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Top 5 Staycation Ideas
Everything old is new again: Check out our five Staycation itineraries.
1. Arts and Culture
Touring isn’t just for tourists: Visit our art museums, which range from traditional to contemporary. If you can tell the difference between Monet and Manet (or if you’d like to know!), head to Eden Park and soak in some Old World culture at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Take a lunch break in the café, which has seating outside in the 128-year-old building’s elegant courtyard. Then hit up downtown’s Zaha Hadid-designed Contemporary Arts Center for Buildering: Misbehaving the City, which features architectural pieces reimagined by artists from around the world who seek to “break the hypnosis of ritual and cultivate new freedoms.” Then take your newly freed self to one of David Falk’s gorgeous restaurants: Try the seasonal seafood risotto at Boca, handmade pasta at Sotto, or margaritas at Nada.
Want to get better acquainted with the Queen City’s history, food, and scenery? Let some Cincinnati jazz sooth your soul as you munch on a BB Riverboats‘ Dixieland Jazz Brunch while cruising down the Ohio River. Or see the Purple People Bridge from a brand new perspective as you explore both land and water with Newport’s Ride the Ducks. Then after a long day in the sun, pick up some sea salt caramel gelato with Cincinnati Food Tours as they showcase the eclectic mix of options in Over-the-Rhine. Finally, take to the skies with Bella Balloons, which offers hot air balloon tours high over Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is a treasure trove for history buffs. Explore the city’s past in the Cincinnati History Museum at the Cincinnati Museum Center, take in 145 years of baseball at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, and see 85 incredible story quilts at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. If you want to walk in the footsteps of famous Cincinnatians, you can tour the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and the William Howard Taft National Historical Site. At The Heritage Village Museum in Loveland, join a vintage game of baseball or watch the costumed volunteers as they demonstrate crafts from a simpler time (candle making!). Join the ranks of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Ronald Reagan as you end your day with dinner at the Golden Lamb, Ohio’s oldest inn.
Go ga-ga over Nasha, the new baby giraffe at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Then get your sweat on with the Cincinnati Nature Center (locations in Milford and Goshen), which offers award-winning hiking trails, forest, and farmland. Bike down the Loveland bike trail, stopping to explore the quirky cafés and shops along the way. And if you’ve always wanted an authentic farm experience, visit the 122-acre Gorman Heritage Farm in Evendale, where visitors can explore gardens, ponds, and farmyards. For dinner, head over to Wildflower Café and Coffee House, located in an old downtown Mason farmhouse. The grass-fed beef burger on a pretzel bun (with double-smoked bacon, organic field greens, pickled onion, and a secret sauce) was voted Cincinnati Magazine’s #1 Best Burger.
Adrenaline junkies should check out the brand new Banshee coaster at Kings Island. Or for a more nostalgic (and less barfy) theme park experience, Coney Island features classic rides and water-slides. Double down on the whole staycation idea and reserve rooms at Great Wolf Lodge or CoCo Key; both hotels have indoor water parks as well as other kid-friendly adventures. If you’re craving even more fun, check out the new Soaring Eagle Zip Line at The Beach Waterpark, which also has water-slides, classic wave-pools, and lazy rivers. Then dry yourself off and head over to Blue Ash Chili where you can attempt the “No Freakin’ Way Challenge”: eating eight pounds of Cincinnati chili in sixty minutes. Um…no freakin’ way.