Touring Your Own Town

100509FEATURE.jpg Touring Your Own Town
Unique ways to travel the Tri-State

Taking a break shouldn't mean breaking the bank or resourcing to a humdrum vacation. Whether taking a getaway with the girls, heading out with the fam or going solo, take advantage of what Cincinnati has to offer and make your next vacation a stay-cation with style.

New York, Florida and even Cancun are all cliché spots to spend your vacation time, but enjoying a stay-cation right here in Cincinnati takes you out of that rut while preserving your paycheck. Kristen Monroe, marketing manager at Qfact, and her girlfriends love the excitement of their own city so much that they have started an annual tradition of Cincy stay-cations.


It all started when Monroe and her co-worker friends were planning to attend the AdClub Cincinnati ADDY Awards a couple years ago and decided to stay in a hotel the night of the event. But that hotel reservation turned into a weekend trip to the heart of the city.


"The rule was once we pulled into the hotel we were not allowed to use our cars for the rest of the weekend, so even though the event was only one night, we ended up staying two," Monroe says.


Besides not being able to use their cars, the group could not use their downtown experience either. "We all had to decide on a restaurant that we had never been to," Monroe says. After dinner, they added more adventure to the night by going to a bar that none of them had tried.


"One of the points that we found very strong that we had to make was that it had to be new and different. You hear all the time that people don't take advantage," Monroe says. And so went their weekend getaway into the downtown area.


Now, Monroe and her girlfriends have enjoyed three annual stay-cations, and more women have joined the mix. In addition to the ADDY Awards weekend, the group is planning an art-inspired weekend in Cincinnati. Originally, the girlfriend getaway destination was New York City, but multiple women in the group lost their jobs, so to prevent exclusion because of financial strain, the women decided to take a second trip to their hometown.


So whether your savings are suffering or you just want to experience what Cincinnati has to offer, try taking a trip to Cincinnati. You can create your own tour of the town, or you can use these three options to see your own city:


Segway Tours


Whether seeing the city or not, getting a chance to ride a Segway can be a new adventure to add to your repertoire. Pair that with a tour of Eden Park, and you have yourself a perfect activity for your next stay-cation.


For $50 plus tax, the Eden Park tours offered by Segway of Ohio — Cincinnati allow you to see the entire park in an hour and a half while learning about the history and significance of various parts of the park from a Segway guide.


"Segway's just the best way to get people around. There's no other way you're going to see that park in 90 minutes short of driving it in a car, and you're just not going to experience it the same way," says Shawn Jenkins, owner of Segway of Ohio — Cincinnati.


Also, Jenkins just announced Sept. 17 that his company now will be offering two downtown touring options. A "highlights" tour goes for $60 per person, and it entails a two-hour experience with a 20-minute training session and a 90-minute tour. "So we show a little bit of the historical content and all of the significant content real fast," Jenkins says.


For a more in-depth tour, try the four-and-a-half-hour tour of downtown for $130 per person, which includes a boxed lunch from Coffee Emporium and the guidance of an historical consultant from the public library.


"It's really the meat-and-potatoes tour," Jenkins says. "You're going to hear about Cincinnati like you've never heard about it before."


For more information about tours or Segways in general, visit the Web site at or stop by the Segway store at 1150 Vine Street in Over the Rhine.


Newport Gangster Tour


If walking is more your style, check out a Newport Gangster Tour. Starting at the Newport Syndicate, this tour reveals the history of Newport as one of the nation's top gaming towns "where gangsters made their millions, gamblers lost their lives, and ladies of the night earned their living," according to the Web site.


Throughout the tour, participants learn stories of Newport's days as the "Las Vegas" of the day. "This was basically Las Vegas before Las Vegas existed," tour organizer Jerry Gels told Fox 19. "In the 1930s and '40s, this was the site of the most premier casinos in the country."


Tours ($15 per person) are available every Saturday in October starting at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Reservations are a must, as spots fill up quickly. Be prepared for an hour and a half of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water.


But you won't be walking just for your own benefit. Doubled as local school teachers, the "gangster" guides dressed to impress created the tour to support a service trip for high school students to go to Jamaica and help three Jamaican primary schools.


For more information about the Newport Gangster Tour, visit To learn more about the group's Newport is Haunted tours starting Oct. 9, visit


Ride the Ducks: Newport


Another tour of Newport extends to Cincinnati, but don't expect to cross a bridge to go on the river. Ride the Ducks: Newport provides a unique tour experience in an "amphibious vehicle," which goes on both land and water throughout the tour.


As you ride in this vehicle originally designed for military use, you can see and learn about the Roebling Suspension Bridge, the stadiums, the Serpentine Wall and many other local landmarks. Along the ride, guides will fill you in on Newport and Cincinnati history.


Tours begin at "Duck Central," located at the Newport on the Levee Entertainment Complex outside Newport Aquarium, and they are 40 minutes, with about 25 of those minutes on the water. Prices range from children less than two years old (free) to other children ($11) to adults ($15).


For more information, visit or call (859) 815-1439.


Photographer: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Model: Kristen Monroe

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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