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Hidden Food and Drink Gem: Over the Rhine in Cincinnati, Ohio

Hidden Food and Drink Gem: Over the Rhine in Cincinnati, Ohio


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When it comes to great comeback stories, few places can top Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine neighborhood. The area was once dubbed “one of the nation’s most dangerous neighborhood’s in the country” and has since been revitalized. Please note that my trip and all of the food at these spots were paid for by Cincinnati USA.

Local chain Holtman’s Donuts has been serving hot donuts since 1960. And you don’t stay in business that long if you don’t know what you’re doing. The Over the Rhine outpost—one of three total in the area--dishes out novelty creations like bacon-topped donuts that are just as tasty as its classic creations like vanilla glazed with sprinkles. You’ll have to stop yourself from drooling all over the case and ordering one of each variety. Enjoy watching the creators whip up these tasty morsels in the window inside the shop too.

And since coffee is what pairs the best with donuts, hit up 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab for some smooth java. And this space really does work as a dual coffee shop/wine bar. Expect a shelf full of wine on one wall, exposed brick on another and a chalkboard wall where the menu is displayed on the back. It makes for a charming setting. For a very regional drink (Kentucky is just a river away from Cincy), try the Pale Horse Bourbon Latte—a white chocolate latte mixed with Bulleit Bourbon.

To counteract the sugar rush, try Happy Belly. True to its name, this establishment aims to supply dinners with healthy fare that’s easy on the digestive system. Guests should look forward to vegan gluten-free smoothies, kale salads and breakfast quinoa bowls. I ordered a tasty breakfast sandwich—an English muffin that was filled with a free-range egg, avocado, spinach, red pepper, tomato and lactose-free cheese—that was beyond fresh. Just be sure to eat everything from here right after ordering. I enjoyed my meal in the morning, but it was almost too soggy to eat by the time the afternoon rolled around.

When lunchtime comes, consider Salazar Restaurant & Bar. This is notable Cincinnati chef Jose Salazar’s first venture. Expect a light-filled, sleek interior that would make an ideal environment for business lunches and intimate late-night meals. My favorite from the many items I sampled here included the juicy burgers, the just-crispy-enough fried oyster sandwich topped with garlic mayo and the fried Brussels sprouts. You’ll probably want to walk off your hearty meal, and I’d recommend stopping at the Cincinnati Music Hall. The historic hall is gorgeous and worth walking by so you can admire its architectural glory. Washington Park, which sits in front of the Music Hall, is luscious green space where you’ll want to soak up the sun after you check out the city’s storied musical venue.

During the late afternoon, consider hitting up Findlay Market. This public market is a must-see, and one of Cincy’s most-visited attractions. Stroll alongside businesses and admire fresh produce in addition to meats inside. Since you’re traveling and might not be in the market to buy, let’s say, a whole fish, there are a few vendors you should hit up. I’d recommend Taste of Belgium. These warm, sugary and authentic Belgian waffles are a perfect afternoon snack.

Bean-to-bar (and not to mention award-winning) Maverick Chocolates is another vendor you’ll want to visit. This family-owned business serves small-batch, handcrafted chocolate made with ethically sourced cocoa beans. I’d recommend the rich Prohibition Milk chocolate bar along with the Espresso Dark Chocolate one. If you need a reason to consume even more sweet stuff, remember that chocolate offers some health benefits and may even reduce risk of stroke, lower blood pressure and even help out with menopause symptoms. So you should feel good about eating the pure stuff from Maverick.

And you might as well keep eating chocolate. And no trip to Cincinnati would be complete without a trip to legendary ice cream shop, Graeter’s. Oprah put this one her favorite thing’s list one year, and it’s not hard to see why. This ice cream is rich, decadent and doesn’t seem to melt as fast as other brands. Staying true to Ohio’s roots, I ordered the Buckeye Blitz-chocolate peanut butter ice cream dotted with sweet morsels of dark chocolate chips and peanut butter cookie dough, which was a perfect end-of-trip treat. Since Ohio is known as the Buckeye state, this ice cream scoop is the perfect send off to the state and Cincy’s best comeback neighborhood.

Teresa K. Tobat is a travel writer and editor. Check out her clips at teresaktobat.com. Follow her tweets @ttobat88.


17 UNUSUAL Things to do in Cincinnati – Activities, Itineraries & Trips

Cincinnati isn’t the first destination people think of when they think of American cities, but it’s an awesome place! Tons of history and different cultural heritage make this a cool place to explore.

Firmly on the US tourist trail for years, there are a ton of things to do in Cincinnati that mean most visitors won’t have trouble finding stuff to fill their days with. When it comes to more off the beaten track, non-touristy activities, however, it can be a little more tricky.

That’s where we come in! We have created this epic list to the very best unusual things to do in Cincinnati to make life easy when you’re looking for the weird and wonderful in Ohio’s biggest city. If you’re on a budget or not, you’ll definitely find something for you!


14 Cincy Spots For the Vegetarian In Your Life

My parents, God bless them, had to force me to finish all my vegetables when I was little. Fast forward 15 years, those nasty sprigs of color, comprise nearly my entire diet. The rest is bread, cheese, and beer.

No meat, though. I'm a vegetarian.

If you think reading that sentence was painful, imagine how I felt writing it. After all, being a vegetarian is tough. When I introduce myself as such to someone who isn't, I often see those words -- "I'm a vegetarian" -- interpreted to mean, "I'm better than you."

Vegetarians have a bad rap because, at the end of the day, we're picky eaters. Sure, there might be a moral or ecological rationale to the pickiness, but pickiness is pickiness. And it is not an endearing quality.

Yet vegetarians must be picky, because American cuisine is all about meat. That's why many vegetarians prefer cuisines like Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian, Thai, or Korean.

But the times are a' changin', especially here in Cincinnati. Sure, you can get meatless Ramen, Pho, Sushi, Tikka Saag, or Tabbouleh here. But now there are restaurants all across town specializing in vegetarian cuisine. And, what's even more encouraging, restaurants specializing in American cuisine are offering more vegetarian options than ever before.

So, let's get to it. We're talking burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and the like. Here are.

14 SPOTS THAT MAKE IT EASY TO GO FULL VEGGIE IN CINCINNATI

ZBGB
1438 Race Street (45202) -- Over-the-Rhine

Who would've thought an Over-the-Rhine burger bar known for its wonderful (or so I hear) meat burgers would wind up on this list. But it earns a spot thanks to The Lori, a white-bean falafel patty with tomato-pepper compote and tahini. Pair that with ZBGB's outstanding french fries, and this bastion of beef has earned some serious vegetarian credentials.

Melt Eclectic Cafe
4165 Hamilton Avenue (45223) -- Northside

Melt is vegetarian friendly. Of all the restaurants on this list, it might be the most vegetarian friendly. They're known for the Veggie Cheesesteak, but you can order any sandwich on the menu with seitan, tempeh, tofu, garlic cashew pate, or vegan smokey cheese rather than meat. Considering the breadth and deliciousness of their menu, that's a big deal.

I happened upon this Oakley juice bar because I was thirsty one day and, well, everyone likes juice. But Rooted goes way beyond juice. It also has some of the most delicious and thoughtfully prepared vegetarian food in the city. Try the Almond Thai Wrap, with almond ginger pate, mango, avocado, carrots, basil, mint, cilantro, cabbage, romaine, pea shoots, and thai sauce -- all wrapped in a raw collard green. Or there's the Mediterranean Sandwich with. Okay, here's the menu, go look for yourself.

Green Dog Cafe
3543 Columbia Parkway (45226) -- Columbia-Tusculum

If Green Dog Cafe was ever a hidden gem in Cincinnati (as I said last year), that time is long since passed. Green Dog is one of the most popular places to get sustainably produced, local food -- vegetarian and not. But for vegetarians, what sets this place apart is the out-of-bounds goodness of the Green Dog Burger: a patty of garbanzos, nuts, mushrooms, and herbs topped with baby arugula, cheddar, red onion, and tomato jam served on a house-made bun. Get the french fries with the curry sauce and die without regrets.

Cincinnati Refined's love for Tela is well documented. I grew up in Wyoming, so I have a soft spot for the place, especially since it brings a dash of OTR cool to Cincinnati's best community. (Yeah, I said it.) Their veggie burger is no joke. A house-made patty with the chef's selection of seasonal vegetables, beans, and rice with lettuce, preserved tomato, a house pickle (the most wonderful pickle), and 2001 island dressing between a Sixteen Bricks flax seed bun. Heaven.

Park + Vine
1202 Main Street (45202) -- Over-the-Rhine

Love love love this place. Love it so much I wrote a piece about it (which you should read when it hits the site later this month). The short version: Park + Vine sells sustainable goods and also serves a mean meal at the brunch counter. Anyways, they change up their menu a good deal, but there's always a veggie burger there. At the time of this writing, they were serving the Silentils burger, made from lentils, polenta, and golden raisins, and topped with cheddar and slaw.

The Loving Hut
6227 Montgomery Road (45213) -- Pleasant Ridge

Peace, love, and harmony. That's what you get if you play The White Album backwards, right? It also happens to be the vision of The Loving Hut -- that all beings can live in peace, love, and harmony with each other and the planet. How do they plan on bringing that vision to reality? For one, by serving affordable vegan food that doesn't skimp on flavor. Like the Sunny Burger: organic brown rice, organic chickpeas, and a veggie patty topped with organic lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and house sunny sauce. Delicious. I guess there's just one question left: What exactly does inorganic lettuce taste like?

Another restaurant in the vein of ZBGB that falls in the "you don't really think it belongs on this list" category. Spoiler alert: It does. Thanks to its veggie burger, a house made beet-based (. ) veggie patty with provolone, pesto mayo, mixed greens, and homemade pickles on a challah bun. I can't begin to tell you how flavorful that beet-based patty is. Best veggie patty I've ever had. Get it with a side of farro and you're good to go.

Arthur's Cafe
3516 Edwards Road (45208) -- Hyde Park
8221 Beechmont Avenue (45244) -- Anderson

The black bean burger from this established Hyde Park restaurant (/ institution?) is a weekly indulgence of mine. Is the burger that good? Yes, it is. But there's more to it than that. The intimate, unpretentious atmosphere, the friendly staff, the $2 Miller Lites, the french fries like golden spears from heaven. It all adds up to an immensely satisfying experience. The burger patty is made of beans, corn, cheese, bread crumbs, and spices, served with lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

The girlfriend dragged me to Vine Street's Happy Belly against my will a few months ago, and I've been thanking her ever since. It's clean, healthy eating made by irresistibly nice people. Get The Hans, a sandwich of free-range egg with spinach, turkey bacon (er, make sure to hold the turkey bacon), avocado, tomato, and Amish cheese on an English muffin. Do yourself a favor and add some basil hummus. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, the Black Bean burrito makes an equally delicious breakfast.

