Seeing Cincinnati – Part 3

April 11, 2019

We always love re-connecting with Cincinnati. The city is close enough to Columbus that you can do an easy day trip or a full weekend there, and there’s always something new to explore.

We had the opportunity to visit back in February, as guests of CincyUSA. If you haven’t already, check out part one and part two of the trip. We’ve done museums, breweries, breakfast at Cheapside Cafe and Maplewood, walked the Shark Bridge at the aquarium, ridden public transportation, and much more.

A lot of our wanderings through Cincinnati take us into Over-the-Rhine, the amazingly well preserved historic neighborhood just north of downtown.

On the way to the Cincinnati Museum of Art, we visited Collective Espresso, a single-room shop serving a variety of roasts. Their Over-the-Rhine shop is a cozy place for a cappuccino or cortado.

After our trip through the art museum (read about it here), we headed back into Over-the-Rhine to one of our favorite stops in Cincinnati: Rhinegeist.

Honestly, Rhinegeist’s brewery and taproom is in the running for one of my favorite spots in Ohio. Great beer, beautiful space, rows of tables, cornhole, ping pong, board games, you name it. Bonus: if the weather’s nice and you’re kid-free, you can visit the rooftop patio. See our visit to it here.

As if those beers weren’t enough, we enjoyed a pint to go with dinner at Americano burger bar that evening.

Americano is located downtown, just a block away from Fountain Square, serving a solid selection of bar snacks, beer, cocktails, and of course – burgers! There’s even a shuffleboard table, and given the name, plenty of American-themed decor, like a a portion of the ceiling lined with beer cans to look like the flag. It was a hit all around.

The following morning we returned to Maplewood Kitchen & Bar, conveniently located next door to Americano. Click the link to read about the full experience.

After breakfast at Maplewood, we walked across the street to the Carew Tower. Standing at 49 stories, the Art Deco Carew Tower is the second tallest building in Cincinnati, and includes an open air observation deck at the very top. You ride the elevator almost to the top, then take a smaller, older, and more cramped elevator up a couple more floors, then climb a narrow staircase to the very top, where there’s a tiny, tiny gift shop. Entrance to the deck costs $6 for adults, $3 for children 6-11, 6 and under are free. It’s important to note that it’s cash only!

Beth jokes that it’s a very Dekker thing, when traveling to a place, to find the tallest point and climb it, just so we can look down. I mean, for a context-loving person like myself, this birds-eye view helps me understand the layout of a place.

It’s also a lot of fun. If you can stand the rickety ride up the elevator, the views are unbeatable.

Take time to see the Art Deco lobby of the tower, too. It’s decorated with stunning Rookwood tile (made nearby). The complex includes shops and restaurants at the bottom, including the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel, with The Orchids at Palm Court restaurant.

And then it was off to our final stop: the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. This was another first for us; in all our visits to the Queen City, we hadn’t checked out their zoo.

We’re in the off-season, and it was definitely chilly, but we could still see much of the zoo. (Although we will be returning when the train is back in operation.) But the temperature was perfect for the penguins! A couple times a day they take a stroll through the zoo; it’s so funny to see them waddling calmly through the adoring crowd.

And clearly the polar bears loved the temperatures.

We visited them, checked out some indoor aviaries and aquariums, watching some playful otters, tried to spy the famous Fiona the hippo (alas, it was too cold for her), then rounded up for home.

Another wonderful trip to Cincinnati in the books! The sign of any good visit: as you’re leaving, you’re already planning what you’ll do next time you visit…

If you haven’t already, you can read part one and part two, and about breakfast at Cheapside Cafe and Maplewood.

Also, you can always read our full Cincinnati travel guide.

This trip was hosted by CincyUSA. Accommodations, tickets, and some meals were provided. Photos and opinions are our own.

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FOOD + TRAVEL WRITER

I go by Dr. Breakfast, but in addition to restaurants and recipes, I write about family travel, breweries and distilleries, the arts, outdoor fun, and so much more.

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