Shira Steiger discovered the smileinducing fun of Segways—those self-balancing, electric-powered transportation machines—a decade ago when she tried one for a tour in San Francisco and got hooked. Now, with a fleet of 16 Segways, she’s introducing corporate groups and leisure travelers to the “human transporters” through her company, Segway Tours of Healdsburg. Two tour options are available: one that visits a pair of boutique Russian River wineries (Viszlay Vineyards and Foppiano Winery) and another on which participants glide from the wine country town of Guerneville to nearby Armstrong Redwoods State Park for a foray and picnic among towering trees.
“People love Segways. They come to our area and seek them out,” Steiger says, noting that the tours are especially popular as an off-site activity for corporate groups.
Savvy planners and DMCs see to it that some of those groups arrive at the Segway staging point in high style, via Healdsburg Tours’ lavish fleet. Company owner Jonathan Garner wanted his custom wine tour company to be “something besides a regular limo service” so he converted two Mercedes Sprinter vans into eight-passenger luxury salons replete with leather captain’s chairs, hardwood floors, a flat-screen TV, Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports. Even showier is the company’s Tesla Model X SUV with falcon-wing doors. It’s designed for one couple but can accommodate three adults comfortably, while two more of small stature can squeeze into the third row. “It gets a lot of looks,” says Garner, who loves to show off features like the vehicle’s self-parking capability.