While you’re in town, treat yourself to Cincinnati’s best experiences. This surprisingly pedestrian-friendly city has entertainment, culture and jaw-dropping views you won’t want to miss.
The concept: Fountain Square—named for its pièce de résistance, the majestic Tyler Davidson Fountain—is a hallmark of downtown Cincinnati. Filled with shops, restaurants, hotels, offices and public art, the Square is a hub for recreation, business and culture.
Why it’s a must: Not snapping a pic in front of Fountain Square while in Cincy is like going to New York without seeing Lady Liberty. The landmark is known to people around the world, whether they’ve admired it in person or in the opening credits of the late 1970s sitcom, “WKRP in Cincinnati.”
What people are saying: “Fountain Square is considered the heart of the city.” —CJ Lecky, corporate director of sales and marketing, 21c Museum Hotels in Cincinnati
The concept: The art deco Carew Tower, which stands nearly 600 feet high, peers out over downtown Cincinnati. While it’s the second-tallest building in the city, it bears the highest elevation. Beneath the famously towering top floor are dozens of shops and restaurants, plus outposts for picking up souvenirs.
Why it’s a must: The sweeping panoramic views from the Carew Tower Observation Deck on the 49th floor are undeniably the best in the city. With a bird’s-eye perspective, you’ll discover what makes Cincy tick from early morning into the evening.
What people are saying: “The views from the 49th floor show off the region and give visitors a totally new perspective when exploring the city.” —Barrie Perks, vice president of sales and services, Cincinnati USA CVB
Contemporary Arts Center
The concept: Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center (CAC, as the regulars have dubbed it) opened its doors in 1939 as one of the nation’s very first contemporary art museums. Today, the space is dedicated to cutting-edge photography, paintings, new media, sculptural art and more. The best part? Admission is free.
Why it’s a must: CAC is unique in that it’s a noncollecting museum, meaning its exhibits rotate regularly to focus on the latest and greatest. The work that CAC shares has been described as “the art of the last five minutes.” So, no matter how many times you visit, you’re sure to see something new.
What people are saying: “I’m crazy about contemporary art, and I love being inside this building designed by the late, great architect Zaha Hadid.” —Mindy Rosen, senior vice president of communications and strategic initiatives, Downtown Cincinnati Inc.
Honorable Mention: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center