Favorite Historical Attractions in Cincinnati, Ohio

Downtown Cincinnati SkylineUnbeknownst to many Americans, Cincinnati was actually one of the first major cities established after the American Revolution. Cincinnati became a boomtown in the 1800s, often fondly referred to as the “Paris of America” for its elaborate architecture projects. These projects and the city’s lengthy history contribute to the extensive number of historical sites found in Cincinnati. Here are a few of our favorite historical attractions to visit next time you’re in Cincinnati.


Over-the-Rhine is a historic neighborhood in urban Cincinnati believed to be the largest intact historical district in the country. Founded by German immigrants, Over-the-Rhine has several distinct districts within the neighborhood. Comparable in architectural significance to the New Orleans French Quarter or Greenwich Village in New York City, Over-the-Rhine features a unique mix of styles popular in the late 1800s, including Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Italianate.

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Established in 1875, the Cincinnati Zoo is the second oldest zoo in the United States (behind the Philadelphia Zoo by 14 months). Many buildings on the zoo grounds are designated National Historic Landmarks including the Elephant House, the Passenger Pigeon Memorial, and the Reptile House; which is the oldest zoo building in the country. Today, the Cincinnati Zoo continues to set the standards for education, preserving wild animals, and conservation.

Music Hall

Just minutes from Downtown, Music Hall is an iconic venue in the heart of Cincinnati. Completed in 1878, Music Hall was built upon a pauper cemetery, which drives its reputation as one of the most haunted buildings in the country. These days, Music Hall is home to many of the arts including the Cincinnati Symphony, Opera, and Ballet. You can still explore the paranormal history of Music Hall during one of the after-hours tours hosted once a month.

Cincinnati Art Museum

Like Music Hall and the zoo, the Cincinnati Art Museum was built in the late 1800s, establishing itself as one of the oldest art museums in the nation. With over 60,000 works in its collection, the museum holds one of the most comprehensive and varied collections in the Midwest. A series of endowments allows the museum to remain free to the public every day.
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