Top 10 Things To Do In Cincinnati: Best Attractions in Cincy

Top 10 Things To Do In Cincinnati

A Guide To The Top 10 Things To Do In Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio is a city that offers a wide range of things to see and do. From art and history to sports and nature, this city has something for everyone. If you’re planning a visit, you won’t want to miss out on these top 10 things to do in Cincinnati. Get ready to explore the city’s rich history at the Cincinnati Museum Center, admire the works of American and European artists at the Cincinnati Art Museum, witness the amazing animals and nature at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and much more.

These top 10 things to do in Cincinnati will make your vacation unforgettable, from cultural events to outdoor adventures. Over-the-Rhine, Great American Ball Park, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The Contemporary Arts Center, Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Taft Museum of Art, and Fountain Square are all must-see destinations in Cincinnati.

1. Cincinnati Museum Center At Union Terminal

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This historic terminal building was built in 1933 and it’s an art deco masterpiece, today it houses the Cincinnati History Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, and the Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Travelers can explore the city’s rich history, including the region’s geology, Native American history, and the impact of the Ohio River on the development of the city.

Exhibits in the Cincinnati History Museum include an interactive exhibit about Cincinnati’s beer history, the Queen City Underground, the region’s transportation history, and much more. The Museum of Natural History & Science has interactive exhibits that explore dinosaurs, gems, and minerals, and an Omnimax Theater that shows science-related films.

The building itself is also a marvel to explore, with its beautiful art deco architecture and original features still intact. Visitors can take guided tours to learn more about the building’s history and design, and there are also special events and programs held throughout the year.

The Cincinnati History Library & Archives is a valuable resource for anyone interested in delving deeper into the city’s past, with a vast collection of materials including photographs, manuscripts, and books. Researchers and history buffs can make appointments to access these resources and learn more about Cincinnati’s fascinating story.

Overall, the historic terminal building in Cincinnati is a must-visit for anyone interested in the city’s history, as well as for those who appreciate stunning architecture and engaging museum experiences. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this iconic landmark.

2. Cincinnati Art Museum

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This museum has over 67,000 works of art, with a focus on American and European art. The collection includes everything from ancient Egyptian antiquities to modern art, as well as an outstanding collection of American paintings. The European collection of the museum includes works by artists such as Monet, Renoir, and Rembrandt, among many others.

Among the artists included in the American collection are John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, and Frederic Edwin Church. The museum also houses a variety of temporary exhibitions, showcasing different themes and periods of art history. In addition to its extensive art collection, the museum also offers educational programs, lectures, and workshops for visitors of all ages.

The museum’s building itself is a work of art, featuring stunning architecture and design that adds to the overall experience of visiting the museum. Visitors can explore the museum at their own pace, taking in the beauty and history of the art on display.

Overall, this museum provides a comprehensive and diverse representation of American and European art, making it a must-see destination for art enthusiasts from around the world. Whether you’re interested in ancient artifacts, classic paintings, or contemporary art, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this impressive museum.

3. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

This is the second oldest zoo in the United States and home to over 500 animal species and more than 3,000 plant species. The zoo is particularly known for its breeding programs for endangered species, including the successful breeding of the cheetah, the Malayan tiger, and the hippopotamus.

The zoo also features many habitats, like the African Savanna, the Forest Domain, and the Cat Canyon, where visitors can get up close to the animals. If you are a animal lover you can not miss this amazing zoo! The zoo also offers educational programs for both children and adults, including behind-the-scenes tours and interactive exhibits.

In addition, there are plenty of dining options and gift shops throughout the zoo, making it a great place for a full day of fun and adventure.

Visitors can also enjoy special events and exhibits throughout the year, such as seasonal festivals, animal encounters, and conservation workshops. The zoo is committed to conservation and wildlife preservation, and it actively supports various global conservation projects.

Overall, this zoo provides a memorable and educational experience for visitors of all ages, while also playing a crucial role in the protection of endangered species. It is a must-visit destination for anyone passionate about animals and conservation.

