Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Cleveland for a holiday in the Midwest can be a fun, affordable destinations all year round. Here we highlight fun things to do in each city.
We often overlook the good ‘ole Midwest for a holiday destination. With mid-size cities like Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Cleveland, a holiday in the Midwest can be a fun, affordable region all year round.
So, let’s have a look at what these three cities offer for a holiday in the Midwest.
Cincinnati for a Holiday
With a solid German heritage, Cincinnati is a great place for beer fans and foodies. The Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is the original neighborhood the German immigrants settled and it is undergoing a revival. And, the Cincinnati streetcar makes it easy to explore Downtown Cincinnati and the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
Cincinnati and Beer
With that German heritage, you expect good beer. But, did you know Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, known as Zinzinnati, is the largest Octoberfest outside of Munich Germany?
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But it doesn’t stop there, Cincinnati has two Beer Festivals (one winter and one in summer) AND a Beer Week. As well, there are several other smaller festivals including an International Craft Beer Festival at Jungle Jim’s (a local independent retailer with the most amazing selection of beer you will find anywhere!)
Therefore, if you like beer, I think you will love Cincinnati!
Cincinnati for Sport Fans
For sports fans, depending on the season, take in a Bengal’s game or a watch the Cincinnati Reds play baseball. And, if you are into tennis, you can see all the big-name players at the Cincinnati Masters Tournament in August. This is the lead up tournament to the US Open.
The Cincinnati Masters is held in Mason. Also in Mason, you can visit find King’s Island, a Paramount Amusement park. Great roller coasters are the attraction here. As well, it has a water park. So, great for children. And, you can easily visit here for several days.
Other Things to Do in Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Zoo is famous for its white Bengal tigers. So, it’s well worth a visit to see these majestic creatures. Cincinnati also enjoys a great reputation for its arts culture with the Contemporary Arts Center. The Cincinnati Art Museum and the Taft Museum of Art are just a few of the many museums in town.
But don’t take my word for it, Travel + Leisure listed Cincinnati as the highest ranking of only 7 US cities to be included among the 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017.
You can find a wide variety of places to stay in Cincinnati. So, just perfect for your holiday in the Midwest.
Driving to Cincinnati is easy, as it is easily accessible on one of several interstates. The Cincinnati airport (CVG) is in Northern Kentucky or the Dayton Airport provides easy access as well (and flights are often cheaper to this airport).
Indianapolis for a Holiday in the Midwest
Perhaps best known as the home of the Indy500, Indianapolis is a Midwest city with a lot going for it. 2017 has been declared the year of Kurt Vonnegut, Indianapolis’ most famous author. Perhaps he is best known for his novel Slaughterhouse Five. It coincides with the 10-year anniversary of his death and the re-opening of the Vonnegut Museum.
Exploring Indianapolis Food Scene
Speaking of Vonnegut, Bluebeard Restaurant, which is named after one of his novels, is a great place to experience all Indy has to offer for foodies. Indiana is a large agricultural state, (just drive through it!), so the farm-to-table movement is alive and well here.
Some great suggestions to try include Bluebeard, Vida (with a 4 or 5 course tasting menu) or The Garden Table. Condé Nast Traveler deemed Indy, “America’s most underrated food city” and Zagat claimed Indy to be one of 2016’s “Hottest Food Cities“. So, I am sure you can make some great discoveries of your own as well during your holiday in the Midwest.
Unique Museums in Indianapolis
Indy also has its share of museums. For instance, two unique museums include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (named after founder Harrison Eiteljorg). The latter features a contemporary collection of Western and Native American art and cultural objects, named as one of the best in the world. It includes works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Charles Russell, and Frederic Remington.
Other Things to Do in Indianapolis
Like Cincinnati, the Indianapolis Zoo is well regarded. The zoo is best known for its dolphin pavilion which includes the Underwater Dolphin Dome, where you can view dolphins from beneath the water. As well, there is the Marsh Dolphin Theater, which features a vast pool and a coastal village scene. The theater features a dolphin show every day. And, there is the Dolphin In-Water Adventure, an interactive dolphin program. So, no shortage of dolphins here.
Getting to Indianapolis
If you fly into Indianapolis, the airport has been recognized five times as the best airport in America! And, with a wide selection of hotels in Indianapolis, including most of the large national chains and some local boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts, there is no shortage of choice.
Cleveland in Northeast Ohio for a Holiday
Not to be outdone by Cincinnati in the Southwest corner of Ohio, Cleveland in the Northeast of Ohio offers an entirely different experience. Located along the banks of Lake Erie, there are plenty of outdoor recreation and water sport activities in Cleveland.
Cleveland for Sport Fans
Enjoying a long football rivalry with Cincinnati, the Cleveland Browns are a favorite of all the locals. And, Cleveland also has the Indians (baseball) as well as the Cavaliers (Basketball). Therefore, no matter what the time of year you, can enjoy a game.
Unique Museums in Cleveland
As well, Cleveland boosts two well-known museums- the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (in Canton just south of Cleveland).
Beer and Food in Cleveland
Cleveland has an industrial past and a history of immigration that has resulted in a large, multi-cultural community. So, the food and drink options reflect this. Therefore, you can find some wonderful, ethnic restaurants. As well, you can explore these neighborhoods. Ohio City is a great neighborhood for food and beer lovers. Make sure to visit the West Side Market to find great delis, meat, fish, spices and more. This market has been around since 1912 originally serving Cleveland’s immigrant community.
And, the East Side Flats is experiencing its second coming. This area was booming in the late 1990’s and is once again popular following extensive redevelopment.
Perhaps Cleveland’s best-known chef, Michael Symon, an Iron Chef on the Food Network, has several restaurants in town. You might try visiting his first and well-regarded restaurant, Lola Bistro.
Want some local ingredients? Try Trentina, featuring dishes from Northern Italy, but made with locally sourced ingredients. You can try the Spice Kitchen & Bar, which sources many of its ingredients from its own farm. Or, there is the Urban Farmer, which is a local steakhouse featuring locally sourced fare.
To find food from Cleveland’s Easter European immigration, try Slyman’s. Here, you will find what just may be the best corned beef sandwich in town. Or, what about Sokolowski’s (University Inn)? Here, is a local legend, famous for their pierogis and stuffed cabbage.
And, make sure you try the local beer from Great Lakes Brewing.
Where to Stay in Cleveland
For great places to stay, there is a wide selection of hotels downtown which provides easy access to the museums, bars and restaurants.