“When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times” … or so allegedly wrote Samuel Clemens, who lived in the city from 1856-7, before departing by steamboat for New Orleans and becoming Mark Twain. Apocryphal or not, the quotation no longer rings true: today’s Cincinnati is up-to-date with a vengeance, a dining and attractions mecca, and an ideal site for the 2024 INCS Conference. Plan to come earlier and stay later if you can!
Our conference hotel, the Hyatt Regency on Fifth St, is on the western edge of the Central Business District. Downtown is on a grid, with numbered streets running east-west; the north-south streets are Plum, Elm, Race, Vine, Walnut, Main, Sycamore, and Broadway, with Vine St being the dividing line between east and west.
The western edge of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood begins about seven blocks north of the hotel, just across Central Parkway; the Central Business District is to the east and north of the hotel. The streetcar runs on a loop: the closest stop heading south to the Banks and the river is east, at Fifth and Walnut; the closest stop heading north, to Over the Rhine, is also to the east, at Sixth and Main.
If you want to explore on foot, you can walk a few blocks downhill to the south, on either Elm or Vine St, and arrive at the riverfront, home to both a football and a baseball stadium, but also to Smale Riverfront Park, from which you can walk (or run) west to east along the Ohio River, spanned by the historic Roebling Bridge, and look across to Kentucky.
Heading north and thus back uphill from Smale on Vine or Main, you’ll find the Banks, an entertainment district with many restaurants and bars. A couple of blocks north, you can also wander along Fourth St, with its many historic buildings; the area between Elm and Plum is especially cool. Or from the Banks, you might walk north on Vine St to Fountain Square, the heart of the Central Business District. From there, you could continue to Main St and turn left, where you’d pick up the streetcar to Over the Rhine. Also from Fountain Square, you could walk east to Lytle Park and the Taft Museum, or return west on Fifth St to the Hyatt Regency.
From the Hyatt Regency, you’ll have easy walking access to a wealth of restaurants, including both budget options and fine dining. Somewhat further afield, most readily by the free streetcar, but also by foot, Over the Rhine features the very popular Findlay Market, the beautiful Washington Park, and an array of bars and restaurants in close proximity to either site. Over-the-Rhine south of Liberty, and Vine St between Twelfth St and Fifteenth St in particular, also has the best shops as well as good coffee (1217 Vine), ice cream (Graeter’s), and excellent restaurants (e.g., Pepp & Dolores, Abigail Street). Check out our list of restaurants, sorted by the most accessible neighborhoods and price bands, as you begin to make your plans.
Cincinnati is also rich in culture of all kinds. Our nineteenth-century Music Hall in Over the Rhine is home to the Cincinnati Symphony, while the Cincinnati Ballet is a premier regional venue for dance. The city is also a theatrical hub, from the Broadway touring, shows at the Aronoff Center, in the Central Business District, to the multi-theatre complex of Mount Adams’ Playhouse in the Park and the funky Know Theatre in Over the Rhine.
The fine arts also thrive in the Queen City, from the Taft Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center, both within walking distance of the hotel, as well as the Cincinnati Art Museum, at the top of Mount Adams.
Finally, the city is rich in historical as well as contemporary architecture, and ideal for walking tours, whether organized or self-guided. Here’s a comprehensive look at those options.