Cincinnati is not a city you see much written about and I am not sure why. It is a slice of middle America full of history and some great things to do. One of these days I will have to write a post about some of the great things to do in town. But for today, we have headed to downtown to explore Cincinnati on the streetcar!
The 3.6 mile long streetcar route forms a loop running between The Banks (near the Ohio River) through the CBD to the Over the Rhine neighborhood. It is an electric tram, which Cincinnati refers to as a “streetcar.” For $1 you can hop on and off for 2 hours or for $2 you can travel all day. Buy the ticket in the automated machine at the stop. No need to pre-purchase or organize tickets in advance.
It is a great way to visit the historic Over-the-Rhine District. Over-the-Rhine is historically an area of German settlement in Cincinnati. (If you were not aware, Cincinnati has a very strong German heritage and there are still very strong German influences around the city.) Think great beer and German style sausages, sauerkraut, strudel and breads!
Over the Rhine was once an area to be avoided but as gentrification and revitalization projects have taken place, Over the Rhine is now a hip area. And based on the level of renovation and restoration work going on now, it will continue to grow in popularity. Travel & Leisure recently published their “Best Places to Travel 2017 List” featuring their top 50 destinations around the world. And guess what? Cincinnati is on that list and featuring Over-the-Rhine and other sites you can see along the streetcar!
Today Over the Rhine has plenty of shops, restaurants and trendy bars for you to explore.
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Explore Cincinnati’s Historic Findlay Market
The highlight for us food lovers is the Findlay Market. This is the oldest continuing operating market in Ohio. The market opened in 1855 on land donated for use as a public market from John Findlay.
The market hall itself has recently undergone renovations and today the market is in full swing. The indoor food hall hosts a variety of butchers, bakers and other food providers. The fresh fruit and vegetables are outside. This is a farmer’s market and the focus is on locally grown and produced food.
Local eateries offer a great place to stop for lunch- including freshly made wood fired pizzas and authentic, slow-cooked, smoked barbecue.
This was both our shopping stop and our lunch break.
The market is open Tuesday – Sunday. Check the Findlay Market website for hours and a full list of merchants and activities.
Along the Streetcar Route
The streetcar route takes you through the main commercial district (hop off and you can stop and see Cincinnati’s iconic Fountain Square), the Banks entertainment district, the Great American baseball stadium, historic Music Hall and stroll through the parks along the riverfront. The streetcar provides a great chance to see the city and you can hop on and off as many times as you would like.
Over-the-Rhine and The Banks also provide great options to stop for food and drinks along the way.
For more information about tickets and the route, check the website for the Cincinnati Streetcar.