See America's first city on a trip to Cincinnati
An early American boomtown of the 1800s and a metropolis of many names, from Porkopolis to Queen City, you could even call Cincinnati the first American city, founded after the Revolutionary War. Resting on the Ohio River, the city is surrounded by the sprawling rural and suburban communities of southwest Ohio, with the southern border overlooking northern Kentucky. But from the inspirational National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, to the carefree abandon of the Coney Island rides and Cincinnati Zoo, this is a place with plenty of treats for all ages.
Things to see
Fountain Square is the pulse-point of downtown Cincinnati, where locals and residents alike gather around the huge bronze and granite fountain, a legacy from 1871. Learn about Cincinnati's rich history from the many plaques that line the square, or settle in for one of the many festivals, tailgates, and free concerts that are scheduled throughout the yeardon’t miss the craft brews at Cincy Beerfest in early September.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
The Cincinnati Zoo is the second oldest zoo in the country, and it currently hosts one of the largest animal collections in the nation, claiming rhinos, hippos and some Technicolor parakeets to its name. Get up close with big cats in special events like the Cheetah Encounter, an experience not be forgotten.
Cincinnati Museum Center
You get more than you bargain for at this expansive complex, with a natural history museum, the Cincinnati History Museum, the Cincinnati History Library and Archives, a children's museum and an OMNIMAX theater all in one place. When you’ve exhausted all the facilities, take a moment to admire the fountains and vivid murals at the old Union Terminal building where the center is based.
The Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium
Great American Ball Park is the home of Cincinnati's Major League Baseball team, the Reds, and Paul Brown Stadium is the home of the Cincinnati Bengals professional football team. The two venues sit side-by-side on the Ohio River, and even casual sports fans should make this an essential stop on the Cincinnati tour.
Where to stay
Downtown Cincinnati is a handy destination for vacationers, within a few blocks of many of the city's historic sites and tall buildings like the Carew Tower, as well as major Cincinnati hotels, restaurants and coffee shops. Doubling up as the city's central business district, corporate travelers will find big company bases like the Procter & Gamble HQ here.
Uptown Cincinnati is a lively urban district that includes many of the northern Cincinnati neighborhoods. The culturally diverse area blends quirky boutique shopping with modern restaurants and arthouse movie theaters. This is where you'll find the Cincinnati Zoo, along with more highbrow attractions like the College-Conservatory of Music.
Over-the-Rhine is a large historic district that was originally settled by German immigrants. Cincinnati hotels in and around this area are surrounded by well-preserved Italianate architecture and thriving art communities, providing plenty of culture during your stay. Attractions in Over-the-Rhine include the Findlay Market and the German-influenced brewery district.
The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) serves the city of Cincinnati, around 13 miles away from the city. There are airport hotels, like Cincinnati Airport Doubletree, for visitors looking for quick and easy access to flights. Shuttle and taxi services are also available, as well the TANK bus service.
Best time to stay
The early spring months can have unpredictable pockets of rain and cool temperatures, but the late spring months offer comfortable weather for most outdoor activities. The late spring is also a great time to enjoy the beautiful plant life in the city's many gardens. Summers are hot and humid, but this is when the main events of the year occur, from salsa dancing to pop-up markets and live music. Fall temperatures are fairly comfortable, and the region offers spectacular fall foliage, as well as cheaper hotel rates around September and October.
* Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. All rates are displayed in USD unless otherwise noted. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency.