The best things to experience for an action-packed time in Cincy

K.C. Dermody

Written by Justin Mewse

February 2024

Step into the vibrant Cincy Region, a one-of-a-kind American destination where the fusion of North and South unfolds at the confluence of Ohio and Kentucky. Wander through the enchanting blend of German heritage and urban energy in Cincinnati, Ohio, as it harmoniously mingles with the Southern allure and unique quirkiness of Northern Kentucky – just a bridge-walk away across the Ohio River.

This captivating crossroads invites you to explore a rich amalgamation of history, culture, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking natural beauty. Immerse yourself in experiences that make Cincy the ideal getaway, and it’s not merely because of the convenient direct flight from London Heathrow. From thrilling adventures to cultural delights, the region offers a myriad of experiences for an action-packed time you won’t soon forget.

Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar, Covington - Visit Cincy

For Sports Fans…

In the heart of the Cincy Region beats the pulse of sports history, Cincinnati is proudly home to America’s first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds, whose legacy is woven into the fabric of the city. A powerhouse in the NFL, the Cincinnati Bengals add to the city’s sports fervour with a team worthy of Super Bowl contention. The excitement doesn’t end there, as the region buzzes with the spirited presence of FC Cincinnati, a dynamic Major League Soccer team that electrifies the local sports scene.

For fans of tennis, the Cincy Region annually hosts the prestigious and exhilarating Cincinnati Open. Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, it is one of America’s oldest and largest tennis tournaments and attracts top-tier talent. And if the thrill of the racetrack beckons, the region offers a multitude of venues, including Turfway Park Racing & Gaming by Churchill Downs, providing a day of excitement and entertainment for horse-racing aficionados.

Cincinnati Open Tennis Tournament - Visit Cincy

For Juice Lovers…

In the Cincy Region, where craftmanship meets libation, over 60 independent breweries beckon enthusiasts to savour the diverse flavours that define this thriving brewing landscape. Serving as an Official Gateway to the renowned Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, the region offers a unique immersion into the art of brewing and distillation. Take a subterranean journey 30 feet below ground, guided through Cincy’s pre-Prohibition lagering tunnels, unravelling the city’s rich brewing history, and then resurface to indulge in a pint that encapsulates the vibrant present of the local brewing scene.

For those with a penchant for stiffer spirits, venture across the river into Northern Kentucky to commence an exhilarating amber adventure along The B-Line®. This 25-stop, passport-guided bourbon tour invites you to explore craft bourbon distilleries, urban bourbon bars, and renowned restaurants, providing a comprehensive taste of the region’s distinctive bourbon culture. The B-Line promises a curated experience that transcends mere libation, offering a journey through the nuanced world of bourbon craftsmanship and the culinary delights that complement this time-honoured tradition.

Augusta Distillery, Buckner's Bourbon - Visit Cincy

For Foodies…

Embark on a culinary odyssey where diverse flavours converge in the Cincy Region. Indulge in the renowned Cincinnati chili, a Mediterranean-inspired delight that takes the form of a thin Bolognese infused with cinnamon, cloves, and cumin, served generously over spaghetti or atop a hot dog. Delight your taste buds with goetta, a savoury pork and oat sausage crafted by the German immigrants who left an indelible mark on Cincinnati’s culinary landscape. Savour a hearty slab at Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market, or immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of Goettafest, a two-weekend celebration dedicated to this uniquely local delicacy.

Cincy’s culinary tapestry extends beyond chili and goetta, offering a delectable array of Southern fried chicken that stands among the finest in the region. The city’s culinary prowess is further underscored by the presence of James Beard Award finalists, representing excellence in categories such as Best New Restaurant and Best Overall Restaurant in America.

Yuca dishes, Bellevue - Visit Cincy

For Outdoor Enthusiasts…

The Cincy Region is a haven for recreational enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of activities to embrace the great outdoors. Tee off at picturesque golf courses that blend scenic landscapes with the thrill of the game. Take to the winding rivers for an exhilarating kayaking adventure, exploring the waterways that crisscross the region. For biking enthusiasts, pedal through award-winning public parks, immersing yourself in nature’s beauty while enjoying a heart-pumping ride.

