In the late 1800s Cincinnati was sometimes referred to as the “Paris of America,” and a century-and-a-quarter later that description remains apt. A city of 300,000 people situated on the north bank of the Ohio River at the border of Ohio and Kentucky, Cincinnati is known for its great architecture and many cultural attractions, especially its museums and theaters. It’s also home to nationally-recognized colleges and universities, making it an attractive place to get an education, not to mention a prime destination for those looking to start or continue a career, with nine Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the city.
1. Big Business
One of Cincinnati’s best assets is the strength and diversity of its economy; the Kroger Co. and Procter & Gamble – both Fortune 50 Companies – may be the most recognizable names, but other vital industries are also well-represented by the likes of Duke Energy, American Financial Corp., Omnicare and Cincinnati Milacron, among others.
2. Higher Education
Predictably, Cincinnati employers have plenty of local talent to draw from, thanks to nearly two dozen colleges, universities and technical schools, including the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University, the former a public research university that enrolls more than 44,000 students.
3. The Sports Scene
Cincinnati is regarded as a great sports town, with the University of Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier University Musketeers being the best-recognized Division I collegiate programs. The city is also home to the NFL’s Bengals (who play in Paul Brown Stadium) and MLB’s Reds, who host visiting teams at the Great American Ball Park, which doubles as the current home of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum that chronicles the rich history of a team that dates back to 1869.
Museum lovers adore Cincy, as it boasts more than its share of compelling museums, including the Cincinnati Art Museum, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati Fire Museum and American Sign Museum. For its part, the Cincinnati Museum Center is a remarkable piece of architecture – an Art Deco masterpiece – which houses a handful of museums, among them the Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum.
5. Theater and the Arts
Cincinnati is one of a select few U.S. cities with professional companies in all five arts, such as ballet, opera, symphony and theater. Consider: the Cincinnati Shakespeare Co., Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theater, Taft Theater, Esquire Theatre and Know Theatre, as well as the Cincinnati Opera, the second-oldest opera company in the country.
6. Breweries and Wineries
Students, beer enthusiasts and tourists alike are excited about the city’s fledgling micro and craft brewery scene, headlined by the likes of Rhinegeist Brewery, Fifty West Brewing Co., Mt. Carmel Brewing Co. and Blank Slate Brewing Co., with the Henke Winery carving out its own unique niche in the space.
Cincinnati also maintains a thriving – and growing – parks system that includes more than a hundred parks and greenspaces throughout the city, including Alms Park (East), Eden Park (Central) and Mt. Airy Arboretum (West), which is part of the largest municipal park in the country.
While Cincy features countless great neighborhoods in which to live and work, its funky Northside neighborhood is among its most interesting, home to many distinctive retail shops and eateries, including Shake It Records and Word Play, the latter a creative writing and learning center dedicated to helping build a strong, diverse community.