Cincinnati

Cincinnati's many hills, green parks, and neighborhoods radiate north from Downtown. The downtown area is laid out along the north bank of the Ohio River, with numbered streets running east–west (2nd Street is Pete Rose Way), and named streets running north–south. (Remember the names with the acrostic "Big Strong Men Will Very Rarely Eat Pork Chops," for, from east to west, Broadway, Sycamore, Main, Walnut, Vine, Race, Elm, Plum, and Central.) Vine Street divides the city into east and west. Fountain Square—which underwent a multi-year renovation that was unveiled in 2006—is the center of a thriving and eminently walkable downtown. Skywalks connect hotels, convention centers, stores, and garages, though the city has been dismantling some sections as part of a long-term plan to bring pedestrian life back to street level.

Across the river is Covington, Kentucky, with a prominent historic district lined with antebellum mansions and wonderful views from Riverside Drive. If flying into Cincinnati, you'll arrive across the river at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), 12 mi southwest of Downtown in Hebron, Kentucky.

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  • 1. Cincinnati Art Museum

    Eden Park | Museum/Gallery

    Opened in 1881 in Eden Park, the museum explores 5,000 years of art through paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and special exhibitions from...

    Opened in 1881 in Eden Park, the museum explores 5,000 years of art through paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and special exhibitions from around the world. Frank Duveneck, perhaps Cincinnati's best-known artist, bequeathed his collection to the museum in 1919, which included his masterpiece, "The Whistling Boy." The light-filled Cincinnati Wing traces the history of Cincinnati art, which encompasses ceramics, furniture, metalworks, and sculpture. In Fall 2006, Aaron Betsky joined the CAM as director; he had previously served as director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute and as a curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

    953 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-639–2995

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 2. Contemporary Arts Center

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    This museum presents the work of today's most cutting-edge artists—starting with the artistry of the building itself, the first freestanding...

    This museum presents the work of today's most cutting-edge artists—starting with the artistry of the building itself, the first freestanding American museum designed by a woman, Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid. When it was completed in 2003, New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp famously called it "the most important building completed since the end of the Cold War." Exhibits showcase photography, film, performance art, and even art that primarily uses sound. There are no permanent installations, save for the sixth-floor UnMuseum, a 7,400-square-foot wonderland for kids and adults; one of the more popular attractions is the robot-tree, which responds to your presence by raising or lowering its branches. The youngest children will love the Leaf Lounge, where they take off their shoes and roll about in more than 450 hand-made leaves. The stuffed leaves are five times the actual size of their sylvan cousins and are spread across a bed of bouncy foam.

    44 E 6th St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-345–8400

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Tues.
  • 3. Aronoff Center for the Arts

    Downtown | Arts/Performance Venue

    Broadway plays, musical acts, comedians, and other performers frequent the Aronoff Center, a state-of-the-art facility with three separate stages...

    Broadway plays, musical acts, comedians, and other performers frequent the Aronoff Center, a state-of-the-art facility with three separate stages. The largest theater, Procter & Gamble Hall, seats more than 2,700 people.

    650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-621–2787
  • 4. BB Riverboats

    Tour–Sight

    Hop aboard the Belle of Cincinnati, Mark Twain, or River Queen for a lunch, dinner, or sightseeing cruise on the Ohio River around Cincinnati...

    Hop aboard the Belle of Cincinnati, Mark Twain, or River Queen for a lunch, dinner, or sightseeing cruise on the Ohio River around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Sightseeing cruises run $15, lunch cruises are $32, and dinner cruises are $45–$50. The regular schedule runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. BB Riverboats occasionally offers out-of-town cruises to places like Louisville or Rising Sun, Indiana.

    101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Kentucky, 41071, USA
    859-261–8500
  • 5. Cincinnati Bengals

    Downtown | Sports Venue

    Cincinnati's National Football League team plays in state-of-the-art Paul Brown Stadium on the riverfront. In 2007 the stadium placed 101st...

    Cincinnati's National Football League team plays in state-of-the-art Paul Brown Stadium on the riverfront. In 2007 the stadium placed 101st out of 150 buildings in an American Institute of Architects survey of the country's favorite architecture.

    1 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-621–3550
  • 6. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal

    West End | Museum/Gallery

    One of the best examples of art deco architecture in the country, Union Terminal simplified a muddled infrastructure of five train stations...

