10+ Unusual Cincinnati Things to Do Locals Adore

Uncover the tantalizing secrets of Findlay Market's local fare—but one savory mystery has everyone in Cincinnati talking... What's hiding in plain sight?
Date Published
March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

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Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What in the sweet name of chili piled high on spaghetti makes Cincinnati so special?” Yeah, you're not alone. That’s right, we’re talking about the city that perfected chili and then turned right around and whispered—no, shouted—"Hey, we've got more!" Cincinnati, or "Cincy" if you're feeling chummy, isn't just any old dot on the map; it's a smorgasbord of unique thrills and a powerhouse of cultural charm that'll lure you in faster than you can say “Skyline Cheese Coneys.”

Imagine easing down the Ohio Riverfront, a breeze in your hair and a view that would make your camera blush, or roaming the vibrant art scene with more hidden treasures than King Tut’s tomb. And if your taste buds are tingling, wait until they meet the mouthwatering melange at Findlay Market. Still not convinced? Here's the dish: Cincinnati is an untapped fountain of wonder, serving up activities that can turn any day into an unforgettable adventure.

Strap in, my intrepid friends, as we plunge headfirst into the heartland of America to uncover the dazzling array of exploits that makes Cincinnati, Ohio, the gold star on America’s fridge. Let’s get this show on the road and reveal the pulse-pounding, palate-pleasing, and picturesque playground that awaits in the Queen City.

Savor Local Flavors at Findlay Market

Picture this: you're wandering through the bustling heart of Cincinnati's oldest continuously operated public market. It's Findlay Market, and oh boy, does it have some treats for you! This is where you'll rub elbows with the locals, who absolutely love coming here for a truly authentic Cincinnati shopping and foodie experience. And let me tell you, the vibes? They're as fresh as the produce on sale.

So what's the scoop on what you can do here at Findlay Market? Let's dive in:

  • Taste-test your way through: From artisan cheeses to handmade chocolates, there's a free sample with your name on it.
  • Feast on local specialties: Cincinnati-style chili? Yes, please!
  • Shop 'til you drop: You'll find an array of vendors selling everything from fresh meats to exotic spices.

Families, singles, anyone with taste buds, really – they all find something to love here. If you're looking for an action-packed afternoon, two to three hours here will let you soak in the sights, sounds, and tastes without a rush. Located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, you can even burn off those delicious calories with a leisurely post-market stroll.

And get this—Findlay Market is more than a place to find great eats. It's a community gathering spot that connects you to Cincinnati's vibrant pulse. You'll catch live music, seasonal festivals, and the weekly farmers' market, making every visit unique.

Is your stomach grumbling yet? Because mine sure is. Remember, you're not just going for the food. You're going for the experience. So gather your friends, family, or just your appetite, and get ready to savor the local flavors at Findlay Market. It's more than a shopping trip—it's a taste of Cincinnati life that locals can't get enough of, and you won't want to miss.

Stroll Along the Scenic Ohio Riverfront

Picture yourself taking a leisurely walk along the Ohio Riverfront with the sweet Cincinnati breeze brushing your face. This riverside spot is a local treasure, and trust me, it's so much more than just a pretty view.

Why is the Ohio Riverfront so well-loved? Well, you've got this stretch of pathway that ties together relaxation and activity. You'd see folks jogging, couples meandering, and families on a quest for the perfect picnic spot. It's versatile, right? It's perfect for anyone looking for serenity or a bit of a workout.

Nearby, you've got this blend of green spaces and urban landscape giving you an eyeful every step of the way. Speaking of steps, you can take a whole lot of them because this riverfront moans at the thought of being ignored.

Alright, here's what you do: you dedicate an afternoon to explore. Start off by gulping down some of that fresh river air – it's pretty much a Cincinnati delicacy. You can stroll from the iconic Roebling Suspension Bridge to the modern marvel that is the Smale Riverfront Park.

