Top 15 Places to Visit in Cincinnati

Places to Visit in Cincinnati

Cincinnati, often referred to as the Queen City, is a vibrant and historic city located in the state of Ohio. Known for its rich history, thriving arts scene, and friendly people, Cincinnati offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a sports fan, art enthusiast, nature lover, or foodie, Cincinnati has something to offer everyone. In this blog, we will explore the top 15 places to visit in Cincinnati, including iconic landmarks, cultural institutions, natural attractions, and hidden gems. So, let’s dive in and discover the best of Queen City!

1. Ride the Beast at Kings Island

the Beast at Kings Island
the Beast at Kings Island

One of the must-visit destinations in Cincinnati is Kings Island, an expansive amusement park located just a short drive from downtown. Known for its thrilling rides and family-friendly attractions, Kings Island is the perfect place to have fun and create lasting memories.

One of the park’s most iconic rides is The Beast, a legendary roller coaster that holds the record for being the longest wooden roller coaster in the world. With its twisting turns, high speeds, and heart-pounding drops, The Beast offers riders an exhilarating experience like no other.

But Kings Island is more than just roller coasters. The park features a wide variety of thrill rides, family rides, and live entertainment options. From the gravity-defying spins of the Delirium to the classic fun of the antique cars, there’s something for everyone at Kings Island.

2. Touch a stingray at the Newport Aquarium

the Newport Aquarium
the Newport Aquarium

Located just across the river in Newport, Kentucky, the Newport Aquarium is a must-visit attraction for people of all ages. This state-of-the-art aquarium is home to over 90 exhibits and 14 galleries, showcasing a diverse array of marine life from around the world.

One of the highlights of the Newport Aquarium is the chance to touch a stingray in the interactive exhibits. Visitors can dip their hands into the tank and feel the smooth, slippery skin of these incredible creatures.

In addition to the interactive exhibits, the aquarium offers daily shows, feedings, and behind-the-scenes tours, allowing visitors to learn more about the fascinating world of marine life. The Newport Aquarium is a great place to spend the day with family and friends and discover the wonders of the ocean.

3. Great American Ball Park

American Ball Park

Catch a game at the Great American Ball Park and bask in the stunning views of the Ohio River. Explore the extensive collection of over 67,000 works of art at the Cincinnati Art Museum, or delve into the city’s brewing history at Moerlein Lager House and Brewery.

Stroll across the historic John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, an engineering marvel and a symbol of Cincinnati’s rich history. Visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for insights into the city’s past, or enjoy a day at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, home to over 500 animal species and 3,000 plant varieties

4. Watch the sunset aboard BB Riverboats

the sunset aboard BB Riverboats
the sunset aboard BB Riverboats

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the beauty of the Ohio River, look no further than BB Riverboats. These historic riverboats offer a variety of cruises, including the popular sunset cruise. As you glide along the river, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Cincinnati skyline and the surrounding area.

The sunset cruise is the perfect way to unwind and take in the natural beauty of the city. And while you’re on board, don’t forget to sample some of Cincinnati’s famous skyline chili, a delicious local delicacy that combines chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions. It’s the perfect complement to the stunning scenery.

5. Enjoy a black raspberry chip ice cream cone from Graeter’s Ice Cream

black raspberry chip ice cream cone from Graeter’s Ice Cream
black raspberry chip ice cream cone from Graeter’s Ice Cream

No visit to Cincinnati is complete without indulging in a sweet treat from Graeter’s Ice Cream. This local institution has been serving delicious ice cream since 1870 and is known for its unique flavors and high-quality ingredients. One of the must-try flavors at Graeter’s is the black raspberry chip, which features creamy raspberry ice cream studded with chunks of dark chocolate.

This signature flavor has become a Cincinnati tradition and is beloved by locals and visitors alike. Whether you opt for a simple scoop or a decadent sundae, a visit to Graeter’s is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you craving more.

6. Visit the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Art Climb

the Cincinnati Art Museum's Art Climb
Cincinnati Art Museum’s Art Climb

The Cincinnati Art Museum is a cultural powerhouse that houses an extensive collection of art from across the globe. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, the museum offers something for every art lover.

