12 Best Things To Do In Cincinnati (Ohio) In 2022
A fascinating and often overlooked place to visit, Cincinnati has several different sides with a wide range of cultural influences, architectural styles, and historic tourist attractions. Ohio’s third-largest city is home to a host of great museums and parks with countless sporting events and entertainment options on offer, too.
Cincinnati, known for its bright and iconic silhouette, sat on the north bank of the Ohio River and tucked away in the southwestern corner of the state. Due to its exceptional beauty and the rolling green hills surrounding it, the city is known as the ‘Queen City’ and the ‘Pearl of the West.’
With so many things to do in Cincinnati and so many different neighborhoods to explore, this city certainly deserves the “Heart of All” settlement in Ohio.
1. Great American Ball Park
If you are looking for an exciting and unforgettable event to attend when in town, you can’t beat watching a baseball game at Great American Ball Park. Located just south of downtown, the state-of-the-art stadium sits on the banks of the Ohio River, within walking distance of many of the city’s top tourist attractions.
In 2003, the large stadium was home to the Cincinnati Reds, the first professional baseball franchise founded in the United States in 1881. The games are fun, fast-paced, and family affairs with fireworks for every home run of the Reds. And win.
In addition to enjoying the intoxicating atmosphere and great games, visitors can visit its museum and sacred hall of fame, which highlights the history of the team and the incredible achievements of its players.
2. Cincinnati Museum of Art
On the edge of the massive Eden Park is one of Cincinnati’s top must-see attractions and places – the Cincinnati Museum of Art. With one of the largest and best collections in the Midwest, it has more than 67,000 works of art on display that remarkably span 6,000 years of human history.
Founded in 1881, its endless variety of paintings, photographs, and sculptures occupy a beautiful building in the Romanesque Renaissance style.
From portraits of European masters and Native American sculptures to African, Asian, and Islamic art and antiques, you can find everything in its large galleries.
In addition to a large section dedicated to the decorative arts and design, you can also enjoy incredible works of art from big names like Botticelli, Monet, and Picasso, along with many others.
3. Smale Riverfront Park
Just south of downtown is the scenic Smale Riverfront Park, which hugs the banks of the Ohio River and sits between Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park.
In addition to its beautiful green spaces, the park offers all kinds of recreational opportunities, as well as beautiful views over the river.
Opened in 2015, its playgrounds, trails, and riverside promenade occupy what was once the site of Riverfront Stadium. Dotted with beautiful gardens, lawns, and groves with wonderful water features.
In addition to its fabulous facilities and scenery, the park also hosts numerous concerts and cultural events throughout the year. It is located not far from many of the city’s main attractions.
4. American Signal Museum
In stark contrast to the Freedom Center, the American Sign Museum contains a colorful and cheerful collection much lighter to the eye. Since its opening in 2005, its impressive array of illuminated signs has made it a popular attraction.
Located just a ten-minute drive northwest of downtown, the museum looks at the history and evolution of signage in the United States. Surprisingly, almost every surface is covered in neon signs, old movie posters, as well as unique and unusual advertisements, with more than 500 signs and artifacts on display.
After you’ve had your fill of signs, posters, and business cards, you can head over to his workshop to see how characters are made.
5. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
The fantastic National Underground Railroad Freedom Center offers an essential look at a dark part of America’s past, located just steps from the suspension bridge. A moving place, the ‘museum of conscience’ sheds light on the history of slavery in the States through artifacts, photographs, and films.
Opened in 2004, its exhibits focus primarily on the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses that escaped slaves used when they made their bid for freedom.
As well as hearing heartbreaking stories, you will also see a slave pen and learn about modern civil rights movements.
In addition to its moving exhibits, even the museum’s location is significant, as many slaves crossed the Ohio River while trying to escape the southern slave states.
6. Roebling Suspension Bridge
One of Cincinnati’s most prominent landmarks and symbols is the graceful Roebling Suspension Bridge that spans the Ohio River and connects Covington in Kentucky. Due to its design, it is popular to visit and photograph it, as the iconic bridge is an integral part of the city’s skyline.
The longest suspension bridge in the world when it was built in 1866, it has an impressive length of 322 meters. In addition to grand Romanesque arches, it exhibits draped cables, diagonal braces, and vertical braces painted a beautiful shade of blue.
For the best views and photos of the bridge, head to Smale Riverfront Park, which also offers beautiful views of the Cincinnati skyline from the bridge itself.
7. Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum
Another outdoor area in the city not to be missed is the atmospheric Spring Grove Cemetery and its attractive Arboretum. Located a fifteen-minute drive north of the city center, it has many great ancient tombstones and monuments amidst lush gardens and lush gardens.
Since it was established in 1845, the cemetery has expanded considerably and is now notably the second largest in the States. Designated a National Historic Landmark, Spring Grove is the final resting place of countless essential and influential figures from across the nation’s history.
