Once named the “Paris of America” and the first truly “American city” founded after the American Revolution, Cincinnati was once a bustling industrial city adding a new nickname, “Queen City” because of the population explosion. By 2001, Cincinnati had gained a rather notorious reputation for overtaking Compton as the “most dangerous city” in the US. But, after massive investments by the city’s Fortune 500 companies to rejuvenate downtown Cincinnati, it has now been ranked as one of the top places to visit in the US in 2018!
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Nestled along the Ohio River at the confluence of the Licking and Ohio Rivers, just across the the state line from Kentucky, Cincinnati is now a beautiful blend of new and old, with modern and historic hang outs and where the Midwest meets the South. The area was settled in 1788 and became one of the fastest growing “boom towns” and by the mid-1800s, Cincinnati was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in America due to the steamboat trade as well as pork processing.
Now, I don’t want to scare you right off the bat, but it’s always good to have some background info. Downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine, once the most dangerous place in America is now unrecognizable to just seven years ago and is still undergoing major renovations, bringing a renewed sense of pride back to the city and now I encourage you to consider a visit to one of the new, up & coming cities in the Midwest with these 20+ things to do in Cincinnati, Ohio! It one of the easiest day trips from Louisville, KY and we returned several times because we enjoyed it so much!
But here are some interest facts about Cincinnati before you go!
- Cincinnati is home to three major sports teams: the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball, the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League and and FC Cincinnati in the United Soccer League and soon to be Major League Soccer in 2019!
- The Cincinnati Red Stockings (later Reds) was the first professional US Baseball team, formed in 1869.
- Cincinnati has been home to 5 US Presidents: William Howard Taft, Rutherford B. Hayes, Ulysses S. Grant, William Henry Harrison, and Benjamin Harrison.
- George Clooney and Neil Armstrong (the first man to walk on the moon) are both natives to Cincinnati!
- The second oldest zoo in America is the Cincinnati Zoo opened in 1875!
- Cincinnati is home to the second largest Oktoberfest in the world called Zinzinnati Oktoberfest!
History of Cincinnati and the German Influence
Surprisingly, along our adventures in Cincinnati, we discovered just how much the city had German heritage as thousands of Germans immigrated to the city between the 18th and 19th centuries, especially during the Prussian Revolution in 1848 in pursuit of the “American Dream” and by 1900 more than 60% of the city was German. German neighborhoods stretching across Cincinnati as well as other parts of Ohio popped up and soon the first German-language newspaper, Germania, began publication in 1846.
Germans were often resented and tended to form their own German communities. Native-born US citizens were typically hesitant of more outsiders coming in with different religious and political beliefs. By the outbreak of WWI, street names were changed, teaching German was banned and discrimination continued throughout WWII. Today, Cincinnati’s German heritage is making a comeback and that is clearly evident with the amount of German-related things we came across!
How to Get Around Cincinnati
Opened in 2016, the Cincinnati Bell Connector (previously known as the Cincinnati Street Car) is the easiest way to get around Findlay Market and Over-the-Rhine to downtown Cincinnati to the Banks and the American Ball Park.
How to Ride the Cincinnati Bell Connector: At the moment, there are 5 street cars, moving in a circular route with stops at many major points of interest in Cincinnati. At each location, there is a ticket machine where you can easily purchase a day ticket, using Debit/Credit cards only as form of payment. Future plans include expanding it to the University of Cincinnati, hospitals, the Cincinnati Zoo and into Northern Kentucky.
Parking in Cincinnati: The best place to find the most affordable and safest parking garage is the Washington Park Parking Garage starting at $3 for an hour up to $10 for 7+ hours. From there, you can easily hop aboard the tram. The Northern portion of the street car encompasses Over-the-Rhine while the southern portion includes downtown Cincinnati.
Biking in Cincinnati: Considering that a good chunk of Cincinnati is flat, until you get around the Business District, it’s relatively easy to rent a bike in Cincinnati and explore! You have the option of renting a bike for unlimited uses under 60 minutes for $8, +$4 for every additional 30 minutes or rent a bike all day for $28.
