10 Things to See and Do in Cincinnati

Cincinnati, located in the southwestern corner of Ohio along the Ohio River, grew up as a river port city, and the "Queen City" still embraces its river past with annual steamboat races and waterfront eateries. Home to more than 300,000 residents, Cincinnati has several distinct neighborhoods including elegant Mount Adams, scenic Walnut Hills, and the quirky and fun Over-the-Rhine. The city's varied history and vibrant future combine to offer visitors plenty of exciting things to see and do, from major league sporting events and historic house tours to popular amusement parks. It's not an exaggeration to say that Cincinnati offers something for everyone.


01The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Close up image of a peacock at the Cincinnati Zoo

Located in Cincinnati's Avondale neighborhood, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is the second oldest zoo in the United States. The 75-acre park is home to nearly 1,900 animals and includes more than 500 species. Noted for its successful breeding program, the Cincinnati Zoo is the birthplace of the baby hippo Fiona and a notable reptile house. More than 1.2 million people visit the Cincinnati Zoo each year.

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02Major League Sports

Cincinnati Skyline showing stadiums and office buildings

Cincinnati loves its sports teams. The Queen City is home to the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball team, the Cincinnati Bengals NFL football team and FC Cincinnati, a major league soccer team. The Reds play at Great American Ball Park and the Bengals play at Paul Brown Stadium, both located downtown near the Ohio River. Area college teams, including the Xavier University Musketeers and the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, are also popular.

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03Kings Island Amusement Park

A picture from under a rollercoaster

Located 24 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati, the 364-acre Kings Island Amusement Park has been delighting visitors since 1972. The park features more than 100 attractions, including 15 roller coasters and a 33-acre water park. Nearly 3.5 million people visit Kings Island each year, making it the second most visited seasonal amusement park in the United States (behind Sandusky, Ohio's Cedar Point.)

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04The Cincinnati Art Museum

Woman looking at a painting in an art museum

Founded in 1881, the Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest in the United States. The collection here includes more than 60,000 works and boasts many paintings by European masters and several French Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings. Admission to the permanent collection is free.

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05The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in downtown Cincinnati

Established in 2004, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center seeks to educate the public about the history of slavery in America and pay tribute to efforts to "abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people." One of the highlights of the museum is a former slave pen that was transported from Northern Kentucky and rebuilt on the museum's second floor exhibit hall.


06The Taft Museum of Art

Man sitting on a bench looking at paintings in an art museum

This elegant 19th-century house-turned-art museum is located in Cincinnati's Lytle Park Historic District. The previous owners, relatives of President William Taft, were avid art collectors who opened their collection to the public in 1932. Highlights of the museum include paintings by Turner, Rembrandt, and Whistler, as well as a 1909 painting of President Taft by Joaquin Sorolla.

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07Ohio River Parks

John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge at Cincinnati, Ohio

One of the most enjoyable things about living in or visiting Cincinnati is the large number of parks and green spaces, many of which are located along the banks of the Ohio River. Smale Riverfront Park, Sawyer Point Park, and Riverview Park are all located in or just outside of downtown.

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08Findlay Market

Visitors gathering in front of Findlay Market in Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati's Findlay Market in the city's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is Ohio's largest continuously-operated food market. It first opened in 1852 and features more than three dozen indoor food vendors, selling everything from fresh fish to just-off-the-farm produce, as well as cheese, deli items, flowers, and ethnic foods.


09Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati Museum Center

Located in the former Union Station railroad terminal, Cincinnati Museum Center is a mixed-use complex. It houses several museums, library, theater, and temporary exhibit halls. Visit the Cincinnati History Museum, the Museum of Natural History and Science, and the Duke Energy Children's Museum, all without leaving the premises.


10Krohn Conservatory

Butterfly on a flower at Krohn conservatory

Krohn Conservatory, located within Eden Park near the Cincinnati Art Museum, was constructed in 1933. Operated by the City of Cincinnati, the Art Deco-style conservatory contains more than 3,500 plant specimens from around the globe. Highlights include the bonsai collection, the 75 plants in the orchid display, and the 45-foot high Palm House. People also frequent the Tropical House with its large collection of ferns and bromeliads.



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