Explore Cincinnati, Ohio with Creativity

The Queen City, Cincinnati, Ohio (hand lettering by Betsy Beier, Wanderlust Designer)

The Queen City, Cincy, The ‘Nati, The City of Seven Hills — Cincinnati, Ohio is known by many names, and has a long history in America, yet we never hear much about it as a place to visit let alone in the general national news. During the 1800s, Cincinnati remained one of the top 10 populous cities in the United States, yet as time went on, other midwestern cities such as Chicago, and St. Louis surpassed it in population, most likely garnering Cincinnati less national attention. Despite this fact, there is much to know and love about Cincinnati. In celebration of the Cincinnati Bengal’s appearance in Super Bowl LVI, I thought it would be fun to highlight some facts and details that make Cincinnati a creative city to know and love!

Fact 1: Sports!
Cincinnati is home to the oldest professional baseball team in America, The Cincinnati Red Stockings, founded in 1869. They are still a fan favorite and play at the Great American Ball Park along the Ohio River. Speaking of sports, Cincinnati is home to not only a Major League Baseball team, but also a National Football League team, the Cincinnati Bengals (hello Super Bowl 2022!), and a major league soccer team, FC Cincinnati. Sports don’t end there, as there is a minor league hockey team and other college sports.

Colorful and Creative Cincinnati, Ohio (photos by Betsy Beier)

Fact 2: Stop on the Underground Railroad
The once slave state of Kentucky is just across the Ohio river from Cincinnati. The proximity of the two states with different ideology on slavery made Cincinnati a natural city for refuge along the Underground Railroad as slaves made their way north. The city contained a network for safe houses and routes to Canada, as well as was home to note worthy abolitionists. Today, Cincinnati celebrates its stance in history with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center museum.

Fact 3: Historic Over-the-Rhine Neighborhood Is Bursting with Trendiness
This once working-class neighborhood developed in the 1800s by mostly German immigrants is close to downtown and is filled with not only bustling breweries (the Brewery District is a part of O-T-R) and restaurants but also amazing Italianate style buildings. There has been a lot of redevelopment and gentrification in the last 10 years, yet the preservation and restoration of the historic area seems to be top of mind. Along with the shops and everyday buildings, it’s worth seeing Cincinnati Music Hall, Memorial Hall and Findlay Market, the oldest continuously operate public market in Ohio. Beyond the landmarks, there are also fabulous murals throughout the neighborhood that are just as unique and inspirational as the historic buildings.

Colorful and Creative Cincinnati, Ohio (photos by Betsy Beier)

Fact 4: Have It your way: Chili on top of spaghetti*? Why yes!!
This dish, known as Cincinnati chili, was developed by Cincinnati immigrant restaurant owners in the 1920s and today is still one of the signature dishes of the city. The chili is definitely different than a Tex-Mex chili or chili con carne as it gets it’s consistency and flavors from Mediterranean style foods. The meat and tomato based sauce is filled with unique spices as nutmeg, clove, allspice, cinnamon as well as cumin and chili powder. But it’s not just a one and done type of meal, this dish is served the way you want it — the ways being the type of toppings you want on your top of your spaghetti and chili. Here are a few of those ways (listed in order of how the meal is served from bottom to top):

  • Two-way: spaghetti with chili
  • Three-way: spaghetti with chili and cheese
  • Four-way onion: spaghetti with chili, onions and cheese
  • Four-way bean: spaghetti with chili, beans and cheese
  • Five-way: spaghetti with chili, beans, onions and cheese

So orderly appropriately so you get it the way what you want it!

*When the Cincinnati chili is served on a hot dog it is called a coney.

Fact 5: Don’t miss the American Sign Museum!
Being a lover of neon and lettering, I was not going to pass up the chance to go to the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati. Let me tell you, this place did not disappoint! From the old Holiday Inn marquee in the front to the HoJos sign inside, I was in sign heaven! If you love history and signs, this place is a must!

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