Over-the-Rhine once had the highest number of abandoned and boarded up buildings in the country and yet today, it’s a thriving and bustling part of town! It has the one of the largest, intact urban districts in the United States and the largest collection of 19th century Italianate architecture! Cute little boutique shops, organic restaurants with lines out the door and hip new bars now fill those empty buildings, beautifully restored to their former glory all thanks to a corporate-funded, non-government entity. Since 1930, more than half of Cincinnati’s historic buildings have been lost to deterioration and by 2006 was on the “Endangered” list, but thanks to the Over-the-Rhein Foundation, they have helped save many of the city’s crumbling buildings and won 3rd place in the 2011 National Trust for Historic Preservation’s nationwide “This Place Matters” community challenge.
What was once one part of town you definitely did NOT want to walk through is now THE place to be as residents try to reconnect the community with it’s German history. There are still a few parts of town that look a little worse for wear, but in another 10 years, I bet it will all be cleaned up and revitalized! In 2018, Food & Wine Magazine called OTR “one of the country’s most promising food scenes” and today local chefs and artisan brewers have particularly embraced this area.
The neighborhood’s distinct German name dates back to the mid-19th century when German immigrants trekked to work across the bridges over the Miami and Erie Canal which separated the area from downtown Cincinnati. Germans nicknamed the canal “the Rhein” in reference to the Rhine River in Germany and the neighborhood just north of the canal as “Over the Rhein” (über den Rhein).
Because of it’s size, OTR is bisected by Liberty Street with the Brewing District and the Northern Liberties to the north of Liberty Street while to the south, you’ll find the Gateway Quarter and Pendelton.
Events in Over-the-Rhein: Bockfest, Cincy Fringe Festival, Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade from Findlay Market to Fountain Square.
The Brewing District
With all those Germans living in Cincinnati, you can bet your bottom dollar that they would continue their tradition of brewing good brews. North of Liberty Street was once the beating heart of Cincinnati’s brewing industry with the first brewery opening up in 1853. At its peak, Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. occupied three entire city blocks and was the city’s largest brewery, but that came to an end during the Prohibition era in the 1920s, finally being brought to life again in 2010!
Today, you can even do a Brewery Heritage walking tour or the Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour to explore Cincinnati’s brewing history above and below ground, including the pre-Prohibition breweries, lagering cellars, and tunnels unique to the Brewery District. You’ll definitely be wanting to book yourself a lil’ “Beercation” in Cincinnati and indulge yourself in the Craft Beer scene.
One of Over-the-Rhein’s popular beer bars and brewery is the Rheingeist Brewery located in an old bottling plant dating back to 1895 just down the street from Findlay Market! Here and there, you’ll find a few pieces of street art, many of which depict the beer trade, from gathering hops to the brewing process so searching for street art in Over-the-Rhein is one of the best free things to do in Cincinnati. You can even download a self-guided map to help you find the street murals!
One of the main things to see in Over-the-Rhein is Findlay Market, Cincinnati’s oldest public market. A walk through Findlay Market and you’ll discover a variety of European delicacies such as Belgian waffles, Polish pierogies, German-style bread, Baklava and more, including a little outdoor German-ish “biergarten”! If you love doing foodie tours, consider doing a Market Tour to stuff your face and truly get a taste of Cincinnati!
The neighborhood surrounding Findlay Market is one of the most beautiful areas of Cincinnati as it has been beautifully restored to vibrant pastels and on the day we happened to be there, a small street market was also set up. We had a blast exploring the market perusing the isles and taking a peak at the fresh produce market as well! We even took a seat to enjoy the atmosphere!
North of Liberty Street
This part of OTR has been relatively untouched by gentrification efforts and may actually feel more historic than other areas, although perhaps future investments are slowly creeping in to spice up this quarter! This was a part of town we just didn’t have time to get to, but I know we’ll be back!
The Washington Park Area
Enjoy Washington Park
Since gentrification, developers have renamed this part of OTR to “The Gateway Quarter” which has seen the most revitalization since 2010 and is now a primarily white, upper-class, exclusive quarter of town. Now, a plethora of new condominiums, apartments and commercial space has popped up, breathing life back into this part of Over-the-Rhein.
Washington Park is a lively urban park which extends from Elm Street, 14th Street, Race Street, Republic Street, and other cross-sections between the Park and the entertainment districts to the east of it. Today, you can find a doggie-park for dog lovers, outdoor concerts at an old-fashioned bandstand and a fun little water installation where locals took to cooling off on one of the hottest days of the year. Now, there are daily events in the park to help you make the most of your visit!
