A Guide to Cincinnati: A City on the Rise

By: Yashua Edwards

Photo Courtesy CincinnatiUSA.com

When you think of a cool city to visit, what are the first ten cities that come to mind? If the city of Cincinnati isn't included in your top ten, I’m here to tell you why this major city, located in Ohio, should be. From the Ohio River to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, this city will amaze and surprise you. My top five places to visit and activities to do in Cincy (slang for my city and so not ashamed to admit I use this term constantly in day to day life!) will give you a good insight into the place I call home and have learned to give a lot more credit to as a actual pretty cool place to live and have grown up.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Photos AttractionsofAmerica.com, violetsilverlining.blogspot.com, cincinnatizoo.org

For as long as I can remember, the Cincinnati Zoo has always been one of my favorite places in the city. The excitement of seeing animals I don't encounter in everyday life was a treat within itself. Witnessing penguins marching around the zoo grounds or getting close and personal with the peacocks that wonder aimlessly around the zoo (I'll never forget the time a peacock "chased" me for a full ten seconds on an eighth grade field trip!). This zoo is a place for countless memories now and during the Christmas season when the PNC Bank presents the Festival of Lights, where every inch of the zoo is decked out in lights and seasonal decorations everyone will enjoy. Trust me, you won't leave this zoo disappointed.

Tom + Chee

Photo Courtesy CincySavers.com, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Imagine a grilled cheese but with the most amazing upgrades. Home of the grilled cheese donut, Tom + Chee is your childhood favorite taken to the next level. Delightful innovations like the, "Flying Pig," and the "Westsider" make up only part of this adventurous menu. Having the pleasure of living in Cincinnati, Tom+ Chee is a constant craving of mine. Nothing is better than diving into a grilled cheese with all my favorite fixings and a side of homemade tomato soup to give a whole new twist to a classic paring that just might give the word classic a whole new meaning.

Cincinnati Art Museum
Photo Courtesy wuxu.org

Cincinnati is a city full of hills and on top of this particular one is the Cincinnati Art Museum. The amount of culture here is infectious and awe inspiring to anyone who walks through those wooden double doors. If the massive statue of Pinocchio leading up to the entrance doesn't take you in, then the many exhibits from various eras will explore paintings like, "Mrs. Richard Pryce Corbet and Her Daughter Mary," by George Romney (one of my absolute favorites) and "The Harp of Erin," by Thomas Buchanan Read.

 If statues are more your thing, be sure to stop by and see, "Industry Protecting Art and Music," by Clement J. Barnhorn. There is definitely something to meet everyone's taste here, but don't forget to see pieces from Cincinnati born artist, such as Paul Marioni, who did a unique glass piece called, "The Premonition," that depicts the tensions of the Cold War that were very high during the 80's. Leaving here, you'll become the art lover you didn't know you were

Great American Ballpark, Home of the Cincinnati Reds

Photo Courtesy CincinnatiUSA.com

If your city is lucky enough to have a baseball team, like mine is, you would know what a treat it is to have a team to cheer loud for every game day. Going in, you're met with a sea of fans decked out in their red and white Cincinnati Reds gear. Grab food from Cincinnati based restaurants like Skyline Chili or Larosa's. Fast forward to game time when our beloved players like Joey Votto and Scooter Gennett (my personal favorite player) come onto the field to beat the opposing team.

 During the game, enjoy plenty of fan interactions like the kiss cam or showing off your best dance moves on the jumbo-trots. Don't forget to say hi and get a photo with one of our favorite mascots, Mr. Red, Gapper, Rosie Red or Mr. Redlegs. There is also the Reds Hall of Fame, which showcases rich, intricate looks at the history of our beloved team. Being here brings you together with other fans that love their hometown team and stick by their boys no matter what.

 Grater's Ice Cream Shops
Photo Courtesy Cincinnativegan.com

Imagine a hot summer in July and all you want is a cold treat to cool you down. Look no further then one of Cincinnati's fave ice cream shops, Graeter's. With unique flavors like, "Buckeye Chocolate Chip" and "Cheese Crown," you'll enjoy your visit here at this one of a kind ice cream shop. If you love coffee, like I do, you'll love the classic flavor, "Vienna Coffee," which is made with espresso and whipped cream! If you're ever due for a visit to the Queen City, check out their website to explore all the flavor options. You're bound to find one that meets your fancy.

You made it to the end of my mini worded tour of Cincinnati! Sure, I may be a little biased being born and raised in Cincy, but this city has so much more to do and see! There's the yearly Taste of Cincinnati and the Renaissance Festival, there are also things that celebrate Cincinnati's rich German heritage like Oktoberfest. Plan your visit soon; you'll be so glad you did!