Heading to Cincinnati and looking for a fun night on the town? Look no further than the hip Over-the-Rhine district, where you’ll find trendy bars and restaurants, sleek gastropubs, and vibrant nightlife. This one-time working-class German neighborhood is now one of the city’s hottest spots, with loads of fabulous attractions and activities.
Located on the north edge of Downtown Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine, locally dubbed ‘OTR,’ is peppered with beautifully preserved 19th-century Italianate buildings, tranquil urban parks, and bustling markets.
The historic Findlay Market bustles with activity and is the spot for fresh produce, artisanal goods, and delicious eats. Arts and culture come alive at the Cincinnati Music Hall and the Pendleton Art Center, and Washington Park provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When the sun goes down, OTR comes alive with restaurants, bars, and nightclubs vying for attention. Sip cocktails at Sundry and Vice, craft beers at the Lackman, and catch live music at MOTR Pub.
Not sure where to start your Cincy adventure? This complete guide for what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay in Over-the-Rhine Cincinnati, Ohio, should get you going!
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What to see & do in Over-the-Rhine
The heart and soul of Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, is Findlay Market—and it should be your first stop in the neighborhood! This historic public market is a bustling hub of sights, sounds, and aromas and a cherished community gathering spot that oozes character.
Set on Race Street in the heart of the neighborhood, Findlay Market has been serving fresh produce and local goods for over a century. Colorful rows of fresh fruits and veggies are a feast for the eyes, while the many food vendors offer mouthwatering cuisine, from Belgian waffles to Southern fried chicken.
Artisanal bakeries and chocolatiers tempt market-goers with delectable pastries, handmade chocolates, and other sweet delights. Beyond the food, Findlay Market is brimming with quirky shops selling local crafts, handmade goods, and unique finds. It’s the perfect place to snag a one-of-a-kind souvenir to remember your visit.
Cincinnati Music Hall
Treat yourself to a performance at the magnificent Cincinnati Music Hall. This historic gem with its grand façade is the community’s crown jewel and has captivated audiences for generations.
Built in 1878 in the Victorian Gothic Revival style, the Cincinnati Music Hall is considered one of the most beautiful concert theaters in the world. Marvel at the ornate details like the corbelled brickwork, the sandstone carvings, and the beautiful rose window.
The Cincinnati Music Hall is home to some of the city’s finest arts organizations, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Ballet. Catch a concert, ballet performance, or Broadway show—whatever you choose, you’re in for a treat!
Delve into the fascinating history of the Music Hall on a guided tour and discover its hidden treasures. Check their schedule for special events, exhibitions, and even open rehearsals for a behind-the-scenes experience.
Take a break from sightseeing and meander through the lush greenery of Washington Park. Home to beautiful landscapes of towering trees, grassy lawns, and shimmering water features, it’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, a relaxing picnic, or simply soaking up the beauty of nature.
If you’re visiting with kids, the playground at Washington Park is a must-visit. It’s a playground paradise with swings, slides, and climbing structures that’ll entertain the little ones for hours.
Washington Park is pet-friendly, so take your pup for a fun outing. There’s even a designated dog park area where your furry companion can frolic and make new friends.
Keep an eye on the park’s events calendar, as it hosts various special events and festivals regularly. From outdoor concerts to art fairs and food festivals, something exciting always happens in Washington Park.
During the warmer months, Washington Park hosts free concerts, movie nights, and live performances. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, sit back, and enjoy the entertainment under the open sky.
Memorial Hall OTR
When it comes to cultural events, Memorial Hall is the area’s go-to hotspot. This spectacular Beaux-Arts-style building on Elm Street is a hub of arts, culture, and community events. Officially known as the Hamilton County Memorial Building, this iconic venue is a treasure trove of history, culture, and artistic delights.
Built in 1908 to honor the brave soldiers who served in the Civil War and other conflicts, Memorial Hall has become a cherished cultural center, hosting various events, performances, and gatherings. Live concerts, theatrical performances, art exhibitions, and dance shows – there’s always something on!
You’ll also find a remarkable collection of artwork and artifacts of local civic and military history. Stroll through the building where more than 40 pieces are on display, including the storied wreath that is said to have adorned Abraham Lincoln’s casket when it passed through Columbus, Ohio.
Pendleton Art Center
Step into a world of creativity and take in some incredible local art at the Pendleton Art Center. Housed in a former shoe factory, this dynamic arts hub is home to over 200 artist studios, creating a buzzing and creative atmosphere.
One of the coolest places to visit in Cincinnati for art lovers, the Pendleton Art Center is brimming with a diverse range of artists, from painters and sculptors to jewelry makers and photographers. Wander around the studios, meet the artists behind the masterpieces, and witness art in the making.