You're thinking, “Can this get any better?” You bet! This place is buzzing with activities all year round – ice skating rinks in the winter, concerts in the summer. It's an any-season kind of love affair between you and the great outdoors.

Are there places to chow down nearby? Oh honey, you're in Cincinnati, food is never too far away. Stroll over to the nearby dining spots where you can grab a bite or sip on something sweet.

This slice of Cincinnati is perfect for, literally, everyone. Got kids that need to romp? Bring 'em. In the mood for a chill day with your better half? Perfect spot. Trying to walk off last night's chili binge? Yes, this is the place! So, lace up your favorite sneakers, friends – the Ohio Riverfront beckons you for a stroll you won't soon forget.

And don't forget to snap some Instagram-worthy shots; this backdrop's got #NoFilter written all over it.

Discover Cincinnati's Vibrant Art Scene

Cincinnati's art scene is as colorful and dynamic as the murals that splash across downtown walls. Picture this: you're walking through Over-the-Rhine, surrounded by historical buildings that look like they've been kissed by Picasso himself. It's more than just eye candy; it's an outdoor gallery showcasing the soul of the city.

To truly immerse yourself in this creative wonderland, yank out your phone and snap pictures of the street art that tells stories of Cincinnati's culture and history. Make your Instagram followers green with envy as you pose with a backdrop that's one part urban, one part masterpiece.

And when was the last time you visited an art museum where you could feel the buzz of creativity zinging through the air? The Cincinnati Art Museum invites you on a journey through 67,000 artworks, a treasure trove of creative genius spanning 6,000 years. It's free, folks – because exposure to exquisite art shouldn't cost a dime.

Planning a chill weekend vibe? Then you gotta hit up the Final Friday events at the Pendleton Art Center. It's a magnet for the effortlessly cool crowd, where local artists fling open their studio doors to the public. Mix, mingle, and maybe snag an original piece to take home.

This isn't just for the art connoisseurs. Whether you're flying solo or wrangling a group of kiddos, Cincinnati's art scene rallies everyone around a love of all things imaginative. Set aside a few hours or even an entire day to soak in the eclectic vibes—there's enough visual splendor here to fill your soul to the brim.

Now, let your adventurous spirit lead the way and take a whimsical dive into the Cincinnati art scene. Every corner turned is a promise of a new visual feast, and trust me, your senses will thank you.

Embrace Nature at Cincinnati's Secluded Parks

Picture yourself wandering through a lush green oasis, far from the city bustle, yet still, surprise, in Cincinnati. Isn't that something? You've just discovered the secret havens that the locals cherish, the secluded parks scattered throughout the city where the serene vibes are as plentiful as the leaves on the trees.

Ault Park, one of the city's finest with its English-style gardens and stunning pavilion, is perfect for solitude-seekers and picnic enthusiasts alike. Imagine lounging on a blanket, sipping your favorite drink, just soaking in the sun. Plus, if you're a sucker for sunrises or sunsets, the views here are killer—totally Instagram-worthy.

Into hiking or trail-blazing? Mt. Airy Forest is your jam, with over 1,400 acres of woodlands to explore. It's like stepping into Narnia, minus the talking animals (unfortunately). Take a whiff of that fresh pine-scented air—you can almost taste the green, can't you? This place is a hit for families, dog walkers, and anyone ready to conquer some terrain.

And let's not forget about Devou Park. Just a hop across the river in Northern Kentucky, but hey, locals consider it a Cincinnati gem, so no passport required. With sweeping views of the Cincinnati skyline, it's the spot where you whip out your phone for a quick panorama—everyone will be green with envy.

So, how long should you hang out here? If you're a nature buff, you could easily spend a whole day. If you've got little ones tagging along, a couple of hours of duck feeding and playground hopping will do the trick. These parks are perfect for everyone whether you're flying solo, on a romantic stroll, or with the entire family circus.

