Introduction to Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati, located in southwestern Ohio on the Ohio River, was founded in 1788 and incorporated as a city in 1819. It was named after the Society of the Cincinnati, which honored George Washington, whom they likened to the Roman General Cincinnatus. The city saw dramatic growth in the mid 1830s with the development of steamships and the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal. It soon became a major shipping center, primarily for the pork industry. Cincinnati's location on the Ohio River has contributed not only to its prosperity but also its scenic charm. Winston Churchill once called Cincinnati "the most beautiful of America’s inland cities."
Today, Cincinnati is home to major corporations that include Procter & Gamble, Kroger and Federated Department Stores, the parent company of Macy's and Bloomingdale's. With a metro area that includes parts of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, Cincinnati has a unique personality that crosses midwestern industrial city with a southern country feel.
Cincinnati Sports and Leisure
Cultural attractions in Cincinnati include the Contemporary Arts Center, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and Museum. An obsolete railroad terminal has been revamped to house two museums: the Museum of Natural History and Science and the Cincinnati Historical Museum. The downtown architecture, with many art deco buildings, is another cultural draw, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest orchestras in the country. The city hosts the International Wine Festival each March. On the first Monday in September, the Labor Day Riverfest features fireworks and a festive party scene. Cincinnati's sizeable German population makes its Octoberfest (held, oddly enough, in September) one of the country's largest and most authentic. And any day is a good day for Cincinnati's famous Skyline Chili, served over spaghetti.
Sports are big in Cincinnati. Major league baseball's oldest team, the Cincinnati Reds, play at the 42,000-seat Great American Ballpark downtown on the banks of the Ohio River. The NFL's Cincinnati Bengals play next door at 65,600-seat Paul Brown Stadium. Also in the area is US Bank Arena, which hosts the International Hockey League's Cincinnati Cyclones. The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University have nationally competitive basketball programs that draw a strong local following.
With its riverfront location and a climate that's neither too hot nor too cold, Cincy is perfectly situated for recreational activities. The city claims one of the country's top park systems, with more than 100 parks spread over 5,000 acres. Sharon Woods Park is a 750-acre park with a lake surrounded by a 2.6-mile hiking and biking trail, along with restored 19th-century buildings. Shawnee State Park, 90 minutes away in Portsmouth, is a 60,000-acre park in the Appalachian foothills, offering golf, fishing, swimming, boating, several hiking trails and camping facilities. For golfers, there are more than a dozen courses within the city and dozens more within a small radius. In the winter, skiing is available within an accessible distance. Perfect North Slopes, 30 minutes from the city, has more than a dozen runs on 70 acres. Spicy Run Resort, 90 miles east of Cincinnati in Latham, has trails for all levels and facilities for snowboarders. Mad River Mountain, 130 miles away in Bellefontaine, boasts Ohio's highest skiing elevation (1,460 ft) and has 15 trails and a snow tubing park on 120 acres.
Cincinnati at Night
Cincinnati has an energetic nightlife, with Main Street the main attraction, especially around the intersection of 12th Street. The Mount Adams neighborhood just east of downtown is a funky area, with upscale restaurants, bars and clubs. The Corryville district near the University of Cincinnati is another popular area to find diverse evening entertainment options. Riverboat casinos are available in Indiana just 20 minutes away.