4. Over-the-Rhine

Photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash

This neighborhood is known for its German heritage, it is one of the largest, most intact urban historic districts in the United States, and also for its significant collection of late-19th and early-20th-century architecture. Travelers can explore the neighborhood’s many historic buildings, including the 1875 Music Hall, which is home to the Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati Ballet, and the 1894 Emery Theatre.

Travelers can also stroll down the neighborhood’s main street, Vine Street, and explore the many shops, restaurants, and bars. This is also a great place to enjoy the nightlife, with several music venues and bars that feature live music and events. In addition to its historic buildings and vibrant nightlife, this neighborhood is also known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration, which is one of the largest in the world outside of Germany.

This event attracts visitors from all over the country who come to enjoy traditional German food, beer, music, and dancing.
For those interested in history, the neighborhood also offers several museums and cultural attractions, including the German Heritage Museum, which showcases the history and contributions of German immigrants to the area.

Overall, this neighborhood offers a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment, making it a must-see destination for anyone visiting the area.

5. Great American Ball Park

The home of the Cincinnati Reds, this baseball stadium is a must-see for sports fans. Visitors can catch a game and enjoy the exciting atmosphere of a professional baseball game, or take a tour of the stadium to learn about the team’s history and see behind-the-scenes areas of the park.

If you want to catch a game, make sure you buy your tickets ahead of time from Ticketmaster. The games are known to get packed. You can check out the tickets here. If you’re more interested in the history of the team and the stadium, guided tours are available on non-game days.

You’ll get to see the dugout, the press box, and even the clubhouse. It’s a great way to learn about the team and the stadium’s significance.

Before or after the game, be sure to explore the surrounding area. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops nearby where you can continue the fun after the game.

So whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or just looking for a fun outing, a visit to the Cincinnati Reds’ stadium is sure to be a home run.

6. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

This museum is dedicated to the history of the Underground Railroad as well as the ongoing battle for liberty and human rights. Travelers can explore interactive exhibitions, relics, and tales from the past and present of freedom seekers, abolitionists, and sympathizers.

Throughout the year, the museum also sponsors temporary exhibitions and activities. If you are going to be in the area it is defiantly worth checking out! The museum offers a unique and immersive experience into the struggles and triumphs of those involved in the Underground Railroad, shedding light on an important chapter in American history. Visitors can learn about the brave individuals who risked their lives to help others escape slavery, as well as the communities that provided support along the way.

The museum also provides valuable insight into the ongoing fight for equality and justice, making it an important educational resource for all ages.

In addition to its permanent exhibitions, the museum regularly hosts events, lectures, and workshops, providing opportunities for further exploration and engagement with this important topic. Whether you are a history buff, a social justice advocate, or simply curious to learn more, the museum offers something for everyone.

Overall, this museum offers a powerful and thought-provoking experience that is both educational and inspiring. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality. If you have the opportunity to visit, I highly recommend taking the time to explore this important and impactful museum.

7. The Contemporary Arts Center

This museum features contemporary art exhibits and educational programs. It features the work of local, national, and international artists, and also hosts traveling exhibitions. The Contemporary Arts Center is a great place to learn about contemporary art and culture in the Cincinnati area, and it also hosts special events, performances, and lectures throughout the year. Visitors to the museum can expect to see a diverse range of art forms including paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia works.

The museum’s educational programs aim to engage the public with contemporary art and provide a platform for artists to discuss their work and creative processes.

The Contemporary Arts Center also offers workshops and classes for both children and adults, providing an opportunity for the community to interact with art in a hands-on way. The museum’s commitment to education and community engagement ensures that it remains an important cultural hub in Cincinnati.

In addition to its exhibits and educational programs, the Contemporary Arts Center is known for its unique architecture. The museum’s building, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, is a work of art in itself and has become a landmark in downtown Cincinnati.

Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or someone new to contemporary art, the Contemporary Arts Center offers something for everyone. Its dedication to showcasing cutting-edge art and providing an educational platform makes it an essential destination for anyone interested in the arts.

8. Kentucky Bourbon Trail

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If you’re a bourbon lover, you’ll want to visit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which includes several distilleries in the greater Cincinnati area. Visitors can take tours of distilleries like the New Riff Distilling, the Stillwright Distillery, and the Jeptha Creed Distillery, learn about the bourbon-making process, and of course, sample the end product. The distilleries also offer unique experiences like barrel tastings, blending classes, and behind-the-scenes tours.

You never had bourbon like this before! Additionally, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail provides a rich history of bourbon in the region, as well as the opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside of Kentucky. Visitors can enjoy scenic drives, picturesque landscapes, and charming small towns along the way.

In addition to the bourbon itself, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail also offers a variety of culinary experiences, from fine dining to casual eateries, where visitors can pair their bourbons with delicious food options.

Whether you’re a whiskey enthusiast or just looking for a unique and enjoyable experience, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail has something for everyone. So, gather your friends or family and embark on a bourbon-filled adventure through Kentucky’s bourbon country. You won’t be disappointed!

9. Taft Museum of Art

housed in an 1820 Federal-style home, contains an extensive collection of European and American paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. Among the treasures on display are works by Rembrandt, Goya, and Whistler.

Throughout the year, the museum also holds special exhibitions and activities like as talks and tours. Visitors to the museum can explore the historical rooms of the house, which have been preserved to showcase the elegant decor and furnishings of the early 19th century. The museum also offers educational programs for all ages, including art classes and workshops.

The garden surrounding the museum is a peaceful oasis, with manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and tranquil fountains. It’s a perfect place for visitors to relax and unwind after exploring the museum’s impressive collection.

The museum shop offers a variety of art-related gifts, books, and souvenirs, as well as handcrafted items from local artisans. Visitors can also enjoy a meal at the museum cafe, which serves delicious homemade food and beverages.
With its rich history, stunning art collection, and beautiful surroundings, the museum is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and history lovers alike.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the masterpieces of European and American art or simply want to immerse yourself in the beauty of a historic home, the museum offers a unique and memorable experience for all who visit.

10. Fountain Square

This is one of the most popular landmarks and gathering places in Cincinnati. It’s a historic public space and features a large fountain and a variety of shops, restaurants, and street performers. Visitors can catch free music concerts, cultural festivals, and other events that take place throughout the year, like Oktoberfest and the Christmas lights. It’s a great place to relax and people-watch, and it’s also a great spot for a photo opportunity.

The landmark being described is Fountain Square.  Fountain Square is located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati and has been a focal point of the city since it was first established in 1871. The fountain itself is a centerpiece of the square, with its iconic water display and colorful lights that make it a popular attraction both day and night.

Surrounding the fountain are a variety of shops and restaurants, making it a bustling hub of activity for locals and tourists alike. The square also hosts a number of events throughout the year, such as food festivals, live music performances, and holiday celebrations.

Fountain Square is not only a great place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the city, but it also serves as a gathering place for community events and celebrations. Whether you’re looking for a place to grab a bite to eat, enjoy some live entertainment, or simply soak in the vibrant atmosphere of downtown Cincinnati, Fountain Square has something for everyone.

Q: What are some of the top attractions in Cincinnati?

A: Some of the top attractions in Cincinnati include the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati Music Hall, Findlay Market, and the Cincinnati Observatory.

Q: What are the best family-friendly activities in the Cincy region?

A: The Cincy region offers a variety of family-friendly activities such as visiting the Cincinnati Children’s Museum, exploring Smale Riverfront Park, and taking a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo to see Fiona the hippo.

Q: What are some must-see historic landmarks in Cincinnati?

A: Some must-see historic landmarks in Cincinnati include the American Sign Museum, the National Historic Landmark Cincinnati Music Hall, and the Roebling Suspension Bridge.

