This was a tough one. If there’s one thing Cincinnati does right, it’s parks. (Actually, there are many things that Cincinnati does right, but that’s a separate Top 5 post). So the takeaway is this: Don’t stop with our list. Between the Cincinnati Parks and Hamilton County Parks systems there are more than 40 beautiful and fun preserves, gardens, and playgrounds to explore. Also, don’t miss Zoo Blooms, on display at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens through April 30. cincinnatizoo.org
1. Hinkle Magnolia GardenThis mini arboretum—part of the huge Eden Park—is ready-made for springtime gorgeousness. Just a few steps away from Krohn Conservatory, this romantic grove has benches, a gazebo, and those beauty queens of the flower world, magnolias. cincinnatiparks.com
2. Glenwood GardensOne of Cincinnati’s low-profile gems, Glenwood Gardens has meadows, prairies, wetlands, and a quaint English-style building called—what else?—the Cotswold Visitor Centre. Bring the whole family and visit the Butterfly Garden and the children’s Highfield Discovery Garden. greatparks.org
3. Rowe WoodsPart of the Cincinnati Nature Center, Milford’s Rowe Woods was once the home of German immigrant Carl Krippendorf, who planted thousands of daffodils among the property’s beech and maple trees. cincynature.org
4. Mt. Airy Forest ArboretumThis park is a forest within a city. Its dedicated 120-acre arboretum is a perfect, compact place to view blooming trees and springtime flowers like azaleas, tulips, and lilacs. Don’t leave the park without exploring the Wilson Wildflower Trail. cincinnatiparks.com
5. Ault ParkAult Park’s Observatory Avenue entrance has a double-whammy first impression of spring: a grove of dreamy Japanese cherry trees on either side of the wide drive, and a carpet of tiny yellow flowers beneath. Get out of your car. Prance around a little bit. Then go hang out at the pavilion of all pavilions. cincinnatiparks.comPhotograph by Lemos Photography
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