Are you interested in learning more about Golden Gate Park and it's amazing attractions, but don't want to walk for miles? If so, then the Segway Tour of Golden Gate Park might be the perfect solution for you.
On this three hour tour, you will glide past all of the main attractions on the eastern side of the park. Your tour covers seven miles of trails and rides past the California Academy of Sciences, the AIDS Memorial Grove and the Conservatory of Flowers.
The tour is offered both in the morning and the afternoon (with an additional tour mid-day during the busy summer months). While you don't go into any of the attractions, it's a great way to learn more about what this 1,000+ acre park has to offer.
Here are more details on this SF tour and what you can expect when you show up.
The first thing you will need to do when you arrive is check in. The booth above is the check in area. You will find it behind the bandstand between the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum.
After reading their liability paperwork and signing a waiver, you are set to get started.
The first part of the tour is training. During your training session, your group and you will spend about 30 minutes getting comfortable with a Segway.
The training covers getting on and off the Segway. The guides will also show you how to turn, make fast and slow stops and everything else you will need to become familiar with how it works.
I admit that I was really nervous the first time I took one of these tours. I was worried that it would be hard to learn how to use a Segway. I was wrong. It takes a few minutes to get used to how it works, but after that, you will also find that they are really easy to operate - and a lot of fun!.
Your tour starts the minute you are done with training. After riding out of the training area, you head past the California Academy of Sciences. Here you learn more about this museum's history and how it became one of the greenest museums in the world.
From here, you will head behind the museum to the Rhododendron Gardens. You will cruise around the gardens as you learn more about the history of the park and the statues in these gardens.
You then head through the Fuchsia Gardens over to the Conservatory of Flowers. You will get an up close look at the outside of the Conservatory and learn a little about the Dahlia Garden located to the east of it.
You then continue east, past McLaren Lodge and through Sharon Meadow (this is where most of the 1967 Summer of Love festivities took place). You will then pass the first children's playground in the US, the beautiful carousel and Sharon Art Studio.
The first part of your trip takes about an hour. This is when you will get the chance to hop off your Segway and take a few minutes to explore the AIDS National Memorial Grove.
Since you aren't moving your feet for almost an hour, they will get a little tingly by this time. A quick walk around the gardens and/or a few minutes off your feet gets the blood pumping again so you are ready for the second half of the tour.
After this stop, you will head behind the California Academy of Sciences for a good look at its living roof. From here, you will pass Shakespeare's Gardens (all of the plants and flowers in this garden are referenced somewhere in Shakespeare's works).
You then continue on to see Stow Lake. This is your second stopping point. Here you will have a little time to grab a snack and enjoy the beauty of this man-made lake.
This is also where we stopped to take a photo of each of us and our group. This is me getting in a good pose for my part of the photo shoot.
The last 20 minutes of this Segway Tour of Golden Gate Park takes you on the southern side of Stow Lake, past the de Young Museum and the entrance to the Japanese Tea Garden. You then head back to the starting point.
I had a blast on this tour. Once you get the hang of these Segways, they are so much fun to ride.
The tour guides are also very entertaining. They give you quite a bit of history, but are funny as well as informative. We were laughing the entire two hours and none of us wanted the tour to end.
All of these tours are small group tours, so the guides can keep an eye on the group. Both tours the day I was there included only seven people plus the guide.
Each Segway is equipped with a personal radio and ear piece. This way you can set your own volume to hear the guide's live narration during the tour.
Because you need to keep both hands on your Segway, you are not allowed to take photos during the journey. However, there are a few places that you stop and you can take some photos at that point. Also, our guide took dozens of photos of us during the trip and they posted them online for us to grab at no additional cost.
If you are interested in booking this tour, I recommend reserving your spot online in advance. Since it's a small group tour, it does fill up quickly - especially during those busy summer months. Book online today to reserve your spot in advance!
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