Sometimes described as a “garden cemetery” due to its scenic and serene landscapes, the cemetery is spread over several hills with lakes and ponds, flower beds, forests, and statues.
8. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Home to everything from alligators and elephants to penguins, pandas, and polar bears, the fantastic Cincinnati Zoo is just a ten-minute drive north of downtown. Besides its unique animals, it also has beautiful botanical gardens to explore.
Founded in 1875, it is now regularly ranked among the best zoos in the country and is routinely praised for its successful breeding programs. In total, the zoo is home to nearly 2,000 birds, reptiles, and mammals, with its spacious enclosures that replicate their natural habitats.
After having seen kangaroos, Komodo dragons, and gorillas, it is well worth a stroll through the tranquil paths of the botanical garden. There are more than 3,000 flowers, plants, and trees along the routes.
9. Fountain Square
Since 1871, Fountain Square has not only been at the heart of the city’s civic, commercial, and social life but has also acted as its symbolic center. Now lined with countless shops, restaurants, and hotels, it’s a lively place to hang out with great dining and entertainment close by.
The plaza’s centerpiece is undoubtedly the majestic Tyler Davidson Fountain, making for an astonishing sight with its magnificent sculptures and sparkling water jets. Around it, there are tables and chairs where you can enjoy a drink or food. The fountain also looks impressive when lit up at night.
Fountain Square often hosts concerts and cultural events, a popular gathering place, with a massive ice rink occupying the square during the cold winter months.
10. Eden Park
A popular place to explore is the massive Eden Park, which sits northeast of downtown, on the banks of the Ohio River. In addition to its beautiful green spaces and a wide variety of outdoor activities, the hilltop park also offers exceptional views of Cincinnati.
Once the estate of wealthy landowner Nicholas Longworth called it his ‘Garden of Eden,’ the land was bought by the city and turned into a park in 1869. Today you can find pretty trails and picnic areas alongside playgrounds, public works of art, and charming Twin Lakes.
In addition to its stunning scenery, Eden Park contains essential landmarks such as the Elsinore Arch and Spring House Gazebo, with the Cincinnati Museum of Art and the Krohn Conservatory also located within its boundaries.
11. Findlay Market
One of the best places in town to get a bite to eat, buy fresh produce, or pick up some souvenirs is the vibrant Findlay Market. The oldest continuously operating public market in Ohio, its stalls and stalls can be found in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
Since 1855, people have flocked to the market to buy everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to baked goods, cheeses, meats, and more. While some vendors hawk their wares in their wrought-iron building, others line up outside with street performers who also appear regularly.
Open Tuesday through Sunday, and the market is a lot of fun to read with lots of people selling handicrafts, jewelry, and flowers. There are also countless cafes and shops nearby.
12. Cincinnati Museum Center
Located just a five-minute drive northwest of downtown is the excellent Cincinnati Museum Center, featuring an astonishing array of attractions and exhibits. A firm favorite with locals and tourists, it has three incredible museums to visit with a theater, library, and research center on offer as well.
While the Cincinnati History Museum delves into the city’s past, the Children’s Museum has hands-on educational exhibits for young people to get involved with. In addition, there is also the Museum of Natural History and Science, which exhibits fossils, dinosaur skeletons, and much more.
Since 1995, the museum collection has been housed in the 1933 Union Terminal; An old train station that in itself makes for an impressive sight due to its incredible Art Deco architecture.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Things To Do In Cincinnati
Is there anything cool in Cincinnati?
Cincinnati has plenty of museums (there’s the Cincinnati Museum Center inside Union Terminal, there’s the Cincinnati Art Museum, there’s the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, there’s even the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum), but the American Sign Museum is the one most worth repeat visits.
What is Cincinnati famous for?
Cincinnati is known for its art culture, sports team, and chili. The city hosts theatre, orchestra, and ballet shows. Cincinnati is also home to the first baseball team in America: the Cincinnati Reds. Locals and tourists also go crazy over the city’s iconic chili, which has greek influences.
Is Cincinnati safe to visit?
Cincinnati is generally considered a safe city to live. Violent crime tends to be clustered in certain high-crime neighborhoods and other crime outside of these areas is usually minor or property-related.
Is Cincinnati a dying city?
Cincinnati officially ends 70 years of population loss in new count. For the first time in 70 years, Cincinnati’s population is on the rise. U.S. Census counts released Thursday show the Queen City had 309,317 residents in 2020, an increase of 4.2% from the last Census 10 years ago.
Is Cincinnati better than Cleveland?
Cleveland is far colder and more liberal with an industrial feel while Cincinnati feels more like a Southern city and it’s known for its architecture, medical and research jobs, friendly residents, and small town feel despite its size.
Is it expensive to live in Cincinnati?
Overall, Cincinnati’s cost of living is 8% lower than the national average. Living in Cincinnati is shockingly affordable when compared to other cities, yet the quality of life here is just as good, if not better.
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