Q: What are the best outdoor attractions in the Cincinnati area?

A: The Cincinnati area boasts outdoor attractions such as Eden Park, the scenic riverfront, and the beautiful Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum.

Q: What are the popular attractions in the northern Kentucky region near Cincinnati?

A: In the northern Kentucky region near Cincinnati, visitors can explore the Newport Aquarium, enjoy the views from Devou Park, and visit the historic city of Covington.

Q: What are some fun things to do in downtown Cincinnati?

A: Downtown Cincinnati offers fun attractions like the Paul Brown Stadium, the vibrant atmosphere of Findlay Market, and the dazzling lights of the Cincinnati skyline.

Q: What are the top attractions for nature enthusiasts in Cincinnati?

A: Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the lush landscapes of Krohn Conservatory, the mesmerizing rainforest exhibit, and the picturesque views of the Ohio River from various vantage points in the city.

Q: What are some hidden gems to discover in Cincinnati?

A: Cincinnati is home to hidden gems like the stunning architecture of the University of Cincinnati, the unique dining experience at Frisch’s Mainliner, and the serene beauty of the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Q: What are the best things to explore in the greater Cincinnati area?

A: Visitors can explore the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, the vibrant Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, and the historic charm of the Queen City to experience the best of the greater Cincinnati area.

Q: What are some of the must-visit cultural attractions in Cincinnati?

A: Cultural enthusiasts should visit the Cincinnati Art Museum, experience the live performances at the Cincinnati Music Hall, and delve into Cincinnati’s history at the Cincinnati History Museum.

Best hotels

When it comes to lodging, there are a few options. If you’re looking for something more traditional, there are plenty of hotels around town that offer great rates and amenities.

  • The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati is located in downtown Cincinnati and has everything from a pool to an indoor water park (yes, really) as well as some excellent restaurants on site for your dining pleasure.
  • The Marriott Suites Downtown Southbank River center offers guests access to multiple restaurants within walking distance of their hotel rooms or suites–including Ruth’s Chris Steak House! You’ll also find plenty of shopping opportunities nearby so you can stock up on souvenirs before heading home.
  • The Red Roof Inn Downtown East/Riverfront Stadium Area offers free WiFi throughout its entire facility (including guestrooms) along with breakfast every morning thanks to its partnership with Courtyard by Marriott. We recommended here if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly but still want quality accommodations while visiting Cincinnati.

While Airbnb is always an option if you are against staying at a hotel.

How To Get Around The City?

You can get around Cincinnati by bus, bike, or car. The city has a good public transportation system in place, but it’s not as comprehensive as other cities’ so if you want to see everything then I suggest renting a car for the day; if interested in the best deals you can check out our partners. There are also plenty of bike rental shops around town that will allow you to explore on two wheels!

Best Restaurants

The city of Cincinnati is known for its excellent cuisine and variety of restaurants, There are so many options that it can be difficult to choose where to eat, but if you’re looking for a great meal at a reasonable price we suggest these…

  • Blue Ash Chili: A local favorite with affordable prices and delicious food
  • Graeter’s Ice Cream: An ice cream shop with over 200 flavors of homemade ice cream that has been served since 1870
  • Piatto Pizzeria: it’s just one of my favorites with amazing food.
  • Barley’s Tap Room: Try here if you’re looking for drinks instead, the best ones in town

There are so many great places here that it would be hard to list them all – just go out exploring yourself!

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I’m Nick — a traveler and photographer with a knack for shooting the world’s most beautiful places. Over the last decade, I’ve circled the globe, visiting countless countries, to bring home photos that cross language barriers. With fluency in five tongues, I believe in the power of communication to unlock culture. My travel blog, Traveling Kangaroo (yes, it’s a real animal!), is here to inspire you to take your own leap around this rock. I’ll continue to post about my journeys as I explore everything our world has to offer — one adventure at a time.