Have you been missing travel? We certainly have and we can’t wait to share our amazing city with you. As you prepare to hit the road for your next adventure, you’ll find the world a little different from what you remember, but don’t worry, we’ve put together a list highlighting our favorite activities, events and experiences throughout the city to help ease all of your planning woes. Here’s our guide to the Queen City for your upcoming visit…
First, here’s what to do right here.
You don’t have to go far to explore, indulge and recharge when you stay at 21c Cincinnati. As you walk through our doors, you’re immediately immersed in our current exhibition (Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia and Resistance) and site-specific installations. You’ll even stumble upon exhibitions in our restaurant (on view now: Queen City of the West) and on every guest floor.
If pampering is your thing, the Spa at 21c is the place for you. Our extensive spa menu features customized treatments including signature facials, massages and body wraps. See menu or request an appointment.
Hungry? Enjoy local and bold flavors for prepared by Executive Chef Vanessa Miller, at our onsite restaurant, Metropole (see current hours). Or soak up sweeping city views while you enjoy creative cocktails and a seasonal raw bar by our team at Metropole on the Cocktail Terrace.
Ready to see the city?
Cincinnati is a very drivable city, but if you need a lift, hop on the Cincinnati Bell Connector! The streetcar’s 3.6-mile loop connects major destinations including The Banks, Smale Riverfront Park, Fountain Square, Aronoff Center, Contemporary Arts Center, Music Hall, Washington Park, Over The Rhine, and Findlay Market. With 18 stops, is a great way to see the city with plenty of opportunities to hop on and off – including a stop right next to 21c! Bonus – it’s free!
Where to find the best eats and drinks…
For a quick coffee fix and morning pastries, take a short walk to blaCk Coffee Lounge, which features home-brewed coffees, cold-pressed juices and light bites.
Live like a local and visit one of Cincinnati’s trendiest neighborhoods, Over-the-Rhine. This well-preserved 19-century German neighborhood is home to a collection of local shops, craft breweries and farmers market, Findlay Market. Shop locally sourced, high quality foods, then enjoy rotating local craft beers as part of the Biergarten Craft Beer Series.
One of our favorite things about our city… there is no shortage of great food. From Turtles at Gomez, Pork Buns from Boombox Buns to gourmet hot dogs from Senate, you’ll quickly find the Queen City food scene does not disappoint. Indulge in authentic, Mexican fare from Bakersfield or surprise your taste buds with Liège waffle, fried chicken and hot sauce from Taste of Belgium. Get lost in a bowl of spicy ramen from Quan Hapa or walk up and get the best Philly cheesesteak West of Broad St from 13th Street Alley. If you’re eating in OTR (which you probably are) grab to-go and head to Washington Park for a cozy picnic!
With over 70 options, the Queen City is also known for its local breweries. Some of our favorites within walking distance to 21c are Braxton Brewing Co., Taft’s Ale House, Rhinegeist and Christian Moerlein Lager House. Hop across the river and enjoy the German heritage that spilled over into Newport, Kentucky at Hofbrauhaus or grab an impossible-to-find German import with hard-to-believe it’s not imported food at Wunderbar! in Covington. Braxton Brewing’s flagship brewery is in Covington as well and has a great rooftop bar!
Looking for a night out with friends? Put your arcade game skills to the test at 16-Bit Bar+Arcade, a dog-friendly bar with over 50 vintage arcade games to choose from. Or immerse yourself in local art (and greenery) with a drink at mecca OTR, a bar covered in murals and filled with plants.
Where to explore indoors and outdoors…
Discover Cincinnati’s vibrant street art scene with a self-guided mural tour. Find kid-friendly activities and more contemporary art right around the corner at the Contemporary Arts Center, which is in an incredible Zaha Hadid building. Head up the hills to Eden Park near the architecturally eclectic neighborhood, Walnut Hills, to visit the Cincinnati Art Museum and the photo-worthy Art Climb. Explore nature and wildlife at the Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium.
If this is your first time visiting Cincinnati, you may be surprised to learn how many easily accessible hiking spots are located in and around the city. Located a few minutes from downtown, is Cincinnati’s largest park, Mt. Airy Forest, with miles long trails and a wheelchair-accessible treehouse, making it a destination for everyone. Venture a little further to Cincy’s second largest (and hilly) hiking destination, French Park. Trust us, there are so many more trails and parks to explore! Visit Cincinnati Parks for more information.
Looking for something more low-key? Stay close to downtown and visit Smale Riverfront Park at The Banks, an 84-acre neighborhood along the riverfront.* Venture into Northern Kentucky and check out Newport on the Levee’s newly opened Bridgeview Box Park, an expansive outdoor space that houses pop up restaurants and food trucks.
*Note: In response to the pandemic, The Banks became the city’s first designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA), allowing the expansion of dining, drinking and entertainment space from Heritage Bank Center to Paul Brown Stadium. As of March 25, 2021, The Banks will be an outdoor open-container district.
Where to let your inner fan out…
Whether you’re a Red’s, Bengals or FC Cincinnati fan, we’re to help make sure you know where to go to get decked out head-to-toe in your team’s swag. Head to FC’s team store on 4th street for all your orange and blue garment needs. You can also stock up at the newly completed West End Stadium. For Red’s and Bengal’s fans, both Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium have shops onsite, but if you’re in the market for throwback jerseys or threads to cheer on another team, Koch Sporting Goods on 4th street is the place for you.
Where to shop ‘til you drop…
In need of a little retail therapy? Shop sustainable, vintage wear from RadOTR or trendy, accessible clothing from Sloane Boutique. Stock your kitchen cabinets with dining and cooking ware from Rookwood Pottery, a local ceramics studio which has been around for 140 years and who also designed our shower tiles (you know… the ones with the body parts). Fun fact: Rookwood was the first female founded and owned manufacturing company in the US! Searching for a book you can’t put down? The Ohio Book Store is the place for you. Have a favorite book that’s seen better days? They offer book repair too! If records are your thing, head to Shake It Records in Northside. Last, but not least, be sure to take home a little piece of our city with local maker-made goods from MiCA 12/V.
Our teammates are experts on our community so give us a call at 513.578.6600 if you have any questions when planning your stay! For more updates on local city-wide events, visit Cincinnati USA.
Find yourself not ready to leave? See current offers and extend your stay!