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Best Local Tour Guides in Nashville

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Franklin on Foot logo
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Franklin on Foot

Franklin, TN 37064
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Business Description

For over 18 years, Franklin on Foot has thrilled guests of all ages on its guided walking tours. Owned by "recovering lawyer" Margie Thessin, the company's tours take customers through the small and endearing town of Franklin, Tennessee, located just south of Nashville. Franklin on Foot prides itself on offering a different tour for every taste, ranging from Food Tours to Ghost Tours to Civil War Tours to Children's Tours. Since 2012, the company has offered tours of Nashville as well as Franklin. Most tours are available year round, on Monday through Saturday by reservation. Franklin on Foot also offers free educational programs as well as an informative blog. The company has been recognized with several awards including TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence for three years in a row.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (33)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Hick Chick Tours logo
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Hick Chick Tours

Nashville, TN 37201
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Business Description

Hick Chick Tours is a Nashville-based company providing combination sightseeing tours and pub crawls. Guests spend roughly three hours walking through Nashville, learning about the city, and visiting at least four or five "honky tonks" and pubs to enjoy drinks and Nashville's world-famous live music. The company prides itself on entertaining guests through local history, music, and comedy. Tours are offered from Thursday through Sunday, and payment is accepted both online and in person. Hick Chick Tours offers cash discounts and donates a portion of all proceeds to local charities. Reservations are not required, but walk-ups cannot be guaranteed a spot on the tour. Guests are offered discounts at several of the businesses visited on the tour.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (48)
Google
4.8 / 5 (24)
I'll Take Tennessee logo
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I'll Take Tennessee

Nashville, TN 37215
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Business Description

For nearly forty years, I'll Take Tennessee has brought Historic Downtown Nashville to life for countless students, teachers, and parents. Led by guide Marilyn Switzer, the company offers a wide array of educational services, including walking tours, "desk-side" tours, and the Nashville City Cemetery Tour. Walking tours are tailored to the needs of individual groups, and can include historical sites such as Fort Nashborough, War Memorial Plaza, and the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol. Desk-side tours are storytelling sessions provided at school; they last approximately one hour and can consist of a litany of historical topics. Though I'll Take Tennessee primarily serves schools and students, the company is also available to conduct tours for private parties, church groups, and anyone else who wishes to learn more about the Nashville area.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
iRide Nashville logo
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iRide Nashville

Nashville, TN 37201
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Business Description

iRide Nashville is a company offering guided Segway tours through Nashville. The company takes guests into the heart of the Music City on tours covering landmarks such as the Country Music Hall of Fame, Fort Nashborough, and the Tennessee State Capitol. For their guests who lack experience with Segways, the company offers training sessions before the tours begin. iRide Nashville allows guests to choose from a broad array of tour options, ranging from the ninety-minute "Music City Snapshot" to the four-hour "All Access Music Pass." Tours are available every day of the week, and seasonal discounts are available during the winter months. iRide Nashville's unique experience has earned them several awards, including the top-rated tour on TripAdvisor's Tours & Activities in Nashville and TripAdvisor's 2015 Bravo Award.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
4.9 / 5 (163)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (102)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (51)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Tommy's Nashville Tours logo
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Tommy's Nashville Tours

Nashville, TN 37210
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Business Description

Tommy's Nashville Tours offers guided bus tours of some of the Music City's most well-known attractions. Led by tour guide and comedian Charmin' Tommy Garmon, customers ride in comfort in air-conditioned buses as they visit and learn about downtown Nashville staples such as the Coyote Ugly, the State Capitol, and Ryman Auditorium. Tours also include views of the homes of some of the biggest names in country music, such as Dolly Parton, Tim McGraw, and Alan Jackson. Guests can reserve their spot by telephone or email, and the tour bus will pick them up and drop them off at their hotel. Tommy's Nashville Tours boasts hundreds of happy customers, as evidenced by a litany of glowing online reviews and testimonials.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (163)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (117)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
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Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

If you're looking to get the most out of your vacation experience, then hiring a tour guide can be a smart choice. Learning about new places and seeing how the locals live are just a few of the reasons travelers hire tour guides. There are local tours catering to almost any interest, too, from browsing art galleries to adventuring in the great outdoors. Whether you'd like to tour with a group or prefer one-on-one guidance from your own private escort, you've got plenty of options to choose from. Here are answers to common questions about what to expect on different kinds of tours and how to choose the best local tour for your travel plans.

What is a tour guide?

