NEW YORK – Would you like Steven Tyler (search) to tell you to "walk this way" in Boston, or Jerry Stiller to escort you through New York City?
The Aerosmith rocker, "Seinfeld" actor and "Aliens" actress Sigourney Weaver (search) are among several stars lending their voices to new cell phone-guided tours of U.S. cities, a technology-based project that trades unknown docents for high-wattage celebrities.
In the "Boston: City of Rebels and Dreamers" tour, for example, visitors to the Massachusetts capital can call a special number and be treated to Tyler's quirky take on Fenway Park, Boston Common and other historical hotspots.
"Eh, this is Steven Tyler. This stop is about gardens that even a rocker can love," the raspy-voiced rocker says, describing Boston's public garden. "Don't worry, we'll get to that rocker stuff later."
Similarly, tourists walking the streets of Manhattan can call in to hear Stiller talk about the Lower East Side, where he grew up, or listen to Weaver, a New York native, explain the varied history and new rebirth of Lower Manhattan.
"We wanted always to make the guide of the tour someone who had a personal connection to the place," said Miles Kronby, the executive producer of Candide Media's Talking Street (search), which creates the tours. "We want to simulate the experience of having an ultra-savvy local show [people] around."
The tours work like this: Visitors obtain a map from talkingstreet.com or a local visitor center, call the designated number with their cell phone, punch in their credit card number and, for $5.95, listen to a famous local explain the area's history.
Talking Street is also launching a Washington, D.C., tour next month, with a mystery narrator — not a pundit or a politician, according to Kronby — and has plans to roll out tours in 20 more cities across the U.S. by 2006.
"This medium is different than what [people] think a walking tour would be," said Kronby. "You think of someone with a megaphone hollering at you on various street corners. ... The kind of personality and drama and intimacy and wit that Steven Tyler brings makes it different."
Having Tyler or Weaver whisper the history of their city into your ear may be exciting, but some tourists find using a cell phone as a tour guide to be daunting, and would rather stick to guidebooks, brochures or regular guided tours when exploring a new town.
"Because of our age, we don't have mobile phones. We don't like them," said Paul Aitken, a 56-year-old Australian who recently spent seven weeks traveling around the U.S. with his wife, Mary. "We have trouble with the computer."
Still, Aitken said he likes the idea of avoiding huge group tours — and thinks utilizing today's technology is the wave of the future.
"Youngsters are always ch-ch-ch," he said making a motion of text-messaging on a cell phone. "I think it's a brilliant idea."
And finding just the right star to appeal to people across the board isn't simple, either.
Beverly Birk, 64, of Kansas City, Mo., told FOXNews.com she'd rather hear Steve Doocy, the "adorable" co-host of "Fox & Friends," narrate a walking tour than Tyler.
Still, Beverly's daughter, Judy Birk, 42, said hints from just about anyone familiar with the city would be helpful.
"Anybody's going to be more knowledgeable than us," said Judy, who was in the Big Apple for a whirlwind three-day stay. "We're flying by the seat of our pants."
In addition to big-time stars, Talking Street uses elements like the voice of a current chef at a local eatery, pieces of music and dramatic readings to help bring the history of city streets alive.
"When you are learning about the life of Irving Berlin, to actually hear him singing, it's something you don't get from a guidebook or any other tour," said Kronby.
Asked who would be her ideal tour guide and where she'd like to go, Beverly Birk had one suggestion.
"Mel Gibson," she said, smiling. "Anywhere he chooses."