Visit the Cincinnati Opera House
Stretched out along the east side of Washington Park is the United States’ second oldest opera house, the Cincinnati Opera House (aka Cincinnati Music Hall), a glorious piece of Venetian Gothic architecture with red brick that encompasses the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, May Festival Chorus, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. In 2014, it made the list of National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual list of America’s 11 most endangered historic places, but by 2017, after a 16-month, $143-million renovation, it has been subsequently saved.
Taft’s Ale House
One of Cincinnati’s best new bars,Taft’s Ale House now occupies the former Saint Paul’s German Evangelical Protestant Church which was built in 1850 which was finally abandoned in the 1980s. The church sustained intense wear and tear which grew increasingly difficult to maintain. In 2010, the City of Cincinnati made an agreement with 3CDC to repair the church and after extensive renovation, the church was transformed into one of the best places to eat in Cincinnati, beautifully incorporating aspects of the salvaged church with a brew-pub.
Named after former US President William Howard Taft, a Cincinnati native, Taft’s Ale House has all the essentials: Good beer, Good food, and Good vibes! Here Ye Beer Me! It’s $5 for a flight—of five pours, so make your own beer sampler and pair it with Loaded Tater Tots with beer cheese for starters. My personal favorite? The Maverick Chocolate – clearly redefining “drinking chocolate”! Then stuff your face with any sandwich with their homemade, 21 day aged Tri-Tip steak!
When you’re done, take a little walking tour of the pub and learn more about this history of the former church!
Stroll Down Vine Street
Heading west from Washington Park and you’ll walk down W 12th St, W 13th St, or W 14th St and come to Vine Street. Once lined with derelict buildings, it’s here you’ll find a plethora of boutique shops, local chefs, European inspired restaurants, bakeries and bars. This is clearly, THE NEW HANG OUT zone, now aptly nicknamed “the miracle on Vine Street!” Diners now line the streets, waiting for the next table and crowding into bars. You won’t find any chain restaurants here, just small local specialty shops.
Our personal favorite? Taste of Belgium! An authentic Belgian eatery specializing in Belgian beers and waffles, two of the most sacred delicacies in Belgium! When you walk in, you can Eat Like a Belgian, Drink Like a Belgian, Live Like a Belgian all without stepping foot in Belgium and since we clearly wouldn’t be making our annual road trip to Belgium this summer as we are Stateside, we had to get a taste of Belgium in the USA!
Next up, Brezel, a Bavarian-inspired Pretzel shop which has creatively infused Bavarian pretzels with American tastes. Here, you’ll find Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels, Jalapeno Cheddar Asiago, Herb & Cracked Pepper and the traditional with salt.
Hit the Doughnut Trail
In 2016, Butler County officially launched a donut trail which features 10 independent, family-owned donut shops spread throughout the county, one of the yummiest things you can do if you’re not on a diet. Like, your welcome!
Yes, put on your fat pants and sniff out the yummiest, whackiest donuts shops you can find along the Cincinnati Doughnut Trail and start at Holtman’s Donuts, also on Vine Street which opened in 1960! What caught our attention was that you could pre-order their 10″ donuts so we simply had to go in to see in, but came out with a Maple Bacon donut, a top seller and not fit for everyone’s taste buds as it’s certainly an acquired taste. Trust me though when I say, finding the best donuts in Cincinnati is one of the best things to do! Just don’t get me started on the strange things Americans do and why we add bacon to everything…other than it’s goooood!
Pedal Wagon Beer Bike
Pedal and Party while you explore Cincinnati with Pedal Wagon! Operating 7 days a week, from 9am – 10pm you can have a bike load of fun! Grab your friends and book a tour! Each wagon holds up to 15 people and can make for a fun Bachelor/ette activity! Be sure to either book a private tour or a public tour with individual seats! You’ll be the envy of the town! All pub crawlers or bike pedals must be 21+!
Central Business District
Not far from Fountain Square is Cincinnati’s highest elevated building in the city. Built in 1930, Carew Tower is now the second tallest building in the city with 49 stories. Designed in an Art Deco style overlooking the Ohio River waterfront, it is registered as a National Historic Landmark and is a member of Historic Hotels in America. Named after Joseph T. Carew, the proprietor of a department store chain that had once occupied the site since 1877.
The Carew Tower houses the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza and is one of the finest examples of French Art Deco, modeled after the Empire State Building in New York City. Of interest here is the Hall of Mirrors banquet room inspired by the original at the Palace of Versailles outside of Paris.
Head inside, find the elevators and go up to the 49th story observation deck for breathtaking panoramic views over the city, the Ohio River and views into Kentucky!
