A CHANGE IS OCCURRING on the edge of the Midwest, right where Ohio gives way to the northern border of Kentucky and the eastern border of Indiana. The city of Cincinnati, the third-largest in the state and a regional destination for decades, is undergoing a renaissance, with revitalization making way for new business, a new millennial workforce and, in turn, new travelers.
This is not Cincinnati’s first foray in the spotlight. It ranked as one of America’s top 10 cities by population in the 1800s, an important shipping hub with its location on the Ohio River, fueled by German and Irish immigrants. For a brief period, it held the name “Porkopolis,” the largest pork-producer in the world. It gained another accolade in 1890 when it was named “Beer Capital of the World,” with the historically German neighborhood Over-the-Rhine touting the most breweries per capita.
However, things changed over time. Chicago took over the country’s pork production. Over-the-Rhine fell into decline. Bigger, brighter cities took top rankings away from Cincinnati as the country moved ever westward.
While Cincinnati continued to serve its loyal citizens as well as those in the surrounding rural regions of Ohio and Kentucky, it was hardly a national destination. Additionally, Procter & Gamble, Kroger and the select Fortune 500 companies located in Cincinnati found it increasingly difficult to attract a workforce from outside the area. By the time the Cincinnati riots of 2001 occurred, it was clear a change was needed.
According to Joe Rudemiller, senior communications manager, Cincinnati Center City Development Corp., or 3CDC, “Following a period of civil unrest, a number of corporate leaders got together with then-mayor Charlie Luken and formed a nonprofit development company with the goal of revitalizing Cincinnati’s urban core.” The result was 3CDC.
“We’ve been at this for almost 15 years now. … We’ve put in $1.3 billion worth of projects between the central business district and Over-the-Rhine in downtown Cincinnati. One of our first projects — which I’d recommend anyone coming to Cincinnati visit — is Fountain Square, right in the heart of the central business district. When 3CDC first got started, the city was kind of crime-ridden and unsafe. A lot of unsavory activity [was] going on, and Over-the-Rhine had really fallen into a state of disrepair.”
Multiple multimillion-dollar projects helped the city make a remarkable transformation. Over-the-Rhine, the largest, most intact historic district in the country, boasts a once-again budding brewery scene. Findlay Market, the state’s oldest continuously operated public market, draws visiting foodies and locals alike. From the eclectic murals (each comes with its own story) to the Italianate architecture, it’s no wonder Cushman and Wakefield ranked Over-the-Rhine as one of the top 15 coolest neighborhoods in North America.
Beyond, one can find the same metamorphosis throughout the rest of the city. Running through downtown, Vine Street forms a dining and shopping corridor with a plethora of new and upcoming restaurants, bars and retail shops.
A similar arts corridor features Cincinnati Music Hall, a breathtaking structure built in 1878, on which 3CDC just completed a $144 million renovation. Right next door another recently renovated, smaller concert hall — Memorial Hall — can seat 600 to Music Hall’s 2,000–2,500. Then, down the street, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company likewise just opened a new theater.
To zip between the various neighborhoods, the city added environmentally friendly transportation options like Cincinnati Red Bike, a bike share program, as well as the affordable and convenient streetcar system that runs on a 3.6-mile loop.
While all these improvements were originally intended to benefit the residents, at least from the standpoint of an organization such as 3CDC, they certainly don’t hurt tourism, either. New hotels pop up all over the city to cater to travelers of every ilk. Recent additions include the historic Art Deco Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel, the trendy 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati and AC Hotel Cincinnati at The Banks by Marriott. Upcoming properties include a Kimpton hotel set to open in 2019 as well as another from Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Multiple state-of-the-art event venues make MICE planning a breeze.
“Right now Cincinnati is a fantastic place to visit. It has a really vibrant, downtown urban core,” says Rudemiller. “It’s come a long way over the past 13–14 years, thanks to not only a lot of the work our organization has done but so many other folks in the community.”
Community is a big part of what makes the current Cincinnati rebirth possible. Talk to locals, regardless of age, and they’ll gush about everything new, amazing and exciting happening right in their city. They love the combination of urban convenience and Midwestern friendliness. A burgeoning startup community provides new job opportunities, and support for entrepreneurs runs rampant, regardless of the endeavor.
Now, only one question remains: Can Cincinnati keep its charm and humble likability while standing tall as a prime example of Midwestern revitalization?
Cincinnati’s location makes a rural escape easy. Head to Hocking Hills State Forest for a 2.5-hour drive to a 9,000-acre paradise, where the geology ranges from jaw-dropping cave systems to deep gorges to dense forests. Spot waterfalls, centuriesold trees and abandoned farms. Adventurers are more than welcome to stop for a bit of rock climbing and rappelling.
Head farther south into Kentucky for a different kind of scenery, to Red River Gorge country. The intricate canyon system is hardly what you’d expect to find in the land of bluegrass, bourbon and horse farms, but it’s delightful all the same, regardless of the time of year you visit.
However, if bluegrass, bourbon and horse farms are really what strike your fancy, that’s an option as well. The closest spot on the bourbon trail to Cincinnati is Woodford Reserve in Versailles, Ky., and the 90-minute drive is filled with plenty of horse farms and rolling hills to fill your Instagram feed for days.
The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla is opening its acclaimed doors Oct. 22 to celebrate its fifth and most exciting season. The resort will introduce new programming including culinary, fitness and music.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Seabourn recently announced the name of its second new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship: Seabourn Pursuit. The name reflects the passion of expedition travelers to seek out and explore natural wonders and destinations through activities around the globe.
Though the Chicago area has been my home for decades, the view from the Water Tower Suite on the 26th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago made me gasp. I had admired Chicago’s dramatic skyline many times, but never from this angle. Through expansive windows, the skyscrapers of 900 N. Michigan Ave. and the John Hancock Center, now named 875 North Michigan Avenue, rose to my right. Far below, the landmark Chicago Water Tower nestled in a ring of trees. One of the few survivors of the Great Chicago Fire, a turning point in the city’s history being remembered on its 150th anniversary in 2021, the Gothic Revival relic resembled a fairy-tale castle in a children’s playset.
History and culture are etched into every corner of Greece. Beginning with its language, the oldest written language still in existence, and moving from the traces of passing civilizations and religions to pre-historic findings and works from many movements, there’s a wealth of culture to discover on your next trip to Greece.
President Biden signed H.R. 2278, bipartisan legislation to designate a September 11th National Memorial Trail. The trail route will link the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York; the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia; and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
In April 2021, I was skimming Facebook when an ad for a blind-folded dining experience popped up on my newsfeed. The event was hosted through a company called Fever that offers fun, interactive events in major cities and virtually for people to enjoy. Intrigued, I clicked the link to learn more. The description made the event sound exciting and mysterious. When I give someone a present for their birthday, the holidays or a wedding, I like to give the gift of an experience that the recipient can learn something from. My boyfriend’s 30th birthday was in June, when the event was to be hosted, so I thought this would be a great surprise for him.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Austin, Texas, with us.