Gallery exhibitions showcasing the works of resident artists and notable guest artists are regularly hosted at the center. Stroll through the galleries and be inspired by the array of artistic expressions.
Keep an eye on the center’s calendar for special art events and open studio days. Looking for a unique souvenir? Support local artists by purchasing artwork or handmade crafts from their studios and take home a piece of Cincinnati’s vibrant art scene.
Greater Cincinnati Police Museum
Uncover the fascinating world of law enforcement at the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum. One of the most popular museums in Cincinnati, this unique attraction is a treasure trove of police history and a tribute to the brave men and women who serve and protect.
The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum aims to preserve the legacy of law enforcement in the Greater Cincinnati region. Join a guided tour to gain deeper insight into the history and function of the museum.
Explore the museum’s vast collection of historical artifacts, including vintage police uniforms, equipment, and memorabilia. Enjoy interactive exhibits that allow you to experience what it’s like to be a police officer. From sitting in a patrol car to trying on police gear, it’s a hands-on adventure for visitors of all ages!
Before you leave, take a moment to reflect and honor the bravery and dedication of fallen officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Where to eat & drink
From hip diners to craft cocktail bars, Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, promises a compelling blend of flavors and experiences!
For trendy diner vibes with a cozy setting and a chill atmosphere, head to Sacred Beast Diner OTR. Dive into juicy burgers, savory sandwiches, and drool-worthy brunch dishes. Wash it down with their craft cocktails and local brews. Get there early for brunch – it’s super popular! And save room for their delectable homemade desserts.
This Belgian-inspired gem brings the taste of Belgium into the heart of Cincy. Taste of Belgium is a local favorite with a warm and welcoming ambiance and killer Liege waffles – both sweet and savory options are a must-try! Their diverse menu also features Belgian-inspired dishes that’ll leave you craving more.
Take a culinary journey to the Middle East at Ché. This gem offers a delightful fusion of Lebanese and Persian flavors, with dishes like falafel, kebabs, and savory stews. The cozy and inviting ambiance makes this restaurant an excellent spot for a relaxed meal. If you’re undecided, go for their mezze platter; it’s a perfect sampler of all their most delicious dishes.
Calling all fried chicken lovers – this one’s for you! The Eagle is known for their mouthwatering Nashville-style hot chicken that’s crispy, spicy, and downright addictive. Pair it with their delicious side dishes and craft beer, and you’ve got a winning combination!
For a dose of live music and good grub, head straight to MOTR Pub. This hip spot offers an eclectic menu with various dishes, including vegan and vegetarian options. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a meal and catch local music talent.
Looking for a cool bar with an impressive selection of craft beers? Look no further than The Lackman. With a rotating list of brews on tap, you’ll find something to tickle your taste buds. Their cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a top spot for beer enthusiasts. The Lackman often hosts tap takeovers, so it’s the perfect place to discover new brews.
A hip cocktail bar with an old-school charm and a speakeasy vibe, Sundry and Vice is a haven for handcrafted cocktails that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Their mixologists are true artists, and their attention to detail shines through in every sip. Try their popular gin and tonics or adventurous concoctions. If you’re unsure what to order, the expert bartenders can create a custom drink just for you.
For Asian-inspired comfort food with a creative twist, Ghost Baby is a must. Their menu celebrates bold flavors and innovative combinations, from mouthwatering dumplings to flavorful noodle dishes. Sip on their signature cocktails or sake for a perfect pairing.
Where to stay
If you’re looking to escape the bustle of the city center, Over-the-Rhine is one of the coolest neighborhoods to stay in Cincinnati. Most of the accommodations here are vacation rentals, with only a small selection of traditional hotels and guest houses.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Expand your lodgings search to Downtown Cincinnati, just a few minutes to the south, where many of the city’s top hotels lie.
Boasting beautiful downtown views, this sleek self-catering apartment is perfect for a hassle-free stay in the heart of OTR. Set in a historic building, this one-bedroom apartment has a kitchen with a dishwasher, oven, and a comfortable living area. Enjoy facilities like a heated pool and an on-site restaurant, and stay connected with free Wi-Fi.
Ideally located for exploring OTR, the Reserve is an air-conditioned, two-bedroom apartment with lovely city views. A fully equipped kitchen has a dishwasher and a washing machine, and the comfortable living area has a flat-screen TV with streaming services. A short walk will take you to the Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium.
Based in a beautifully restored mansion in downtown Cincinnati, the Symphony Hotel & Restaurant is an elegant, music-themed boutique hotel close to the Cincinnati Music Hall. Individually decorated guestrooms feature period décor and antique furnishings. Enjoy Sunday brunch in the historic 1870s dining room.