Hiking takes on a new dimension around a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where trails lead to breathtaking vistas and reveal the region’s rich natural heritage. For those seeking a more immersive outdoor experience, camping near a fenced herd of bison adds a touch of wilderness to the adventure.

Devou Park Backwoods trail biking - Visit Cincy

For Culture Vultures…

The Cincy Region emerges as a vibrant canvas of artistic expression, proudly showcasing an extensive collection of public art that surpasses that of many American cities. Stepping into the cultural tapestry of the region, Cincinnati stands as one of the privileged 13 cities in the U.S. to host its own ballet, opera (boasting one of the country’s oldest), fine arts, symphony, and theatre companies. The cultural landscape is rich and diverse, with seven playhouses setting the stage for world-class performing arts experiences throughout the region.

The Cincy Region is alive with a kaleidoscope of creativity as its streets are a vibrant canvas adorned with captivating street art and murals, showcasing the city’s dynamic and ever-evolving artistic spirit. These literally shine best every other October during BLINK, the nation’s largest art and light festival, next happening Oct. 17-20, 2024.

As you navigate the region’s artistic offerings, don’t miss the allure of the Cincinnati Art Museum, where admission is completely free, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a treasure trove of masterpieces. Additionally, the Contemporary Arts Center adds a modern and dynamic dimension to the cultural scene, showcasing the city’s commitment to fostering a thriving contemporary arts community. Whether you’re drawn to classical performances or contemporary exhibitions, Cincy’s artistic embrace ensures an enriching and accessible cultural experience for all.

ArtWorks Cincinnati mural "Toy Heritage" - Visit Cincy/JM Wolf

For History Buffs…

The Cincy Region invites visitors to delve into the captivating tales that define this distinctive locale. Immerse yourself in the profound history of resilience and liberation at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, where the journey to freedom is vividly brought to life. Cross the iconic Roebling Bridge, a historic symbol connecting the past and the present, and feel the echoes of the region’s rich history resonating beneath your feet.

For those intrigued by the clandestine tales of the Prohibition era, embark on a Newport Gangster tour, unravelling the region’s outlaw past and discovering how this intriguing history propelled Newport to become the gambling capital of the country, prefiguring even the fame of Las Vegas. Alternatively, step into a vibrant time capsule spanning from the 1800s to the present at the American Sign Museum – a sprawling 20,000-square-foot showcase adorned with buzzing vintage neon and retro roadside signage, offering a colourful journey through the evolution of American visual culture.

American Sign Museum - Neon Howard Johnson sign, Camp Washington - Visit Cincy

Explore the Best of the Cincy Region With These Recommended Tour Itineraries

British Airways flies five days a week direct from London Heathrow to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) – so you’ll now have even more time to explore the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®!

6-Day Cincy City Break

Enjoy a Cincinnati city break, where historic charm meets vibrant cultural scenes, offering a delightful mix of unique cuisine, diverse festivals, craft breweries, and the timeless allure of the Ohio River.

Price available upon request

Operated by America As You Like It

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  • Take the Queen City Underground Tour – Exploring a hidden crypt and tunnels which were vital to Cincinnati’s brewery heritage
  • Visit Ripley which was a significant crossing point for people escaping slavery through the Underground Railroad
  • Join a walking tour to see some of the murals which have been created in the city, followed by a visit to the Art Museum
  • Visit the Vent Haven Museum, a unique museum with more than 800 ventriloquist figures
  • Head to the town of Newport to take the Newport Gangster Tour
  • Explore Findlay Market, where locals go to buy meat, fish, poultry, lovely delis, cheese and flowers
  • Enjoy bourbon tasting at New Riff Distillery in Newport

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  • 5 nights Covington or downtown Cincinnati hotel accommodation
  • Car rental
  • Return international flights
  • ATOL protected

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13-Day Only in America – Kentucky and Tennessee Fly Drive

Only in America is a 12-night driving tour arriving in Northern Kentucky-Cincinnati and departing from Nashville. It highlights one-of-a-kind destinations and attractions.