    One of the best examples of art deco architecture in the country, Union Terminal simplified a muddled infrastructure of five train stations and seven lines when it was built in 1933. Now the West End's best-known landmark houses three museums, an OMNIMAX Theater, and Cincinnati's functioning Amtrak terminal. Large mosaic tile murals dating from the 1930s adorn the interior rotunda, and come summer kids frolic around the stair-stepped fountains near the evergreen-landscaped entrance.Cincinnati's golden years are recalled at the Cincinnati History Museum. You can walk down a re-created city street from the early 1900s, interact with interpretive historians in period dress, and view dozens of Queen City artifacts, along with vintage automobiles and a 1920s streetcar.At the Cinergy Children's Museum kids can climb, crawl, and explore the world around them. Play areas include a forest with a two-story treehouse, a construction site, an energy zone with pedals and pulleys, and a waterworks with small boats and a series of locks. For kids up to 10 years of age.You can get a close-up look at whales, volcanoes, Mount Everest, and other wonders at the Linder Family OMNIMAX Theater. Movies are shown on a five-story, 72-foot-wide domed screen.Exhibits at the Museum of Natural History and Science take you on a journey back in time, from the age of the dinosaurs through the English Renaissance and the Wild West. There's a colony of bats and underground waterfalls in a replica of a limestone cave.You can buy individual tickets or a combination ticket that gives you entry to multiple museums and the theater.

    1301 Western Ave., , off I–75 at Ezzard Charles Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45203, USA
    513-287–7000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Duke Energy Children\'s Museum: $10.50
  • 7. Cincinnati Nature Center

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    East of Cincinnati, near Milford, is a 1,025-acre nature preserve with 18 mi of trails. Hikers of all fitness levels are accommodated through...

    East of Cincinnati, near Milford, is a 1,025-acre nature preserve with 18 mi of trails. Hikers of all fitness levels are accommodated through trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Several ponds and lakes are also great for a picnic or rest. There are also a gift shop, bookstore, nature exhibits, and a bird-viewing area in the Nature Center.

    4949 Tealtown Rd., Milford, Ohio, 45150, USA
    513-831–1711

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $9, Closed Christmas Day
  • 8. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

    Eden Park | Arts/Performance Venue

    The performing-arts organization stages productions year-round at its eponymous theater in Eden Park. Local and national actors are featured. ...

    The performing-arts organization stages productions year-round at its eponymous theater in Eden Park. Local and national actors are featured.

    962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-421–3888

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Ticket prices vary by performance
  • 9. Cincinnati Reds

    Downtown | Sports Venue

    The oldest professional team in baseball and 1990 World Champions play at Great American Ball Park from April through October. Fans in the...

    The oldest professional team in baseball and 1990 World Champions play at Great American Ball Park from April through October. Fans in the cheap seats get views of the Ohio River, the nineteenth-century mansions across the way in Kentucky, and the rugged hills farther south. One of the National League's newer ballparks, the Reds' $320 million marvel manages to look both retro and modern, with its brick facade, white metal light towers, and sleek black Batter's Eye Pavilion in center field. The stadium seats just over 42,000.

    100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-381–7337-front office
  • 10. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

    Clifton | Zoo/Aquarium

    Famous for its white Bengal tigers, this is one of the country's most respected zoological institutions. In 1999 it was one of three facilities...

    Famous for its white Bengal tigers, this is one of the country's most respected zoological institutions. In 1999 it was one of three facilities outside of Florida to be allowed to take in Florida manatees; the mammals can be observed at the Manatee Springs exhibit. The zoo is also home to walruses, lowland gorillas, polar bears, and Sumatran rhinos, for which it has the world's only successful captive breeding program. Rhino Emi gave birth to an unprecedented third calf in captivity in 2007. In summer there are animal shows and camel and train rides. The zoo is open evenings from mid-November to early January for its annual Festival of Lights. Be sure to put on your sneakers; there are a lot of hills in Cincinnati, and they all seem to be here. Follow the paw-print signs off I–75 Exit 6 or I–71 Exit 5, the Dana Avenue exit.

    3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45220, USA
    513-281–4700

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $17
  • 11. Eden Park

    Eden Park | City Park

    Cincinnati is known for its grand and sumptuous parks, and this aptly named green space is the best of them all. Overlooking downtown Cincinnati...

    Cincinnati is known for its grand and sumptuous parks, and this aptly named green space is the best of them all. Overlooking downtown Cincinnati, it has a brilliant reflecting pool, gardens, and playing fields. The park is also the site of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Krohn Conservatory.

    Off Gilbert Ave., between Elsinore and Morris Rds., 950 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-421–4086

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 12. Fountain Square

    Downtown | Plaza/Square

    Everything and everyone from parades to politicians stop here at the center of Downtown. The centerpiece of this Queen City landmark is the...

