PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Established in 1559 by Don Tristan de Luna, downtown Pensacola has retained the look and feel of an “old” city. But there is a “new” way to explore this historic area that gets visitors and locals up close to the city’s charm and history.
Nine years ago, Nic Schuck decided that riding a Segway would be a great way to see this historic city and its landmarks. His business, Emerald Coast Tours, provides experienced local tour guides for groups of up to six people. The tours run daily and range from one to two hours.
The guides point out areas of interest such as Historic Pensacola Village, Veterans Memorial Park, the Pensacola bayfront, historic Palafox Street, and Ferdinand Plaza among many other stops. Schuck says Segways provide a more personal tour of Pensacola.
“It’s the added fun and adventure of riding a Segway so it doesn’t feel like you’re just on a lecture tour,” Schuck says.
He says the tours are popular with tourists but also with locals.
“We really enjoy when locals show up because I think playing tourist in your own city, you look at your hometown through different eyes when you’re playing tourist,” says Schuck, who says his favorite stop is Veterans Memorial Park. “We’ve got the only permanent replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in the United States that has all 56,000 — plus names of the soldiers that died in Vietnam. It’s one of my favorite stops. We’ve oftentimes had locals who’ve never even been to this park before.”
He also enjoys the ride down Palafox Place.
“In 2013, this was named by the American Planning Association as one of the great streets in America,” Shuck says. When asked what’s great about this charming street, he says, “Well, I think one of the things is throughout all of the revitalization over the last many years, we’ve been able to hold onto the historical integrity of the city.”
Schuck is not only the owner of Emerald Coast Tours, but he’s also one of the tour guides. For more information, on those tours, click here.