Tour guides provide information that helps travelers learn more about the place they're visiting. Guides can give tours of museums, scenic locations, historical monuments, and many other points of interest. Some give walking tours, while others hold tours on a bus or boat.

What is the difference between escorted and guided tours?

Escorted tours are an all-inclusive experience led by a tour director who oversees the trip from beginning to end. They often include transportation, hotel stays, sightseeing activities, tickets to attractions, and meals. Guided tours are provided by various local representatives and don't typically escort travelers to each destination, allowing for more flexibility throughout the day.

What is a guided city tour?

Guided city tours are for travelers who want to professional guidance as they explore a city. They're often given by locals who are knowledgeable about the area and can help visitors find restaurants, shops, and other interesting places off the beaten path. These tours can also take travelers to the most popular attractions a city has to offer.

What happens on a guided tour?

On a tour, guides describe the location in detail, explain its importance, and answer questions visitors may have. Local guides may tell personal stories about what it's like to live there, giving travelers a unique perspective they can't get anywhere else. Guides also look out for the safety of guests and make sure the group stays organized so no one gets left behind or lost.

Why are guided tours good?

For many travelers, exploring a new place on their own can be a bit overwhelming. Guided tours remove the guesswork by showing visitors the top sights in a streamlined and efficient way. These tours can also steer people away from dangerous areas and help provide a sense of safety for visitors.

What is a private tour guide?

Private tour guides give tours to one party at a time, allowing for more customized service and flexible scheduling. Guests can choose which sites they'd like to see and how much time to spend at each destination. Private tours are often taken by families who need special accommodations for small children, the elderly, or the disabled.

Can you hire a personal tour guide?

Personal tour guides essentially offer the same services as a private tour guide. It's possible to hire a personal tour guide in many areas, particularly in places known as popular tourist destinations. Hiring a personal tour guide can be more expensive than a group tour, though, so it's not always ideal for travelers on a budget.

Are self-guided tours worth it?

Self-guided tours arrange an itinerary for travelers to follow, but don't usually include transportation between sites or a hired guide. They're best in places with well-established travel routes, such as set trails in national parks. This type of tour can be rewarding for the adventurous traveler who enjoys exploring an area independently.

Are guided tours worth it?

Guided tours can be worth it depending on the destination and your travel goals. They're  beneficial if you're not sure which places are worth visiting or if you'd like to check out a variety of destinations in the most efficient way. Guided tours also bring peace of mind by keeping you away from potentially dangerous areas.

How to find a local tour guide?

Local tour guides don't always advertise their services online, so many travelers may be unsure about how to hire one. Reputable tour guides can often be found by asking hotel staff, other travelers, or local tourist agencies for recommendations.

How much do local tour guides cost?

The price to hire a local tour guide varies widely depending on the destination, length of the trip, and whether the tour is given to a group or privately. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $100 per hour. There may be additional costs for transportation and baggage handling.

How much should we tip our tour guide?

It's generally a good practice to tip 10 to 20% of the cost of the tour. For bus tours, tip the driver a minimum of $1 per person per day. Tipping isn't normally expected for guides at government sites and national parks.

What is a ghost tour?

Ghost tours allow travelers to learn about locations with a history of hauntings and paranormal activity. Not all ghost tours are frightening; there are many options suitable for children. Tours often include access to ghost-hunting equipment, such as infrared cameras and dowsing rods. Popular destinations for ghost tours include graveyards, old hotels, parks, and historic downtowns.

What is an architectural tour?

An architectural tour can be an exciting way to learn about the most iconic and beautiful buildings in a city. These tours are available on foot, by bus, or by boat. Architectural boat tours are especially popular in waterfront cities such as Chicago, Miami, and San Diego.

How do winery tours work?

Winery tours include a tour of the vineyards and a demonstration of how the wine is made in the production area. Afterward, visitors are given samples of wine to taste, and meals may also be provided on some tours. Tours can last anywhere from two hours to two weeks depending on how many wineries travelers want to visit.

What has to be tackled during pre-tour?

Before the tour, guides should study the route and learn as much as possible about the location so they're prepared to answer questions guests might have. It's ideal to have backup destinations planned in case the original site happens to be closed or inaccessible. Before departing, go over the guest list and review the rules and regulations of any areas you plan to visit.

How much do tour guides make?

Wages for tour guides can vary depending on location and experience. On average, tour guides earn approximately $17 per hour, plus up to $75 per day in tips. Guides are typically paid more in areas where licensing is required.

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