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Resorts show guests grounds with Segway tours

Associated Press Modified: October 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm •  Published: October 2, 2012
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The 90-minute tour, which started on Memorial Day, travels on meandering trails through the resort's woods. Guest get mountain views and often spot wildlife including bear, deer and red-tailed hawks. The tour costs $70 a person.

"I said to my wife, I feel like the laziest hiker ever," said Wilson, of Alexandria, Va., who oversees national programing for PBS. "Once you start, it's sort of intuitive as to how it is to go."

Prices generally range from $60 to $125 per person. But there are some deals to be found. The Paradisus Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic offers a 45-minute tour for $35 and the Shangri-La Golden Sands Resort in Malaysia offers 15-minute rides around the resort for about $10. Several resorts have minimum age requirements and only allow guests between a certain weight to participate, generally 100 to 260 pounds (45 to 118 kilos).

Some hotels offer tours on paved paths while others go through more-adventurous off-road terrain. Some properties offer both options or custom-tailor a tour based on how comfortable the group feels after the initial training. A driver's license isn't needed and most resorts offer guests helmets. The Segway can go up to 12 mph (about 19 kilometers) but tours often go slower and stop to point out the sights, covering just four or five miles (six to eight kilometers) during the 90 minutes.

Most hotels start their tours with a practice session in an empty parking lot or in the middle of a field. Once guests have mastered the Segway, they head out to explore the grounds.

At The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, visitors travel on a trail that hugs the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offering seemingly-endless views of the California coast. At the Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii, guests on Segways can see sea turtles and Hawaiian Monk Seals basking in the sun. At O'Reilly's Gold Coast, a resort at Australia's Lamington National Park, guests explore the surrounding rainforest and cross creeks on the Segways.

None of this is exactly roughing in it. But after all it, it is a vacation.

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Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at http://twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott.