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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrOhio sometimes seems like any other Midwest state where there is a lot of farmland but not much else. However, when you get to one of the major cities, you will see that Ohio has a lot to offer. One of these cities is Cincinnati, sometimes referred to as the “The Queen City” or more commonly, “Cincy”. There is a lot of history in Cincinnati as it was established as the first major city in the United States that was not on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The vintage and modern appearance clash well, and visitors will find a lot of activities to keep them busy.
Cincinnati has a very diverse culture in terms of ethnicities in the city. Of those that were surveyed in 2010 (the most recent census), 49.3% were White, 44.8% were African American, 2.5% were Hispanic, and 1.8% were Asian.
HistoryCincinnati has a very long history that is mostly American. It was founded in 1789 as a fort when the territories started to develop west. As a result, Cincinnati's fort was used to protect these new territories. Once more people started to reside in the city, it became a major hub. Its location on the Ohio River made it easy for boats to get there, and the meat packing industry brought jobs in and sent goods out, making it a thriving community. It then began to modernize over the 20th century while still keeping its roots as a blue-collar town which the locals are very proud of. It is also the home of the first professional baseball team, first public television station, and first weather center.
Sightseeing in CincinnatiThe top spot to visit in Cincinnati is the Cincinnati Museum Center . When it was built in 1933, it served as a train station. However, it has been a museum for 25 years and still preserves the beautiful Art-Deco architecture from the 30s. There are many different museums in this center, the History Museum, Children's Museum, and Museum of Natural History and Science.
Music Hall is another stunning classic building. It was built with an Italian structure in 1878 and houses the finer arts. The interior hosts the Springer Auditorium, which is home to many ballet, opera, and orchestral performances. The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens have some of the rarest animals in the world inside their large park. White Bengal tigers and Gorillas are the main attractions, and there are plenty of interactive scenes to visit.
Another unique place you will want to visit is the American Sign Museum. It is a 19,000-square-foot museum that shows you the best signs in American history and how they were made. Neon signs are on full display and are fascinating and captivating to the eye, definitely worth a visit.
FoodWhile it isn't actually a crime to visit Cincinnati without eating chili, some may look at you differently for doing so. There is only one chili that comes to mind when discussing Cincinnati, and that is Skyline Chili. Skyline has expanded into a larger chain, but you won’t find many of these buildings outside of Ohio or Northern Kentucky.
There is also a very European feel to some of their foods, such as the Reuben. Some parts of the country can make a good Reuben sandwich, but Cincinnati will boast that they make the best in the United States. For a more Midwest flavor, you must try the blueberry ice cream at nearby King’s Island. It’s a unique flavor but it is very, very sweet (and addicting).
HotelsCincinnati does not offer a lot in terms of vintage hotels that feel like you are stepping into a time machine, but it certainly has no shortage of fine luxury hotels that will keep their guests satisfied. The most popular hotel in the city is the Residence Inn in the heart of downtown. It is a very modern hotel that gets many great reviews from their top-of-the-line service and cleanliness. It was crafted out of the Phelps Building, so the exterior still has a classic view.
The 21c Museum Hotel is the most unique hotel in all of Cincinnati. Many say that staying in the rooms of the 21c Museum Hotel is basically like sleeping in a painting. The lobby is also home to an art gallery which many visitors will find fascinating. For a great stay that isn't going to break the bank but still give you comfort and luxury, make sure to check out the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Cincinnati-Eastgate or the Hampton Inn & Suites in the Uptown-University area.
ShoppingIf you are looking to shop in Cincinnati, then the city has a unique style that has maintain a major shopping scene in certain plazas. Perhaps the most notable is Newport on the Levee. Technically it is in Kentucky, but you can take a very short bridge from downtown Cincinnati to get there. This plaza is home to a dozen restaurants and 20 different shops (as well as a movie theater, comedy club, aquarium, and blues club). As a matter of fact, it is considered to be one of the best shopping plazas in all of the United States.
If you are looking for a smaller scale type of shopping, the Findlay Market is on the corner of Race Street and Elder Street. This has been open for 150 years and is more well-known for food, but does have other vintage items for purchase.
For the traditional mall setting that features stores and brands that you have seen on television, then check out the Kenwood Towne Center on Montgomery Road. It's a bit north of the city, but has more than 180 stores with other smaller shopping plazas surrounding it.
SportsCincinnati has two professional sports teams that they are very passionate about. Many major cities have three or four, but Cincinnati is loyal to their two. The most notable team is the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League who play at Paul Brown Stadium . The other team is the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball, and they call the Great American Ballpark their home.
SafetyCincinnati has a very high crime rate, so safety can be a bit of a concern when traveling there. It's reported that there are 9.79 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 62.88 property crimes. Most of the crime happens just south of the downtown area, so you want to stick to certain spots if you are staying overnight. The Northwest and Southeast areas of the city are considered the safest. Included are the Locust Corner, Cotillion Village, and Riverview Heights neighborhoods.
TransportationThere is one major airport that flies into the Cincinnati area, and it's the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. It is not in Cincinnati itself, but actually a few miles south in Kentucky, but I-275 gives easy access to the city. You can also arrive via Lunken Airport, but that is mainly for small planes and private planes.
If you are traveling by car, there are many major highways that go through Cincinnati. These include I-71, I-74, I-75, I-471 and I-275. So no matter which way you are coming from, Cincinnati is easy to get to. Amtrak also makes stops in Cincinnati. Once you get into the city, it’s easy to get around. In addition to many taxi cabs, there is also public transportation via subway and bus systems. The downtown area is large, so if you plan on walking, make sure to bring comfortable shoes.
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Author: koreydbeckett. Last updated: Feb 04, 2015