Gliding around Washington DC on a Segway – Fun or Dorky?

Washington DC, USA

Considering that our Segway tour in Washington DC was paid for, I guess we shouldn’t call riding a Segway dorky.

But dorky I felt as both Jack and I ungracefully did the “Segway dance” (that’s when you’re rocking back and forth as you try to find your balance the first time step on a Segway) in an alley during the training session.

Segway City Tour - Washington DC
The training ground

Dorky I felt as all 8 of us followed our friendly guide, Kaitlyn, gliding on the bike path next the cars, ready to explore the National Mall on a Segway.

But the dorky feeling didn’t last long. It was quickly replaced by an air of superiority, not only from being much higher than the rest of the Segway-less folks (for a 5 ft tall Asian, this never happened!) – but also from realizing that there’s probably no better way to see a city like Washington DC than on a Segway.

For one, the museums and the monuments on the National Mall are a lot further apart than they seem on the map. You end up walking quite a bit as you go from one to another. We know because we did this the day before. An oh, the sore feet we ended up with. Ouch!

On a Segway, exploring the National Mall is a piece of cake

The area around National Mall has wide sidewalks, walking paths, and bike paths that accommodate Segways very well. The gravel-lined walking area in the Mall was wide enough that we can comfortably ride our Segways side by side.

Segways can go pretty fast. Considering that the distance between the furthest points of the National Mall – between Capitol Hill and Lincoln Memorial is 2.6 miles, it would take us a good deal of the day just to traverse through on feet.

On a Segway – we managed to see not only the highlights of the Mall but of the surrounding areas as well in less than 3 hours.

Martin Luther King Jr. monument
MLK monument, one of the many stops we did on the tour

Unfortunately, they don’t allow Segways near the White House so we could only see it from quite a distance away.

What’s it like riding a Segway?

Jack on a Segway
Piece of cake

It’s a lot easier than riding a bike and just a tad harder than standing still. It might seem intimidating at first, and the safety video they made us watch in the beginning showing stick figures falling in the most creative ways didn’t help.

BUT, it turned out to be surprisingly easy to master. It’s very receptive to your shift in center of balance and it takes very little effort to move or stop or turn.

And it’s a lot of fun!

Jack and Jill on Segways in front of the Capitol Building

So if you’re
– In DC for a short period of time and would like to get a bearing of the area really quickly
– Never on a Segway before and curious to know what it’s like.

Suspend your pre-conceived notions of the dorkiness of riding a Segway, and give it a try!

We promise you that it’s a lot more fun and a lot less dorky than it looks.


Thanks to City Segway Tours for trusting us enough to host us and not to run away with their Segways.

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12 Replies to “Gliding around Washington DC on a Segway – Fun or Dorky?”

  1. We can look at any photo, but until you actually see it, it is so beautiful. Great thought and will for sure bookmark your site. Thanks for the info.

  2. I'm really bummed I didn't take the chance to go on a segway tour when I was out on Moreton Island last month, but $55 to go up and down the beach just didn't seem worth it.

    Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun though!

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