Carew Tower Observation Deck Opening Times: Monday – Thursday 9:00am – 5:30pm, Friday 9:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday – Sunday 10:00am – 7:00pm
- $6 ages 12 and up
- $3 ages 6-11
- Free for ages 5 and under
- Cash only – small bills appreciated, pay at top
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Located near the banks of the Ohio River, the barrier that separated the slave states to the South and the free states to the North, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened its doors in 2004 as a monument to freedom and dedicated to those affected by acts of slavery throughout the world, as well as being a museum and education center. It portrays the horrific struggles slaves endure, both past and present as a somber reminder to help fight against slavery.
Explore Cincinnati’s Bridges and Waterfront
It’s evident when walking around Cincinnati’s Waterfront that it’s a city of bridges criss-crossing across the Ohio River connecting the Queen City to Northern Kentucky’s Newport riverfront. All located within a short distance from one another, four of the bridges are pedestrian-friendly: John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, Purple People Bridge, Taylor Southgate Bride and Clay Wade Bailey Bridge. If you feel like the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge (1867) looks familiar, that would be because it was actually designed by the same architect who later built the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC!
What once buzzed with 30 steamboats a day on the shores of the Ohio River in the 19th soon faded into despair by the 20th century because of pollution and disinvestment. But today, the Cincinnati Waterfront has been brought back to life and now stretches 45 acres between the Great American Ballpark and the Paul Brown Stadium, flanking both sides of the iconic Roeblinig Suspension Bridge. Now, there are many things to do along the Cincinnati Waterfront and you can find enjoyable places to sit along the banks of the river, restaurants and bars and nightlife as well as a carousel and water installations.
Catch a Cincinnati Reds Baseball Game
A visit to Cincinnati wouldn’t be complete without catching a good ol’ game of American Baseball! As previously mentioned, the Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team in the US! Nothing like a box of Cracker Jacks and a bit of “Take me out to the ball game” to top off a summer visit to Cincinnati! When you’re done, explore the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame!
Cincinnati Street Art Walking Tour
While in Cincinnati, you’ll likely notice quite a few murals here and there and that’s because Cincinnati’s Mayor tasked an organization called ArtWorks about a decade ago to spice up all 52 of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods by adding street art and more are definitely on the way! So taking a Cincinnati street art tour is a definite must while here!
Visit the Historic Majestic Showboat
Built in 1923, the MAJESTIC is the last active showboat, not just on the Ohio River, but in the United States. It once traveled up and down the Ohio River docking at various port cities offering some floating show business. By 1965 is was considered too decrepit for travel and was docked in Jeffersonville, IN where shows continued until 1967 and has sat dormant since 2013, but today it’s moored on the Cincinnati Riverfront and it’s wooden hull replaced with a steel hull.
Set Sail on the Ohio River
Find your sea legs by taking a river boat cruise in Cincinnati on the Ohio River with the historic Belle of Cincinnati steamboat. Hop aboard and discover more fascinating history about Cincinnati from the boat captain as you cruise along for 1 1/2 hours. Fun fact: Did you know that 1 out of every 4 steamboats were actually produced right here in Cincy?
Across the Ohio River
Explore Newport, Kentucky
With just a short walk across any of the bridges and you’ll be stepping foot into Kentucky. Like downtown Cincinnati, Newport has also been experiencing a cleansing and revitalization program which is still under works. There are still many new projects for Newport underway, but it will bring even more things to do in Greater Cincinnati and in Newport!
The Newport on the Levee is a waterfront on the south side of the Ohio River. Here you’ll find a massive urban retail entertainment center, shops, cafes and restaurants. Right along the banks is the newly opened Newport Aquarium, a family-friendly attraction which my husband jokingly said, you could learn about fish and then have dinner right next door at the Fish Market, which is a premier fresh seafood restaurant.
Get your “Gemütlichkeit” On at the Hofbräuhaus Newport
But there was truly only ONE reason why we decided to check out Newport, and that’s because of the Newport Hofbräuhaus which opened in 1993 and is the MOST AUTHENTIC Hofbräuhaus in America modeled after the Munich Hofbräuhaus! Waitresses were fitted in American versions of Dirndls, a brass band provided us with some accordion tunes, while the beer and food had an American flair to it. We shared a delicious but overly salty Bavarian pretzel accompanied with 3 sauces: beer cheese, sweet mustard and obazda before digging into a Schnitzel sandwich with beer cheese and a French Dip on a Bavarian pretzel. All topped off without our beer! Some things you just gotta try! While these weren’t exactly traditional German meals, there was a whole menu full of Bavarian cuisine! Imagine my giddiness when much to my delight I discovered the most authentic looking biergarten out back! Honestly, who’da known we would come all the way from Bavaria just to find this much of Bayern in Kentucky! Needless to say, we were quite stoked!