Wear comfy shoes, pack a lunch, and leave your worries at the entrance. Embrace the fresh air and the sound of the leaves rustling, because this, my friend, is Cincinnati's version of paradise. No bright lights, no honking horns—just you, maybe some woodland critters, and the vast expanse of Cincinnati's serene parks.

Get Your Game On at Cincinnati Sports Facilities

Picture this: you're right in the middle of the action, heart pounding, the crowd's roaring echoing in your ears as you witness incredible athletes going head-to-head. That's what's in store when you dive into the thriving world of Cincinnati sports games.

Cincinnati is like a theme park for sports enthusiasts. From the crack of a bat at the Great American Ball Park to the thrill of a buzzer-beater at the University of Cincinnati's Fifth Third Arena, these sports facilities are not just for pros but for every fan and weekend warrior looking to get their game on.

Whether you're up for a game of baseball, football, soccer—or even if you want to lace up your skates for some ice action—you'll find that Cincinnati's array of sports venues are as diverse as the fans cheering in the stands.

And let's talk about that local pride! Locals come together, decked out in their team colors, ready to support their home teams with an energy that's downright infectious. Jump into this electric atmosphere, even if you're not from around here. Trust us; it doesn't take long to feel like you're part of the Cincinnati tribe.

So, who's this perfect for? Well, families with kids who are budding sports stars, couples looking for an exciting date night, and seriously, anyone who gets a buzz from live sports action. You'll want to block off a few hours to really soak it all in—even more if you gatecrash a tailgate party!

What are you waiting for? Grab your cap, wear your team colors, and join the legion of fans at one of Cincinnati's celebrated sports venues. Don't forget, a trip to see the Reds or the Bearcats isn't just an outing, it's an experience—a Cincinnati tradition that goes beyond the game. Go ahead, get that foam finger ready and amplify your visit with a dose of good old-fashioned sports spirit!

Experience the Cincinnati Brewery Circuit

Picture this: Strolling through the historic streets of Cincinnati, you turn a corner and—boom!—there's another fabulous brewery, just begging you to come in and taste their latest craft creation. You're on the Cincinnati Brewery Circuit, my friend, and it's a hop-ping good time!

Cincy is bursting with breweries, each with its own unique vibe, making the brewery circuit a top to-do for locals and visitors alike. Why settle for one when you can sip and savor a pint... or three... at multiple spots?

  • Rhinegeist Brewery: Start your beer adventure with a bold bodied brew at Rhinegeist. Their rooftop is a hit during those balmy summer nights. A little pro-tip? Grab a game of cornhole with your beer buddies and let those skyline views work their magic.
  • MadTree Brewing: MadTree is more than just a place to grab a beer. It's a community hangout perfect for families during the day and a laid-back crowd by night. The spacious patio is like the backyard you've always wanted and the pizza? Cheesy bliss.

So, how long should you spend on this frothy trail of happiness? A day works, but a weekend means you can really dig in deep without rushing. And hey, maybe even become a regular at a spot or two.

Oh, and warn your taste buds—they're in for a wild, hoppy ride! From stouts to sours and IPAs, you'll be swishing and swilling like a pro.

Whether you're a craft beer connoisseur or just beer-curious, the Cincinnati Brewery Circuit caters to all. Ride a bike between stops or hop on a brew bus to really embrace the laid-back Cincinnati culture. Just make sure you have a designated driver or a ride-share app handy. Safety first, brews second!

So pull up a stool, order a flight, and toast to the Queen City—Cincinnati's got a brew with your name on it! 🍻

Take a Dive into Cincinnati's Historic Sites

You've gotta check out Cincinnati's historical sites, and I'm not just saying that because I'm into old stuff. This city rocks history like it's on the trend list every year! I mean, come on, where else can you tour a brewery and get a slice of American history?

First stop, Music Hall – It’s an architectural masterpiece, y'all! This place isn't just about fancy performances; it's where history sang its first note. Take the tour and imagine yourself swept away in a classical symphony or, even better, a rousing political debate from days gone by. Speaking of getting swept away, there are rumors that it's haunted... spooky!

