Showing off the Town PDF Print E-mail
Written by Linda Palacios   
Monday, 05 October 2009 00:41

Showing off the Town
Learning your way around a new city can be a daunting task, but this local tour guide helps new (and old) residents become acclimated to Cincinnati and all it has to offer.

Everyone loves to explore the city a little, find new places to enjoy. Whether you're driving through a different neighborhood or just walking through downtown, you're bound to find something that you have never experienced before. That's what tour guide Elaine Wagner does for a living.


Around 30 years ago, Wagner's friend started to go to a tour guide class that met every Monday morning for 10 weeks. Each class took place at a different location throughout the city, and Wagner and her classmates were able to tour those 10 places. Wagner felt called.


Wagner started her career as a Cincinnati specialist at Tourcrafters. Later, the company changed to its current name: Accent on Cincinnati. Shortly after Wagner became a tour guide, she was able to start training other tour guides. Now, about 30 years later, Wagner has trained around 60 people in the trade of the tour.


Training to be a tour guide requires much more than knowing a specific route through the city, especially as a freelance tour guide for Accent on Cincinnati. This company works with companies and individuals to introduce new Cincinnatians to their city, so Wagner has worked with prospective employees and interns for companies like Proctor & Gamble and General Electric.


Places to Go


Each tour entails a different purpose, which means different sites to see and different facts to tell. "We tailor it to them," Wagner says. So a tour could entail a "highlights" tour of the major landmarks in and around downtown, but it could also include a housing tour of places where the tourist might want to live. Housing tours can range anywhere from downtown to the rural outskirts of the city.


Some of Wagner's favorite places to show off, though, include Krohn Conservatory, the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal and Music Hall. "Music Hall is an absolute gem," Wagner says.


Besides its historical significance and practical purpose, Wagner loves Music Hall for its architecture. Cincinnati is rich in architectural works. From the Plum Street Temple, which Wagner describes as "like walking into a Faberge egg," to the PNC building with a Greek temple at the top, the Queen City has some interesting sites in the walls of the buildings.


"We have some priceless gems," Wagner says. "When I have people from foreign countries, they are amazed — or people from the United States — they are amazed at what we have preserved."


People to See


Even with all of the beautiful buildings, Wagner's favorite part of her job is meeting all of the different people. The tourists come from all over the country and all over the world. For example, GE used to bring in many people around the globe, and Wagner would take them on a V.I.P. tour and out to lunch.


"I could typically have, at the same table, a woman from France and England and Germany and Holland and all over the world. … It made for very interesting days," Wagner says.


Besides different nationalities, tourists have come from different occupational backgrounds as well. One group included 2,000 architects while others have been composed of World War II veterans.


While Accent on Cincinnati provides tours, they have expanded their focus to include events and parties as well, with tourism being only one facet of the company. For more information on Accent on Cincinnati, visit

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 >>

More articles by this author

Hairapist in TrainingHairapist in Training
Hairapist in Training As your hair is cut, sculpted and shaped,...
Picking Herself up, Aiming HighPicking Herself up, Aiming High
Picking Herself up, Aiming High After 20 years in business, this...
Last Updated on Monday, 05 October 2009 04:02



We have 1069 guests online