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Old 05-02-2016, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,738 posts, read 59,704,583 times
Reputation: 26901

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Landing at Cincinatti airport I always thought it looked like a pretty city. I wanted to visit. This weekend, my son had a crew race just outside Cincinatti (Harsha Lake) so at 7 a.m. Sunday I decided to grab a kid and some dogs and run down and check it out.

After the race (is a very nice park btw), we drove into the city. You know that song "Everythig is awesome?" That should be the Cincinnati theme song. Even the long drive into the city was awesome (we took windy local roads rather than freeways). Yes there were a lot of trailer homes (more than anyplace I have seen outside of Yuma AZ - I think I saw Ricky, Julian and Bubbles at one point), but it is really beautiful/scenic.

The city is gorgeous. I call it what Detroit could have been if things had not gone all wrong. Lots of classic architecture and some cool modern architecture. The bridges are beautiful. We drove back and forth over and over just to look at them. Your city is vibrant. People of all ages and backgrounds all over the place. Lots of stores open, lots of things going on. There was not even a game going on so there was no special draw for this many people out and about, they were just out walking, biking, shopping. This is what a City should be. I am not sure people form Cincinatti realize what a great city they have. When I have asked people I met about it they said "Well it is ok" No, sorry, it is not Ok, it is a great city.

Sure we veered off into some sketchy areas, but even those parts were not super awful (at least not compared to sketchy areas in Detroit, Chicago or Los Angeles). We tried to get up into the hills to find the cool older turn of the century neighborhoods that must be there someplace, but we ran out of time.

OK, so it helped that the weather was absolutely perfect while it is still November in Michigan, but our appreciation for your city was not just the perfect weather.

The Kentucky city on the other side of the river is pretty nice too. We never actually figured out what it is called, but is is really just an extension of Cincinnati. i will just call it the kinda cool place across the

We were not able to get out of the truck because we had two really exhausted dogs with us, but we still really enjoyed checking out the city. I cannot wait to come back with wifey for a weekend visit.

So if anyone is interested in helping us out, can you please make suggestions on where to stay for a weekend? Best time of year to visit? Where to eat (no chains please we have overpriced Applebees and Buffalo Wild Wings already). What parts of the city are not to miss.
We will likely walk and or ride bikes around as much as practical. We want to see historic neighborhoods, awesome architecture, pleasant riverfront walks, cool unique shops, we may visit the zoo or aquarium (more likely the aquarium, we have two awesome zoos within an hour of us already). I think we would prefer to come when there are no sporting events. Crowds of drunk overly hyped sports fans can be fun sometimes, but if we are trying to pack in seeing a lot of the city in a short time, we do not want to spend our time waiting in long lines and dodging drunks. We like places where we might have the opportunity to interact with locals. The number of people around on Sunday, was just perfect. Enough to make the city lively and interesting, not so many you cannot get down the sidewalks. Also if there are areas we should avoid, please let us know.

Thank you.

Hey Cincinnati - Do you realize what you have got?-cinci.jpg
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati (P Ridge)
573 posts, read 441,511 times
Reputation: 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
So if anyone is interested in helping us out, can you please make suggestions on where to stay for a weekend? Best time of year to visit? Where to eat (no chains please we have overpriced Applebees and Buffalo Wild Wings already). What parts of the city are not to miss.
We will likely walk and or ride bikes around as much as practical. We want to see historic neighborhoods, awesome architecture, pleasant riverfront walks, cool unique shops, we may visit the zoo or aquarium (more likely the aquarium, we have two awesome zoos within an hour of us already). I think we would prefer to come when there are no sporting events. Crowds of drunk overly hyped sports fans can be fun sometimes, but if we are trying to pack in seeing a lot of the city in a short time, we do not want to spend our time waiting in long lines and dodging drunks. We like places where we might have the opportunity to interact with locals. The number of people around on Sunday, was just perfect. Enough to make the city lively and interesting, not so many you cannot get down the sidewalks. Also if there are areas we should avoid, please let us know.

Thank you.

Attachment 169195
Thanks for the compliments. I think most of us (if not all) on this board love Cincy. It's one of the reasons we post on here. I think a lot of people in general realize there's a lot of exciting things going on downtown. Your post made me think of friends who moved here from Chicago and lived here for 3 years before moving back to Chicago a few months ago. They came and visited us and basically told us how much they miss Cincy and how great they think it is.


As far as visiting:
1. Where to stay: Depends on your budget but there are a ton of hotels downtown. I recommend 21C Hotel and the Residence Inn on 4th street.
2. Best time to visit: Summer. Plenty of festivals happening all summer long. Visit cincinnatiusa.com/events to search for what's going on.
3. Where to eat: Depends on what you like. You'll want to try Cincinnati chili. Plenty of great non-chain places in OTR along and around Vine Street near Washington Park.
4. Parts not to miss: OTR, The banks (between the 2 stadiums) and Mt Adams.
5. I personally think the aquarium is a little expensive. Other places would be the Cincy Museum Center, Art Museum, Findlay Market and Spring Grove Cemetery (has a really fun walking tour leading you from grave to grave each with really interesting stories behind them). Reds games are cheap and fun and usually not too many drunks. Don't go to a Bengals game if you don't want to deal with drunks.
6. There are parts of the city to avoid, especially at night....honestly, use your common sense and you'll be fine.
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,738 posts, read 59,704,583 times
Reputation: 26901
Thank you.