(Speaking of breakfast, I have to add that my favorite vegetarian breakfast option in the city is M5 Espresso's avocado toast. Served on a thick slice of wheat and topped with a drizzle of Sriracha. But be warned: You have to like avocado. I mean, reeeally like avocado, because they pile it on.)

Kitchen Factory
1609 Chase Avenue (45223) -- Northside

Northside's tasty pizza parlor, serving vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. Love this place because, of all the meat cravings I get (brats, bangers, chicken salad, whathaveyou), the biggest one seems to be for meatball subs. And Kitchen Factory has a vegetarian meatball sub, with vegetarian meatballs, zesty marinara, and smoked provolone. Craving satisfied.

This Clifton restaurant serves delicious food while educating people about food quality. I got an education in a few things. For instance, how good carrot fries -- yes, carrot fries --are. Still, no amount of education could make me forget my disdain for mushrooms (including the portobellos Conscious Kitchen serves on its Bella Burger). But I consider that a personal failure and not the restaurant's. In any case, the girlfriend loves mushrooms. And according to her, the Bella Burger was delicious. It comes with the aforementioned fungus mushroom, mozzarella, grilled onion, lettuce, tomato, and garlic mayo. Yum. . If you're into that kind of thing.

How cool of an idea is Picnic and Pantry? They serve picnic-inspired foods like gelato, ice cream, cheeses, lunch meats, local breads, and more, with the idea that you'll gather some supplies and head out to Washington Park for an afternoon. You had me at gelato. The vegetarian option is the Veggie Blast: Cucumber, radish sprouts, tomatoes, pickled shallots, a spring mix, and your choice of goat cheese, pimento cheese, or hummus. I got it with hummus and added pickles, and it was the best decision I ever made. PICKLE EVERYTHING!

Coffee Emporium
110 E. Central Parkway (45202) -- Over-the-Rhine
3316 Eerie Avenue (45208) -- Hyde Park
301 E. 4th Street (45202) -- Downtown
Gallagher Student Center / Williams College of Business -- Xavier University

Perhaps you know Central Parkway's Coffee Emporium as a popular watering hole for Cincinnati's students, entrepreneurs, and business professionals. That's what the coffee is for. But they also have delicious food, including a black bean burger with avocado that'll knock your socks off. Comes with ranch, feta, tomato, onion, and lettuce. So you can fill up and do your intellectualizing at the same time.


What to See and Do in Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati is a city that believes in itself — because, for years, if it didn’t, no one would. The city has worked hard to prove its worth, humble riverport that it is, and that’s why crowds still turn out to greet exciting new bars, restaurants, and, for that matter, public parks that wouldn’t even register with the jaded residents of other, hipper, cities. Even now that the rest of the world is finally applauding our lively downtown, our abundance of breweries and the unexpected beauty of a river valley that straddles the mountains and the wide-open heartland, locals are quick with the aw-shucks disclaimer that we still have a long way to go.

Here’s where you can see for yourself, in just one day, what makes our city so special:

8:30 a.m.: Find breakfast at Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine

Findlay Market

Findlay Market in Cincinnati is Ohio's oldest farmer's market.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/aceshot

Ohio’s oldest farmer’s market has witnessed a century and a half of change, from the rise and fall of its nineteenth-century neighborhood to the working-class enclave’s recent rebirth as a fine-dining destination. All along, it’s hosted butchers, bakers and farmers, as well as food vendors who, today, sell everything from pastries and waffles to barbecue and pho.

9:30 a.m.: See the city from the top of the Carew Tower

Forty-nine stories up the 1930 tower that was supposedly a prototype for the Empire State Building, you can take in panoramic views of downtown Cincinnati and the muddy Ohio River — including the 1866 John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, a dead ringer for the Brooklyn Bridge, finished by Roebling in 1883.

10:30 a.m.: Take a walk through Smale Riverfront Park

Smale Riverfront Park

Go for a stroll through this new forty-five-acre waterfront park in Cincinnati.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/aceshot

Cincinnati is a river town, and a stroll through this shiny new forty-five-acre waterfront park is your best opportunity for an up-close view of the Ohio.

11:30 a.m.: Head up Mt. Adams to Eden Park

Just outside downtown, Eden Park is home to some of Cincinnati’s best Ohio River overlooks — and its greatest cold-weather oasis, the perpetually tropical 1933 Krohn Conservatory. If you have time to spare, visit the Cincinnati Art Museum, which has a collection of 67,000 pieces spanning 6,000 years, from Ancient Egypt to impressionist France to the modern day.

1:00 p.m.: Eat lunch at Camp Washington Chili

Camp Washington Chili

The 5-Way Chili consists of meats, beans, onions and cheddar cheese on top of spaghetti at Camp Washington Chili in Cincinnati.

Photo by: Jared Hopkins/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Image

Jared Hopkins/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Image

Cincinnati has dozens of chili parlors — including two major chains, Skyline and Gold Star — but your best introduction to the city’s favorite dish is Camp Washington Chili, a West Side stalwart since 1940. Order a three-way, a perfect trinity of spaghetti, chili and fluffy orange cheese. Sprinkle your packet of Cincinnati-made Shur-Good oyster crackers on top.

2:00 p.m.: Tour the American Sign Museum

American Sign Museum

America's number one sign museum is located in Cincinnati.

Photo by: Joseph Fuqua II / The Cincinnati Enquirer

Joseph Fuqua II / The Cincinnati Enquirer

Most Cincinnatians don’t know that America’s number one sign museum — where dozens of rehabilitated roadside advertisements buzz in unison — is down a nondescript street in Camp Washington. The signs alone are a marvel, but, to make the most of your admission fee, you should time your visit to coincide with a free guided tour (11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays, or 2 p.m. on Sundays).

3:00 p.m.: Order a flight at Urban Artifact

Cincinnati can claim more than fifty regional breweries. The most interesting of the bunch is Urban Artifact, which specializes in sours. It likely has the most unique tap room space, too: the basement of the former St. Pius X Catholic Church, which was serving a Northside congregation until 2015. You’ll have to try the latest release in the Midwest Fruit Sour series, made with seasonal fruits including blueberries, peaches and plums, but you’ll likely leave with a six-pack of the easy-drinking Glimmer, a tart IPA brewed with Ohio grain.

4:00 p.m.: Head back downtown for a drink at Rhinegeist

Urban Artifact is the most experimental of the Queen City breweries, but Rhinegeist is Cincinnati’s common language when it comes to beer — rivaled only by MadTree, which operates out of an enormous facility in suburban Oakley.

Rhinegeist is in the downtown Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, where German-Americans operated dozens of breweries in the mid-to-late 1800s. In 1895, the cavernous space on Elm Street where, today, bearded twentysomethings sip flights and play cornhole was the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company’s bottling plant. Take the stairs up to the roof for an afternoon view of the Cincinnati skyline.


Over-the-Rhine

Over-the-Rhine (OTR) is Cincinnati's largest historic district. It is the location of Music Hall, home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Opera Findlay Market, Ohio's oldest public market in continuous operation the Main Street Entertainment District and much of Cincinnati's creative arts. Also of note is the Gateway Quarter a rebranded part of the neighborhood which has some of the city's hottest and hippest bars and dining spots between Central Parkway and 14th Street on Vine.

Care should be taken when visiting this neighborhood as crime is more frequent here than in other areas of the city though its going down every year see stay safe for details. Since the 1980s, the neighborhood has been a battleground between advocates for low income housing and historic preservationists and real estate developers. As a result, the neighborhood is inconsistent in its make up, with high-end housing and shopping within viewing distance of abandoned and decayed buildings with boarded up windows.

This article also covers the adjacent West End. The little bit that survived of this once large densely populated neighborhood would not be notable for travelers except for the Dayton Street Historic District. At its peak in the mid-to-late 1800s, this was a millionaires' row that rivaled Prairie Avenue in Chicago, or 5th Avenue in New York City in terms of wealth. Today it’s more than a bit rundown, but less so than the neighborhood that surrounds it. It’s worth a look for the adventurous traveler. The local soccer club FC Cincinnati, which joined Major League Soccer in 2019, is preparing to build a new stadium in the West End that is planned to open in 2021.

  • 39.109444 -84.511944 1Old St Mary's, 123 E. Thirteenth Street Cincinnati, OH 45202 ( 13th and Main ), ☏ +1 513 721-2988 . Built in 1841, this is the oldest standing church in Cincinnati and was for many years a center for the German-Catholics who called Over-The-Rhine home. For a taste of local culture, attend a mass in German on Sunday's see website for details
  • 39.108889 -84.5175 2Washington Park, 1230 Elm St ( In front of Music Hall - parking in garage under the park ). Opened in 1855, it replaced a cemetery. This park has pretty much followed the fortunes of Over-The-Rhine, going from a prosperous hub of activity and immigration to a crime-filled den of poverty and squalor. Fortunately along with the neighborhood, this park has undergone a major renovation, including interactive fountains designed to go with music selectable by phone app, a beergarden (this is Cincinnati), a large event lawn, playgrounds, and a look that combines a respect for the park's history with modern amenities. Its particularly striking to see at night when the fountains are lit up in different colors, and safety shouldn't be an issue then as there are plenty of security cameras installed to quell any potential issues with the neighborhood. 3CDC who remodeled Fountain Square led this renovation and as a result is programming it with plenty of events throughout the year, see website for details.
  • 39.1175 -84.530556 3Dayton Street Historic District ( Dayton Street West of Linn (800-950) ). A millionaire's row from the 19th century rivaling the far more famous ones in New York City (5th Ave) and Chicago (Prairie Ave) giving one a glimpse of Cincinnati's heyday in the mid-1800s. This one is far more intact, but is part of an endangered neighborhood that's seen better days (its a bit seedy). The website discusses the history of the houses in the area, though the Hauck House is no longer a museum. An East Coaster would probably have their jaw hit the floor if they saw the low prices on these wonderful old mansions.
  • 39.1078 -84.5221 4Betts House, 416 Clark St ( West End - West of Central Parkway ). Tu-Th 11AM - 2PM 2nd and 4th Sa 12:30PM - 5PM . One of the rare survivors of mid-century urban renewal that destroyed the once very densely populated West End, this is the oldest surviving house in Cincinnati (built in 1804) and one of the older brick houses west of the Appalachian Mountains. It houses a museum and rotating exhibitions usually devoted to the history of Cincinnati. $2 .

