If you’re like me, you enjoy showing off Cincinnati to visitors. Maybe you’ve already planned out your own tour routes depending on the visitors’ ages, disposition, and group size: single people in their twenties vs. a family with little kids, arts- or sports-minded folks vs. a couple who just wants to hit the highlights, first-time visitors vs. a former coworker returning for the first time in 10 years.
Perhaps you wing it depending on the weather. On nice days you take in the amazing views in Eden Park or Devou Park and walk around MainStrasse, and on rainy days you visit Krohn Conservatory and the Cincinnati Museum Center. You eat as often as you possibly can. A chili parlor, certainly, followed by a stop at Graeter’s, or one of the cool new restaurants in Over-the-Rhine, a pretty big universe considering your companions are visitors and everything is new to them. You have to stop occasionally for a drink, sampling the bourbon craze in any number of Northern Kentucky spots and trying local craft beer at dozens of breweries and taprooms across the area.
I get a kick out of unveiling Cincinnati to first-time visitors, who invariably react with some version of “I had no idea.” They didn’t know it was so hilly, or there was a whole other state with its own identity just across the river, or the arts were so prominent, or people were so nice. And, in a different way, I love showing people around who used to live here or are natives and haven’t been back in a while. They can’t believe their eyes when walking in Over-the-Rhine and Washington Park, seeing the FC Cincinnati stadium construction, or strolling a busy business district in their old neighborhood.
It’s instructive to see your hometown through a visitor’s eyes and be reminded of the hidden gems we often take for granted. I urge you to heed the advice of “Tour de Cincinnati” and be a tourist in your own city more often. You might even find a new favorite tour stop or two.