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Old 05-06-2012, 10:27 PM
 
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As part of a road-trip to a few towns, a couple of friends and I are going to be in your fine town on Friday night/Saturday morning. We're looking forward to checking out the Reds game, but otherwise I have to admit we're not really sure how to make best use of our time.

We'd be much obliged if anyone can help out with a few suggestions for:

1.) Where we might want to go before/after the game to get a feel for local food/nightlife/etc.

2.) Any sights/local institutions/etc we'll be kicking ourselves for missing if we don't go.

3.) What part of town we're best to stay in, particularly with the first two questions in mind.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:20 PM
 
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1.) Where we might want to go before/after the game to get a feel for local food/nightlife/etc.

Before the game, I'd recommend the Fountain Square area and/or The Banks, both of which are just blocks from the ballpark (The Banks is directly adjacent to the ballpark). By far, you'll want to check out the Moerlein Lager House, located just off the first-base side of the ballpark. It's a local brewery serving up some old-time Cincinnati beer recipes, with great food and a great atmosphere.

After the game, you absolutely can't go wrong with checking out the scene in Mount Adams, overlooking downtown from the east. Once you're in Mount Adams, you might want to stay for good. It's one of Cincinnati's most picturesque neighborhoods and is packed with plenty of pubs and late-night hotspots - especially Pavilion.

2.) Any sights/local institutions/etc we'll be kicking ourselves for missing if we don't go.

Not know what you guys are interested in, it's kind of tough to say. But I would definitely make it a point to stop at Fountain Square in the heart of downtown. The fountain is definitely one of the most recognizable features in the city and is always shown during sporting events, TV shows or movies shot here.

If you have time, Montgomery Inn (located on the riverfront about a mile east of the ballpark) is something that many visitors flock to for their famous ribs. If you're looking to kill a couple hours on Saturday or Sunday, I'd recommend the Newport Aquarium just across the river from the ballpark. It's accessible by car, shuttle or the pedestrian footbridge from downtown.


3.) What part of town we're best to stay in, particularly with the first two questions in mind.

Without a doubt, I would try to stay downtown if it's in your budget. That way you'll be within walking distance from the ballpark, The Banks, Fountain Square and just a quick 5-minute cab ride from Mount Adams. And you won't have to worry about parking/traffic hassles before or after the game or driving after having a few beers.

Hope this helps ... where are you coming from and how long are you staying?
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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By staying for just one night, and having a ballgame take up some of that time, you're really not allowing yourselves to do much of anything beyond seeing the Reds. And by not letting us know whether you're an all-guy, all-gal, or coed group - never mind your ages or spending limits - that's not helping us help you much either. Just sayin'.
There are plenty of dining/entertainment options downtown, right across the bridges at Newport on the Levee or at "Mainstrasse" in Covington, or just beyond the downtown core on Vine and Main St's. Or you can climb one of Cincy's fabled hills to the adjacent city neighborhoods of Clifton and Mt Adams, or even travel west to Primavista for a good Italian meal "with a view."
If you like museums, the Taft Museum and the "Museum Center" (Cincinnati Historical Society + Children's Museum + Natural History Museum, all in a spectacular Art Deco train station which still serves Amtrak) as well as the Art Museum are all worth visits. So, in a more offbeat vein, are the American Sign Museum and the Cincinnati Fire Museum. Each could easily occupy all the free time you have. Then there's the world-class Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden not too far north of downtown. Church architecture fans have a field day with the Basilica in Covington and all the beautiful historic structures on the Ohio side of the river. People who enjoy driving by mansions and dreaming of living in them have several neighborhoods of the city they can indulge that in.
If nothing else, you definitely should stop by Fountain Square. It's been the focal point of downtown "forever," featuring a - you guessed it - fountain, named "Genius of the Waters," which has been relocated (carefully) several times over the years within the same block. By day it's a popular spot for office workers to eat lunch and shoppers to relax. In the evenings as the weather gets warmer you could easily happen upon a free film screening or concert.
Cincinnati has one of the best city park systems anywhere. Eden Park includes within its boundaries the Krohn Conservatory not to mention the Art Museum. It and Mt Echo, as well as the relatively "undiscovered" Bellevue Hill, boast amazing views of the city and river below and also Kentucky beyond. On the off chance that you're willing to set aside some scarce hours for a picnic lunch - AND the weather allows - any of these places would work well. So would Sawyer Point right along the river, and of course Fountain Square.
Your budget more than anything would dictate where you bunk down for the night. If funds allow, spring for the Netherland Plaza (a refurbished Art Deco gem) or the Westin or Hyatt downtown. They're an easy walk from the stadium and obviously anything in the vicinity. My personal favorite during non-family visits is a small B & B near the university, known as the Parker House, where the interior and the low rates are equal cause for amazement. But other than its proximity to the zoo and Bellevue Hill Park, plus its quietness at night if that's what you seek, there isn't much to recommend given your purposes.
Send some more focused criteria your way and we'll be on it!
"Local food" is safely defined as the Frisch's chain of casual, dare I say fast food, restaurants along with Cincinnati's ubiquitous "chili parlors" and Graeter's ice cream. All three have locations throughout the city and inner suburbs. For a local food experience you ought to stop by Findlay Market, an open-air farmer's market not far from downtown which has been in existence for over a hundred years. Foodies, yuppies, and everyday people alike love it for its numerous meat + produce + cheese vendors. The wares were "sustainably grown" before sustainably grown was cool.
Night life is heavily concentrated downtown, in adjacent Over-the-Rhine (along the aforementioned Vine and Main St's), in student-heavy Clifton, up on Mt Adams, and in the established enclaves of Hyde Park and Mt Lookout as well as in semi-gentrified Northside. Pick up a Cincinnati magazine - that's the title - or browse it online. And do the same for the "City Beat" paper.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
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I love the American Sign Museum! What a treasure, what a collection of Americana. A real walk through time that is too overlooked by visitors as well as native Cincinnatians.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Alhambra, CA
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Before the game Ill probably go over the river to the Newport on the Levee. After The game Ill probably go to some down town eateries and pubs, or even the pavilion (mt adams). None I can think of for #2 and Stay downtown Cincinnati or even across the river. . . Whatever floats your boat (no pun intended lol)
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:19 PM
 
