There’s a new hot spot in town, and it promises to become quite the place to meet, grab a cuppa and take a tour around the city. You only need to choose which way you go: on foot, by van, or…on a Segway! And last night, at the GRAND OPENING of the new PHILLY TOUR HUB, I took a ride on a Segway for the first time ever.
I won’t lie. When I first stepped on and Mike the tour guide told me to just bring up the other foot, I screamed as it wobbled and tried to grab his arm. No, he admonished, just hold the middle bar and step up. I’m smiling here as I take my first little ride, but I’m not at all sure I’m going to survive.
Meanwhile, inside the store–housed in the old Berger Brothers building at Second and Arch Streets–proprietor Andy Maunder hosted a grand opening featuring all sorts of food from the Italian Market (yum) with all tour guides on hand to teach folks like (gulp) me how to Segway without falling off. The guides–Chris, Trevor, Mike and Barry shown here–are all charming and knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
And even though spell check would prefer me to write “Seaway” or “Nosegay,” I assure you, they have a whole bunch of SEGWAYS just waiting to be ridden!
This whole thing started when Maunder–who’s British–started giving tours around the city he’d come to know and love. He called the company AWFULLY NICE TOURS (how veddy, veddy British) and ran the biz out of his home in Moorestown, NJ. Just a few years later, he’s heading up what’s becoming THE place to book a tour in the city. They offer a number of standard tours–Walking, Driving and Segway tours in and around the city–as well as customized two-hour or multi-day tours for companies, schools, families, birthday parties…you name it, and Maunder will design a tour to please.
But you don’t have to decide now. Stop in, relax on the couches, have a cup of coffee, charge your phone, use the free Wi-Fi, and consider your options while watching the soccer game. Maunder wants his hub to be international, a place for visitors from all over the world to meet, greet and learn about the city and its environs. Awfully Nice Tours, Philadelphia Urban Adventures and Philly by Segway–all here–have been voted the #1, #2 and #5 activities in Philly by TripAdvisor.
Here is some of what is offered:
Valley Forge Tour
Lancaster/Amish Country Tour
Brandywine Valley Tour
Rocky Movie Tour Tour
History in HD
9th Street Italian Market Tour
Food for Thought Tour
Essence of South Philly Tour
Philly on Tap Tour
Soul of Center City Tour
1- and 2-Hour Segway Tours
Philly Cheese Steak Tour
Maunder–here with his lovely wife, Trish–is building relationships with other hospitality partners in the city to provide access to museums, tickets to shows and events, and more.
As for me, after a few minutes on the Segway, I was RACING down the sidewalk, spinning my turns without bumping into a fire hydrant (okay, maybe once) and racing back up. It was fun and exhilarating and I can’t wait to go back to take a proper tour, as the Brits would say!
To find out more or book a tour:
Philly Tour Hub
229 Arch St. (btw. 2nd and 3rd)
Philadelphia, PA 19106