American Sign Museum
At first thought, neon lights might make you think back to your favorite watering hole, your favorite cafe or barber shop, so you might wonder why the heck should I visit a sign museum? Well the American Sign Museum is one of the best attractions in Cincinnati to visit and dedicated to over 100 years of American signs. It’s also the largest neon light joint you can find in the good ol’ US of A with a collection dating back to the early 1900s to the 1950s. It’s like walking down a “Main Street Any-Town, USA” with pink fire hydrants, mock storefronts and vintage burgers like a blast from the past! But it’s not all for show, you can learn a lot too about the history of signs in the USA.
It’s only of the quirkiest and most unique things to do in Cincinnati and when you roll up, you might wonder where the hell your Navi took you, but once inside, you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of old neon lights shining brightly again, and best of all, Big Boy is there to great you! I honestly didn’t think it would be as insanely awesome as it was and I simply went photo happy while my family simply said, “That’s it?” Perhaps it’s not for all, or perhaps it’s really only for people who can appreciate quirky. Like hi, my name is Lori, and I’m addicted to weird things! Surprisingly though, we arrived about 20 minutes too early and yet people were already lining up to go inside!
Overall, it’s pretty much one large room, decked out in all manor, shapes and sizes of a colorful array of blinking, buzzing, spinning signs showcasing a time long gone. Gone are the days of big flashy lights to attract people’s attention. Except maybe me. And it’s definitely a family-friendly activity in Cincinnati! …maybe that’s saying something about me…
And if that wasn’t strange enough, you can even get married here or host a party here! How friggin’ AWESOME is that!? Like, why didn’t we think about that!
Wednesday – Saturday: 10:00am – 4:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
(optional) Wed – Saturdays: 11:00am & 2:00pm, Sunday 2:00pm
- $15 Adults
- $10 Seniors (65+), Students, Military
- Three Children (12 and under) are Free with each paid admission
Eat Cincinnati Chili
While we were certainly already comatose from the waffle and donut, we didn’t sniff out and devour any of Cincinnati’s famous chili although we had wanted to. But what makes it so different from other chilies? Well typically it’s served with less beans and has more of a tasty soupiness about it and piled sky high on to either spaghetti, hot dogs or French Fries and then topped off with cheese, onions or beans. Don’t take it from me personally, but take it seriously when I say that throughout my research, Camp Washington Chili repeatedly came up as having the best chili in Cincinnati and has been serving up that award-wining chili since 1940!
Overall Experience in Cincinnati
WE LOVED IT! You might think we’re crazy or wonder “Is Cincinnati safe to visit?” You’ve heard the news, you’ve seen the crime on the TV. Perhaps you know about the notorious reputation the city has, but they are working very hard to clean it up, spice it up and encourage people to visit. That’s where the money’s at! Cincinnati wants to invest in new housing and real estate, small local businesses and tourism. What they’ve already managed to do in a short amount of time is already eye pleasing and I can’t wait to see what they will continue to do in a few years. We even joked that we could live here…HONESTLY, much to my mother’s dismay! It has that American city vibe to it but with a ton of European heritage and it felt like for us we could have the best of both worlds – Germany and America!
But overall, Cincinnati’s overall crime rate has fallen since updating the city, though that’s not to say there still isn’t any. That will take a while, but I never once felt unsafe while visiting Cincinnati. Sure, there are likely still parts of town you don’t want to go into, and I’m sure there are areas you definitely don’t want to go to at night, but every city has that problem. Just do your due diligence and stick to the main tourist attractions and you’ll be good to go!
If you’re looking for some extra guides to prepare your trip, here are my travel guide bibles to help you navigate through Tennessee!
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!