Next, find your way to the Betts House. It's the oldest brick house in the 'Nati! Cute and compact, but it packs a punch with its stories. And good news for you trivia buffs or aspiring architects, it's got the lowdown on historic construction techniques. There's no better way to connect with the city than by touching its very bricks and mortar.

Finally, hit up the Taft Museum of Art. It's not just a place to admire pretty paintings (although there are plenty), but it's also a historic site in its own right. Wondering what makes it so unique? It's housed in a former presidential residence... Yes, William Howard Taft's half-brother lived there. So, you get to bask in the same rooms that once hosted some pretty important people.

So, how long do you need for this historic tour? Set aside at least a half day, longer if you really want to immerse yourself. It's perfect for the solo history hunter and equally great for families looking to inject some knowledge into their outing. Not to mention, it's a hit with the date crowd, impressing that special someone with your depth and historical know-how.

If you're feeling the buzz of the city's past, get ready to put on your explorer's hat and discover Cincinnati's rich history. Trust me, it takes wandering through these streets to a whole new level of cool.

Engage with Nature at Cincinnati Nature Centers

Cincinnati nature centers are your escape hatch from the hustle! These aren't your run-of-the-mill parks; they're like the hidden tracks on your favorite album—pure gold. Trust me, your inner tree-hugger is about to do cartwheels.

Now, what's so great about the Cincinnati Nature Centers? Picture this: Trails winding through lush forests and fields, so vibrant that every shade of green seems like a fresh thought. It's where busy bees are buzzing, and butterflies are throwing their own fluttering dance party. This is the place to breathe deep, where even the air feels like it's doing your lungs a favor. And for the curious at heart, the Rowe Woods visitor center is chock-full of interactive exhibits that practically turn you into a nature-whisperer overnight.

If you’re wondering, "Should I whisper sweet nothings to a tree or a squirrel?" Well, why not both? These centers are ideal for families, singles, and even the little tots to feel the dirt under their fingernails, in the best way possible. They're a hit with locals who come to jog, bird-watch, or simply sit cross-legged under an ancient oak, contemplating the meaning of life—or what's for dinner.

You'll want to spend a couple of hours here, easily. There’s enough to see and do that you can make a morning of it, or if you're really feeling zen, a whole day. And don't you worry about feeling lost in the woods; these nature hubs are close enough to civilization so you can grab a bite once you've worked up an appetite. So come for the green canopies, stay for the soul-nourishing peace. In the land of concrete and screens, the Cincinnati Nature Centers are where your heart does a little gig, and your mind hits the refresh button.

Enjoy a Romantic Getaway in Cincinnati

Picture this: you and your sweetheart, wandering hand in hand through picturesque landscapes, uncovering charming spots hidden like jewels around Cincinnati. Yeah, the Queen City isn't just chili and baseball. It's the perfect spot for lovebirds looking to add a little spark to their love story.

You're asking about Cincinnati romantic getaways? I've got the perfect answer: A little escape to some dreamy, unique spots around town that will have you and yours swooning. We're talking about places that offer the kind of quirky charm that'll make your Instagram friends green with envy.

First things first, why not cozy up at Ault Park? With its enchanting gardens and a pavilion that serves serious Hogwarts vibes, it's a favorite for that whimsical fairytale romance. Or take a leisurely stroll along the Ohio Riverfront at sunset. The sky's colors reflecting off the water, you could easily mistake it for a painting!

Want to kick the romance up a notch? You've got to check out the Over-the-Rhine district. With its old-world architecture and trendy spots to grab a drink or a bite, it's got all the makings of a night filled with romance. Think twinkling lights, the buzz of conversation around you, and that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with stellar company.

If you're into the classics, a horse-drawn carriage ride through the heart of downtown might be right up your alley. It's a unique way to see the city's landmarks and feel like royalty. And let's not forget about the boutique hotels that make the perfect retreat after a day of adventuring together.

