Travel Guide: Cincinnati, Ohio.

We spent this past Labor Day Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s a big tradition on my mom’s side of the family to get together Labor Day Weekend and watch their famous fireworks display over the Ohio River. My uncle has a houseboat and reserves his spot directly across from The Great American Ballpark weeks in advance.

I’ve always looked forward to this weekend as an opportunity to catch up with my cousins and grandparents and eat some Skyline chili. Now as a young adult, I look forward to this weekend as an opportunity to explore and up and coming city. There are so many architectural and cultural gems in Cincinnati and each time I’m in town I try to explore a new part of town, restaurant or brewery.

Where to Stay

Past trips I’ve stayed with family that live 15 minutes from downtown Cincinnati but this year we wanted to stay more local to the areas we were planning to explore. We chose to stay at the Hyatt Regency right in downtown but I’ve had friends in the past go the VBRO route and have a great experience.

Things to Do

Rhinegeist Brewery located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

We got into town Friday afternoon and stayed until Monday morning of Labor Day. The second after we checked into our hotel we set out to explore Cincinnati. We didn’t have the ability to do everything on the list below (the Red’s were out of town) but were able to check the majority off the list. Our favorite addition to Cincinnati was the recent addition to Bird and Lime scooters that we used to go everywhere!

  • Explore Over-the-Rhine
  • Explore the Riverfront
  • Brewery Tours
  • Bike Riding or Scooter
  • Watch a game – Cincinnati Red’s and Bengals
  • Walk over the Ohio River to Newport
  • Golf

Their Bubbles cider, I cannot recommend it enough!

Points of Interest

Findlay Market in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

Over-the-Rhine

Over-the-Rhine gets it’s name from it’s original settlers of Germans. It was the Little Germany of Cincinnati just on the other side of the once Miami and Erie Canal which was dubbed the “Rhine” of Ohio.

What makes this neighborhood so special is the Italianate architecture and homes in the area. The silver lining of Cincinnati not expanding as a city is that these homes and architectural details have been preserved over the years. This areas has more recently been developed and the homes have been cleaned up and restored to show its original beauty. I couldn’t walk a block without stopping to take a picture of a building.

  • Rhinegeist Brewery
  • Findlay Market
  • Washington Park
  • Cincinnati Cable Car
  • Cincinnati Music Hall

Downtown/Riverfront Area

This is another area of Cincinnati that has really been developed over the years. Most recently they’ve created a little ballpark village right on the riverfront that boasts some incredible restaurants, the Ohio River Trail and even a Ferris Wheel!

There is so much architectural history in Cincinnati beyond Over-the-Rhine. This city is where the prototypes to the Brooklyn Bridge and Rockefeller Tower were first built. Another fun fact about Cincinnati that I love is that they also attempted to build a subway systems to support expansion that was ultimately closed down during the Great Depression.

  • The Great American Ballpark
  • Smale Riverfront Park
  • Ohio River Trail
  • Roebling Bridge (prototype bridge for the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC)
  • Carew Tower (prototype building for Rockefeller Tower in NYC)
  • Underground Railroad Museum

Further Out

Much like Chicago, Cincinnati is comprised of neighborhoods and townships in the surrounding areas. Other popular neighborhoods include Mt. Adams and the Medical District which are the home to the city’s museums and gardens.

  • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens
  • Krohn Conservatory
  • Cincinnati Art Museum

Where to Eat

Vine Street in the Over-the-Rhine Neighborhood.

Since a young age I’ve associated Cincinnati with some of my favorite foods. My two favorites are Skyline Chili and Greater’s Ice Cream. But as I’ve grown and matured, so have my tastes buds and have added to my list of Cincinnati’s favorites.

  • Skyline Chili
  • Montgomery Inn The Boathouse
  • Greater’s Ice Cream
  • Holtzman’s Donuts
  • Krueger’s Tavern
  • Taste of Belgium
  • Condado Tacos
  • Moerlein Lager House
  • The Mercer OTR

There are still so many other restaurants that I’m excited to check out in future visits. So many options, so little time!

Looking forward to our next trip to Cincinnati. For those of you coming from Chicago its only a 4.5 hour drive which makes it perfect for weekend getaway!