You don’t have to travel to far-flung locations to experience all the best that the cities of the world have to offer. Cincinnati has a rich history of its own and all kinds of activities and cultural opportunities that are just waiting to be discovered.
Try Something New.
Think like a tourist rather than someone who may have lived here for decades. We’ve all heard of lifelong New Yorkers who have never visited the Statue of Liberty. Don’t be like them.
Visit the lookout atop the Carew Tower. Then combine it with lovely, one-of-a-kind lunch at the nearby Jean-Robert’s Table.
Pack a picnic lunch and head off to Devou Park in Covington. It is one of the area’s most perfectly situated public parks, with stunning views overlooking downtown Cincinnati— yet it’s a place many people on the north side of the Ohio River have never actually visited.
Tour the Netherland Plaza. Built in 1931, this downtown Cincinnati hotel is a magnificent example of French Art Deco interior design. In 1985, it earned National Historic Register and National Landmark status. What’s most wonderful about it is that they welcome visitors to stroll around.
After your tour, don’t forget to stop in at the Orchids at Palm Court for drinks or dinner. It’s one of the most glamorous restaurants in the world.
Be a Daytripper.
One of the great things about Greater Cincinnati is how close it is to so many places that are interesting in their own right.
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum.
Less than 45 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, this remarkable place has dozens of monumental sculptures spread throughout its 250 acres. There’s also a 10,000-square-foot Ancient Sculpture Museum. If the weather is good, you can walk the gorgeous grounds.
If it’s too cold to walk, drive through instead. You’ll wonder why you haven’t visited sooner.
Great Serpent Mound.
Just 90 minutes east of Cincinnati, tucked away in the verdant countryside near the Appalachian foothills, this massive sculpted burial mound is more than a quarter mile long.
Visit for the gorgeous scenery and the chance to discover pre-Columbian America.
Make a day of it and stop for lunch in Maysville, Kentucky and visit the Rosemary Clooney Museum in Augusta on the way home.
Kentucky Horse Park.
Less than 90 minutes south of Cincinnati, this sprawling, 1200 acre facility dedicated to “man’s relationship with the horse” is just north of Lexington, Kentucky.
First and foremost, it’s a horse farm home to many famed horses who have retired from racing. But it’s also an educational facility that hosts scores of horse-related activities throughout the year. Combine your trip with lunch or dinner in one of the many of the revitalized towns nearby.
Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Kentucky is the only place in the world that can officially make bourbon. As a result, there are dozens of distilleries in the state, many of them not too far away from Cincinnati. Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve and several others host free tours of their facilities. For more information, go to http://kybourbontrail.com.
This is only a small sampling of wonderful day trips. Some others you might consider are:
- The National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio is a must see for anyone interested in American or military history.
- The Indianapolis Museum of Art is a small treasure of a museum just two hours away from Cincinnati.
- The town of Columbus, Indiana may be small, but it’s filled with architecture by some of the world’s greatest designers, including I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Cesar Pelli, Harry Weese and Robert Venturi.
Find all the Best Shopping
You can shop any time, of course, but instead of racing to the mall and then heading home like usual, make a day of it. Spend a little time in a spa, go shopping, have dinner, and maybe even catch a movie.
- Kenwood Towne Centre is arguably the best and most varied shopping in the area, including Nordstrom, Arhaus, Athleta, Godiva Chocolatier, Caché, Williams-Sonoma and Kate Spade.
- Rookwood Pavilion holds a wonderful variety of restaurants, plus much one-of-a-kind shopping; REI, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Whole Foods Market and everyone’s favorite place to find a bargain DSW Shoe Warehouse.
- Over-the-Rhine has seen a remarkable resurgence in the last few years with a number of unique shops. Look for Mica 12/v, Park + Vine (which is actually on Main Street), Mannequin Boutique, and Sloane Boutique. And don’t forget to stop by Findlay Market, the oldest continuously operated public market in the state, and the new Rookwood Pottery gallery!
- Outlet Malls, chockfull of first-rate stores, are in abundance in Greater Cincinnati. Cincinnati Premium Outlets are 30 miles to the north, and the Tanger Outlets in Jeffersonville are about 65 miles northeast.
Don’t just stay home. Explore your town in a way you never have before. Have high tea at the Cincinnatian Hotel. Go dancing in Ault Park. Enjoy a wine tasting at Northern Kentucky’s Stonebrook Winery.
It’s all there, just waiting for you to show up.