide is a trained professional), but from our experience, it takes at least a few minutes to get acclimated to the machine.
The great thing about our tour guide was that he gave every person in our group a mini 1-on-1 lesson, making sure that everyone was as comfortable as they could be before taking the segways out on the street. Some people are able to pick it up faster than others, so just be patient and you’ll be out riding in no time.
The final things two steps are to fastening your helmet and making sure your walkie-talkie is working so you can hear your tour guide while riding. Now you are all set to cruise around Philadelphia, segway style!
Starting the Tour
Whether you are an adventure seeker, a tourist, or simply a local Philadelphian looking for a new experience, this is where the real fun begins. Highlight the word experience.
The most telling thing I can say about the segway tour is that you can tell right away that you are going to have an incredible experience. There’s something uniquely riveting about riding a motorized, two-wheel machine, especially knowing that you are about to eat some of the finest Cheesesteaks Philadelphia has to offer.
When you first glide away from the Hub and become one with the Philly traffic, that’s the point where it becomes real! You can feel that that you are in for a great time.
The tour guides do an awesome job of balancing safety with an enjoyable tour adventure that is informational and best of all, appetite-satisfying. They may go over safety precautions, two, three, or ten times, but that is only for your own good.
As you get ready to take off, get some last minute pictures in because you are about to take part in the ride of your life!
We started the tour in Old City, as the tour guide spoke about the historical center of Philadelphia and revolutionary times.
Next, we passed through Chinatown, marveling at the history and culture that is unique to this part of town. Once in Center City, you’ll notice an uptick in traffic and activity, and you’ll pass by Jefferson Hospital, which is one of the first hospitals in the United States.
After more eye-opening exploration, we arrived at the first cheesesteak location – the world famous corner of Pat’s and Geno’s. There is no better way to have your first cheesesteak bites than at the two most iconic spots in Philly.
Our next stop was at Jim’s Steaks on South Street. We listened to our guide speak about how the area became the “alternative” section of the original city.
My biggest takeaway from riding on the segway tour is that when it was over, I was already looking forward to the next tour. It’s rare that you can find something that is fun for people of all ages, families, friends groups, work outings, or even by yourself.
The segway tour by itself would have been a great excursion, but when you add cheesesteaks into the equation, it instantly becomes a can’t-miss opportunity.
I certainly had my doubts going in, such as “This might not be worth it” or, “Will I really enjoy riding a segway?” and even, “What if I’m absolutely terrible?” All of my concerns turned out to be unwarranted, and I had more fun than I ever thought possible.
Top 10 Key Takeaways From the Philly Cheesesteak Segway Tour:
- Once you start riding a segway, it’s like riding a bike.
- The longer you ride, the more fun you have.
- You might upset a driver or two. That’s okay.
- Cheesesteaks are delicious any day, time, month, or year.
- Tour Guides really know the history of Philadelphia. Listen to what they say!
- Interact with other people in your group. It makes everyone feel more comfortable.
- Make sure to bring your appetite. It’s needed.
- Wear extra layers if the temperature is below 60 degrees.
- If you want to sneak in a Snapchat or Instagram story on the segway, be careful.
- Take in the experience. Above all else, have fun.
If you would like to learn more about people like me who have had great experiences with the segway tour, or any other tour, or if you would like to learn more about our tours in general, please visit the Philly Tour Hub website www.toursinphilly.com, or call (215) 280-3746.