Top 10 Things for Active Travelers to Do in Cincinnati | Midwest Living

Top 10 Things for Active Travelers to Do in Cincinnati

Into tree climbing? Wakeboarding? Ziplining? Cincinnati’s got more than enough get-you-moving activities to fill a weekend getaway.
Photo courtesy of Ozone Zipline Adventures.
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Photo courtesy of EarthJOY Tree Adventures.
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Photo courtesy of Wake Nation Cincinnati.
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Photo courtesy of Wheel Fun Rentals.
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1) Legendary Run Golf Course Just east of Cincinnati, this well-maintained public course has an uberfriendly staff, clearly marked distances and five sets of tees to accommodate all skill levels. As part of the Audubon Sanctuary Program, some of the course's greenways run alongside areas maintained as wildlife habitat, which also benefits humans who enjoy stunning scenery. (513) 753-1919;

2) EarthJoy Tree Adventures Leave your fear of heights at home. This unusual all-ages adventure takes tree climbing to the extreme. Certified instructors show you how to safely ascend and descend using a saddle harness and a rope system. Navigating these knots and pulleys is more of a workout than you might expect. Fortunately, strategically positioned hammocks and tree chairs give you a chance to catch your breath. The company is based in northern Kentucky, but customers can also opt for climbing sites in the greater Cincinnati area or Indiana. (859) 635-0320;

3) Queen City Underground Tour Get down and (maybe a little) dirty on this exploration of some of Cincinnati’s underground sites. The two-hour tour traipses through the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and the Gateway District with stops at historical buildings, creepy crypts and mysterious tunnels connecting a network of local breweries. (859) 951-8560;

4) Loveland Bike Trail Take a picturesque ride along the relatively flat, paved stretch of the 70-mile Little Miami Scenic State Park. Four Cincinnati-area trailheads provide easy access. Scenery along this former railroad line includes a castle on the Little Miami River, Civil War sites and Indian burial grounds. With cafes, ice cream shops and a charming downtown, the little town of Loveland makes a great spot to refuel. (Rentals available on the trail.) (513) 683-0468;

5) Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Visitors will enjoy their experience in this urban, well-kept zoo known for its spring gardens and holiday lights. Get your exercise walking the paths and trails at this 74-acre attraction, especially appealing in spring when the gardens are in bloom. Feed lettuce to a giraffe, stroll through a simulated African jungle in Gorilla World and hike to Cat Canyon for an up-close look at Malayan tigers.

6) Wake Nation Cincinnati The first—and only—cable wake park in the Midwest makes its home on a pretty 10-acre lake. No boats here; daring riders skim the surface on wakeboards, water skis and kneeboards while holding onto an overhead cable that tows them. If you’re not feeling that brave, it’s fun and free to simply watch the action from the observation deck. (513) 887-9253;

7) Ozone Zipline Adventures The largest zip-line canopy tour in Ohio thrills adventure-seekers with two new lines soaring 200 feet above the Little Miami River. (That’s 11 stories high!) The 11 zip lines and nine skybridges cover more than a mile. Knowledgeable guides provide interesting earth science, ecology and physics tidbits between zips. Open seven days a week at YMCA Camp Kern. (513) 932-3756;

8) Wheel Fun Rentals When the weather’s nice, head to Sawyer Point Park under the Purple People Bridge to rent bikes, surreys, choppers and quad sports for a two- or four-wheeled spin through downtown Cincinnati. Wheel Fun provides maps (and helmets and locks) for self-guided tours of the city on your choice of bike and route. Points of interest include the Great American Ballpark, Freedom Center and Fountain Square. (513) 658-4161;

9) Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Built in 1931, this landmark hotel offers swanky Art Deco design and a prime downtown location. A few-minutes walk gets active-minded guests to the recreational amenities of Sawyer Point Park, ball parks, the riverfront and the Purple People Bridge, which links to Newport, Kentucky. If the weather’s bad, stay inside and ask for a complimentary pass to the full-service gym at Carew Tower. (513) 421-9100;

10) Green Dog Cafe Don’t be thrown by the bland, unassuming strip mall exterior; the fare you’ll find inside this colorful, small cafe wows with hormone-free meats and poultry, organic dairy and locally roasted coffee. The menu changes frequently, but carnivores, vegetarians, vegans and those with other dietary restrictions will all find something to like among flavorful dishes such as grilled scallops, falafel burgers, roasted beet salad and pork belly tacos. (513) 321-8777;

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