Living in Cincinnati

A Big City with a Small-Town Feel

Natives of Cincinnati often describe the area as "a big city with a small-town feel." Cincinnati offers a world-class arts scene, thriving independent music culture and professional sports, but combines those metropolitan perks with Midwestern friendliness, natural recreation and an affordable cost of living.  

Smale Riverfront Park fountains.

Vibrant fountains light up the night at Smale Riverfront Park. Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Parks

Cincinnati is experiencing a renaissance of development. The banks of the Ohio River, anchored by the new Smale Riverfront Park, host a wide selection of bars and restaurants outside the gates of Great American Ball Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds. Over-the-Rhine, the largest urban historic district in the United States, is flourishing with breweries and venues for local live music. Beyond downtown, quirky Northside provides a haven for creatives of all sorts just minutes from UC.

But amidst all the new, the city’s older institutions continue to inspire. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Opera are among the best in the nation (and often draw from students of UC’s College-Conservatory of Music). The Cincinnati Art Museum displays works from the ancient to the contemporary, with a wing devoted to Cincinnati’s own artists. The Cincinnati Zoo, the second-oldest in the country, features over 500 animal species and 3,000 plants in the heart of the city.

Contemporary Arts Center

The Contemporary Arts Center is located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. Photo courtesy of the CAC.


Cincinnati Highlights

For Culture:

  • The Cincinnati Ballet thrills audiences with its unparalleled performances, including the Nutcracker, which the company presents each December.
  • The Contemporary Arts Center displays 20th-century art, architecture and design, as well as sculpture, photography, video and multimedia exhibits. Thanks to a recent endowment, admission is free for all visitors!
  • The Taft Museum of Art is housed in the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft House, a National Historic Landmark. The Taft's extensive collection includes paintings by European and American masters, Chinese porcelains and European decorative arts. On display are major works by Rembrandt, Goya, Whistler and Sargent.
  • The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra performs intimate concerts of small-scale classical music, many in collaboration with unusual partners such as the Elementz hip-hop collaborative.
American Sign Museum

The American Sign Museum collects neon and other signs from over 100 years of history. Photo courtesy of the ASM

For Learning:

  • The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is the largest team hall of fame in all of baseball. The exhibits cover the history of the world's oldest professional baseball team, from its founding to the "Big Red Machine" era of the 1970s.
  • The Krohn Conservatory houses plants from both desert and tropical climates, including a room devoted entirely to orchids. At the annual Butterfly Show, countless butterflies are released to fly freely within the Conservatory's showroom, adding yet another blaze of color to an already charming display.
  • The American Sign Museum preserves the history of signage, from roadside statues to flashing neon. Highlights include a working neon shop and one of the earliest McDonald's golden arches.
  • Newport Aquarium offers views of 11,000 water-dwelling species. The aquarium's galleries take visitors into 16 different aquatic worlds, including shark-filled ocean depths, alligator-infested swampland and the penguin-populated Arctic.
Banshee at Kings Island

Banshee at Kings Island is the world's longest inverted roller coaster. Photo courtesy of Kings Island.

For Fun:

  • B&B Riverboats provides daily cruises of the Ohio River daily. Options include a historic sightseeing tour, Dixieland jazz brunch and craft beer sampling cruise.

  • The Beach Water Park offers more than 30 water slides and other attractions. Highlights include the Big Kahuna water coaster, a 500-foot-long flume that sends riders up, around and down a 30-foot final drop.
  • Findlay Market is Cincinnati's largest and most popular open-air public market. Fresh produce and locally prepared speciallties, such as Blue Oven bread, Dojo gelato and Maverick chocolate, are available year-round.
  • Kings Island pairs over 80 rides and attractions with the Soak City water park for Cincinnati's best collection of thrills. The park's 14 roller coasters include The Beast, the world's longest wooden roller coaster, and Banshee, the world's longest inverted coaster.


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