But the art doesn’t stop at the museum’s doors. The recently opened Art Climb provides visitors with a unique way to experience art while taking in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

This outdoor staircase, adorned with artwork, leads visitors from the museum’s parking lot to the entrance, providing stunning views of the city along the way. The Art Climb is not only a practical way to access the museum but also a cultural experience and an architectural landmark in its own right. A visit to the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Art Climb is a must for anyone seeking a deep appreciation of art and culture.

7. Cincinnati Music Hall

Cincinnati Music Hall
Cincinnati Music Hall

Cincinnati’s Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark, stands as one of the city’s most iconic structures. Erected in 1878, it underwent extensive restoration in the early 2000s, reinstating its original grandeur. The venue hosts various concerts, performances, and events year-round, featuring the esteemed Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Renowned for its splendid architecture and exceptional acoustics, the Music Hall attracts music aficionados and history enthusiasts alike. Guided tours offer visitors insight into its rich history and access to behind-the-scenes areas typically off-limits. Additionally, the venue presents dining options such as the Encore Cafe and Bar, providing light bites and refreshments, adding to the allure of the experience.

8. Cincinnati Dinner Train

Cincinnati Dinner Train
Cincinnati Dinner Train

Step back in time and embark on a unique dining experience aboard the Cincinnati Dinner Train. This vintage train takes guests on a leisurely journey through the scenic countryside, allowing them to enjoy a gourmet meal while taking in the beautiful views. The train features three beautifully restored dining cars, each with its distinctive style and atmosphere.

As you savor a delicious four-course meal, you’ll pass through historic towns and picturesque landscapes, immersing yourself in the history and natural beauty of the area. The Cincinnati Dinner Train is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion, enjoy a romantic date night, or simply indulge in a memorable dining experience.

9. Contemporary Arts Center

Contemporary Arts Center
Contemporary Arts Center

The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) is a hub of creativity and innovation, showcasing the best of modern and contemporary art. With constantly changing exhibitions, the CAC offers visitors the opportunity to engage with new ideas, diverse perspectives, and groundbreaking artistic expressions. From paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations and performance art, the museum features a wide range of mediums and styles.

In addition to the exhibitions, the CAC also hosts special events, lectures, and workshops, providing a dynamic and immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, the Contemporary Arts Center is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and anyone seeking inspiration and cultural enrichment.

10. Mt. Airy Forest

Mt. Airy Forest
Mt. Airy Forest

If you’re craving a dose of nature and outdoor adventure, look no further than Mt. Airy Forest, the largest park in Cincinnati. With over 1,500 acres of green space, this expansive park offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages. Hikers can explore the park’s numerous trails, which wind through rolling hills, dense forests, and open meadows.

The park is also home to a disc golf course, picnic areas, and playgrounds, making it the perfect place to spend a day with family and friends. Whether you’re seeking peaceful solitude or active outdoor fun, Mt. Airy Forest has it all.

11. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum

Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum
Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum

For baseball enthusiasts, a visit to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is a must. Located inside the Great American Ball Park, this museum showcases the rich history and legacy of the Cincinnati Reds, one of the oldest baseball teams in the country.

Through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations, visitors can learn about the team’s storied past, legendary players, and unforgettable moments. Whether you’re a die-hard Reds fan or simply appreciate the history of the game, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum offers a unique and immersive experience.

12. Fountain Square

Fountain Square
Fountain Square

Fountain Square is the beating heart of downtown Cincinnati, serving as a vibrant gathering place for people of all ages. This iconic public square features a beautiful fountain, which is illuminated at night and often serves as a backdrop for concerts, events, and festivals.

Surrounding the square, you’ll find an array of restaurants, cafes, shops, and entertainment options, making it the perfect place to relax, grab a bite to eat, or people-watch. Throughout the year, Fountain Square hosts special events and live music performances, adding to the lively atmosphere of the downtown area.

