Frontdesk welcomes you to Cincinnati, OH! The “Queen City,” also nicknamed “Cincy,” is located in the southwest corner of Ohio, just across the river from Kentucky. Cincinnati is most well known for its sports teams, unique chili, and internet sensation Fiona the Hippo, but it has a lot more to offer visitors. Keep reading to learn more about what to do, where to eat, and how to get around Cincinnati.
The Banks is an entertainment district on the riverfront in Cincinnati. The area is bookended by the Paul Brown Stadium to the west and Great American Ballpark to the east. It is part of a multi-year development initiative that will continue to add more restaurants, shops, and bars.
Downtown Cincinnati is the central business district of the city. Downtown has a wide variety of things to do, including cultural attractions, shopping, and top restaurants.
The neighborhood is known for Eden Park, which has walking paths and views of the Ohio River views. Here you will also find the Krohn Conservatory, home to exotic plants and butterflies, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.
This neighborhood is located northwest of downtown. The area is largely residential and you can find historic buildings and lavish mansions.
Over-the-Rhine is a historic neighborhood with well-preserved 19th-century buildings. It was once a working-class German neighborhood that has been revitalized in recent years. It is now home to craft breweries, hip gastropubs, trendy bars, and Findlay Market.
Things to do in Cincinnati
There are many fun things to see and do in Cincinnati. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there is a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities, offering something for everyone!
Having opened in 1875, the Cincinnati Zoo is the second-oldest in the United States. It was also named the top zoo in North America in 2019 by USA Today. The zoo houses over 500 animals and 3,000 plant species, including Martha, the last living passenger pigeon, Incas, the last living Carolina parakeet, and Fiona, the internet-famous baby hippo.
Although technically across the river in Newport, Kentucky, the aquarium is only a five-minute drive from downtown Cincinnati and a must-see. It has 70 exhibits and 14 galleries, with more than 90 different species. The aquarium is known for its stingrays, albino alligators, and shark exhibit.
Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cincinnati Art Museum is the largest in the state of Ohio and one of the oldest in the United States. Their collection has over 60,000 objects including works by artists such as Renoir, Monet, Corot, Picasso, and many more. The museum also has a wing that specifically features works by Cincinnati artists.
The Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest public market, and it’s open year-round! Here you will find vendors selling meat, fish, poultry, flowers, cheese, deli, and other produce. There is also a seasonal farmers’ market, bringing a new character to the market. The market attracts more than a million visitors a year!
Hidden Gems in Cincinnati
American Sign Museum – collection of vintage and neon signage
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – a museum and education center focusing on the stories of the Underground Railroad
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Garden – 300+ acre sculpture park with more than 60 outdoor sculptures
Cincy Brew Bus – a bus tour that takes you to several different breweries
The Video Arcade – Quentin Tarantino-themed video store speakeasy
Wunderbar! – serves an authentic German-inspired menu
Frequently Asked Questions
The city was incorporated as a town in 1802 and then as a city in 1819. It was the first city founded after the American Revolution!
Cincinnati is home to three major sports teams: the Cincinnati Reds (MLB), the Cincinnati Bengals (NFL), and FC Cincinnati (Major League Soccer).
Cincinnati summers are warm and humid with temperatures in the 70°s and 80°s. Winters are cold and snowy with temperatures between 20-40°. The most popular time of year to visit Cincinnati is from mid-June to late September.
Best Restaurants and Bars in Cincinnati
For brunch, head to Taste of Belgium in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood for delicious Belgian food with a twist. They serve up many different styles of their signature waffles, as well as other breakfast and lunch favorites. There are also Taste of Belgium locations on the Banks and in Findlay’s Market.
No trip to Cincinnati would be complete without trying the city’s unique style of chili, which is served on top of spaghetti noodles. While there are many different chili parlors in Cincinnati, Skyline Chili is a classic (there are several locations).
For a nice dinner, we recommend Sotto. They serve up rustic Italian cuisine like gnocchi and short rib cappellacci, with a cozy and romantic brick-and-wood interior. They also have an extensive wine list.
When it comes to alcohol, Cincinnati largely prefers craft beers, and there are no shortage of local breweries (being based in Wisconsin, we understand the passion). We recommend checking out Taft’s Ale House, an old 19th-century church that has been converted into a modern and trendy brewpub. You also always have the option of taking a brewery bus tour if you would like to visit multiple.
Best Way to Get Around Cincinnati
While some parts of Cincinnati are pedestrian-friendly, for the most part, attractions are too spread out and you will need a car. There are a few public transportation options, including the Metro bus service and the Cincinnati Bell Connector, which is a modern streetcar system that connects The Banks to Over-the-Rhine.
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