Museums and galleries Edit

  • 39.1086 -84.5185 5American Classical Music Hall of Fame, 1225 Elm St ( next to Music Hall, in Memorial Hall ), ☏ +1 513 621-3263 , fax : +1 513 621-9333 , ✉ [email protected] . Open by appt . The American Classical Music Hall of Fame includes a timeline through classical music (focusing on American classical music) and interactive displays of inductees. The Hall it is in is also worth a look too, as it was built as a memorial to those who perished in the Civil War, in the era close to the height of Cincinnati's prominence.
  • 39.11162 -84.51216 6Art Beyond Boundaries, 1410 Main St , ☏ +1 513 421-8726 . M-Sa 10AM-5PM . Art Beyond Boundaries is a visual art gallery showcasing the work of local artists with disabilities. They also have showings at Pendelton Art Center's Final Friday.
  • 39.116181 -84.524432 7Carl Solway Gallery, 424 Findlay St ( West End ), ☏ +1 513 621-0069 . M-F 9AM-5PM Sa noon-5PM . Founded in 1962, the Carl Solway Gallery features nationally and internationally known modern and contemporary artists such as Nam June Paik, John Cage, Claes Oldenburg, and Tom Wesselmann. Free .
  • 39.11104 -84.50699 8Pendleton Art Center, 1310 Pendleton St ( Downtown ), ☏ +1 513 559-3958 ext 1257 , ✉ [email protected] . Final Friday 6-10PM Second Look Saturday 10AM-2PM . Final Fridays at the Pendleton Art Center are "The World's Largest Collection of Artists Under One Roof!" On the final Friday of each month, Pendleton Art Center showcases many floors of local art for those interested in buying or just admiring. Free admission .
  • 39.11 -84.537778 9Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave ( Queensgate ), ☏ +1 513 287-7000 , ✉ [email protected] . M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-6PM . Built in 1933 as the Union Terminal train station, it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. The Cincinnati Museum Center is comprised of the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History and Science, Duke Energy Children's Museum, and the Robert D. Linder Family Omnimax Theater. If you're a fan of classic comic books, you'll easily recognize Union Terminal as the inspiration for the Hall of Justice. Admission for one museum or Omnimax show: adults $7.25, seniors $6.25 , children (ages 3-12) $5.25 admission for all three museums and one Omnimax show: adults $16.25, children $11.25. Parking is $4.50 per vehicle .
  • 39.109444 -84.518889 1Cincinnati Music Hall, 1243 Elm St , ☏ +1 513 744-3344 , fax : +1 513 744-3345 . The Music Hall is the beautiful home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Opera, and Cincinnati Ballet. The building was built in 1878 and funded by what's believed to be the first matching grant fund drive in the United States. In 1880, the building hosted the Democratic National Convention. Tours can be arranged through the Friends of Music Hall. ( updated Jan 2020 )
  • 39.111296 -84.512015 2Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St ( Mainstreet Entertainment District ), ☏ +1 513 721-7625 . 6PM - 11PM . Built as a movie theater, this remodeled venue features up and coming indie bands that would attract larger crowds than the nearby MOTR pub which has the same ownership. Price varies, see website .
  • 39.10882 -84.51381 3Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St ( South of Liberty ), ☏ +1 513 300-5669 . This is a theater known for doing less conventional productions. They also run the fringe festival annually. $15 advance, $20 week of performance .
  • 39.10796 -84.51474 4Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St ( Gateway ), ☏ +1 513 421-3555 . Intimate playhouse hosted in an old bank building in Over-The-Rhine. Generally plays nationally-known plays and regional specials. ( updated Jan 2018 )
  • 39.10915 -84.51486 5Queen City Underground Tours ( Cincy Haus ), 1281 Vine St , ☏ +1 859 951-8560 . Spring and fall: Sa 9:30AM, 10:30AM, 11:30AM, 2:30PM, and 3:30PM, Su 11:30AM, 2PM. Summer: M-Th noon and 3PM, Sa Su same as fall . A popular and expanding tour run by American Heritage Tours discussing the many buildings that once housed over 130 saloons, bars, beergardens and theaters on Vine Street in Over-The-Rhine's "Gateway Quarter" followed by a trip down into the network of tunnels underneath that at one point were used to age/store beer and even a hidden tomb. Also discussed is Cincinnati's corrupt political history in the 19th century under Boss Cox. $15 .
  • 39.11552 -84.51896 6Cincinnati Brewery District Lager Tours, 116 W Elder St ( Findlay Market Biergarten ), ☏ +1 513 604-9812 . May 21st-September: Sa Su 1PM . Tours of the old breweries and the tunnels underneath them that once made Cincinnati one of the largest producers of beer in the United States. Tours are run by the Brewery District Community Redevelopment Corp. $15 .
  • 39.10975 -84.53692 7Cincinnati Heritage Tours, 1301 Western Ave ( Union Terminal ), ☏ +1 513 287-7031 . Hours vary, check website . A number of tours done through out the year (some by bus) showcasing Cincinnati's rich history. This is where you can get the once a year abandoned subway tour, which unfortunately sells out very quickly, leading one to wonder, why don't they offer it more often? Reservations recommended. Prices vary, tends to be expensive, check website .

Festivals Edit

  • Bockfest ( Various places Downtown, Over-the-Rhine ). Usually first weekend in March . Quirky series of events that celebrate Over-the-Rhine’s history, the coming of spring and bock beer. It usually features a parade in the Main Street Entertainment District on Friday, a nomination of a "Sausage Queen" on Saturday and a series of tours of rarely seen parts of Over-The-Rhine. Performances and other German-related events are also included. Check the website for more details and pricing on tours.
  • Cincy Fringe Festival, Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St , ☏ +1 513 300-5669 . Late May/early June . Like Fringe Festivals around the world, the Cincy Fringe Festival showcases the off-beat, the experimental, and the just plain weird. Over twelve days, dozens of plays, musicals, dance productions, puppet shows, and other performances are shown in locations throughout Over-The-Rhine, all within walking distance of each other. Performers range from locals to international visiting troupes. Evening are capped by unique nightly activities at the bar at the Know Theatre Underground. $12 per show, with discounts for multi-passes .
  • MidPoint Music Festival (MPMF). The Midwest's biggest and best independent music festival. Over 300 emerging bands from the U.S. and abroad play all kinds of music in a parking lot in the small Pendleton neighborhood by OTR.
  • 39.115278 -84.519167 1Findlay Market, 1801 Race St , ☏ +1 513 665-4839 , ✉ [email protected] . Tu-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 8AM-6PM, Su 10AM-4PM . In Cincinnati's historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, Ohio's oldest continuously operating market offers collection of fresh food vendors, restaurants, and non-food shops that has been in operation since 1855. The market is most lively, and best visited by tourists, on Saturdays around noon. Hang out in the beergarden with local beer on the west side of the market and catch some live music when the weather is good on weekends.
  • 39.11738 -84.51862 2The Rookwood Pottery Company, 1920 Race St ( north of Liberty ), ☏ +1 513 381-2510 . A highly regarded historic producer of fine ceramics. Due to Great Depression, a dramatic decrease in demand for the company's handcrafted quality artwork caused the original Rookwood Pottery to close its doors. The legendary status of Rookwood Pottery inspired its resurrection in mid-2006. It has moved down to Over-The-Rhine. A company store is next to the Gateway Quarter on 1209 Jackson Street between Walnut and Vine.
  • 39.11034 -84.51999 3Wooden Nickel, 1400 - 1414 Central Parkway , ☏ +1 513 241-2985 . M-Sa 10AM-5PM . Antique shop that is notable for accepting goods from abandoned/demolished buildings. As Cincinnati is a very old city that maybe tears down a bit too much of its history there's a lot of great stuff here.
  • 39.10929 -84.51157 4Park + Vine , 1202 Main St ( south of Liberty ). Bills itself as a Green General store, this quirky shop is good for everything fair trade and environmentally conscious, even some locally themed T-shirts too. It's a bit of an anchor to the revitalization of OTR and worth a look just for something quirky and a bit unexpected in Cincinnati.
  • 39.1107 -84.51215 5Another Part of the Forest, 1333 Main St ( next to Iris Book Cafe ). W-Su noon-10PM . An excellent selection of rare Vinyl records as well as rare books and rare movies. Considered a bit of a hidden gem by locals.
  • 39.10839 -84.51496 6Micah 12/V, 1201 Vine Street , ☏ +1- 513-533-1974 . M-Th 10AM-8PM, F Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-5PM . Gift shop specializing in local craft goods. Expect lots of references to pigs, goetta and other unique cultural quirks to Cincinnati in among the many hand crafted gift items. ( updated Jan 2016 )
  • 39.10935 -84.51529 7Cincy Haus ( American Legacy Tours ), 1281 Vine St ( Gateway Quarter ). Gift shop for American Legacy Tours, who run the 'Queen City Underground Tours', specializing in Cincinnati memorabilia.

Gateway Quarter: Over-The-Rhine

Vine Street between Central Parkway and 14th Street has been transformed almost overnight from one of the city's most dangerous areas to the hottest place in town to get a hip, contemporary, mid to high priced meal. If eating at a restaurant with an address of 1000-1500 Vine Street be sure to get a reservation or plan on waiting upwards of an hour on Friday and Saturday nights. Be careful going north of the building with a giant sign calling itself Cincinnati Color Company though, as the neighborhood very quickly goes from being Chic to a work-in-progress

Budget Edit

  • 39.11422 -84.51644 1Tucker's Restaurant (Over-The-Rhine), 1637 Vine Street , ☏ +1 513-954-8920 . W–Su 7AM–3PM . A second location of the old favorite diner. $10 or less .
  • 39.10963 -84.51445 2Tucker's Restaurant, 18 E 13th St , ☏ +1 241-3354 . M–W 6AM-6PM, Th–Su 6AM–1AM . Tucker's has been dishing out food since 1946 and is well-known amongst Cincinnatians. Joe Tucker, the owner, has become famous for socializing with his guests. Tucker's is legendary for being the restaurant to go to for breakfast. Although, it's nowhere near a five-star restaurant, it counts four-star (five-star before he left to open his own restaurant) chef Jean-Robert de Cavel. $10 or less .