13. Skyline Chili

Skyline Chili
Skyline Chili

No visit to Cincinnati is complete without trying the city’s iconic chili, known as Cincinnati chili. And there’s no better place to sample this unique culinary creation than Skyline Chili, a local institution that has been serving up delicious chili since 1949. Skyline Chili is unlike any chili you’ve tasted before.

It’s a hearty, meaty chili that’s flavored with a secret blend of spices, including cinnamon and chocolate, giving it a distinctive and addictive flavor.

Traditionally, Cincinnati chili is served over spaghetti with a mound of shredded cheese on top, known as a “three-way.” The chili is often accompanied by a side of oyster crackers or a coney, which is a hot dog topped with chili, cheese, and onions. Skyline Chili has locations throughout the city, and whether you prefer your chili mild or with a kick, it’s a must-try when visiting Queen City.

14. Eden Park

Eden Park
Eden Park

Nestled in the heart of the city, Eden Park is a picturesque oasis that offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Ohio River. Spanning 186 acres, the park features beautiful gardens, walking trails, and picnic areas, making it the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

One of the park’s most popular attractions is the Krohn Conservatory, a glasshouse that showcases a stunning collection of exotic plants and flowers.

Visitors can explore the conservatory’s different rooms, each representing a different natural habitat, and learn about the diverse plant life found around the world. Whether you’re looking to relax, take a stroll, or immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, Eden Park provides a tranquil retreat.

15. Findlay Market

Findlay Market
Findlay Market

To get a taste of Cincinnati’s vibrant food scene and support local businesses, a visit to Findlay Market is a must. This historic market, established in 1852, is the oldest continuously operated public market in Ohio and has become a beloved institution in the city.

The market is home to a wide array of vendors offering fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and artisanal products. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious meal, or a unique gift, or simply want to soak up the lively atmosphere, Findlay Market is the place to be. The market also hosts special events, live music, and cooking demonstrations, providing a fun and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-see attractions in Cincinnati?

  • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden: Home to over 500 animal species and 3,000 plant varieties, the zoo offers a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
  • Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal: Explore natural history, science, and Cincinnati history, all in one place.
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center: Learn about the history of the Underground Railroad and its impact on American history.
  • Smale Riverfront Park: A scenic park along the banks of the Ohio River, featuring interactive fountains, walking trails, and beautiful views of the city skyline.

Are there any hidden gems or off-the-beaten-path locations worth visiting in Cincinnati?

  • American Sign Museum: Explore the history and artistry of vintage signs in this unique museum.
  • Spring Grove Cemetery: This historic cemetery offers beautiful grounds for a peaceful stroll and the opportunity to learn about the city’s history through its monuments and memorials.
  • Secret spots: Locals have their favorite parks, cafes, and shops that may not be well-known to visitors but are well worth discovering. Take the time to explore the city beyond the main tourist attractions to uncover these hidden gems.

What is the best time of year to visit Cincinnati?

Places to visit Cincinnati, The best time to visit Cincinnati depends on personal preferences and interests. Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are generally considered ideal times to visit, as the weather is mild and the city hosts various festivals and events during these seasons.

However, the summer months offer the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities, such as riverfront concerts, rooftop bars, and baseball games. Winter can be cold, but it’s a great time to visit if you enjoy holiday events, ice skating, and cozying up with a warm drink.

Are there any family-friendly activities or attractions in Cincinnati?

Places to visit Cincinnati, Cincinnati offers a plethora of family-friendly activities and attractions. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, known for its diverse wildlife, is a popular choice. Another great option is the Newport Aquarium, showcasing numerous exhibits and thousands of animals. Additionally, Kings Island Amusement Park provides rides and attractions suitable for all ages.


Places to visit Cincinnati, Cincinnati is a city filled with an array of attractions and activities that cater to everyone’s interests. From thrilling rides at Kings Island to exploring the underwater world at Newport Aquarium, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Don’t forget to indulge in local favorites like Graeter’s Ice Cream and Skyline Chili for a true taste of Cincinnati. Whether you’re a sports fan, an art enthusiast, or a nature lover, Cincinnati has it all. So, pack your bags and start exploring this beautiful city. And if you have any questions or want to share your experiences, feel free to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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