A Long Weekend in Cincinnati

August 21st, 2020 by

The Cincinnati skyline is shown from across the river at dusk.

Many people have not discovered the gem that lies on the north bank of the Ohio River. Our hometown of Cincinnati is the best little city in the Midwest. What other town can offer as much as ours? From world-class art museums to great outdoor parks, Cincinnati really has it all. If you are thinking about relocating or just want to find a great place to visit, Cincinnati should be right at the top of your list.

There is so much to do in Cincinnati, including sporting events, concerts, outdoor fun, and fine dining, that you might need more than a long weekend to experience it all. But if you are just here for a short stay, then the following list will give you a taste of why we love our city. Everyone here at McCluskey Chevrolet is proud of Cincinnati, and when you come to visit us, stop by at least a few of these sights to experience why we have a lot to be proud of.

A Park Like No Other

Nestled on the banks of the Ohio River, Eden Park is an appropriately named expanse of 186 acres that provides Cincinnati some of its most beautiful green spaces. Head up to the Twin Lakes lookout for an impressive view across the Ohio River into Kentucky. This area of the park was once a quarry but now consists of a pedestrian footbridge and paths through a sculpture garden and playground. If you prefer flowers to scenery, you can check out Hinckle Magnolia Garden, Bettman Fountain, and Mirror Lake, each with their own unique plantings. Or you can take an afternoon to stroll the grounds, and if the weather agrees, have a fun picnic in the park. Eden Park is also home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Krohn Conservatory, and the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

If art is your thing, then you won’t want to miss the Cincinnati Art Museum with its permanent collection of European, American, African, Native American, and East Asian paintings, sculptures, and drawings. Featured artists include Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Edward Hopper, Nam June Paik, Joan Miro, and Pablo Picasso, in a collection that rivals of those of much larger cities. There are also fashion arts, textiles and musical instruments on display, as well as the occasional special exhibits. The Cincinnati Art Museum was the first of its kind built west of the Alleghenies when it opened in 1881.

If natural art is more your taste, then you are not going to want to miss the Krohn Conservatory. Located in a stunning Art Deco structure built in 1933, the Krohn features five floral shows each year as well as a butterfly show in the spring that must be seen to be believed. During this event, thousands of the most beautiful butterflies in the world are released to fly around the Krohn’s showroom. The arborists at the Krohn use the structure’s unique design to plant flowers to provide a brilliant palette of colors that you will not soon forget.

A group of lemurs are shown at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Wild Life and Wild Sights

One place that we are sure you don’t want to miss during your trip is the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Located a short drive north of downtown in the Avondale neighborhood, the Cincinnati Zoo has been thrilling children of all ages since it first opened in 1875 and currently features over 500 animals and 3,000 species of plants. Head over to Hippo Cove to meet baby Fiona and her mom Bibi, and learn how these powerful animals nurse their young. Kroger Lords of the Arctic is another great place to visit to see how polar bears and Andean bears live in their natural habitat.

If you have young children, then you will not want to miss Spaulding Children’s Zoo section, where your kids can meet a real kid, a Nigerian dwarf goat, up close and personal. Children can also spend time with the friendly Alpacas and Parma wallaby. For those who love our feathered friends, Wings of the World has a collection of some of the most beautiful birds you can ever hope to see. These and other exhibits contain some of the most amazing animals for you to observe and learn about while they go about their regular lives. But allow yourself plenty of time because you are not going to want to miss meeting any of these wonderful creatures.

From wildlife to wild art, the Contemporary Arts Center in the heart of downtown Cincinnati is a non-collecting museum with a focus on current trends in architecture, sculpture, photography, new media, and performance art. As a result, the installations are continually changing, and you will never know what you are going to see when you visit the Contemporary Arts Center. However, whatever is on display is sure to blow your mind.

Few things are as Cincinnati as our beloved Reds, and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-see for any baseball fan. The first professional team in baseball history, the Reds have a storied past. As the Big Red Machine of the Seventies, they captured seven division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Championships. The Reds Hall of Fame consists of 89 former players, managers, coaches, and executives of the Reds, including many well-known names such as Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Barry Larkin, Eric Davis, and two guys named Ken Griffey.

Considering the great history of the Reds, it is really no surprise that so many of the members of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame are also enshrined at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The Reds Hall of Fame is conveniently located downtown on Pete Rose Way, and there is a sculpture of Pete Rose himself sliding headfirst to a base right in front of the Hall. Admission to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame is free for children 12 and under as well as active-duty military and veterans.

The silhouette of a shark is seen at the Newport Aquarium.

More Attractions Across the River

One of the best parts about Cincinnati is its convenient location, right across the Ohio River from Kentucky. If you have some free time, then you might want to take the Newport Southbank Bridge, also known as the Purple People Bridge, into Newport, Kentucky. This pedestrian bridge is a fun way to cross the Ohio River and provides a view up and down the river. But if you prefer to drive, you can instead take the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge across the river. This also has a nickname, and locals know it as the Big Mac Bridge because it resembles the iconic McDonald’s arches.

Once you are across the river, you can spend time strolling along the south bank or head over to the world-class Newport Aquarium. This attraction only opened in 1999, making it a modern aquatic experience. The Aquarium is home to thousands of exotic animals, including scary sharks, mischievous penguins, friendly stingrays, ancient sea turtles, brilliant octopi, and even exotic white alligators. Whatever you do, you should resist the urge to pet the alligators, as cute as they may seem.

But if you do want some excitement, then you can cross over the shark tank on a rope bridge. For a safer exhibit, explore Shipwreck: Realm of Eels, where you will be able to see how a shipwreck becomes a coral reef that is home to so many incredible sea creatures. But the best part is that the Newport Aquarium puts you inside the tank, allowing you to experience all these amazing animals as they pass around and over you.

If you are going to visit Kentucky, then you need to experience the incredible potent potable they call Bourbon. This distillation of sour mash corn into some of the finest liquor in the world is a real specialty of the folks across the river from us, and one of the best distilleries in Kentucky is located right in Newport. New Riff Distilling offers a tour of its facilities under the title “Nothing to hide, everything to show.”

This gives you the chance to learn about the entire bourbon distilling process, including fermentation, distillation, bottling, and barreling. For those who wish to partake, New Riff even offers complimentary tastings of their New Riff Bourbon and Single Barrel. However, you have to be 21 or over to go on the tour, and you should book ahead since space is limited. You may also want to consider arranging for transportation back so you won’t have any problems finding your way to your hotel in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Offers Something for Everyone

Come to Cincinnati and see why this is the best little city in America. From parks to baseball, we have it all. But we have a feeling that your long weekend may turn out to a permanent vacation once you’ve seen all Cincinnati has to offer.

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