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Living in Cincinnati

A Big City with a Small-Town Feel

When asked, residents often describe Cincinnati as a "big city with a small-town feel." In fact, small towns, villages and townships — more than 200 in all — are everywhere in and around what most people consider Cincinnati's city limits. Many of Cincinnati's residential neighborhoods date from the early 19th century and contain charming brick row houses with spectacular views of the Ohio River.

A riverboat travels along the Ohio River.

A riverboat travels along the Ohio River.

In many ways, when you live in Cincinnati you get to experience the best of both worlds — the pleasantness of a rural setting and the convenience of a metropolitan area. It is much like a small town, with nice neighborhoods and friendly residents, but it is also an urban city with significant cultural, business-related, and entertainment-oriented perks.

For example, the City of Cincinnati has initiated a downtown "renaissance" that includes the Aronoff Center theatrical complex, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, professional baseball and football stadiums, a central riverfront park, and many new eateries and entertainment spots. When it comes to dining out, Cincinnati restaurants offer a wide range of foods from all over the world and for every taste.

Fountain Square is located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati.

Fountain Square is located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati.

Something for Everyone

Historic Fountain Square, the heart of downtown Cincinnati, is surrounded by world class hotels, one of a kind restaurants, theatres and stores. Near the river you'll find Sawyer Point, a park where many concerts and festivals are held during the spring and summer months. There, you can sit upon the Serpentine Wall and read, talk with friends, or simply watch as the lazy Ohio River rolls by.

Importantly, Cincinnati is not so small that you will get bored, but it is not so large that you will get lost or feel overwhelmed. Downtown, you will find a thriving arts and entertainment scene, while in UC's surrounding neighborhoods, you will find small, family-owned eateries that will make you feel right at home.

Whether you prefer to be on Main Street, on the river or in the suburbs, you will discover that Cincinnati has something just for you.

Recommended Cincinnati Attractions

For Culture:

  • The College-Conservatory of Music is UC's home for opera, musicals, plays, ballet and other musical and dramatic performances. CCM facilities are conveniently located on the south end of West Campus. Many events are free; for other events, UC students receive a discount. 
  • The Aronoff Center for the Arts is home to dance, theater and Broadway shows.

  • The Cincinnati Ballet thrills audiences with its unparalleled performances, including the Nutcracker, which the company presents each December.
  • The Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras is a dynamic ensemble of some of the world's finest musicians. The fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, the CSO has played a leading role in the cultural life of Greater Cincinnati and the Midwest since 1895.
Cincinnati boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene.

Cincinnati boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene.

  • The Contemporary Arts Center displays 20th-century art, architecture and design, as well as sculpture, photography, video and multi-media exhibits.
  • Located in beautiful Eden Park, the Cincinnati Art Museum features more than 100,000 works of art, as well as musical performances, poetry readings, lectures and discussions.
  • The Taft Museum of Art is housed in the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft House, a National Historic Landmark. the Taft is home to an extensive art collection that includes European and American master paintings, Chinese porcelains, and European decorative arts. On display are major works by Rembrandt, Goya, Whistler and Sargent.
  • The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra performs in Memorial Hall, Temple Auditorium and the Lindner Fine Arts Theater.
  • The Cincinnati Opera, the nation's second-oldest opera company, performs in Music Hall and offers special events such as "Opera Rap," a traveling lecture series.
Union Terminal, home to the Cincinnati History Museum, the Museum of Natural History and Science, and an omnimax theater.

Union Terminal, home three museums and an omnimax theater

For Learning:

  • The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is the largest team hall of fame in all of baseball. 
  • The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is a world-class facility that is home to 700 animal species and 3,000 types of plants.
  • The Classical Music Hall of Fame offers interactive exhibits about the various facets of classical music in the United States.
  • The Krohn Conservatory is one of Cincinnati's finest public resources, housing plants from both desert and tropical climates, including a room devoted entirely to orchids. One of the most fascinating and entertaining events held at the Conservatory is the annual Butterfly Show, where countless butterflies are released to fly freely within the Conservatory's showroom, adding yet another blaze of color to an already charming display.
  • MainStrasse Village preserves Cincinnati's heritage in a restored 19th-century German neighborhood with shops in renovated buildings joined by cobblestones.
  • Newport Aquarium offers views of 11,000 beautiful and dangerous water-dwelling species. Galleries take visitors into 16 different aquatic worlds, including shark-filled ocean depths, alligator-infested swampland and the penguin populated Arctic.
  • Union Terminal is home to three museums and an omnimax theater. 
    • The Cincinnati History Museum offers centuries of Cincinnati culture, including objects from political campaigns, wars, business and industry, education, religion, sports, music and art.
    • The Duke Energy Children's Museum is a great destination for families with small children as it allows kids to climb, crawl, explore and engage in hands-on learning. Since its opening in 1998, the museum has consistently ranked in the top 10 children’s museums in the U.S.
    • The Museum of Natural History and Science, which presents Ohio Valley geography, biology and more, including a life-sized Kentucky limestone cave, a walk-through ice cave and "Dino Hall," along with glacier, plant and fossil exhibits.
    • The Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater surrounds viewers with super-sized images. It features a five-story, 72-foot-diameter, tilted, domed screen and a sophisticated digital sound systems, making viewers feel like they are "in the picture." 

For Fun:

The Vortex roller coaster at King's Island amusement park.

King's Island amusement park.

  • The Beach Water Park offers more than 30 water slides and other attractions on 35 acres of land near King's Island. Included is the "Aztec Adventure" water coaster, a 500-foot-long flume that sends riders up, around and down a 30-foot drop into a pool guarded by "cobras."
  • Findlay Market is Cincinnati's largest, thriving open-air public market, with old world charm and fresh foods all year 'round.
  • King's Island Amusement Park features "Diamondback," one of the "tallest, fastest and meanest" roller coasters in the world, and "The Beast," the world's longest wooden roller coaster. There are also 300 other rides and attractions, including Boomerang Bay water park.

If you are interested in learning more about the City of Cincinnati, please visit CincinnatiUSA.