Review Post: Carew Tower Observatory

Visiting Cincinnati over the span of a weekend was quite a whirlwind. We tried to jam-pack as much stuff as we could into the limited amount of time available to us. Arriving late Friday evening kind of limited what we could do, but we knew for sure that the Carew Tower was on our list for the next morning. The Carew Tower was originally constructed in 1930, and is the city’s second tallest building. It was added to the country’s National Historic Landmark registry in 1994.


Saturday arrived, and after our early brunch at Taste of Belgium, first on our agenda was to visit the Carew Tower. This was quite easy for us, as our hotel, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, was actually attached to it. We took the skywalk (a raised walkway over the street below that connected the two buildings) over to Carew Tower from our hotel and began our journey.



Once entering the building, we took the elevator up to floor 45. We ascended very quickly, and once we stepped out of the main elevator, signs directed us to where we could access the observation deck… on the 49th floor. We had the option of taking the stairs, or a tiny two-person elevator. We decided to take the very small elevator, but still had to climb up to the last floor via the stairway.


Finally, we reached the door to the observatory deck. There were no windows at eye-level until we reached the top, so we had no idea how high up we really were. After paying $4(USD) each, we were granted access to the roof. It was definitely worth the trip. You could see all of Cincinnati from each side of the building, including the interstate, the Ohio River, Kentucky, and all of the tiny buildings below (which seemed massive from the street).

While Dan watched from a central location (he is terrified of heights), Alicia wandered around the observation deck to, well, …observe! Unfortunately during the time we were there, the forecast was overcast, so visibility wasn’t perfect. The view was still great, though! Here are some of the photos we captured of our experience:






The Carew Tower Observation Deck is definitely something that you should experience during your visit to Cincinnati. The views are spectacular, and the price point is definitely affordable! It is $4 for ages 12+, $2 for ages 6 to 11, and free for anyone under the age of 5. Payment is cash only, and small bills are preferred. We only had $20 with us, but fortunately the lady at the till had enough change for us to give us what was owed. Check out their website and Facebook page for more information!

–The Calkins’

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