Cincinnati in a Weekend

Cincinnati. Cincy. The Queen City. A beautiful city all-around, known by multiple nicknames. We had the pleasure of visiting over this passed weekend, and we were not disappointed. The purpose of the trip was a family wedding, but since we were planning to spend the full weekend (Friday to Sunday), we wanted to make the most of our time and fit in as many escapades (did it again! Escapades. Like our blog title!…nevermind) as we could.

The trip down by car was approximately a 6-hour drive from our starting point, and with minimal construction and traffic down the I-75, we made excellent time. We stayed at the beautiful & historic Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel on Fifth Street, and it was absolutely stunning:


Our location couldn’t have been more convenient. Because we were located downtown, we were central to many places, and could walk everywhere that we wanted to go. Once we checked-in and got settled, it was time for food, so we headed down to Fountain Square to see which restaurants were close by.


After exploring our options, we decided on checking out Rock Bottom Cincinnati which is a brewery/ pub, with great beer and food! We were hesitant at first because there was quite a line-up to get in, but then we assumed that that meant the food was good! The wait ended up only being about 10 minutes before being seated. The restaurant was quite large in size, with more booths than tables, which we were totally okay with. After being seated, we ended up ordering a sample flight of beer to share, along with a delicious appetizer and entree:


After our meal, we took a walk around the square and took in the surroundings, now that we were no longer hangry and could appreciate the sights in the square. Walking around and mentally planning ideas for what we wanted to do the next day, we headed back to our hotel to see some family and prepare for tomorrow’s escapades.

The next day, we knew we were limited for time to explore because our main event was Dan’s cousin’s wedding. Because it was later in the evening, we made sure to explore as much as we could until then. We started our day off at the Taste of Belgium Restaurant located at the Banks. The food was delicious:


There was also a brewery right inside, as well as a bakery. We purchased a couple of craft beers to take back home with us, and they were awesome!

After breakfast, we headed over to the Carew Tower specifically for the views. Check out our post about our experience here.

After the tower, we took a walking tour of the city. There was the option of 1, 2 or 3 mile tours, so we went with 3 to try and see everything that we could. We managed to see a lot of cool places, including the Cincinnati downtown public library! This place was enormous (and gorgeous), with a lot of interesting spaces and books. For a weekend, Saturday especially, it wasn’t overly busy. We had time (and space) to do some exploring.


We ventured onward and found some neat-looking (and old) buildings, including city hall, and unique shops along the streets. A bit more walking and we found ourselves at the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge linking Ohio and Kentucky over the Ohio River. Although it was a busy weekend in downtown Cincinnati, we didn’t feel overcrowded by the hustle and bustle of everything going on near the river.


On our way back to the Hilton, we stumbled across the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. We decided to check it out because we still had some time before having to head back for the wedding. Knowing that museums aren’t always open on the weekend, we were happy to learn that they were open Saturday! After having purchased a general admission, we headed inside. This place was truly fascinating, with so many unique artifacts and stories from those who experienced this time in history. Check out our post about it here!

Before getting back to our hotel, we stopped at Graeter’s – would you believe we’ve never been here before? The location at Fountain Square was magical. So many treats! We did settle on ice cream though – their signature flavour is Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, as recommended by the shop owner that we spoke with. So delicious – we can see why it is their best seller!


At this point, it was time to get back so that we could get ready for the evening’s festivities – our cousin’s wedding! The ceremony and reception were held at BEAUTIFUL venues in Cincinnati: St. Mary Parish and The Bell Event Center:


On our last day in Cincinnati, we met up with the wedding guests for brunch! Tucked in a gorgeous neighbourhood within minutes of downtown, we ate at Chapter in Mt Adams. Their weekend brunch menu was awesome! We ordered the Chapter Benedict (a biscuit with poached eggs & slow simmered pot roast topped with Hollandaise sauce):


Cincinnati is such a unique city. There is SO much history there, with its beautiful buildings , parks and neighbourhoods. While we would have loved to visit Cincinnati longer than the duration of a weekend, we were happy to be able to fit in as many activities as we did. We would visit again in a heartbeat!

–The Calkins’

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