So, what's the catch for different crowds? Couples of all types, from the adventurers to the art aficionados, and yes, even the chill-seekers, can find their corner of romance in Cincinnati. Whether you've got a few hours or a whole weekend, make it count with a dose of Cincinnati charm.

For an experience, you'll keep close to heart, take your partner to the Krohn Conservatory. This glasshouse wonder gives you a world of nature, from desert to rainforest, without leaving the city, and it's brimming with romantic spots like a gazebo nestled among flowers.

So, get ready to dive into these romantic getaways that locals adore, and create some unforgettable memories. Here's to love, laughter, and the pursuit of a perfect Cincinnati day.

Explore Cincinnati's Unique Cultural Events

Picture this: You're immersed in an event where the air is alive with vibrance and the echoes of creativity tap dance around you. That's right, you're swirling in the middle of Cincinnati's unique cultural events, where each moment is a celebration of the city's rich tapestry of history and present-day verve.

So, what might you stumble upon if you were to meander through the cultural heartbeat of Cincy? You could find yourself at a street fair where local artists showcase their masterpieces, or at a music festival with rhythms that make your toes tap faster than you can say "Buckeye State". Let's not forget the food, oh the glorious food; festivals here dish out everything from savory to sweet, echoing Cincinnati's diverse palate.

How does a cultural event in the Queen City make you feel? Like you're the star of your own indie film, a backdrop of historic architecture behind you, the taste of culinary innovation on your tongue, and the sound of local musicians providing the perfect soundtrack to your exploration.

  • Expect to be wowed by impromptu performances on street corners.
  • Don't blink, or you'll miss the intricate work of a live mural painting.
  • Your senses will thank you after a stroll through a flavorful, aromatic food festival.

Families, singles, and adrenaline seekers alike find common ground at these events. The little ones might spin round and round to a bluegrass band, while the thrill-seekers vie for front row at a dynamic dance performance. It's a place where memories cling like the sweet residue of cotton candy — these cultural events are not just seen and heard, but felt.

Spend a day or a dusky evening wrapped in this lively atmosphere. From the riverfront to the urban core, each neighborhood offers a slice of Cincinnati's cultural fiesta. Picture yourself here, wrapped in tradition, innovation, and community — because that's what Cincinnati's cultural events are all about.

Indulge in a Culinary Journey with Cincinnati Food Tours

So, you think you know Cincinnati's food scene like the back of your hand? Think again. Cincinnati Food Tours are about to take you on a flavor-packed ride you didn't know you were missing. Forget your standard restaurant fare; we're diving into a culinary escapade that locals rave about, and you're invited.

Picture this: You're weaving through the heart of the city, each step bringing you closer to another mouth-watering morsel. Cincinnati Food Tours have carved out a reputation for uncovering the city's gastronomic gems that make both your heart and belly full. Whether you're a hardcore foodie or just someone who loves to eat, these tours cater to all tastes.

Findlay Market, folks, is where it's at. This isn't just shopping; it's a historic adventure that's been filling Cincinnatians' pantries since the 1850s. And when I say this place is buzzing, trust me, it's a beehive of activity with over one million visits each year. People don't just come here to shop – they come to savor, to explore, to experience. Spend about an hour or two here, and let the irresistible smells guide you from vendor to vendor.

The crowd? As diverse as the food. From the solo adventurer seeking out the most Instagrammable bites, to families looking to broaden the kiddos' palates, everyone leaves with a smile. It’s perfect for a solo exploration, a date, or even a leisurely day out with the family.

And the best part? Cincinnati Food Tours are experts at catering to your taste buds. Want to sink your teeth into some goetta, a Cincinnati specialty? Or maybe indulge in artisanal cheeses that make you say "More, please!" They've got you covered. You're not just eating; you're engaging in stories, one bite at a time. You'll leave with a belly full of the best eats and your spirit buzzing with local tales and new friends – that's the Cincinnati way.