Mid-range Edit

  • 39.11033 -84.5154 3Quan Hapa, 1331 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 ( Vine and 13th - Gateway Quarter ). Tu-Th 11AM-2PM & 4PM-10PM F Sa 11AM-2PM & 4PM-11PM . One of the best Asian fusion places in the midwest outside of Chicago. Get rare for Cincinnati dishes like okonomiyaki and poke, and enjoy Japanese micro brew beer. The atmosphere is hip and communal in a compact place that reminds one of restaurants you could find in San Francisco. $5-13 .
  • 39.10853 -84.51471 4Senate Pub, 1212 Vine Street Cincinnati, OH 45202-7117 ( Gateway ), ☏ +1 513 421-2020 . Tu-Th 11:30AM-2PM, 4:30PM-11PM F 11:30AM-2PM, 4:30PM-1PM Sa 4:30PM-1PM . The people at the Senate are self-described "Pushers of beer, wine & gourmet street food" notable reasons to give them a try are the duck fat fries and a line of gourmet hot dogs.
  • 39.10819 -84.51487 5Taste of Belgium Bistro, 1133 Vine St ( Vine and 12th, Gateway ), ☏ +1 513 381-4607 . M 7AM - 3PM Tu-Th 7AM - 10PM F Sa 7AM - 11PM Su 9AM - 3PM . Cincinnati's unusually hip take on the Belgian gastropub. Founded by a Belgian expat who was wanting to get the kinds of waffles he could get back home in Cincinnati, this place features delicious waffles of the Liège variety, and other Belgian styled goodies from bon bons to lambic beer. Try the locally inspired goetta crepes for something completely unique!
  • 39.10871 -84.515 6Bakersfield, 1213 Vine St ( Gateway ), ☏ +1 513 579-0446 . M-Th 11AM-midnight F 11AM-2AM Sa noon-5PM Su noon-10PM . Authentic yet gourmet Mexican street food such as Tacos and Tortas. Modeled after big city gourmet taco places like Big Star in Chicago, this is one of the best places to get Mexican in Cincinnati. They also have a good selection of tequila as well.
  • 39.11039 -84.51711 7The Anchor OTR, 1401 Race St ( next to Washington Park ), ☏ +1 513 579-0446 . Seafood place, with good seafood for an inland city, though the real highlight is the outdoor patio where you can hear concerts from or people watch into Washington Park.
  • 39.10901 -84.51479 8A Tavola Pizza, 1220 Vine St ( Gateway ), ☏ +1 513 246-0192 . M-W 4PM-midnight Th-Sa 4PM-2AM . Hand made, wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, made in a rare type of oven only found in one other place in the US, very unique and chic. $10-20 .
  • 39.11133 -84.51744 9Taft's Ale House, 1429 Race Street ( north of Washington Park ), ☏ +1-513-334-1393 . Su-W 11AM-11PM Th-Sa 11AM-midnight . An old church in Over-The-Rhine which was saved from demolition and converted into a massive brewpub which pays tribute to one of Cincinnati's most prominent and portly citizens, William Howard Taft. Inside there are a number of creative brews (one of which is a delicious dark ale with coconut for instance) and food with a theme revolving around tritip steak). A temple of beer that is a gorgeous adaptive reuse and testament to Cincinnati's renewed love of its heritage and favorite beverage. ( updated May 2015 )
  • 39.11203 -84.51083 10Nicola's Ristorante, 1420 Sycamore St , ☏ +1 513 721-6200 . Italian fine dining in downtown Cincinnati. Wine list is so-so, but atmosphere and food are excellent.
  • 39.11068 -84.51525 11The Eagle, 1342 Vine Street ( Gateway ), ☏ +1-513-802-5007 . Daily 11AM-midnight . Delicious fried chicken from the people who brought you Bakersfield, of note is that they offer carryout of which on a nice night you can take over to Washington Park and avoid the long waits on Friday and Saturday nights which are endemic to this area. $5-20 . ( updated Oct 2015 )

Splurge Edit

  • 39.1106 -84.5163 12Salazar, 1401 Republic Street , ☏ +1-513-621-7000 . M-Th 11:30AM-2PM, 5:30PM-10:30PM, F Sa 5:30-11PM . Highly regarded fancy small plates restaurant featuring the work of famed local chef Jose Salazar. Seating is extremely limited as its in an intimate space off of a side street deep in the revitalized part of Over the Rhine. $12-33 . ( updated Oct 2015 )

The Main Street Entertainment District (on Main Street north of 12th Street) was a popular area featuring many clubs and bars. However the riots did their number on the district forcing just about every bar to close down during the 2000s. This isn't all doom and gloom as, there have been attempts to bring bars back up there with several notable night spots opening up in the last few years such as Japp's.

  • 39.1105 -84.51377 116 Bit Bar + Arcade, 1331 Walnut St, . M-F 4PM-2AM, Sa Su noon-2AM . A bar that has old school arcade cabinets and video game consoles, that attracts a hip crowd in a hip neighborhood. Based out of Columbus, this is the better of Cincy's two barcades with a larger collection of games and a hip geek chic nostalgia theme. Unfortunately, its also the more crowded of the two making weekend night trips kind of difficult. ( updated Oct 2015 )
  • 39.10883 -84.51143 2Japp's Since 1879, 1134 Main St ( 12th and Main ). Tu-Th 4PM-1AM, F 4PM-2AM, Sa 5PM-2AM . Locally renownd mixologist Molly Wellmann along with the people who revived Neons started this classy bar which is the best place in town to get a mixed drink! There is an "Annex" next door which features special events like dance nights, neo burlesque shows and the occasional band. $7-10 .
  • 39.11692 -84.51697 3Schwartz Point Jazz Club, 1901 Vine Street ( Corner of McMicken and Vine OTR North of Liberty ), ☏ +1-513-651-2236 , ✉ [email protected] . Tu 7:30PM-2AM, F Sa 9PM-2AM . For 3 nights a week in a not so great part of Over the Rhine been everywhere aging beatnik and accomplished jazz musician Ed Moss serves up some of the best jazz in the Midwest along with his equally talented improv buddies in an otherworldly speakeasy style bar that he lives above. Venue is as intimate and informal as the improvised jazz standards you'll hear. On Tuesdays they offer up a Jazz big band and a complimentary buffet while Friday and Saturday they offer Ed and a few of his buddies doing improv jam sessions. Get a taxi or uber/lyft to go here as this is not in a good part of town (but worth it to the adventurous traveler). A hidden gem! $10 cover wed w/buffet, $5 F Sa .
  • 39.10753 -84.51247 4Coffee Emporium, 110 E. Central Pkwy , ☏ +1 513 300-9185 , ✉ [email protected] . M-F 7AM - 6PM Sa Su 8AM - 4PM . A locally owned and operated coffee house since 1973. Specializing in artisanal roasted coffee, fine teas, and accessories, as well as a mixed menu of locally made pastries and light meals. Hearkening back to an era before coffee house homogenization, Coffee Emporium is a meeting place of art, ideas, and tastes.
  • 39.10912 -84.51517 51215 Wine and Coffee Bar, 1215 Vine Street , ☏ +1-513-429-5745 . M-Tu 8AM-10PM, W 8AM-11PM, Th F 8AM-midnight, Su 10AM-11PM . Cosy spot where you can get both fine coffee and fine wine. Good place to hang out while waiting for a table in OTR's Gateway with frequent live music performances.
  • 39.11339 -84.51523 6Christian Moerlein Brewery, 1621 Moore St ( north of Liberty ). F 4PM-9PM, Sa noon-9PM, Su noon-6PM . Greg Hardmann has the goal of becoming Cincinnati's leading contemporary beer baron. In doing this he's revived a lot of dead brands including what was Cincinnati's most famous pre-prohibition beer Christian Moerlein and by reviving the historic Kauffmann Brewery into his own contemporary brewery. Tours and food trucks are also available on site check website for details. Caution, this establishment is a bit north of where most of the revitalization has occurred.
  • 39.11659 -84.52012 7Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St ( north of Liberty ). Th 4PM-11PM F 4PM-midnight Sa noon-midnight Su noon-7PM . Rhinegeist is a brewery started by two West Coast entrepreneurs who decided to bring the hoppy styles of San Francisco beer to the Cincinnati area. There are more than hoppy beers available here (including some very good cider) but their emphasis is on IPAs and similar. Of note is that this is in the Old pre-prohibition Christian Moerlien Building which was at its peak one of the largest breweries in the United States, even exporting its beer overseas! The building is expansive and airy, and even sports a rooftop with excellent views of OTR, Downtown and the surrounding hills. Even if you don't like IPAs this is a great visit.
  • 39.11198 -84.51224 1Bunkhaus (hostel), 1424 Main St ( Over the Rhine ). This is probably the cheapest place in Cincinnati to stay that's close to downtown. This is a very basic hostel shared-room setup, but generally has received good reviews from the people who stay there. $25 per bunk .
  • 39.11012 -84.51887 2Symphony Hotel, 210 W 14th St ( NW of Washington Park ). This bed and breakfast has a music theme to match music hall nearby (and Cincinnati's rich musical tradition). It's a bit on the edge of current revitalization efforts, so be cautious, but the location is perfect for a nice evening at Music Hall or whatever event is going on at Washington Park. Due to increased interest in the area, it has expanded.

Over-the-Rhine is becoming a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, but it is still in a transition phase. As of 2015, the safest part of Over-the-Rhine is on Vine Street from Central Parkway to just north of 14th Street at the Cincinnati Color Company building (large sign) and Main Street up to Liberty as well as the area immediately surrounding and including Washington Park (which is monitored security cameras) as far north as Taft's Ale House, and Walnut Street up to 14th street just past the 16 bit bar. These areas is well lit at night, and have constant police presence. Use caution wandering off by yourself in Over-the-Rhine at night as the neighborhood is inconsistent in its makeup. A good rule of thumb for OTR is to stay on the major streets (Vine and Main) and stay south of Liberty. Travel in a group if possible, or call/hail a cab.


Your next weekend trip: 20 things to do, see, eat in Cincinnati

Cincinnati just made the list of top travel destinations for the summer, and you'll find plenty of reasons why. Just a short drive away from Dayton, Cincinnati ranked as the sixth most popular city for summer travel this year.

