Private Tour Guides: Worth It?
Most times I like poking around cities on my own. But sometimes a great tour guide offers glimpes of a place that I would have a tough time discovering on my own.
Not long ago, I found myself in need of a guide who could take visiting friends around Washington. Bill Blackwell of Sterling Transportation Services turned out to be pleasant, amiable and knowledgeable about the city, taking my friends to some of the best-known sites around D.C. -- and some little-known ones too ($175 a day, 703-869-4426, email@example.com). I have also had good luck with guides in other cities -- the San Francisco Tour Guide Guild ($175 for four hours, $35 an hour thereafter) and the Chicago Tour Guides Institute ($180 for three hours).
Is hiring a guide a cop-out, or a practical way to get to know a city? Does it take something away from the process of discovery? What do you think? If you have a good guide story, share it here.
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