Cincinnati Travel Guide by a Former Cincinnatian

dress: reformation || shoes: vans || glasses: quay || bag: reformation 

Are you ready for information overload? Well if you're visiting Cincinnati soon, you've come to the right place. I lived in Cincinnati for 21 years of my life and it wasn't until I was 22 when I realize how cool the city had become right before my very eyes.

Cincinnati is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated cities in the United State. Now I wouldn't say it's the coolest city ever and you must take a trip here asap, but I do feel like it's definitely worth staying 3 days sometime in your future.

Cincinnati is filled with history and architecture, it's a beautiful city. It's filled with delicious foods, friendly people and plenty of things to do on a long weekend. Here's a roundup of my favorite places to eat, drink, visit and shop in Cincinnati!

Where to Stay

Hotel Covington- A trendy, boutique hotel across the river in Kentucky. Great walkability!

21C Museum Hotel- Probably the best location as far as hotels are concerned. There are so many delicious restaurants nearby within walking distance and plenty of things to do. The decor is amazing as well!

Airbnb- Find a cute Airbnb in Over-the-Rhine or in the Historic Covington Riverfront area. Both are such fun areas to be in.

Where to Eat

Cincinnati Essentials

Skyline Chili- Definitely an acquired taste but us Cincinnatian's love our Skyline Chili, oyster crackers and iconic Skyline Hot Sauce. Whenever I go I get 1 of 3 things: chili cheese fries, coneys or a 3-way.

Larosa's Pizza- You HAVE TO go to Larosa's. It's probably my favorite place to eat when I am back in Cincinnati. Pro tip: Order a larger size if you have a place to store it overnight because it's even better cold in the morning.

Graeters Ice Cream- Another iconic staple, the best ice cream ever. I personally love the Black Raspberry Chip (with the largest chunks of dark chocolate in it) and the Buckeye Blitz (chocolate ice cream with peanut butter and cookie dough.)

Other Must Haves

Amerasia- Found across the river in Covington, KY, this is the best hole-in-the-wall/trendy Chinese food in the city. Their egg rolls are ginormous and you can get any dish on a heat level of 1-10. I can 4 being habanero, so you can imagine how hot the food can get.

Hang Over Easy- Best brunch in Cincinnati. Definitely try the monthly pancake and a side of goetta.

Keystone- Another great brunch place but also great food anytime of day. While their brunch is fantastic, their Mac or grilled cheese are also great choices on the menu.

Eli's BBQ- If you like BBQ or delicious, mouth watering, hearty Mac-n-Cheese, go here. Everything on the menu is solid.

Buzzed Bull Creamery- An honorable mention if you find yourself in Over the Rhine. This place is so cool because they have alcoholic (and non-alcoholic obviously) ice cream. Definitely a cool place to try!

Holtman's Donuts- Cody wanted me to include this, I personally don't like donuts that much in general but everyone in Cincinnati seems to love these ones. Go here if you like donuts.

Taste of Belgium- If you love waffles, boozy brunches or want to dabble in some delicious chicken and waffles, definitely stop by one of the Taste of Belgiums around the city. 

Where to Drink

The Rook- Located in Over the Rhine, this is my personal favorite bar to go to because there are boardgames galore. I'm talking so many board games, any game you can think of, they probably have it. Obviously not the place to go to get messed up but for a casual night with friends or date night, I highly recommend it.

Rhinegeist- There's a rooftop bar at this brewery overlooking Over the Rhine and the beers are amazing. I love the vibe of Rhingeist, been going here for years.

Queen City Radio- In the summer this is my favorite bar to go to with my friends, it's a good time and can get rowdy.

dress: reformation || shoes: vans || glasses: quay || bag: reformation 

What to Do 

Cincinnati Reds- I love Great American Ballpark, it's so clean and right on the river so the sunset is beautiful.

Shop Around OTR- They have the cutest, trendy shops in Over the Rhine! If you're eating dinner over there, definitely take time to wander around the local shops and #shoplocal.

Findlay Market- Another Cincinnati staple.  Growing up my Grandma would go on Sunday to get my brother and I those rectangle lunchroom pizzas. Grandma goals. The market area is so colorful and I love that the market is filled with so much history and amazing vendors.

Krohn Conservatory- I grew up going here with my Mom and use to dread going because I simply didn't "get it." Now that I'm older I've found an appreciation for the conservatory, so many beautiful plants and depending when you go, you might catch the butterfly show!

The Cincinnati Zoo- The Cincinnati Zoo is the 2nd zoo ever in the United States and also one of the most prestigious ones in the country to this day. In the winter there is a light show called The Festival of Lights, making it my favorite time to go to the zoo, I just love Christmas lights.

Union Terminal- Growing up my Grandma would take my brother and I here during the summertime and I LOVED IT. I haven't been in a few years and right now the museums and omnimax are closed for renovation, so I definitely need to go once it opens back up. If you're in Cincinnati when it reopens, definitely hit up the Children's Museum if you're with kids and if a majority of the people are adults, go to the History Museum. I enjoyed going to the History Museum more as a child because I was a nerd but it's definitely kid friendly.

Spruce Natural Nail Salon- A natural nail salon in OTR with the cutest interior! I mean, need I say more?!

Walk the Roebling Bridge- It's a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge so you can pretend you're in Brooklyn for a quick walk from Covington riverfront to Cincinnati.

Smale Riverfront Park- This wasn't really a thing while I lived in Cincinnati but it's now the coolest park in Cincinnati in my opinion. There's so much to do, there's a freaking FERRIS WHEEL there now! Oh and a casual Merry-Go-Round so you're basically in Dumbo Brooklyn.

jumpsuit: amazon || bag: prada || shoes: zara

Where to Shop

AJ Rahn Greenhouse- Best houseplants and cacti selection in Cincinnati.

Ohio Book Store- I grew up going here. Every other Friday during the summertime growing up, my brother and I would take a bus downtown to visit our mom for lunch at her work then she would take us to the Ohio Book Store. I just love used books, I love the history, the hunt, it's all found here.

Homage- Get the best Cincinnati gear at Homage. If you've ever seen me wear this big sweatshirt that says "CINCINNATI" on it on my snap stories, that's where this is from. My boyfriend and I love Homage.

City Flea- Check the calendar of City Flea to see if you'll be in town on the weekend that the City Flea is going on in Washington Park. I bought my vintage macrame hanging table from there last year and to this day, it's one of my favorite home decor items!

Kenwood Towne Center- If you want a mall atmosphere, look no further then Kenwood. Don't bother with the other malls in the NKY and Cincinnati area, Kenwood is the only way to go.

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The Queen City is an amazing place, definitely check out these recommendations from my blog post! Obviously there is so much more to do, see and eat, these were just a run down of my favorite places. I hope you enjoy! Have an amazing trip.


1 comment:

  1. Nice post with good recommendations- but the Suspension Bridge is NOT a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge! Roebling built the bridge in Cincinnati in 1866- almost 20 years before he designed his most famous bridge in Brooklyn. A matter of pride for many Cincinnatians.