This news organization gives you some inside tips for having the BEST weekend in Cincinnati. From places to stay to the best restaurants, here are 20 ideas for the perfect weekend in Porkopolis:

1. Transport yourself to the coast at The Anchor OTR

The Anchor OTR, located next to Washington Park, feels like a quaint coastal eatery. Sit outside on the patio, and order a round of Crawfish Beignets and Octopus to start out. For the main dish, try one of their many seafood dishes: the Lobster Roll, Trout BLT, Bouillabaisse Pot Pie or a huge plate of Bourbon Chipotle Butter and Cotija Cheese Oysters.

2. Share some relaxed vibes with friends at Che OTR

Che is the place to be after a stressful week. This Argentine restaurant and pub, located in Over the Rhine, offers up a relaxed atmosphere and a newly opened outdoor patio. Order up a whole platter (or two) of empanadas, served with Chimichurri and Pepper Relish. Empanada flavors vary from Crab Rangoon and Korean BBQ to Short Rib, Mushroom Feta, Jerk Chicken and Queso y Cebolla.

The waiters couldn’t be more attentive, and you might even hear some live music from talented, local musicians.

Where: 1342 Walnut St.

3. Experience the arts

If you need some culture in your life, come to the Queen City.

You've got your choices of museums and shows for the summer. Check out Playhouse in the Park in Mt. Adams, where you can watch plays like "Treasure Island" and "Murder for Two." While you're in the hilly neighborhood of Mt. Adams, head over to the Cincinnati Art Museum. The museum boasts an art collection of more than 67,000 works, and general admission is always free. Special exhibitions from all over the world come to the Cincinnati Art Museum. Right now? Check out the "Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China," which stays on exhibit until Aug. 12.

The newly renovated Cincinnati Music Hall is once again home to performances by the Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, among other events. And if you're lucky, you might even be in town for BLINK Cincinnati.

Visit the Taft Museum of Art, which has a rich history even before it opened as a museum in 1932. While you're there, grab brunch on the terrace of the Lindner Family Cafe. Other museums and arts center to visit include: the Contemporary Arts Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Sign Museum.

Cincinnati Art Museum: 953 Eden Park Drive

Playhouse at the Park: 962 Mt. Adams Circle

Cincinnati Music Hall: 1241 Elm St.

Contemporary Arts Center: 44 E. 6th St.

Taft Museum of Art: 316 Pike St.

A trip to Cincinnati isn't complete without seeing not-so-little Fiona the Hippo at The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. The zoo is more than just one, famous hippo. More than 1.5 million people visit the zoo annually, and it features more than 500 animals and 3,000 plant species.

5. Eat some chili, but not just Skyline

It's always Skyline Time when you're in Cincinnati. No one loves chili like the Queen City does. The very first Skyline Chili opened in 1949 by Nicholas Lambrinides at 3822 Glenway Ave., but that location was torn down in 2002. Another great location is in the gaslight district of Clifton, located at 290 Ludlow Ave.

Don't leave Cincinnati without trying at least one other chili joint. Head over to Camp Washington Chili, which has been serving "chili-heads" since 1940. The restaurant's retro look will make you feel like you stepped back in time a few decades.

Camp Washington Chili: 3005 Colerain Ave.

Skyline: Multiple locations

Cincinnati was made for bookworms. Spend a day exploring the Ohio Book Store, which has FIVE FLOORS of books and magazines. The iconic store has been open since 1940. In Rookwood, stop by the two-story Joseph-Beth Booksellers. The independent bookseller is inviting for a rainy day, with the beautiful Bronte Bistro and plenty of Cincinnati-themed gifts to pick up for yourself or a friend.

Joseph-Beth Booksellers: 2692 Madison Road

Ohio Book Store: 726 Main St.

7. Be the ultimate foodie at Findlay Market

Spend an afternoon at Findlay Market. It's the oldest continuously operated public market in Ohio, surrounded by rich 19th century architecture in Over the Rhine. There are more than 40 indoor merchants selling fish, meat, poultry, produce, cheese, flowers — and just about anything else that you may need. Grab some Eli's BBQ and sit in the Findlay Market Biergarten, where local musicians play on the weekends. You can take a FREE tour of the market every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month at 10 a.m., or just wander around by yourself.

While you’re there, here are some things to check out:

• Grab a loaf of fresh bread from Blue Oven Bakery. The selection is better in the morning.

• Browse the overwhelming selection of tea at Churchill’s Fine Teas.

• Stock up on your herbs and spices at Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices. Some favorites include the Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper, the OTR Butt & Booty Rub and the Okie Dokie seasoning.

• Snack on some currywurst from Little Berlin, a food vendor specializing in doner kebab sandwiches and other German street food.

• Pick up some gourmet chocolate at Maverick Chocolate Co., a bean to bar chocolate factory.

• Head across the street to The Rhined. This cheese shop focuses on domestic artisan cheese. You can pick up some cheese to go, or order a cheese flight and glass of wine in the shop.

8. Bon appétit! Spend a morning eating like the French do

Before Findlay Market, grab breakfast at the French Crust Bistro & Cafe. Well-known chef Jean-Robert de Cavel gives Cincinnatians a little taste of Paris right in the heart of Over the Rhine. Order a Croque Monsieur with a fried egg and a cappuccino. Get a few croissants and pain au chocolate to go.

9. Cool off at Ziegler Park pool

Cool off at Ziegler Park pool in Over the Rhine, which offers cheap daily admission and season passes. Ziegler has a pool, playground, lawn and organized games for the community.

WHERE: 1322 Sycamore St.

10. Buy some new art at City Flea

Check out City Flea, a curated urban flea market at Washington Park. Vendors range from vintage decor dealers to artisan pizza makers and art sellers. The market will pop up on: May 19, June 16, July 21, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15.

11. Take the streetcar from brewery to brewery

Hop on the Cincinnati Bell Connector, the streetcar system in Cincinnati, and head to a few of Cincinnati’s many breweries. Climb the steps up to the rooftop bar at Rhinegeist and enjoy a birds-eye view of Cincinnati. Sip on a Rhinegeist Bubbles while you’re there.

Walk down to Taft's Ale House for an Alehouse tri-tip steak sandwich and a Nellie's Key Lime beer. The Ale House is located in a renovated church, just a block away from Washington Park.

Want to try some other breweries around the city? Here are a few to choose from:

• Brink Brewing in College Hill

• Fifty West Brewing in Columbia Twp.

• Listermann Brewing in Norwood

• MadTree Brewing Company in Oakley

• Nine Giant Brewing in Pleasant Ridge

• West Side Brewing in Westwood

12. Spend a leisurely afternoon in Mt. Adams

Take a walk around Mount Adams. Grab a coffee and breakfast sandwich at Bow Tie Cafe, and then walk to Holy Cross Immaculata Church for the best views of Cincinnati. If you’re thirsty, grab a frozen drink at Mount Adams Pavilion. The bar has four party decks overlooking the city and live music. You also can’t go wrong with the Blind Lemon or Mt. Adams Bar & Grill.

Want to learn more about the history of Mount Adams? You can take a 90-minute guided walking tour every Sunday.

Head over to the Mt. Adams pool, located behind the Playhouse in the Park. This hidden gem is great place to cool off after a run or walk in Eden Park. Eden park is home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and the Krohn Conservatory. The park features two lakes, a footbridge, wooded running paths and stunning views of the Ohio River.

13. Grab the best bagel of your life at Marx

Nothing compares to Marx Bagels in Blue Ash, the only kosher Jewish bagel shop in Cincinnati. The shop features more than 30 kinds of bagels, fresh sandwiches, pastries and vegetarian options.

If you’re lucky, the Bagel Man himself — owner John Marx — will take your order. There’s a warning near the door though: “Owner not politically correct. Why be normal? This is an experience.”

So, you really should experience it for yourself.

14. Eat and drink like the Germans do at Mecklenburg Gardens before an FC Cincinnati game

Mecklenburg Gardens was named America's Best Beer Garden by Travel and Leisure Magazine. The restaurant has some of the best outdoor seating in the city, and it's been a Cincinnati staple since 1865. The authentic joint serves up German cuisine along with traditional German Lagers, Dunkels, Hefeweizen and Pilsners. Try the Sauerkraut Balls and a Schnitzel Sandwich.


Things To Do In Cincinnati

1. Cincinnati Zoo

Gaston Piccinetti / Shutterstock

Home to hundreds of species, the Cincinnati Zoo has one of the most diverse animal collections in the entire state of Ohio.

It&rsquos also known for its conservation efforts for endangered animals, so you can see rare, exotic creatures right there in Cincinnati without having to travel to the other side of the world.

The best thing about the Cincinnati Zoo is its wide range of animal life.

There are thundering herds of elephants and silent caves of vampire bats there are red pandas, white lions, gold parakeets and green tree pythons.

They even have giant tortoises straight from the Galapagos Islands!

Another nice thing about the Cincinnati Zoo is that it has a thriving conservation program.

It&rsquos successfully bred a number of endangered animals, and it&rsquos housed the last living survivors of several now-extinct species.

It&rsquos a place where the phrase &ldquoone of a kind&rdquo is quite literal.

If you&rsquore looking for fun things to do in Cincinnati, consider the Cincinnati Zoo.

There&rsquos a reason why it&rsquos one of the top attractions in the area: It offers an experience that you can&rsquot get anywhere else.

Address: 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA

2. Findlay Market

Maybe you heard the meats sizzling.

Maybe you smelled the freshly-baked bread, or maybe you caught a glimpse of the colorful fruits and veggies piled high into pyramids.

Findlay Market draws visitors like moths to a flame, so it&rsquos one of the most lively places to visit in Cincinnati.

As an indoor/outdoor market with dozens of stalls, Findlay Market offers the chance to shop &rsquotil you drop with local vendors.

Food is the main allure, and you can find all sorts of meats, cheeses, wines, desserts and produce selections.

But there are other things to buy as well.

Artists sell crafts and jewelry pieces, and florists are always there with rose bouquets.

Cincinnati stone masons display their pots and pans.

Painters hang up their watercolors.

Findlay Market is one of the oldest public markets in Ohio.

It&rsquos also one of the major points of interest of Cincinnati.

Not only does it offer a wide range of goodies, but it&rsquos also a place where you can simply take in the atmosphere and enjoy the sights and sounds of a bustling market.