Eastern USA Travel Posts:
The COMPLETE Guide to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
An INTENSIVE Guide to Louisville, Kentucky
Easy Wall Murals to Find in Nashville, Tennessee
Madison, Indiana: The Midwest’s Prettiest Town
Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyard
Replies to Rediscover Cincinnati: A Rejuvenated City
Oh Cincy! My son was born there! I was sad to see the issues the city was having after we moved away. So pleased to see so much development and restoration put back into. I don’t even recognize some of those areas! But we haven’t been back in 17+ years. Looks like it’s time for a revisit. And you’ve got me craving for Cincinnati chili. Definitely have to go the traditional route and have a “5-way.” Take 1 | a pile of spaghetti noodles, 2 | chili, 3 | beans, 4 | chopped onions, 5 | all topped with a MOUND of finely shredded Wisconsin cheddar cheese on top. Add soup crackers and Frank’s red hot sauce and it is DELISH. I would also recommend Camp Washington Chili, but Skyline Chili is always a classic and more readily available. Oh and don’t forget the Graeter’s ice cream. YUM. Seasonal flavors and the biggest chocolate chips you’ve ever seen. Think mint chocolate CHUNK. Ummm. Graet post Lori!
Thanks so much Erin! If we go back again while we’re here I will definitely hunt out some chili! And a 5 way sounds epically delicious!! And that ice cream! I may have to back for that too!
Quite a departure from your usual Germany and Europe posts, and a bit closer to home for me!! I went to college in Ohio and one of my best friends is actually from Cincinnati. I actually didn’t know it was a big enough city to have streetcars! My friend lives in NYC now so I’ve visited her there, but we are always talking about reuniting in Cincinnati sometime when she is home, as that is obviously way closer to Michigan. I’m going to have to show her this post and see if she’s heard of all these suggestions!
Yes, it’s been a while since I was in the States and had US content! It’s a great city! We really enjoyed it! I think you would too!
You’re definitely right that I wouldn’t think of Cincy as a place to visit. I do have a good friend who has settled there since graduating from the conservatory and based on what she shows, it seems like a great place to live. The support for independent musicians seems to be good, too. What I don’t understand is how you seem to be able to find all the best German food no matter where you go. You have a gift, lol.
Haha I certainly try!
It’s a great visual reminder for kids. This blog is very helpful for road trip.
I am not that familiar with East Coast cities but I would love to explore more after the great experience I had in Philadelphia. I know the cities are very different but some of your photos took me back (there are several architectural similarities, a river, etc.). But, to me, one of the highlights is the heavy European influence. You do not get that in California. Gosh, I would like to stuff my face with all the food you described in here. Plus, I would not miss the sign museum. I liked the one in Vegas way too much. #WanderfulWednesday
I have not been to Cincinnati in years so it is nice to see that it has been revitalized. The German roots revitalization and brewing heritage would make for an interesting visit.
Oh Cincinnati is surprising me! I’d heard the name but never really thought about it before, it looks really fun actually, with those markets and all the open air stuff!
Such a detailed post packed with helpful information, I’ve pinned it for later. Sometimes cities that were once a bit edgy but then had a spring clean are the most fascinating to visit. Definitely adding this to my list. #farawayfiles
Well this is a surprise! I knew nothing about Cincinnati and now I’m intrigued. Always great to see how a city can be rejuvenated and once no-go areas can be transformed. Such a comprehensive post – loads of great tips and suggestions.
you found the German connection, of course:) interesting post #farawayfiles
What a surprise — I had no idea Cincinnati offers so much to see and do — and eat! My family came from the Cleveland area so I’ve been to Ohio many times but missed Cincinnati. I love that sign museum, too!
Oh awesome! Hopefully you can visit!!
I never knew Cincinnati was so beautiful! Seems like it’s a city worth visiting.
Wow! What an amazing turnaround for this City, fantastic achievement, George Clooney will be proud! You don’t have to tell me any more, oh how I will but dream of walking through the Cincinnati streets and bumping into Mr Clooney haha. Sooo interesting that Cincinnati as similarities to Munich! Home from home for you guys! Pinned #feetdotravel
Not somewhere we had on our list of places to visit, but after reading this its definitely been added! Some amazing reccomendations and tips too. We’ve pinned to help with the trip planning! 🙂
Cincinnati has never even been on my radar of places to go. And not because it was once unsafe. I just never knew much about it. It seems like an interesting place. #FeetDoTravel
I must admit I didn’t really know a huge amount about Cincinnati prior to reading your post, it’s really informative. It’s amazing how they have managed to turn so much around in seven years.