Discover Hidden Gems in Cincinnati's Historic District

Imagine stepping back in time as you wander through Cincinnati's Historic District, where each cobblestone, iron railing, and architecture whisper stories from another era. You're about to uncover spots so charming and unique that even the locals guard them like treasured secrets.

One such cincinnati hidden gem is the tucked-away courtyard of Arnold's Bar and Grill, Cincinnati's oldest tavern. You could easily spend an entire evening here, guzzling down craft beers and listening to live music under the stars. It's the perfect balance of historical reverence and modern merriment, attracting an eclectic crowd that appreciates a side of history with their suds.

Just around the corner, you'll find a vintage toy store that not only sells nostalgia in the form of classic playthings but also packs a museum's worth of historic trinkets. Kids will be wide-eyed, and adults? Well, they get a free ticket to their childhood.

Be sure to dedicate at least an afternoon in this picturesque corner of Cincinnati. The art galleries are an art lover's delight, featuring local artists whose creations range from avant-garde sculptures to traditional landscapes. Couples looking for that je ne sais quoi on date night will find these intimate spaces muse-worthy, while families could discover the next prized artwork to hang over the mantel.

Whether you're a thrill-seeker or a history buff, Cincinnati's Historic District has a slice of adventure for you. Grab your walking shoes, charge your camera, and prepare for an unforgettable journey through time. Don't just take my word for it—let the enchanting alleys and secret spots reveal their magic at your own pace. With each step, you're not just walking—you're connecting with the heartbeat of Cincinnati.


Q: What are some fun things to do in Cincinnati for adults?

A: Hit up the Over-the-Rhine district for trendy bars, catch a Reds game, or stroll along the riverfront—your call!

Q: What can I do in Cincinnati this weekend?

A: Nab tickets for a live show, explore Findlay Market, or chill in one of the city parks. Cincinnati's your oyster!

Q: What are some unique things to do in Cincinnati?

A: From ghost tours to brewery trails, Cincinnati's got quirks for days. Don't miss the American Sign Museum!

Q: What fun activities are there in Cincinnati for young adults?

A: Jam-packed! Try the escape rooms, hit the dance floors downtown, or kayak on the Ohio River with your crew.

Q: What things are there to do in Cincinnati today?

A: Scoop up some culture at the art museums, get zen in the botanic gardens, or sample some chili—Cincinnati style!

Q: What are some things to do in Cincinnati with kids?

A: Kids love the zoo and aquarium. Got energy to burn? The trampoline parks and children's museum are slam dunks!

Q: What is Cincinnati best known for?

A: Its chili, baby! Plus, history-soaked baseball at the Great American Ball Park, and a skyline that sparkles.

A: It's a gem with big-city perks and small-town vibes. Plus, it's packed with history, sports, and killer food.

Q: How can I spend 2 days in Cincinnati?

A: Day one, tackle downtown. Day two, recover in a cozy café and hit the museums. Mix, match, make it yours.

Q: What is the nicest town in Cincinnati?

A: Lovin' Hyde Park for its charm and lush parks. It's like the perfect Sunday afternoon has a zip code.

Final Words

So, you've just zipped through a whole buffet of Cincinnati greatness—from munching your way through Findlay Market to embracing the serene vibes at tucked-away parks. We've strolled along riverbanks, rubbed elbows with art gurus, and even went a little historical. And, sure, we squeezed in sports and breweries because, why not? You've seen that Cincinnati is a patchwork quilt of culture, romance, and nature just waiting to be explored.

Your head must be spinning with all these Cincinnati things to do, right? Well, hold on to your hat because it's all out there ready for you. Get out, have fun, and hey, maybe even find your new favorite spot!

Meet the Author
Isabella Kai
Isabella Kai, the Instagram wordsmith, crafts tales that captivate hearts worldwide. A dedicated foodie, she whips up culinary delights and pairs them with stories that make your taste buds dance. Beyond the screen, she's on a mission to visit every artisan bakery in town.
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