If you&rsquore wondering what to do in Cincinnati on a weekend trip, you&rsquoll want to stop by Findlay Market.

Address: 1801 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

3. Cincinnati History Museum

Built in an abandoned railroad terminal, the Cincinnati History Museum will take you back to the days of trains, steam engines and suspender-clad conductors shouting the day&rsquos schedule.

It chronicles the entire rise of Cincinnati while examining its relevance to both Ohio and the American Midwest.

Costumed staffers will answer your questions as you browse the exhibits and galleries.

A 1/64-scale replica of Cincinnati will offer a fascinating look at its architecture and infrastructure.

Informative films will play at regular intervals.

The shining centerpiece of the Cincinnati History Museum, however, is something known as &ldquothe Queen of the West.&rdquo

It&rsquos a life-sized model of an old-fashioned, side-wheel steamboat, and visitors can climb right in to feel like a captain of the seas.

If you&rsquore looking for cool things to experience in Cincinnati, it doesn&rsquot get more unique than a vintage steamboat in an abandoned railroad terminal!

The Cincinnati History Museum is one of those tourist attractions that you&rsquoll be glad you visited when your trip is over.

It&rsquos entertaining and educational, so it will provide a little substance in between all of your lighter, more fun-loving vacation activities.

Address: 1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45203, USA

4. BB Riverboats

Amy Nichole Harris / Shutterstock

You can&rsquot visit Ohio without crossing the Ohio River, so why not enjoy a leisurely afternoon on the water instead of just flying over it?

BB Riverboats offers a variety of riverboat cruises near Cincinnati.

Each cruise has a theme so that you can pick and choose the right experience for you.

For example, if you want a romantic getaway for your honeymoon, you can book the Stonebrook Winery Sunset Cruise.

If you want a fun sightseeing experience with the whole family, you can take the Captains&rsquo Lunch Cruise or the Sunday Family Dinner Cruise.

Are you traveling with the girls? Sigh together on the Pure Romance Cruise.

Are you looking for neat stuff to do with the kids? Race to adventure with the Super Hero Cruise.

Each tour offered by BB Riverboats will move up and down the waters of the Ohio River, so you can marvel at panoramic views of Cincinnati while sipping on cocktails or feasting on seafood platters.

Taking a cruise is definitely one of the best things to do in Cincinnati, so enjoy your proximity to the water while you can!

5. MadTree Brewing

Some of the most fabulous places to visit in Cincinnati are microbreweries.

Even if you aren&rsquot a big drinker, you can have a blast with their tours and workshops.

If you are a drinker, you can delight in their special-made craft beers that you can&rsquot get anywhere else.

MadTree Brewing is just one of the breweries in Cincinnati, but it&rsquos at the top of our list of cool places to visit in the city.

It offers beers and wood-fired pizzas it hosts tours, tastings and keg sales.

There are always new things to do when you drop by.

You&rsquoll also like the atmosphere of MadTree Brewing.

It&rsquos located in a converted Cincinnati warehouse that combines industrial chic with rustic charm, so you&rsquoll admire the aesthetic even as you crack open a cold one.

The lights hang off iron grids that are centered over wooden bars and tables.

The brews of the day are scrawled on a chalkboard menu.

Visit MadTree Brewing if you want to have a laid-back afternoon at one of the best destinations in Cincinnati.

Whether you&rsquore in Ohio for a day, a month or a weekend, you&rsquoll want to say that you had some good beer while you were there.

Address: 3301 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209, USA

Visiting other parts of Ohio? Why not check out some of the things to do in Sandusky, Ohio and the things to do in Columbus!

6. Downtown Cincinnati

Mixing old-fashioned charm with contemporary bustle, downtown Cincinnati is a perfect example of what makes the city so great.

It doesn&rsquot forget its roots, but it&rsquos also filled with fun attractions and activities for visitors of all ages.

If you like shopping, you can find everything from bookstores to fashion boutiques as you mosey down the tree-lined sidewalks.

If you enjoy wining and dining, there are all kinds of cafes, restaurants, bistros, bakeries and cocktail lounges.

Are you staying in Cincinnati for awhile? Look into renting an apartment from one of the many building complexes downtown.

Are you just in Cincinnati for the weekend? Splurge for a luxurious hotel suite that overlooks the Ohio River.

Streetcars will periodically pass through downtown if you want to hop aboard and take a ride.

Information terminals are everywhere to prevent you from getting lost.

Downtown Cincinnati is more of an experience than a destination.

It&rsquos brimming with things to do, places to go and people to see.

No matter where you&rsquore traveling in the Cincinnati area, make sure to stop by downtown.

7. Kings Island

Just a short drive from downtown Cincinnati, Kings Island is the single biggest amusement park in the Midwest.

It tops every other park in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

More than 3.5 million visitors flock to its roller coasters every year, and that&rsquos only when the park is open during the spring and summer months!

What makes Kings Island one of the top things to do in Cincinnati?

A lot of it is the cross-generational appeal.

Adults can scream on death-defying drop towers and boomerangs kids can frolic on slides, carousels and tilt-o-whirls.

Activity booths offer all kinds of games and prizes, and concession stands are around every corner to keep you fueled on burgers, pizzas and ice cream cones.

Kings Island is also attached to a water park called Soak City where visitors of all ages can enjoy a splashing good time.

Whether you&rsquore looking to relax in a wave pool or get your heart racing with a water plunge, Soak City has lots of activities for summertime fun.

Even though it isn&rsquot technically located within the city limits, Kings Island is still a top 10 attraction in Cincinnati.

It&rsquoll provide rollicking entertainment for everyone in the family, so it&rsquos a premiere destination for visitors to Ohio.

Address: 6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason, OH 45040, USA

8. Krohn Conservatory

Krohn Conservatory should be at the top of your list of Cincinnati attractions.

It&rsquos basically a large-scale botanical garden, and it&rsquos filled with everything from bonsai collections to man-made waterfalls surrounded by goldfish ponds.

Many exotic species can be found in the Krohn Conservatory.

There are cacao trees to produce chocolate and vanilla vines to harvest vanilla there are oranges, lemons, grapefruits, kumquats and dwarf bananas.

Cincinnati is known for its cuisine, and this is just one place where its ingredients are harvested.

The Krohn Conservatory also has all of the beautiful flowers that you&rsquod expect to see in a botanical garden.

The &ldquoorchid display&rdquo showcases 75 orchids at all times, and the &ldquodesert garden&rdquo recreates a dry ecosystem with cacti and succulents.

The waterfall is located within the &ldquopalm house,&rdquo a 45-foot structure that&rsquos overflowing with ferns and palm trees.

If you&rsquore wondering what to see in Cincinnati, the Krohn Conservatory is an ideal place to whip out your camera.

Its stunning scenery will transport you right out of Ohio and into an African desert or South American rainforest!

Address: 1501 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

9. Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman&rsquos Cove

One of the best things about Ohio is its abundance of parks, gardens, wetlands and nature reserves.

Whether you&rsquore traveling to Cincinnati or Cleveland, you&rsquoll have your pick of gorgeous backdrops for things like birdwatching and sightseeing.

Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman&rsquos Cove are side-by-side parks located in Cincinnati.

They offer wonderful waterfront views of the river, and they&rsquore also decked out with things like tennis courts, volleyball courts, picnic areas, concession stands and performance pavilions.

They&rsquore also home to the Serpentine Wall.

Curving like the coils of a snake, the Serpentine Wall descends down into the banks of the Ohio River, and there are some great photo ops to be had on its steps.

Maybe you want to build a plant or animal scrapbook in Cincinnati.

Either way, the double dose of Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman&rsquos Cove should be considered for your shortlist of things to do in Ohio.

Address: 705 E Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

10. Carew Tower of Cincinnati

Enjoy a panoramic view of Cincinnati when you climb to the top of the Carew Tower of Cincinnati.

Towering more than 570 feet over the city, it offers breathtaking views of everything from the rushing waters of the Ohio River to the gleaming buildings of downtown Cincinnati.

You can snap photographs, film a vlog, walk the observation deck or just stick a quarter in the coin-operated binoculars and watch the people scurrying below.

There are other things to enjoy in the Carew Tower of Cincinnati, too.

There are dozens of restaurants and gift shops located throughout its 49 floors, and there&rsquos a famous Hall of Mirrors that acts as a ballroom for special events.

Even if you aren&rsquot there for a special occasion, it&rsquos one of the most elegant things to see in the entire city of Cincinnati.

Oh, and if you like travel tips, here&rsquos a good one for you: The Carew Tower of Cincinnati only accepts cash for the observation deck, so make sure to pack some small bills before you go.

Address: 41 W 5th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

11. Eden Park

Cincinnati is such a vibrant city that it&rsquos easy to get overwhelmed by the crowds and the skyscrapers.

Where can you go if you want to enjoy some of the gentler sights of Cincinnati?

Located on the banks of the Ohio River, it&rsquos a green oasis within the steel of the city.

You can wander the trails, picnic under the pavilions or kick up your feet in the gazebos.

No matter where you spread out your blanket, you&rsquoll never be far from the fragrances of fresh flowers and the sounds of babbling brooks.

There are some nice places to visit within the park, too.

A historic water tower stands 172 feet high.

A magnolia garden has a spot for outdoor chess games.

Mirror Lake is a popular launching pad for model boats.

Eden Park isn&rsquot one of the crazier things to do in Cincinnati, but not every vacation needs to have non-stop action.

It&rsquos okay to stop and smell the roses for a while.

Let Eden Park be a place where you can escape the grind of Cincinnati and simply breathe for awhile.

Address: 950 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

12. Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum

Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock

You might not think of a cemetery as a place for fun vacation activities, but the Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum defies all expectations.

It&rsquos so old and majestic that it&rsquos been officially recognized as a National Historic Landmark, and not only is it the largest cemetery in Ohio, but it&rsquos the second-largest cemetery in the entire United States.

It covers more than 700 acres of hills, lakes, gardens, ponds and tree groves!

What can you see around the Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum?

For starters, it&rsquos home to a number of famous graves.

You can walk the paths and identify everyone from Civil War generals to noteworthy artists, athletes, scientists and politicians.

It&rsquos also a beautiful place for a stroll in Cincinnati.

It&rsquos green in the summer and white in the winter, and its statues and gravestones are just as impressive as its natural scenery.

It&rsquos particularly famous for the gothic architecture that inspired some of its memorials.

It&rsquos a great place for a spooky night visit!

