The Queen City's crown jewels include pro sports, a bounty of great museums and a standout zoo.
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Roebling Bridge
Roebling Bridge
| Credit: Randall L. Schieber

Day 1

At the Cincinnati Art Museum , a wing dedicated to the city's rich heritage features more than 400 pieces, mostly by artists born or trained in town.

Excellent margaritas and worth-the-calories Mexican dishes secure Nada as a great stop for lunch downtown.

Taft Museum of Art
Credit: Photo Courtesy of CincinnatiUSA

You'll feel like you're walking through someone's lovely home at the Taft Museum of Art — as long as that someone owns a Rembrandt.

Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum shares the team's fascinating beginning.

Get close to the Ohio River by visiting Smale Riverfront Park—with a labyrinth, carousel, splash pad, playground, trail, event lawn and microbrewery—or by crossing the historic John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge.

The day ends well with fall-off-the-bone ribs at either of two locations of Montgomery Inn.

Even if you don't overnight at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, stop in for drinks at the elegant Art Deco Bar at Palm Court, with a happy hour every day from 4 to 7 p.m. and live jazz on the weekends until 1 a.m.

Lytle Park Hotel
Lytle Park Hotel
| Credit: Aaron Conway

The Lytle Park Hotel inside a 1909 building reflects both classic and contemporary nature-inspired decor.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Cincinnati
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
| Credit: Courtesy of Mark Bealer/Cincinnati USA

Day 2

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center celebrates liberty while exploring the history of slavery and the fight to end it.

Giraffe Ridge at Cincinnati Zoo
Credit: Courtesy of Michelle Curley/Cincinnati USA

Exquisite gardens and more than 500 animal species—including rare African painted dogs—entertain visitors at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Fill the rest of an afternoon shopping for antiques, artwork, apparel and jewelry in Hyde Park Square.

At Quarter Bistro, a seasonal menu and an art nouveau interior beckon in Mariemont.

Cincinnati Museum Center
Credit: Randall L. Schieber

Add a Day

At the renovated Cincinnati Museum Center, a single ticket buys access to three great museums—Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History and Science and the Children's Museum. Even better, it's all in the striking Union Terminal, a mosaic-filled, Art Deco jewel.

Graeter's ice cream French pots with scoop
Credit: Courtesy of Graeter's

Regional Food Sampler

Throughout the city, the fourth-generation, family-owned Graeter's Ice Cream parlors churn out 20 original flavors like Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip. Their French pot process produces just 2 gallons at a time to ensure a rich and creamy frozen treat.

Hearty, award-winning Cincinnati chili is great in a bowl on its own, but it's meant to top a bowl of spaghetti, a hot dog, or an omelet—or fill layers of one—of-a-kind lasagna. Blue Ash Chili serves it all for a low price in a no-frills environment.

Locals consume more than 1 million pounds of Glier's Goetta's breakfast sausage each year. Area restaurants like Price Hill Chili incorporate the Kentucky-made goetta in their menu items.

Findlay Market Cincinnati
Credit: Courtesy of Wendy Pramik for USA Today/Cincinnati USA

Open year-round, but spilling outdoors during the summer, Findlay Market in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood sells a great mix of ethnic, traditional and organic foods. You'll find meat, produce, cheese, baked goods, honey and more. It's a tradition that dates to 1855.