    Everything and everyone from parades to politicians stop here at the center of Downtown. The centerpiece of this Queen City landmark is the Tyler Davidson Fountain, which was cast in 1867 at the Royal Bavarian Foundry in Munich, Germany. The fountain depicts the importance of water through the use of 13 allegorical figures. The main female figure, called the Genius of Water, stands with her arms stretched out, and water sprays from the palms of her hands. The city cleaned and moved the fountain as part of a $43 million renovation of the square and its underground parking facilities in 2005 and 2006 that yielded a more open configuration, a giant outdoor video screen, and, in the winter, an expanded ice rink. The square is a popular lunch spot in fair weather, as well as being the site of the city's annual Oktoberfest ceremony.

    1410 Race St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
  • 13. Harriet Beecher Stowe Memorial

    Walnut Hills | Memorial/Monument/Tomb

    Uncle Tom's Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe lived here in the 1830s. You can view her journal, along with exhibits on the abolitionist movement...

    Uncle Tom's Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe lived here in the 1830s. You can view her journal, along with exhibits on the abolitionist movement and African-American history.

    2950 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45206, USA
    513-751–0651

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 14. Immaculata Church

    Mt. Adams | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The churchyard provides a sterling view of the city. ...

    The churchyard provides a sterling view of the city.

    30 Guido St., , at Pavilion St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-721–6544
  • 15. Krohn Conservatory

    Eden Park | Garden

    The Eden Park sanctuary houses thousands of species of flora from all corners of the world. Krohn is divided into several environments, including...

    The Eden Park sanctuary houses thousands of species of flora from all corners of the world. Krohn is divided into several environments, including a desert with cacti and a tropical rain forest. The palm trees and indoor waterfalls are a welcome sight come winter. Seasonal exhibits include a Christmas show with poinsettias and model trains, and a summer show with live butterflies and the plants that attract them.

    1501 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-421–5707

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free; donations accepted
  • 16. Mount Airy Forest and Arboretum

    Mt. Airy | Forest

    Come here in spring, when the lilacs, azaleas, and flowering trees on the 120-acre arboretum are in bloom. You can hike through the 1,400 acres...

    Come here in spring, when the lilacs, azaleas, and flowering trees on the 120-acre arboretum are in bloom. You can hike through the 1,400 acres or take advantage of the 2-acre dog park on the southwest side of the park. Reservations are required for guided tours.

    5083 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 17. Music Hall

    Over-the-Rhine | Arts/Performance Venue

    In a style since dubbed "sauerbraten Gothic," this modified and modernized Gothic structure was built in 1878. A 2-ton brass-and-hand-cut-crystal...

    In a style since dubbed "sauerbraten Gothic," this modified and modernized Gothic structure was built in 1878. A 2-ton brass-and-hand-cut-crystal chandelier crowns the main auditorium. Tours of Music Hall are available.

    1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-621–2787

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tours free, tickets vary by performance, Temporarily closed, will reopen on October 1, 2017
  • 18. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    In the years before and during the Civil War, Cincinnati was one of the major hubs along the secret road from bondage in the South to freedom...

    In the years before and during the Civil War, Cincinnati was one of the major hubs along the secret road from bondage in the South to freedom in Northern states and in Canada. This $110 million facility is devoted to educating the public about the history of the underground railroad through exhibits, programs, and interactive displays. The centerpiece of the collection is an actual slave pen, a wooden cabin recovered from a nearby Kentucky farm that held captive slaves en route to auctions in the South. The exhibit also tells the story of the slave pen's owner, John W. Anderson, and reveals how he ran his slave-trading business. As the young museum has matured—it opened in 2004—it has also addressed contemporary racial reconciliation and the fight for freedom worldwide.

    50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202, USA
    513-333–7500

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $15
  • 19. Newport Aquarium

    Zoo/Aquarium

    On the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, this aquarium is just a two-minute drive from downtown Cincinnati. The fish are visible through clear...

    On the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, this aquarium is just a two-minute drive from downtown Cincinnati. The fish are visible through clear, seamless tunnels, so you can get up close and personal—sharks swim around you, separated by only 2½ inches of acrylic. Highlights include the 5,000-gallon touch tank at Shark Central; Kroger Kingdom of Penguins, featuring king and gentoo penguins; Gator Bayou; Jellyfish Gallery; and the Bizarre and Beautiful, where you'll see poison frogs and puffer fish.

    1 Aquarium Way, Newport, Kentucky, 41071, USA
    859-261–7444

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $24.95, parking $2–$5
  • 20. Showboat Majestic

    Downtown | Arts/Performance Venue

    Built in 1923, among the last of the old showboats, the Majestic has floated on the Cincinnati riverfront since 1967. Operation of the showboat...

    Built in 1923, among the last of the old showboats, the Majestic has floated on the Cincinnati riverfront since 1967. Operation of the showboat was assumed by the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, and it's now a riverboat theater, showing a mix of musicals and comedies. It's closed in winter.

    Riverfront Public Landing, at U.S. Bank Arena, 4990 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45238, USA
    513-241–6550

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Prices vary by performance

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