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Located along the Ohio River with an exciting riverfront area to explore, Cincinnati is a must-visit city in Ohio. Cincinnati has so many museums, parks, and local attractions that it would be impossible to squeeze it all in during just a weekend trip. There’s a little something for everyone in Cincinnati, which makes it a perfect place to plan a romantic getaway, family vacation, or arts and culture trip on your own. These are some recommended things to add to your Cincinnati itinerary!
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On a beautiful day in Cincinnati, you simply must plan to spend some time in Eden Park. This park, which was named for the Garden of Eden, is popular year-round and has lakes, bike paths, and a kids’ playground. This is also an excellent starting place to visit many of the city’s other top attractions, such as the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and the Krohn Conservatory. While in Eden Park, you can play a game of chess, launch a model boat, and check out the 172-foot Water Tower that dates back to 1894. In addition to simply taking a stroll, you can check out the Hinkle Magnolia Garden and Bettman Fountain as well.
If you only have time to visit one art attraction while you’re in town, make it the Cincinnati Art Museum. This museum has a long history dating back to 1881 and is located in the beautiful Eden Park. The museum has over 67,000 works that span more than 6,000 years. General admission is free for everyone, and the museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays. You’ll find Wi-Fi, a coat room, and lockers available at the museum too. The nearby Taft Museum of Art is another museum to visit if you’re interested in art, showcasing lots of American and European paintings.
Another great park to visit while you’re in Cincinnati is Smale Riverfront Park. This park was created to reconnect downtown and the river, as well as to link other riverfront parks to the east. Here you can host special events at the Anderson Pavilion, see Carol Ann’s Carousel, and stop by a farmer’s market at the Castellini Esplanade. Other attractions here are the Ohio River Trail for hiking and biking, fountains for kids to play in, and the Schmidlapp Event Lawn & Stage.
Many American cities have a zoo, but the one in Cincinnati is one of the very best in the nation. It’s the second oldest zoo in the country, founded in 1873, and is home to thousands of animals from hundreds of different species. There are large-scale conservation efforts here to preserve and protect the great lowland gorillas of the Congo and other endangered animals.
Of all the museums in Cincinnati, one of the most unique ones is the American Sign Museum. This specialty museum displays signs from our country’s history and tells the story of American culture throughout the years. This is America’s largest public sign museum, with over 100 years of history and 20,000 square feet of indoor space.
Cincinnati residents love a good game of baseball, and the best place to catch a game in town is the Great American Ball Park. The Cincinnati Reds is actually America’s oldest professional baseball team, so there’s a lot of baseball history to be learned here. Pretty much every seat offers a great view of the field, and tours are offered if there are no games being played during your visit.
There are lots of awesome breweries in Cincinnati where you can kick back and relax with a local brew. One of the best spots in town is Rhinegeist Brewery, which is located in the Over-the-Rhine Brewery District. The history of this brewery’s building dates back to 1895, and the first batch of Rhinegeist beer was brewed in 2013. You can take a public tour or a VIP tasting tour to get the full brewery experience.
Another fun place to spend some time in Cincinnati is Findlay Market, which is in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. This is a large open-air market that’s open year-around and was founded back in 1852. It’s popular with both locals and tourists and you’ll typically find a large collection of indoor merchants selling everything from fish to flowers and ethnic foods. Between April and November, vendors head outdoors, while street performers provide lively entertainment.
It can be a challenge to keep kids constantly entertained while on vacation, but the Duke Energy Children’s Museum is a great place to do exactly that. It’s located in the Cincinnati Museum Center and has lots of hands-on exhibits and opportunities for kids to learn about the world around them. Here, little ones are encouraged to climb, crawl and explore its educational, themed play areas.
Dating back to 1845, the Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum is a tranquil and beautiful place to take a quiet walk. Civil War generals, baseball players, and other notable residents are buried here. It might sound odd to visit a local cemetery, but this area is truly stunning with peaceful ponds, sculptures, and footbridges.