21c Museum Hotel

Hallway and artwork in the 21c Museum Hotel (photo: 21c Museum Hotel)
21c Museum Hotel (photo: 21c Museum Hotel

This hotel-museum hybrid in the heart of downtown Cincinnati is a historical restoration to preserve the building’s original Neo-Classical Revival style of 1912. In addition to its 156 guest rooms, 21c welcomes the public to its free contemporary art gallery – which is open day and night – the Metropole restaurant and bar on the ground floor, plus a rooftop bar.

American Sign Museum

American Sign Museum (photo: Liz Dufour)
American Sign Museum (photo: Liz Dufour)

One of the nation’s most unique and quirky museums, the American Sign Museum expanded into an upgraded residence in 2012. This massive collection of vintage and neon signage (think drug stores, restaurants and ice cream parlors) gives glimpses into yesteryear charm.

Behringer-Crawford Museum

Exterior of the Behringer-Crawford Museum (photo: Behringer-Crawford Museum)
Behringer Crawford Museum (photo: Behringer-Crawford Museum)

Featuring 450 million years of Northern Kentucky history and culture as viewed through the lens of transportation - Rivers, Roads, Rails & Runways - visitors enjoy hands-on, interactive exhibits and activities in a 20,000 square foot facility. BCM is also home to definitive collections of artwork by Mary Bruce Sharon, Harlan Hubbard and Wolfgang Ritschel and presents a broad range of ongoing creative, innovative and fascinating exhibits and educational programs for all ages.

Cincinnati Art Museum

People looking at artwork inside the Cincinnati Art Museum (photo: Cincinnati Art Museum))
Cincinnati Art Museum (photo: Cincinnati Art Museum)

Free admission and parking every day! Explore the Cincinnati Art Museum’s rich, encyclopedic collection of more than 67,000 objects, spanning 6,000 years of world art. Ranked 'Top Art Museum for Families' by Parenting magazine, the museum offers public tours and educational activities for all ages. Learn more about the art museum here.

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal

Cincinnati Museum Center (photo: @yessiedesign)
Cincinnati Museum Center (photo: @yessiedesign)

Home to three museums (Cincinnati History MuseumDuke Energy Children's Museum, and the Museum of Natural History & Science) plus the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library, Cincinnati Museum Center is housed in historic Union Terminal (recently restored after two-and-a-half years of work) and is a must-see for any visitor. Learn more about the Cincinnati Museum Center here.

Contemporary Arts Center

Contemporary Arts Center (photo: @shamanslife)
Contemporary Arts Center (photo: @shamanslife)

The CAC is a museum that showcases "art of the last five minutes" in a building that has gained international acclaim for its extraordinary architecture. Nestled in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, the CAC has served as a beacon for progressive thought in the community for more than 75 years. The center offers daily free admission. Learn more about the arts center here.

Creation Museum

Creation Museum (photo: Creation Museum)
Creation Museum (photo: Creation Museum)

This creationism museum, open since 2007, offers a biblical history featuring more than 160 exhibits, a planetarium, Special FX Theatre, animatronics, insectorium and a petting zoo and botanical garden. Plus, the Creation Museum is home to the biggest zip line and sky bridge course in the Midwest.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

People admiring works of art at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (photo: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center)
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (photo: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center)

The center brings to life the importance – and relevance – of struggles for freedom around the world and throughout history, including today. Made up of three buildings that symbolize the cornerstones of freedom – courage, cooperation and perseverance – the Freedom Center's curving architecture reflects the winding river and the often-changing path to freedom.

Taft Museum of Art

Pink peonies in front of the Taft Museum of Art (photo: Taft Museum of Art)
Taft Museum of Art (photo: Taft Museum of Art)

Known as one of the finest small art museums in America, this National Historic Landmark was built in the early 1800s. The Taft is home to nearly 700 works of art, including European and American master paintings, Chinese porcelains and European decorative arts. Learn more about the museum of art here.

Click here for a complete listing of museums in the Cincinnati region.