The Over-the-Rhine district—or “OTR,” as it’s often locally dubbed—is located on the north edge of downtown Cincinnati and boasts some of the hottest restaurants and shops in the region. The neighborhood, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is easily traversed on foot or, if you’re looking to cover a bit more ground, you can nab a rental bike from one of several Red Bike hubs downtown.
Washington Park hosts frequent concerts and events (and has a castle-inspired playground for the kids and a designated dog park for the pups) and sits directly in front of 137-year-old Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark and treasured local venue.
Foodies, you’ll definitely want to stop by Findlay Market, a year-round market and hub of all things Cincinnati. Be sure to sample the goods at Maverick Chocolate Company, the city’s first bean-to-bar chocolate makers, and Macaron Bar, the only local bakery dedicated solely to French macarons. There’re food vendors aplenty, so your lunch options are limitless, and during the summer you can lunch at the on-site beer garden, too.
Follow up lunch or dinner with a cold one at one of OTR’s several historic breweries, many of which were originally founded in the early 19th century. Prohibition closed down the region’s many breweries, but a few, like Christian Moerlein and Hudepohl, have been revived in the last 10 years. The emergence of several other local breweries in the last few years, including Rhinegeist on Elm Street and Taft’s Ale House, have made OTR and downtown a beer destination once again.
After you've wined and dined, take in a performance at the Know Theatre. It hosts everything from musicals to plays to the annual 12-day Cincy Fringe Festival, which brings in more than 130 acts— think push-the-envelope performances encompassing dance, visual art, film, music and more— from all over the country. Or see the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra or Cincinnati Opera (the second oldest opera company in the U.S.) at Music Hall (Note: Music Hall is currently closed for construction and will reopen in the fall of 2017. The resident companies will perform in either Aronoff Center for the Arts or Taft Theatre for the 2016-2017 season). Prefer more tangible arts? Meander through one of the district’s museums or art galleries, such as the Jack Wood Gallery (vintage posters and graphics) or Rookwood Pottery (world-renowned handcrafted pottery; the company itself has been around for over a century).
Written by Baihley Grandison