How Cincinnati Became the Midwest's Newest Renaissance City

Discover the charms of this multifaceted Ohio gem.
Cincinnati's residents have long been prideful of their city: Cincy—or Queen City as it's also known—is a bustling town full of arts, culture and sports heritage that's becoming known as a destination for architecture. Add to that the technology-driven Blink festival and Oktoberfest Zinzinnati and you'll find a Midwestern city that's delightfully eclectic.
©Jeff Swinger

Zaha Hadid's first foray into American architecture came in the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art. In this "urban carpet" street movement flows seamlessly into the building.

©Paul Warchol

Art and design lovers will find it hard to resist the 21c Museum Hotel. The boutique property has contemporary art on its sidewalks and in the elevator and has an on-site museum. 

©21c Museum Hotel

Seek additional beauty at 21c's Metropole restaurant. It's found in chef Jared Bennett's seasonal cuisine, the mosaic-tiled floors, arched windows and on the rooftop terrace that offers panoramic views of the city.

©21c Museum Hotel

Cincy's reinvigorated Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is a must-visit shopping and cultural destination. Art and technology merge here every year in the Blink festival.


The Purple People Bridge caters to walkers, runners, cyclists and skaters and is Cincy's only footbridge. It's a 20-minute trek to the neighboring Covington, Kentucky.

©Cincinnati USA

Cincy's parks offer five nature centers, 16 scenic overlooks and 55 miles of bike routes and were named one of the top three urban park systems in America. The Smale Riverfront Park has a labyrinth, carousel and flower garden.

©Jeff Swinger

Cincy is known for its green initiatives, with 66 business nominated for green awards. The Duke Energy Convention Center—one of the Midwest's largest—is a leader in sustainability and design.

©Duke Energy Convention Center

Sports are a way of life in Cincy, with baseball leading the charge. Step up to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum for a look into the team's storied history. 

©Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame

Fountain Square is home to Cincy's trivia nights, concerts, salsa dance lessons and myriad holiday-themed events. To celebrate the end of winter—and baseball—Tyler Davidson Fountain is turned on before MLB's opening day.


Cincy's charms make it a popular movie location and those in town for filming find no shortage of high-end dining options. Among the most frequented is Boca, which has served many celebrities.

©Photography for the People

The Cincinnati Zoo is the second-oldest in the U.S. Its success with breeding—which began in 1880 with trumpeter swans and sea lions—helps endangered species thrive.

©Discover Ohio

Cincy's German roots and fun-loving nature run strong. Among its favorite events is the annual Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, when the whole town celebrates the "Running of the Wieners."

©Leigh Taylor

With good fun comes good food, and Holtman's Donuts is legendary. Family owned since 1960, every ingredient—the dough, icings, glazes, custards and creams—is made from scratch.

©Dan Ledbetter

Arts and culture is vital to Cincy—it's got a symphony, ballet, opera and a Tony Award-winning regional theater. Its elegant Music Hall opened in 1898 and is the scene's convergence point.