If you&rsquore looking for unique things to do in Cincinnati, consider a trip to the Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum.

It&rsquos a distinct feature of the city and an unforgettable place to make some vacation memories.

Address: 4521 Spring Grove Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45232, USA

13. Jack Cincinnati Casino

Gambling was only recently legalized in Ohio, and the Jack Cincinnati Casino sprung up in 2013 to fulfill the sudden demand of people who were eager to meet Lady Luck.

It isn&rsquot the largest casino in the state, but it offers more than enough fun for anyone seeking a jackpot in Cincinnati.

More than 2,000 slot machines line the corridors. Almost 100 game tables are devoted to things like roulette and blackjack.

There&rsquos even a dedicated poker room for serious card players.

When you&rsquove made enough money, start exploring the other amenities of the Jack Cincinnati Casino.

Features include a hotel, restaurant, bar, lounge and gift shop.

The best places to see in Cincinnati aren&rsquot always located outdoors.

With the Jack Cincinnati Casino, for example, you can cocoon yourself in a world of dark walls, plush carpets, expensive cocktails and the constant chimes of successful slots.

It&rsquoll be a great experience during your vacation in Cincinnati!

Address: 1000 Broadway St, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

14. Eli&rsquos BBQ

Eli&rsquos BBQ is one of the most famous restaurants in Cincinnati.

Despite its fame, however, it doesn&rsquot try to impress you.

It&rsquos a low-key barbecue joint where people can pull apart chicken wings while listening to the strumming guitar of a live band, and that&rsquos exactly why everyone loves it.

The menu at Eli&rsquos BBQ offers a host of American classics.

Between hickory-smoked ribs and fully-loaded hot dogs with coleslaw and pork crispins, you&rsquoll have your choice of hearty meals.

The side dishes are simple but delicious: baked beans, mashed potatoes, grits, cornbread and mac and cheese.

You can even order your soda in a glass bottle to complete the look.

As for its atmosphere, Eli&rsquos BBQ is a very friendly place.

Live music is common, and there&rsquos both indoor and outdoor seating if you want to take advantage of nice weather.

They&rsquoll occasionally throw a special brunch for anyone in Cincinnati who likes to start the day with a plate of ribs.

If you&rsquove worked up an appetite during your Cincinnati vacation, stop by Eli&rsquos BBQ to fill your belly.

It&rsquos finger-lickin&rsquo good, and it&rsquoll give you a gushing story to tell when you&rsquore back at home and talking about the best barbecue that you had in Ohio.

Address: 3313 Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA

15. Scene Ultra Lounge

The Scene Ultra Lounge is one of the premiere spots for Cincinnati nightlife.

It combines different elements of a bar, club, dance hall and cocktail lounge for a heady mixture of adult fun.

The best thing about the Scene Ultra Lounge is that you can choose the kind of atmosphere that you&rsquod like for the evening.

If you&rsquore looking to unwind after a long day, you can nurse a beer at the bar while catching the game on the plasma screens.

If you want to make some new friends, you can dress to kill and hit the dance floor where live DJs make sure that the music never stops.

Another great thing about the Scene Ultra Lounge is that it&rsquos almost never closed.

Whether you&rsquore traveling to Cincinnati on a weekday, weekend or holiday, the doors of the Scene Ultra Lounge will be open to you.

One thing to know about the Scene Ultra Lounge is that there&rsquos an unspoken, upscale dress code.

Tuck this away into your travel hacks so that you won&rsquot be turned away at the door.

The Scene Ultra Lounge is one of the trendiest places to visit in Cincinnati.

You don&rsquot have to be a big partier to enjoy its vibe, so stop by during your Cincinnati vacation and enjoy food, drink, music and dance.

Address: 637 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

16. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

As a sobering look into the past, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is an uncomfortable but unforgettable destination in Cincinnati.

Offering stories, pictures, texts and relics from the days of slavery, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is something called a &ldquomuseum of conscience.&rdquo

It&rsquos meant to offer a stark and realistic look at history so that visitors can really contemplate what life was like for previous generations.

Even its location is significant: The museum was built on the banks of the Ohio River where escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad would seek passage to Canada.

The centerpiece of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a real-world &ldquoslave pen&rdquo that was transferred to Ohio for the museum&rsquos founding.

Built in the 1800s, it&rsquos a small log structure that measures just 20 x 30 feet across, but it used to house dozens of slaves awaiting auction.

Visitors can walk inside, touch the doors, look at the shackles and feel the walls closing in.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center isn&rsquot for everyone.

It&rsquos a hard look at a tough topic, so it isn&rsquot exactly one of the fun things to do in Cincinnati.

If you like history, however, or if you&rsquore just interested in real history, this is definitely one of the biggest points of interest in Cincinnati.

Address: 50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

17. Newport Aquarium

Colorful fish dart between coral reefs.

Sharks swim lazily around stingrays and jellyfish.

Octopi cling to glass displays with sticky tentacles.

This is the Newport Aquarium, and it&rsquos so gigantic that it houses thousands of sea creatures in millions of gallons of water.

It&rsquos definitely one of the coolest things to see in Cincinnati!

If you like marine life, the Newport Aquarium will delight you in more ways than one.

Not only does it offer a wide range of species, but it showcases them in brilliant, breathtaking ways.

For example, it&rsquos one of the only aquariums in Ohio to have a series of walkthrough tunnels where visitors can completely immerse themselves in the dark blue world under the sea.

You might also enjoy the special events of the Newport Aquarium.

From &ldquoScuba Santa&rdquo in wintertime to &ldquoMermaid&rsquos Cove&rdquo in the summer months, they always have fun things to do on their schedule.

Whether you&rsquore visiting on a quick weekend trip to Cincinnati or an extended holiday visit with family, you don&rsquot have to worry about the aquarium being closed, slow or dull.

Something to note: Newport Aquarium is technically located outside of Ohio state lines. Its mailing address is in Newport, Kentucky.

However, it&rsquos just a 10-minute drive from Cincinnati when you cross the bridge over the Ohio River, so we consider it near enough to the city to still be called one of the top things to do in Cincinnati!

Address: 1, Levee Way, Newport, KY 41071, USA

18. Vent Haven Museum

Located five miles south of Cincinnati, the Vent Haven Museum is one of the quirkiest things to do during an Ohio vacation.

This is because it doesn&rsquot house paintings or sculptures. It houses ventriloquist dummies.

Dummies line every inch of the shelves and tables. Dummy posters hang from the walls.

Dummy recordings play on the radio. Eyes will follow you everywhere that you go.

The Vent Haven Museum isn&rsquot meant to be creepy, however.

It&rsquos actually a celebration of the hobby and the ventriloquists that made it famous.

It was started by a hobbyist who passed on his collection of memorabilia to like-minded individuals, and others have added to it over time.

Today, more than 900 dummies are showcased by the museum, and they range from rosy-cheeked children to jaunty businessmen in snazzy suits.

As the only ventriloquist museum in the entire world, the Vent Haven Museum will be a one-of-a-kind experience while you&rsquore in Cincinnati.

It&rsquos the kind of place that you have to see to believe, so don&rsquot hesitate to call and book a tour.

How often do you get the chance to see Slappy in the flesh?

Address: 33 W Maple Ave, Fort Mitchell, KY 41011, USA

19. Devou Park

Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock

There are so many activities in Devou Park that you won&rsquot know which way to turn.

Do you like scenic strolls through gorgeous landscapes? There are nature trails down every nook and cranny of the park.

Do you want to work up a sweat? There are playgrounds, ball fields and an 18-hole golf course where you can practice your swing while in Cincinnati.

An amphitheater is located within the park for festivals and concerts.

An on-site museum will teach you about local heritage.

There&rsquos even a fishing lake near the park where you can cast your line and catch your own dinner.

The only downside of Devou Park is that it&rsquos not really a Cincinnati park.

Like some of the other attractions on this list, it&rsquos located across the Ohio River and into Kentucky territory, so you&rsquoll need to be willing to take a short drive out of the city.

If you don&rsquot mind a little trip-within-a-trip, however, spending time in Devou Park is one of the nicest things to do in the Cincinnati area.

It&rsquos near all kinds of landmarks and attractions, and it&rsquoll be a great way to recharge during your vacation.

Address: 1201 Park Dr, Covington, KY 41011, USA

20. Over-the-Rhine

Located near downtown Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine is a historic neighborhood that will give you a taste of the art and culture scene in Cincinnati.

Originally a poor, working-class neighborhood, Over-the-Rhine has morphed into an area where trendy bars jostle for space with art galleries and opera houses.

It&rsquos home to many performance establishments, including Emery Theater and the Cincinnati Music Hall, and it&rsquos also where you can find groups like the Cincinnati Ballet.

Historic architecture dominates the streets of Over-the-Rhine.

You can&rsquot go anywhere without seeing colonial townhouses or vintage shopfronts.

It&rsquos a taste of old-school Ohio mixed in with contemporary Cincinnati.

If you like art, culture and theater, Over-the-Rhine is one of the best vacation spots in Cincinnati.

There are so many things to see that you could spend an entire weekend visiting its attractions and still have things left on your list.

If you want to hit up the top points of interest of Over-the-Rhine, it&rsquos best to get started today!

21. Great American Ball Park

The Great American Ball Park lives up to its name by offering a classic stadium experience for America&rsquos favorite pastime.

Home to the Cincinnati Reds, the Great American Ball Park is a throwback to simpler times.

You can sit in the stands, hail the popcorn sellers and cheer for your favorite players as they pop fly balls all around you.

You&rsquoll even witness short bursts of fireworks whenever the Cincinnati Reds hit a home run!

Things aren&rsquot completely vintage, however.

The Great American Ball Park is one of the biggest baseball stadiums in Ohio, and it&rsquos been decked out with everything from high-tech scoreboards to glass-encased restaurants.

It&rsquos also filled with amenities like restrooms, lockers, kitchenettes and baby changing stations.

Things are designed to be comfortable and convenient just as much as classic.

Stop by the Great American Ball Park when you&rsquore looking for fun things to do in Cincinnati on the weekend.

There&rsquos always a game going on, and there&rsquos nothing more American than watching baseball and munching on peanuts and crackerjacks.

Address: 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

22. Mount Airy Forest

Covering almost 1,500 acres, Mount Airy Forest is one of the largest recreational parks in the entire state of Ohio.

You could get lost for an entire weekend among its trees, trails, hills, groves and ponds!