We noticed you have a very cool looking library. My wife is a librarian and might like to see it. I saw a hotel directly across the street from the library but did not note the name of it. Do you know it? Decent place to stay?

A friend at work told me 21c is the place to stay. It is pricey, but for one night should be fine. Maybe we can find a discount and stay two nights.

We saw a neat medieval looking arch/gate on top of a hill. Looked like it might be the entrance to a park. We did nto figure out how to get up there. Do you know what that might be?
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:27 AM
 
3,515 posts, read 3,790,077 times
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What a nice superlative!

As far as questions go...

1. If I were in your shoes I'd probably stay at the Courtyard By Marriott in Covington, right on the river, with a river/city view. But there are a number of very nice hotels elsewhere in the city, many fancier or with more amenities than the Courtyard.

2. Best time of year to visit is anytime when the weather is warm, so April - October. This correlates nicely with Cincinnati Reds season, IMO a game there is a can't miss experience in the city. Cincinnati is one of the few baseball towns, it's amazing how the feel of the city matches the game. It's not much of a football town (like Dallas), basketball town (like Indy) or hockey town (like Detroit), so it's worth taking advantage of the season. Also that's the best time of year for walking around Cincinnati, which IMO is the best way to experience the city within "the basin" (OTR, Downtown, Covington/Newport).

3. It's worth trying both Cincy Chili and Goetta when you are in the city. For Cincy chili, as a newcomer any chili place will probably do for a first try, whether it be a chain like Skyline or a unique place like Camp Washington or Empress. To get goetta, honestly I'd kill two birds with one stone and get the grilled cheese with goetta at Tom+Chee (as featured on Shark Tank).

4. I'm in the minority here, but I'd skip the zoo and just do the aquarium. Nothing against the Cincy zoo, but better zoos with more space for the wildlife within them exist in other cities (like Columbus and Indianapolis). The aquarium is great though! But if you have limited time, skip both and head straight for the Museum Center at Union Terminal. It's the best museum in Ohio that I've been to, and I've been to nearly every museum in the state. Also for a unique attraction, check out the American Sign Museum.

5. To interact with locals, I'd stay in OTR, in particular visit Findlay Market and the shops up there. It might also be worth the Uber or longer bike ride to get to Northside too and wander the shops there. The riverfront trail might be a good place to go too.

6. For architecture, the most notable historic neighborhoods are OTR, the Licking River historic area in Covington, Hyde Park/Mt. Lookout, Clifton Gaslight, North Avondale, Mt. Adams, West End, and Pendelton. There are also some beauties scattered through Price Hill, Fairmount, and other areas of the westside, but you have to know where exactly to go. I'd highly recommend passing through Indian Hill by car on your way into or out of the city - lots of beautiful estate houses there.

7. I don't know if there is anywhere in Cincy that is flat out worth avoiding, but for areas to me a bit more cautious, I'd say Price Hill, OTR north of Liberty, Avondale/North Avondale, Madisonville, Walnut Hills (although it's changing for the better fast), Mt. Auburn, Clifton Corryville, and Queensgate in particular. Also, most neighborhoods are block by block due to the topography - one side of a hill is an affluent neighborhood, the other side is one that is poverty stricken, and so on. It's amazing how a neighborhood can very so dramatically in Cincy by even a distance as short as a block or two.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati, OH
400 posts, read 398,540 times
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The Downtown Cincinnati Public Library is wonderful. My kids love the MakerSpace that's loaded with technology and a 3D printer.

If you have a librarian in the family another must do would be The Mercantile Library on Walnut. They have great lectures and fun events.
Mercantile Library

Avoid the hotel across the street from the library...it's slowly turning into apartments and the upkeep is lacking.

I think the gate you are referring to is the Elsinore Arch. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsinore_Arch
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:55 PM
 
628 posts, read 447,017 times
Reputation: 1146
The museum center will be closed for two years so skip that, only the children's museum part will be open, also Music Hall will be closed for two years. Removations to both.

When we flew in for a job interview we stayed at the Cincinnatian right downtown and it was lovely and fancyish and under $100 a night for a king.
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,905 posts, read 6,839,868 times
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Cincinnati really is a good place and vastly underrated nationally. A couple summers ago when I was in town for a friend's wedding, I remember waking up early in a downtown hotel on like the 12th floor or something and watching the morning commute into the city through these 2 huge windows. Watching the cars stream in over the bridges was pretty cool. I haven't been there for a while since my brother moved to Cleveland and my friend moved to San Diego, but I'd love to come back again. Architecturally it's one of the coolest cities in the US.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,792 posts, read 2,302,929 times
Reputation: 1270
Oh, yes, do the American Sign Museum! Fun & fascinating. Unique it is. Enjoy!
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:09 PM
 
2,791 posts, read 1,476,216 times
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It has been on the ups since 2006. It has an improved downtown core and Over the Rhine. It's cute, fun medium sized city. I love being there in the summer and drink some beer and eat some Cincy chilli.
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