Friday, July 6

6 Best Reasons to Return to Cincinnati

What does the general population really know about Cincinnati?

WKRP in Cincinnati?

Okay, granted that immensely popular show brought the spotlight to this Midwest city, but there is more to it than a sleepy town harboring aging disc jockeys.

So much more.

When visiting a city, it is next to impossible to see everything in one visit. Mentally you make a list, often forgetting the majority of it by the time you reach home. Attempting to remember all you wanted to go back and delve into six months, or years, later is nearly futile. What if, instead of a mental list, you had an actual list?

A recent visit to the city along the Ohio River proved that it is revitalized, re-energized and revamped. Sampling various hot spots, eateries and attractions, I made an actual list of reasons to go back.

Six reasons to be exact.

1) World Choir Games- The ONLY city in the United States ever slected to host the annual "Olympic of Choirs" which is currently taking place (July 4-14). More than 400 choirs from around the globe will descend upon the town, bringing choral music in a gigantic way.

2) Cincinnati Museum- A Day in Pompeii, the limited-time exhibit provides a goose-bump inducing atmosphere of the ancient town covered in a matter of hours by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Available only through Aug. 12, it is a must-see. The museum center (worth the drive alone) houses many museums in one and an OMAX-similar to IMAX except it wraps around you in an oval.

3) Netherland Plaza Hotel- Tinkling ivories, opulent French Art-Deco decor and soft-spoken, attentive staff ready to cater to your every whim create the ambiance every fan of old Hollywood glamour desires. Whether waiting for the elevator to whisk you to a suite, dining in the National Historic Landmark hotel's Orchids at Palm Court or sipping a Fleuri 75 cocktail at The Bar at Palm Court, you'll catch yourself glancing around for a glimpse of Bogey and Bacall.

4) Over-the-Rhine- The quirky, fun section of Cincinnati known as OTR to locals and those in the know, is the original brewing district started by a wave of German immigrants. Once the prohibition wiped out beer happenings, the settlement became more like a ghost town. Revitalization efforts give a younger generation a high-energy place to live, work and play, with restaurants, eclectic shops and live theater venues opening in historic buildings made of Italianate architecture.

5) Food- OTR's hip eateries, gourmet gastropub fare at Moerlein Lager House, award-winning menus from Orchids at Palm Court's Executive Chef Todd Kelly and Pastry Chef Megan Ketover, the Cincinnati-style guacamole at Nada, must-have Flying Pig Wings and Armadillos on the menu at sports bar & grill Cincy's on Sixth, Pompilios lasagna, the list goes on and on...Cincinnati culinary experts are striving to be considered a foodie's destination once again and they are definitely well on their way.

6) Christian Moerlein Lager House- If you haven't heard about this castle of beer baron Gregory Hardman yet, you are way behind the times. Hardman has resureccted the brewing heritage that once made Cincinnati one of the four kings of beer prior to that horrible blight on history known as Prohibition. Read review here.

These are just six of my reasons to return to Cincinnati although there are many more. Please leave your comments and questions about your own favorite reasons to return to Cincinnati.

Photo credits: E.J.Musgrave; Cincinnati Museum; World Games

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published on and in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget Bunbury Music Festival (this weekend!), Midpoint Music Festival in September, all the live original music that is pouring out of every corner of this city every night, The Museum Center at Union Terminal and their world renown displays, the Reds, The Bengals, world class college basketball, and so much more!

Elizabeth J. Musgrave said...

Thanks for the ideas-can't have too many. And, there are so many great events going on in Cincinnati these days!