Cincinnati, OH skyline at night

12 Things to Know About Living in Cincinnati

Are you considering a move to Cincinnati? Nestled along the Ohio River, the third-largest city in Ohio features three professional sports teams, a thriving theatre and arts scene, top-notch cuisine, a world-class zoo, a booming job market, and much more. Does this great city sound like a place you want to be? Here are 12 things to know about living in Cincinnati!

A Booming Job Market

Skyline of downtown Cincinnati on a sunny day. Photo by Instagram user @powdered_donuts
Photo via @powdered_donuts

Home to several Fortune 500 companies, Cincinnati’s job market is diverse and healthy, which is highlighted by its unemployment rate of just 3.9%. With several large hospital systems like UC Health and TriHealth, financial institutions such as Fifth Third Bank and Western & Southern Financial Group, and other big names like The Kroger CompanyProctor & Gamble, and Macy’s, Cincinnati hosts at least five different companies that each employ more than 10,000 people in the area

Neighborhoods for Every Lifestyle

Gray house with brown door and white pillars in Mount Lookout neighborhood. Photo by Instagram user @command_home
Photo via @command_home

Looking for the best places to live in Cincinnati? Singles and young professionals will love Mt. Lookout and Columbia-Tusculum. These neighborhoods offer a low cost of living, excellent nightlife, trendy coffee shops, and more. Families, on the other hand, should check out East Walnut Hills, which blends urban amenities with suburban housing, has highly-rated schools, and quick access to I-71 for commuting. Thinking about retiring in Cincinnati? Suburbs like Kenwood and Wetherington are among the top ten places for retirement in Cincinnati, thanks to their luxury housing and low crime rates.

FIND YOUR STORE

Quality Higher Education

University of Cincinnati on a sunny day. Photo by Instagram user @uofcincy
Photo via @uofcincy

Want to get your degree in Cincinnati? You’ll have 25 higher education options to pick from! The University of Cincinnati is the largest and oldest of the institutions, featuring 14 colleges like law and medical graduate programs, 14 NCAA-Division I sports teams, and a student body of over 44,000. UC is also a top-rated school, ranking 75th nationally among all public universities. For a small-school feel, visit Xavier University, a Jesuit Catholic school in northeast Cincinnati. Although the student body is under 5,000, Xavier offers more than 90 undergraduate programs, making it feel like a much larger school.

Outdoors Lovers Rejoice

Rollercoaster going down on a hill at Kings Island in Cincinnati. Photo by Instagram user @kingsislandpr
Photo via @kingsislandpr

Need a break from the city buzz without the travel? Take in the California Woods Nature Preserve. With over 113 acres of forest and miles of hiking trails, visitors are able to enjoy a variety of flora and fauna. If you’d like to try some new outdoor activities, Adventure Outpost offers year-round fun that includes golf, horseback riding, fishing, canoeing, and more. For theme park lovers, make the 20-minute drive up I-71 to King’s Island, the largest amusement and water park in the Midwest. If a relaxing view is more your style, visit Carew Tower, where the 49th floor Observation Deck offers the best panoramic views of the region.

Head Out to a Game

Cincinnati Bengals football getting a touchdown. Photo by Instagram user @bengals
Photo via @bengals

Cincinnati is home to three professional sports teams that represent the MLB, NFL, and MLS. Enjoy America’s pastime at the Great American Ballpark with a Cincinnati Reds baseball game. For the ultimate football experience, watch the Cincinnati Bengals in a matchup in the WHO DEY Deck at Paul Brown Stadium. If you’re looking for a different kind of football (namely futbol), FC Cincinnati has you covered—and soon, they’ll be playing at their very own West End Stadium (which opens in 2021).

Explore Over-the-Rhine

Front of brick building Cincinnati Music Hall. Photo by Instagram user @twinspirephotography
Photo via @twinspirephotography

While there are many great entertainment venues in Cincinnati, nothing beats a trip to Over-the-Rhine, or OTR as locals call it. Located just a mile north of downtown, OTR is Cincinnati’s most famous entertainment district with some of the best restaurants in Cincinnati, including hip bars, cool local boutiques, and even a National Historic Landmark, the Cincinnati Music Hall. While here, stop in for a drink at the Rhinegeist Brewery, a taproom that’s located in a historic bottling plant. Or on a hot summer day (or any day, really), grab a scoop of ice cream at Graeter’s, a 149-year-old creamery that still churns out treats the “old way” in two-gallon French pot freezers.

