Get in the Groove and Take a Segway Tour of Downtown Greenville

By:Marie McAden


You’re visiting Greenville and want to experience the hip urban culture that’s put this Upstate metropolis on everyone’s “best city” list. Embrace the vibe and take a downtown tour on a Segway.

In a town known for its trendy restaurants, chic boutiques and outdoor pizzazz, there’s no smarter way to see the sights than on the coolest set of wheels ever to cruise city sidewalks.

The cutting-edge personal transportation vehicles can be easily maneuvered to weave through pedestrian traffic quickly and seamlessly, allowing you to cover more ground than walking without working up a sweat. But it’s the novelty of the high-tech transporters that makes them so much fun.

Gyroscopes and sensors in the base keep the scooter upright and balanced when you’re standing on it. To make the vehicle move forward or backward, you simply lean slightly in the direction you want to go. Turning requires nothing more than moving the steering grip left or right.

Greenville Glides offers several guided Segway tours of the city’s Historic West End and Falls Park. Before you set off, your guide will teach you how to operate the vehicle and work with you individually to ensure you’ve mastered the mechanics of moving, turning and stopping. After testing it indoors, you’ll roll outside for a practice run.

When you first step on a Segway, it will feel a bit wobbly. But within a few minutes, you’ll discover just how much pressure is required to get it going. Top speed on the personal transporters is 12 miles per hour.

Once everyone feels comfortable with the dynamics of the scooter, you’ll begin the tour traveling single file behind the guide like ducklings following their mama. As you roll down the sidewalks on Main Street, the guide will point out landmarks and stop to give you a history of the city.

One of the first stops on the tour is Il Porcellino, a bronze sculpture of a boar, copied from a famous fountain statue in Florence, Italy. Rubbing the nose of the portly Poinsett Square resident is said to bring you luck.

Other critters you’ll spot during the tour include the Mice on Main, small bronze sculptures that are the focus of a downtown scavenger hunt. The mice, each with its own character, can be found on walls, ledges and even an awning.

The artistic highlight of the tour is Chihuly’s stunning “Royal Crystal Tower,” installed in 2015 in Harriet’s Garden, a section of Falls Park located behind the West End Market. The illuminated sculpture is made from red-colored, translucent shapes hung from a 12-foot steel tower.

Some tours include a ride on the boardwalk winding through the native landscape along the upper banks of Falls Park. The 1,000-foot timber walkway sits as high as 12 feet off the ground, giving riders the feeling they are traveling through the trees. Two overlooks along the way offer fantastic views of the Reedy River and gardens below.

To ride a Segway on a Greenville Glides tour, you must weigh at least 100 pounds and no more than 260 pounds. Both 90-minute and two-hour tours are offered year round, seven days a week.

Make reservations on the website or by calling 864.214.0119.

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