21 posts, read 55,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
By staying for just one night, and having a ballgame take up some of that time, you're really not allowing yourselves to do much of anything beyond seeing the Reds. And by not letting us know whether you're an all-guy, all-gal, or coed group - never mind your ages or spending limits - that's not helping us help you much either. Just sayin'.
You're right - probably should've provided more detail. Sorry 'bout that. We're 30-something guys. I don't think we're necessarily huge museum people, but definitely interested in seeing cool/representative architecture, checking out neighbourhoods with some street life, that kind of thing.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APR22 View Post
You're right - probably should've provided more detail. Sorry 'bout that. We're 30-something guys. I don't think we're necessarily huge museum people, but definitely interested in seeing cool/representative architecture, checking out neighbourhoods with some street life, that kind of thing.
Assuming you will be arriving on Friday afternoon, definitely stay downtown if the budget permits. As others have said you want to experience the Moerlein Lager House at the Banks. It is a very short walk to GABP for the Reds game. After the game grab a cab to Mt Adams and browse around. Grab another cab back to the hotel. The next day, sleep in as you likely overindulged in Mt Adams. Before leaving town visit Fountain Square and possibly the OTR district. It has great architecture and is the fastest rehabilitated area of the city. For a short visit that is about it. If you do it all you will get the essence of Cincinnati.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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kjbrill - the forums tell me I can't rep you until I spread the reps around. So, great post.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:57 AM
 
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If going to a Reds' game as an out-of-towner, I strongly recommend starting at TGI Friday's in Newport/Covington a couple hours before game time and taking the Water Taxi across the Ohio River.....which drops you off literally in back of the ballpark. That's a unique experience and that's what I think the OP is looking for. Then saunter up to the Morlein Lager House for a couple OTR drafts, then head to the game. The Lager House is awesome.....sit outside and enjoy the view of the river and bridges.

As far as seating in GAPB.....I actually recommend the cheap seats in Sections 536 or 537......as they afford views of the Ohio River....and Millionaires Row in Kentucky.....I like watching the river traffic in between innings....it's a unique experience....sitting anywhere else in GABP is like sitting at any other ballpark in the country....but being able to watch the Ohio River traffic is unique to GABP....and I think that's what the OP is looking for.

As others have suggested, take a cab to Mt. Adams for night-life activities. I'm not up-to-date with the current hotspots (married with children) but I hear The Pavilion is still rocking (great views of downtown from their decks-----and 30 year old guys won't feel out of place there if you have mojo). Find a downtown hotel......Millenium Hotel if you're budget concious or the Hilton or Westin if you have a couple extra bucks.

Last edited by flashes1; 05-10-2012 at 07:18 AM..
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
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You can also consider one of the hotels on the KY side of the river, and there are several. As fleshes1 said, starting out at TGI Friday's and then taking the water taxi across the river to the game. You definitely want to allot enough time to visit the Moerlein Lager House. I also like the idea of getting seats at GABP where you can see the river.

After the game, grab a cab up to Mt Adams, it is a short distance. Enjoy bouncing from place to place and eventually take another cab back to the hotel.

Assuming you will be driving to Cincinnati, leave your car at the hotel on Friday night. Depending on your time schedule Saturday, a short drive to Fountain Square, park in the garage underneath, on Saturday it should have plenty of room. After strolling around the square, which is the iconic center of Cincinnati, you could drive over to Findlay Market, one of the oldest public markets in the US. Bring a cooler with you and stock up on some fresh German sausages, cheeses, etc. to take home and remind you of your visit to Cincinnati.

BTW Findlay Market has a web site so you can check out the vendors who are there and their specialties before you come.
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