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Emerald Coast Tours: Pensacola by Foot, Bike, Sail or Segway

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Tours by foot, bicycle, sail or Segway are masterfully arranged by Emerald Coast Tours. Experience what Pensacola has to offer by way of exciting guided tours that are definitely out of the ordinary.

There is lots of history in Pensacola. Owner Nic Schuck states, "Pensacola is a hidden historic gem in the Southeast. It was the location of the first attempted European settlement in what is now the United States, predating St. Augustine by six years, Jamestown by 40 years and the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock by 60 years." It's also the site of the 1821 acceptance of Florida by General Andrew Jackson from the Spanish and where an important American Revolution battle was fought.

A Segway is the favorite way Emerald Coast Tours introduces out-of-towners to its history and landmarks. For those unfamiliar with this type of transportation, this is a human transport machine manufactured by Segway. This two-wheeled, self-balancing, electric, motorized vehicle made specifically for riding in pedestrian areas is often used by security or law enforcement personnel. "Most of our customers love using the Segways because of the novelty of having never ridden," says Schuck. But those that have ridden Segways before continue to come back because of how fun they are. They are unlike any vehicle that is available."

Emerald Coast Tours offers several fun and novel gliding tours for those 14 and older. Relax into the ride, as all Segway tours begin with a training session for the uninitiated. Segway tours include historic downtown Pensacola, wine tasting, beach area, East Hill by night and even a haunted evening tour of the odd and macabre. The sail and Segway tour is a tour like no other where you can glide by land and sail the Pensacola Bay aboard a 22-foot boat. If you just want to try the Segway experience, you can take the 10-minute training session for $10.

Non-gliding tours are abundant. Take the name-your-own-price downtown walking tour, which is a great way to get to know the town's eateries, hear its history and view some notable places while traveling on a budget. Move faster by bicycle. Rent one and create your own circuit or pedal your way through informative tours that include lunch, waterfront views or business and residential areas.

Like the bar scene and want to save money or drinks? Get on the pub tour for a unique nightlife experience of downtown's historic pubs. Schuck says. "We combine the educational aspect of a historical walk with the entertainment aspect of a pub crawl. It's Pensacola's own version of drunk history."

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