Need a break from the big city? View 42-hour itineraries from 13 cities.More
A river's width from the South, Cincinnati resembles a southern city in many respects: Its summers are hot and humid, a result of being in a basin along the Ohio River, and its politics lean toward the conservative. This is just the first of several different identities, however. It's a river town, a sports town, a metropolis with architectural landmarks, and—since the
opening of the $110 million National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in 2004—a history town. There are also a multitude of museums and one of the best zoos in the country. The rolling bluegrass-covered hills of Kentucky are just over the river, and the rural plains of Indiana and the meadow-marked countryside of Ohio are about a 30-minute drive away. If you want to sample a little bit of everything, consider Cincinnati your buffet.
Compact downtown Cincinnati is entirely walkable. Skywalks connect hotels, convention centers, stores, and garages. The Newport Southbank Bridge (known as the Purple People Bridge) is a pedestrian-only bridge, stretching across the Ohio River into Newport, Kentucky, where there are shops, places to eat, and the Newport Aquarium. If you're venturing farther afield to Mount Adams, Clifton, or Eden Park, you'll need to drive or take a bus or cab.