In Depth Winston Churchill called Cincinnati “the most beautiful of America's inland cities.” Its location has much to do with its aesthetic appeal and stable business community. On the Ohio River's north shore, the downtown section is in a basin surrounded by hills.

Cincinnati was platted in 1788 by three land speculators. In 1789 Fort Washington was built to protect the settlers from the Native Americans, but the area only became open for further settlement with the defeat of the Ohio Indians at Fallen Timbers in 1794. Cincinnati's accessibility increased in 1811 with the arrival of the New Orleans, the first steamboat to reach its shores.

The construction of the Miami and Erie canals in the late 1820s provided farmers with transportation to the city where they could market their produce. Businessmen created new industries to process raw products into marketable whiskey, pork and flour. Plagued by religious and political conflicts, many Germans immigrated in the 1830s, followed in the 1840s by Irish driven from their country by the potato famine.

By 1850 Cincinnati was the world's largest pork-packing center, a status that brought the nickname Porkopolis. The South became the city's major market. This caused residents' loyalties to be divided with the approach of the Civil War, but the city eventually supported the Union forces. For a long time it had been a major stop on the Underground Railroad.

Following the war, Cincinnati experienced another burst of prosperity as the resumption of trade between North and South created heavy river commerce. In the 1870s Cincinnati businessmen arranged for the building of a railroad to reach their southern markets.

Modern Cincinnati attracts many companies, including many corporate headquarters and Fortune 500 companies like Kroger, Macy's, Procter & Gamble and Convergys. Fountain Square is the hub. Centered on the historic 1871 Tyler Davidson Fountain, which tops a large underground garage, the square is surrounded by modern office buildings, hotels, shops and restaurants.

Cincinnati is also home to the 45,000-student University of Cincinnati, founded in 1819, and 7,000-student Xavier University, founded in 1831.

It's not all business in Cincinnati, though. Washington Park offers abundant green space and performance areas. The riverfront is a great destination for finding fun things to do outdoors. Bicentennial Commons at Sawyer Point features playgrounds, a skating pavilion, and tennis and volleyball courts as well as two performance venues and plaques relating tidbits of Cincinnati history. Yeatman's Cove is adorned with the Serpentine Wall, which runs along the river. A 30-foot steamboat paddle wheel that blows steam and plays music is a monument acknowledging the city's riverboat heritage.

The Newport Southbank Bridge, known as the Purple People Bridge thanks to a distinctive paint choice, is a pedestrian bridge linking the Cincinnati riverfront with Newport, Ky., and a nice place to watch river traffic. Smale Riverfront Park enhances the riverfront with a promenade, playground, carousel, gardens, interactive fountains, an event stage and a monument to the Black Brigade.

There are many fun places to go for indoor entertainment, too, including the complex at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, a beautiful restored Art Deco-style train station. One stop offers the Cincinnati History Museum, the Cincinnati History Library and Archives, the Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science and the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater.

For fans of the performing arts who are looking for fun things to do, Cincinnati offers venues both large and small. Catch the Cincinnati Ballet, Broadway shows and children's theater at The Aronoff Center for the Arts downtown.

A trio of sports venues parallels the Ohio River. The Reds play baseball at Great American Ball Park, football's Bengals compete in the Paul Brown Stadium and hockey and other events take place at U.S. Bank Arena.

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Cincinnati, OH

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Graduate Cincinnati

151 Goodman Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45219

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Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

35 W 5th St. Cincinnati, OH 45202

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Hampton Inn by Hilton

2880 Towne Blvd. Middletown, OH 45044

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The Westin Cincinnati

21 E 5th St. Cincinnati, OH 45202

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Travel Information

City Population

296,943

Elevation

820 ft.

Sales Tax

The Cincinnati area has a 7 percent sales tax. A lodging tax of 13.5 percent is applicable in Hamilton County. There is a 12 percent rental car tax with an additional 9 percent recoupment tax. The northern Kentucky lodging tax is 11.24 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(513) 765-1212

Fire (non-emergency)

(513) 765-1212

Time and Temperature

(513) 721-1700

Hospitals

The Christ Hospital, (513) 585-2000; Good Samaritan Hospital, (513) 862-1400; The Jewish Hospital, (513) 686-3000; Mercy Health Anderson Hospital, (513) 624-4500; Mercy Health West Hospital, (513) 215-5000; UC Health Academic Medical Center, (513) 584-1000.

Visitor Information

50 E. Rivercenter Blvd Suite 810 Covington, KY 41011. Phone:(859)581-2260 or (800)543-2613

Air Travel

Major passenger airlines serve the

Rental Cars

Hertz offers discounts to AAA members; phone (859) 767-3535 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

The Amtrak station, (800) 872-7245, is at 1301 Western Ave. inside historic Union Terminal.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, 1005 Gilbert Ave., is the major company serving the city. Megabus, (877) 462-6342, offers routes to several cities.

Taxis

Taxis are metered and charge $4 for a pickup and $2 per mile. There is no charge for additional passengers. Taxis can be hailed at downtown hotels or ordered by phone. Companies include Cincinnati Taxi Inc., (513) 666-2184, and Towne Taxi, (513) 761-7700.

Public Transportation

Metro operates buses throughout the metropolitan area. The base fare is $1.75. Exact change is required, and zone and transfer charges are additional. Signs at many bus stops list the numbers of the routes that stop there.

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