School holidays, warm sunny days and lots of events make the summer season, from May till September, a busy time in the city. Flights to Cincinnati and accommodation rates also tend to be higher during this peak period, which is considered to be the best time to visit. The city’s biggest festival takes place over Labour Day weekend in early September; Riverfest, which is known for its famous waterfall and spectacular fireworks, and attracts thousands of visitors who take flights to Cincinnati each year.
Lower fares can be found during the winter months, although Christmas and New Year are traditionally peak times too. Christmas is also a wonderful time to visit and events like the PNC Festival of Lights at the city’s zoo are popular.
The shoulder season months of March to the beginning of May and October to November are quieter. Cheap flights to Cincinnati and discounted accommodation rates tend to be easier to find during these times. The quiet period from March to the beginning of May comes to an end with the Appalachian Festival in May and the start of the summer crowds, while Oktoberfest marks the end of summer and the start of the quieter autumn period.
Cincinnati lies on the northern banks of the Ohio River and is the state’s third biggest city after Columbus and Cleveland. Charles Dickens remarked that he had ‘not often seen a place that commends itself so favourably and pleasantly to a stranger’ in the 19th century, and modern Cincinnati is every bit as welcoming.
After your flight to Cincinnati, you’ll certainly want to visit the city’s Over-the-Rhine historic district. This area was once home to a large German immigrant population and boasts some fine Italianate architecture. This is where you’ll find Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest public market as well as a range of entertainment venues including Music Hall and the city’s opera and symphony orchestra. Visit Washington Park to see the musical fountains, or try some of the terrific restaurants in the Gateway Quarter.
Take a walk across the John A. Roebling suspension bridge as featured in the famous film, Rainman. The bridge is one of the major sights in the city and was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was first erected. Other notable sights include Carew Tower, and the views over the city from the observation deck of its second tallest building are breathtaking.
Learn all you need to know about the city and its culture and history in a trip to the Cincinnati Museum Centre and Union Terminal. You’ll discover a history museum, a natural history and science museum, a children’s museum and much more inside this iconic building.
The city has over 100 parks and green spaces, and is also home to a real American treasure, the Coney Island amusement park. You’ll also find one of the largest amusement parks close to the city – King Island is just 20 miles (32 km) from the centre of town and ideal for a family day out.
With museums, galleries, great shopping and entertainment and some of the nation’s top sporting teams such as the Reds and the Bengals, there is something to please everyone in Cincinnati.
South Ohio Regional Transit Authority (or SORTA) run the city’s Metro buses which cover routes on the Ohio side of the state line, while the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky or TANK covers routes on the Kentucky side. Between the two bus companies getting around the city is simple. However, services marked X are express services so check that they will stop where you want to alight. There are also plenty of taxi stands in the central district and you can hail taxis on the street. Fares can vary so ask before you get on board, and enquire about discounts on cross-town routes. Walking is popular with locals and visitors and the covered Skywalk is a free and interesting way to traverse part of the city.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is 13 miles (20.9km) south of the city and is the only airport in Ohio, Indiana or Kentucky with non-stop international flights to Europe. It’s where most visitors arrive and getting into the city is fairly straightforward. Those who want to drive will find all the major car rental outlets in the terminals, and TANK operate a regular shuttle bus service to the city centre. There are also taxis available from outside arrivals for a set fare.