It&rsquos no exaggeration to say that Mount Airy Forest is one of the most beautiful places in the US.

It&rsquos filled with the kind of natural wonder that you can only get from a lush landscape, and its fresh air will be a welcome change from the congested streets of Cincinnati.

It&rsquos also filled with exciting things to do.

Take a horseback ride through the winding forest trails climb into a wooden treehouse and snap some panoramic shots of the open fields below.

Let your pooches run wild in the dog park. Enjoy a picnic with the kids under a shaded pavilion.

Mount Airy Forest is one of the best places to visit when you&rsquore in Cincinnati.

If you&rsquore ready to plan a trip to the area, make sure to put it on your shortlist of attractions.

Address: 5083 Colerain Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223, USA

23. Cincinnati Art Museum

The Cincinnati Art Museum isn&rsquot one of those stuffy museums where everyone tiptoes around and speaks only in hushed whispers.

It&rsquos a place where art comes to life, and visitors can enjoy everything from pop culture exhibits to swing dancing demonstrations whenever the museum is having a special event.

We would definitely put the Cincinnati Art Museum on our list of the best things to do in Cincinnati.

Not only does it offer paintings, sculptures, carvings and murals from world-famous artists, but it also recognizes local talent from Ohio residents.

It&rsquos no stranger to things like jewelry showcases or life-sized displays of movie monsters.

You can even sign up for events like &ldquoArt After Dark,&rdquo a monthly gathering for art lovers that takes place at night.

All things considered, the Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the best things to do in Cincinnati.

It offers a staggering 67,000 works that span more than 6,000 years of history, so you&rsquoll never run out of things to admire.

You could live your entire life in Ohio and still not see everything!

Address: 953 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA

24. Cincinnati Observatory

You can find the Cincinnati Observatory on top of the aptly-named Mount Lookout.

Built in 1892, it&rsquos the oldest professional observatory in Ohio, and not much has changed about its structure or architecture over the years.

Its gigantic telescope is still cushioned in an old-fashioned building that has been carefully preserved to retain its vintage look.

You see, the Cincinnati Observatory isn&rsquot ashamed of being a throwback establishment.

It proudly calls itself &ldquothe birthplace of American astronomy.&rdquo

While its scientific equipment is kept up to date, everything else is maintained like a relic.

Visitors to the Cincinnati Observatory can take a tour, watch a presentation and explore the various displays of moon rocks and space suits.

There&rsquos also telescope viewing available both night and day.

In the daytime, it&rsquos called &ldquosolar viewing. At night, there are stargazing parties led by the staff.

The Cincinnati Observatory gives you the unique opportunity to pursue futuristic dreams through a historical landmark.

It&rsquos easily one of the top things to do in Cincinnati, so call ahead and book a tour today!

Address: 3489 Observatory Pl, Cincinnati, OH 45208, USA

25. Cincinnati Riverwalk

Christian Hinkle / Shutterstock

Also called the Ohio River Trail, the Cincinnati Riverwalk winds for several miles around the water.

It&rsquos so large that it stretches between both Ohio and Kentucky, and it offers beautifully scenic views for visitors to either state.

On the Cincinnati side, the Cincinnati Riverwalk serves as a &ldquobest of&rdquo trail that passes near and around all kinds of city landmarks.

From the Roebling Suspension Bridge to the Smale Riverfront Park, you can enjoy many different sights as you ramble along the river.

You&rsquoll also have your pick of shops, restaurants and museums as you walk the four-mile path.

As for the perfect time to visit, you might want to save the best for last when it comes to the Cincinnati Riverwalk.

Walking the waterfront will give you the chance to explore any attractions that you missed the first time around, and it&rsquoll be a great way to say goodbye to the city at the end of your vacation.

You&rsquoll hate leaving Cincinnati, but at least you can say farewell with the awesome Cincinnati Riverwalk!

Address: W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA


3 Ohio Instagram Accounts You’ll Love

When it comes to great recommendations, the locals know all. Here are three great accounts focused on a particular area of expertise.

Jan./Feb. 2021
BY Hallie Rybka | Photos courtesy of Mady Stoner, Julia Kowalczyk and Jane Sullivan

Jan./Feb. 2021
BY Hallie Rybka | Photos courtesy of Mady Stoner, Julia Kowalczyk and Jane Sullivan

@wanderlustinohio | Mady Stoner
Bedford Reservation

Mady Stoner, the Lakewood-based hiker and photographer behind @wanderlustinohio, has conquered many of Ohio&rsquos trails. One hiking destination she&rsquos truly come to enjoy is Cleveland Metroparks&rsquo Bedford Reservation. It features paved paths, mountain biking trails, hiking trails, picnic areas and a scenic overlook, plus a handful of hidden gems including multiple waterfalls. clevelandmetroparks.com

@beardandbroad | Julia & Benjamin Kowalczyk
Herb'n Twine Sandwich Co.

The Beard & The Broad bloggers Julia and Benjamin Kowalczyk know Cleveland dining. When it comes to great sandwiches, they point to the Smoked Turkey Club at Herb&rsquon Twine Sandwich Co., thanks to a combo of piled-high smoked turkey breast, Gouda cheese, maple-smoked bacon, sun-dried tomato mayo and more. (The bread is baked in-house, too!) herbntwine.com

@dogsofcincy | Jane Sullivan
Washington Park


Goebel Park

501 Philadelphia St., Covington, KY

This Covington gem doesn’t just boast a whimsical playground beneath the most charming carillon clock tower you’ve ev er seen… it also has goats. Yes, goats. The goats at Goebel Park have become quite the Cincinnati celebrities. They can be seen gr azing from May through October, and each spring there’s a “Running of the Goats” event that’s about as adorable as it gets. (Follow @goebelgoats on Facebook for updates!)

Loveland Castle

12025 Shore Dr., Loveland, OH

Located on the banks of the Little Miami in Loveland, Cincinnati’s Loveland Castle (“Chateau Laroche”) is a true testament to the power of imagination. This authentic, full-scale castle was built brick by brick by Cincinnati native (Sir) Harry Andrews, who began construction in 1929 and spent the next 50 years working on his masterpiece, using stones from the Little Miami River and hand-molded bricks made of cement and milk cartons. The castle includes gardens, several towers, a dungeon and rooms full of medieval replicas and memorabilia.

Mt. Airy Treehouse

5083 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH

Mt. Airy Forest is 1,459 acres of lus h, picturesque, from-a-postcard forest , and at the center of that picture-perfect postcard is Mt. Airy Treehouse. It’s 14 feet tall and connected to 12 trees within the forest. Known fondly as “Everybody’s Treehouse,” it has whimsical, fairy-tale features, such as a winding (and wheelchair accessible ) ramp, a swirly, shingled roof and windows with crooked branches as windowpanes. This attraction is free to visit and the views from the treehouse are breathtaking.

[email protected]

1600 Montague Rd., Covington, KY

Located just below the Behringer-Crawford Museum (another Cincinnati Parent favorite), this playscape is literally carve d out of the side of the hill and it’s a beautiful place to explore and play . Follow signs to the m useum, park in the lot and follow the path through a whimsical wooden arch that leads down to the main area of the playground . It’s heavily shaded, so even on a warm day it’s an ideal place to visit.

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park

1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., State Route 128, Hamilton, OH

An outdoor museum with larger-than-life sculptures where your kids can run free? Yes, yes and yes! Pyramid Hill is an outdoor museum comprised of over 60 monumental pieces of sculpture in an environment of meadows, forests and gardens. The art at Pyramid Hill stands out in a way that’s impossible to miss you’ll traipse through woods to find rustic sculptures, encounter colorful creations standing front-and-center in a field and admire bright spectacles across rolling fields. Art is everywhere — and that’s a beautiful thing.

Ziegler Park

1322 Sycamore St., Cincinnati, OH

In the heart of Over-The-Rhine is a total hidden gem: Ziegler Park. This treasure has amenities for the entire family, plus it’s within walking distance of OTR’s most famous restaurants and shops. This park is ADA accessible with amazing features such as a large pool, upgraded basketball courts, playground, game grove, beautiful lawn… and a splayground!


New Dates Added for Spooky Tours of Over-the-Rhine's Emery Theatre by American Legacy Tours

New daytime dates have been added to tour this historic theater, which is slated for renovation — "making this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour this space before it is changed forever," says the group.

Photo: Provided by American Legacy Tours

American Legacy Tours — offering historically narrated walking tours of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky since 2009 — is a favorite among locals and visitors, not only for their dives into bawdy local lore via their Newport Gangster Tour or subterranean beer exploration on their Queen City Underground Tour, but they are also notable for their spooky seasonal tours, Queen City Is Haunted and Newport Is Haunted — jaunts into the most paranormal spots in the city.

They have added a special new haunted tour this year, taking a limited number of guests into the historic Emery Theatre in Over-the-Rhine.

American Legacy Tours says: "Built in 1911, the Emery Theater is a hidden architectural and historic gem of downtown Cincinnati. On this behind the scenes tour we will explore this amazing building. You will have the opportunity to stand on the same stage as Dr. Martin Luther King and Eleanor Roosevelt. We will learn how the building was constructed and used, even sampling the amazing acoustics. The Emery is scheduled for renovation making this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour this space before it is changed forever."

Originally only available on two dates, they have expanded their offerings to include multiple daytime tours on Sept. 19, Sept. 26, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10 for $25.

In terms of haunted performance venues, nearby Music Hall is reported to be one of the most haunted spots in America, but that doesn't mean the Emery can't be, too. And it's certainly been abandoned long enough to be freaky.

Designed by famed local architect Samuel Hannaford, the building which houses the theater also includes 59 apartments, retail space on the ground floor occupied by Coffee Emporium and office space.

The Emery was constructed in 1911 as the Ohio Mechanics Institute and is named for philanthropist Mary Emery. The school, which was absorbed into the University of Cincinnati in 1969, closed its doors in 1988.

The Emery Theatre hosted the Cincinnati Symphony orchestra from 1912 to 1936. The theater was once considered one of the best in the country, but is "beyond repair," according to university documents.

Mary Emery's will stipulates that the theater must remain open for public performances.

In September 2019, UC announced it signed a $8.55 million contract to sell the building to a development partnership called 100 Central Parkway, LLC, led by local developers Dave Neyer and Chris Frutkin.


Watch the video: Cincinnati Ohio - Infamous Over-The-Rhine Neighborhood - Tough Inner City Decay (May 2022).


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