From £1,899pp

Operated by Travelplanners

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  • Stroll across Cincinnati’s Roebling Suspension Bridge spanning the Ohio River
  • Take in the Cincinnati River Front with its parks, baseball and American football stadiums
  • Visit the city’s striking National Underground Railroad Freedom Centre
  • Explore Covington, known for its historic neighbourhoods including Licking-Riverside, MainStrasse Village and Wallace Woods
  • Discover the B-Line, an experience centred on five Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® Distilleries: New Riff Distilling, Neeley Family Distillery, Second Sight Spirits, Boone County Distilling Co., and The Old Pogue Distillery
  • Take the Newport Gangster Tour
  • Don’t miss the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Louisville, and be sure to sample the Urban Bourbon Trail along Whiskey Row and around town
  • Have a one-of-a-kind Corvette experience in Bowling Green and visit the nearby Mammoth Cave National Park, the longest cave system known in the world
  • Explore the labyrinth passages and domed caverns of Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Visit Graceland, Elvis’ beloved mansion in Memphis
  • Go honky tonkin’ at Nashville’s world-famous bars on Broadway including Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Robert’s Western World and Legends Corner

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  • 3 nights Embassy Suites by Hilton Cincinnati River Center – Covington Area, Kentucky
  • 2 night 21c Museum Hotel Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1 night Hilton Garden Inn Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • 1 Night Hampton Inn & Suites, Paducah, Kentucky
  • 2 nights The Central Station Memphis Curio Hilton, Kentucky
  • 3 nights Doubletree Downtown, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Car rental for the duration of stay
  • Return international flights into Cincinnati & return from Nashville
  • ABTA & ATOL protected

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15-Day Kentucky & Tennessee By Motorhome

Explore the best of these scenic, neighbouring states at your own pace while enjoying many adventures along the way.

From £2,825pp

Operated by North America Travel Service

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  • Take in the Cincinnati River Front with its parks, baseball and American football stadiums, plus neighbouring entertainment and dining districts. Enjoy a riverboat ride while in the city
  • Visit Cincinnati’s striking National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the American Sign Museum, just ten minutes from downtown
  • Explore Newport, Kentucky – the gaming predecessor to Las Vegas
  • Enjoy hiking, trails and caves, paddling and kayaking at Carter Caves State Park and Cave Run Lake
  • Step back in time at the Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill
  • Take a Belle of Louisville sightseeing cruise
  • Experience boating and fishing on the 5,100-acre Rough River Lake
  • Spend time at the “Niagara of the South,” in Cumberland Falls State Park

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  • 4 nights hotel accommodation
  • 10 days c25 motorhome rental
  • Return direct international flights with British Airways
  • ATOL protected

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15-Day Bourbon, Bluegrass & Horse Country

Embark on a journey to explore distilleries, bluegrass music and the horse culture in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana.

From £1,399pp

Operated by Discover North America

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  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of the Cincy region with a full day exploring the dynamic duo of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky
  • Spend time browsing in Findlay Market – one of Cincinnati’s most cherished institutions or head to a distillery or bourbon bar
  • Explore the beauty of the Daniel Boone National Forest
  • Visit Mt. Vernon, nestled in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains
  • Visit the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame
  • See the thoroughbred horses at Darley at Jonabell Farm, where Kentucky Derby winning stallions have been bred
  • Spend time at one of Kentucky’s most revered distilleries: Buffalo Trace
  • Catch a horse race at one of Kentucky’s renowned racetracks

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  • 14 nights accommodation
  • 14 days car rental and personalised roadbook
  • ABTA & ATOL protected

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Cincy Region green logo

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