Experience Skyline Chili

Hotdog and noodles covered in Cincinnati chili and cheese at Skyline Chili in Cincinnati. Photo by Instagram user @officialskylinechili
Photo via @officialskylinechili

Cincinnati’s biggest claim to fame is its self-dubbed “Chili Capital of the World” title. While that may be up for debate, there’s no doubt that Skyline Chili is among the most unique Cincinnati foods. Founded by a Greek immigrant in 1949, the original owners named the first location after the Cincinnati Skyline due to its panoramic view of the downtown area. So what sets this franchise’s staple apart from other chili? It doesn’t contain beans! Instead, it’s usually served on top of spaghetti or hot dogs and then loaded up with cheese, hot sauce, and oyster crackers.

Get Your Eat On

Hot dog covered in onion rings and barbecue sauce at Senate Pub in Cincinnati. Photo by Instagram user @senatepub
Photo via @senatepub

While Cincinnati may be known for chili, cuisine variety isn’t an issue. For some of the best brunch in Cincinnati, try the Sleepy Bee Cafe. Open since 2013, this restaurant is known for putting an upscale twist on mainstream menu items. Whether you choose the Apple Cakes Stack pancakes, topped with hemp seed granola, or the Bee Keeper sandwich that’s slathered in “nectar sauce”, you’re in for a delicious treat. For something a bit heartier, hit up Sotto, one of the hottest Italian spots where the old-school interior sets the stage for inventive yet classic favorites. Need your grub “to-go”? Hop on the Cincinnati Dinner Train, a 1940s-style excursion in vintage train cars that serves up a four-course dinner along the way. Or to get a fan-favorite without heading to the ballpark, check out Senate, which features gourmet hot dogs with an endless list of toppings and amazing cocktails.

Cincinnati’s Got Suds

Chalice of beer next to cans and a pineapple at Urban Artifact in Cincinnati, OH. Photo by Instagram use @urbanartifactbeer
Photo via @urbanartifactbeer

While Cincinnati’s breweries don’t come with a lot of fanfare, they certainly don’t underwhelm. Located in the Northside neighborhood underneath the St. Patrick’s church is Urban Artifact, a craft brewery and music venue that’s known for its unique beer flavors and wood-fired pizza. Want some craft beer to go? Stop in at Listenmann Brewing Company, where you’ll find a growler station and home-brew store. A perfect place to meet new people is at Fifty West Brewing Company, which sits in a former roadside speakeasy on US-50. Besides small-batch beers, Fifty West also offers plenty of outdoor fun, including volleyball, kayaking, cycling, training groups, and more. Or for a more relaxed atmosphere, try Mt. Carmel Brewing Company, a small family-friendly taproom that’s built into a 1920s farmhouse.

Have a Zoo Day

Two rhinos touching their horns together at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio. Photo by Instagram user @cincinnatizoo
Photo via @cincinnatizoo

Looking for some of the most fun things to do in Cincinnati? Get out to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Not only does this Cincinnati attraction offer 74 acres of animal exhibits, but the zoo also hosts several events for all ages each month, such as holiday-themed celebrations, Breakfast with the Animals, Cocktails for Conservation, and more. An annual springtime can’t-miss is Zoo Blooms, a short-period of time when the Botanical Garden takes shape. Make sure to take in “Tulip Mania,” one the Midwest’s largest tulip displays. Or if you’d like to experience an evening event, check out Tunes and Blooms, which are free concerts each Thursday night in April.

FIND YOUR STORE

Visit the Aquarium

white jellyfish floating in the dark at the Newport Aquarium in Cincinnati. Photo by Instagram user @newport_aquarium
Photo via @newport_aquarium

Grab the family and take a trip to Newport Aquarium, more commonly known as the “Cincinnati Aquarium,” despite it actually being located just across the Ohio River in Newport, KY. Spend the day exploring over 70 exhibits and 14 galleries like Gator Alley, which houses two of the rarest animals in the world—white alligators. To get creative, check out Seahorse Creation Station, where visitors can learn about and even create their own seahorses! Feeling brave? Take a walk over the Shark Bridge, a 75-foot-long rope bridge that spans over one of the country’s largest open-water displays. For another unique view, there’s also more than 200 feet of tunnels to explore the entire aquatic experience from below. For true marine life lovers, you can even get married at the aquarium!

Delve into the Museums

Union Terminal at the Cincinnati Museum in Ohio. Photo by Instagram user @cincymuseum
Photo via @cincymuseum

Love museums? You’re in for a treat, as Cincinnati boasts 25 of them! For art connoisseurs, the Cincinnati Art Museum and Taft Museum of Art are great stops featuring exhibits with Native American art, South Asian antiquities, modern photography, and much more. Want to see a bit of everything? The Cincinnati Museum Center, an Art Deco masterpiece in and of itself, houses four separate museums and an OMNIMAX theater. For an experience you can’t get anywhere else, visit the Cincinnati Fire Museum, located in a turn-of-the-century firehouse. Here, you’ll discover the roots of professional firefighting, which originated in Cincinnati.

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12 Things to Know About Living in Cincinnati, OH