You certainly can’t go wrong with a bit of German influence as well, love the look of Taft’s Ale House #farawayfiles
There’s so much to do here – and eat, by the sound of it! Might have to pack some ‘fat pants’ though, teehee! It is always good to read about derelict places that are regenerating into something so culturally interesting. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles
I have not been to Cincinnati, but it looks like there is lots to do. The bar in the church reminds me of the nightclub Limelight in NYC that was in a church but closed. I would love to go to a baseball game there and also do the doughnut trail. #TheWeeklyPostcard.
I am from Ohio so love to see posts about my home state. Wow, it is amazing all the things you can do in Cincinnati – I have only done a handful of these but admittedly have not spent that much time here. But if you like German history & culture in the U.S. you should definitely explore more of Ohio as many towns and cities have a German heritage (Columbus for instance has a German Village area) and many people have German ancestry (including me, my great-grandparents were from Fulda!).
Awesome! Would definitely love to explore more of Ohio, especially Put-in-Bay! I’ve been to Fulda – it’s a lovely town! Have you been?
So good to see a city come back like this. For so long people would probably scoff at the idea of a vacation in Cincinnati. I would not mind a brew and a large pretzel while walking about on a nice summer day. Thanks for sharing #TheWeeklyPostcard
I can honestly say I didn’t know Cinci offered so much for visitors. Ohio isn’t high on my list of places to visit, but you’ve given me more interest in visiting there at some point!
I was in Cincinnati for a wedding about 20 years ago. I didn’t realize it had gotten into such bad shape, I think more of Detroit with that. This great post has me raring to re-visit the city. All the restored buildings look so beautiful, and love the street art. And who doesn’t want to go on a steamboat ride? Forget the craft beer, I’m taking the donut trail!
The first time I was in Cincinnati, a co-worker insisted we try the Cincinnati Chili. When a plate of spaghetti with some red stuff on it arrived, I though there had been a mistake. But no, they’re proud of the stuff! I come from the Southwest where a bowl of chili is thick and meaty, with no pasta in sight. Sorry, Cinci, but our chili kicks your chili’s butt. 😉 Now, on to the important stuff: WOW! I haven’t been there in at least a dozen years. I’ve heard so much has changed, and your post has me dying to give it another chance. Plus, I had no idea there was an American Sign Museum! That looks awesome. Thanks for the great guide, Lolo – we’ll be taking it with us as soon as we can find some time to visit!
I lived in Cincinnati many, many years ago and it’s still one of my favorite US cities. One of my best friends still lives there so I’ve been back to visit – but it’s still been awhile so I know it’s changed so much. But it offers such a mix of culture and fun and has such a pretty site on the River that I think that everyone should give it a visit. I loved living there.
It’s funny to see how many cities around the world have been nicknamed “the Paris of…” I’ve never been to Cincinnati, but you made me really curious about it. Anything that has European influences of any sort sounds appealing to me, hahaha! Hope to see this city someday.
You have found some great places to visit in Cincinnati. I have never been but after reading this would love to visit the sign museum, street art walking tour, see bridges and waterfront and so much more. I will pin this for later use. Thanks for sharing. #feetdotravel
As I was researching a return trip to Germany, I came upon your blog. As I often do, I strolled for a post on some place familiar to me to gauge your depth in covering a destination as it compared to my interests. Imagine my surprise to find a post on Cincinnati, where I live! First, I must complement you on your selection, background information, writing style and fabulous photos! If I were to write a post on Cincinnati, I would hope to do it as well!
Second, I was interested in reading about the European influences in our architecture. Our downtown and even our zoo boasts so much for those who love architecture that one could spend at least a weekend focusing just on that while strolling the streets.
Finally, as I read comments from others, I want to mention that Cincinnati is a very affordable destination, especially when compared to coastal destinations. While most who stay downtown, uptown or Northern Kentucky rely on public transportation and walking to get around, you’ll want to rent a car to go on a few day trips: Lexington with the gorgeous horse farms, Lebanon for an historic small town visit, Yellow Springs for small town bohemian experience. Also don’t forget to simply explore out of the city center one will find interesting neighborhoods and spectacular county parks.
Well, back to my Germany research. I’m following your leads on destinations there. Thank you!
Thank you for your sweet comment!! I definitely agree about renting a car and seeing some other places! It was really nice thought in Cinci to take the public transport downtown as I find that so rare in the US and it was so nice and new. I wish more major cities would do that!
Enjoy your return trip to Germany! Hope you find some great places of interest on my blog and if you have questions feel free to ask!