Although I live in Indianapolis, I’m a Kentucky girl at heart — Northern Kentucky, to be exact. I grew up near Hebron, which is part of the Cincinnati tri-state area — about 20 minutes from Cincinnati, Ohio, and 10 minutes from Indiana.
I love Cincinnati, and my husband and I enjoy the opportunity to go home and visit our old stomping grounds. It’s a perfect weekend-away-from-Indianapolis destination because it offers different sights, sounds, tastes, and activities. Here’s what my perfect weekend in Cincinnati would be:
- Breakfast at Frisch’s Big Boy– Frisch’s is based in Cincinnati, and their breakfast buffet hits the spot. It’s reasonably priced and has all the fixings. If you’re there at lunchtime, be sure to get a Big Boy burger and a cherry coke.
- Cincinnati Zoo — Cincinnati has an awesome zoo with impressive exhibits. The best time of year to visit the Cincinnati Zoo is spring when they have their “zoo babies.” The red panda and elephants are my favorite exhibits!
- Lunch at Gold Star Chili — If you’ve never had Cincinnati chili, you. are. missing. out. It’s a bed of spaghetti noodles covered in a delicious chili, with a pile of finely shredded cheese on top. Indianapolis has a couple Skyline chilis (another brand of Cincinnati chili), but nothing is better than Gold Star Chili. I recommend getting a three-way with a coney.
- Shopping at Findlay Market — If you want a unique-to-Cincinnati shopping experience, visit Findlay Market, which is in Over the Rhine. With fresh produce, foods, flowers, and local wares, this is the best place for urban shopping in Cincinnati. You’ll also find excellent people watching at Findlay Market.
- Red’sgame — I love going to Red’s games. There’s always a good energy and fun atmosphere at the games. You don’t even need good seats to have a fun time. I always enjoy myself most in the el-cheapo bleacher seats.
- Dinner at Jeff Ruby’s — If you’re looking for an awesome steak or tasty lobster tail, Jeff Ruby steakhouse is your restaurant. Jeff Ruby has some of the best food in Cincinnati — but be prepared to spend a pretty penny!
- Ice Cream at Graeter’s — Graeter’s, hands down, has the best scooped ice cream ever. So rich, creamy, and tasty, you can’t go wrong getting ice cream for dessert. Be sure to get my favorite — black raspberry chip!
- Night out at Blind Lemon or Hofbrauhaus — If you want to experience some Cincinnati nightlife, you’ve got plenty to choose from. One of my favorite spots is in Mt. Adams — a quaint district, perched above Cincinnati, that has great restaurants and bars. The Blind Lemon in Mt. Adams is a cozy nook-of-a-bar that has tasty signature cocktails and a quiet, romantic vibe. On the other side of the river in Newport, Kentucky is Hofbrahause — a fun German bar that brews its own beer and has a polka band on weekend nights.
After all this thinking about Cincinnati, I’m about ready to hop in my car and head that way — for old time’s sake!
By Sarah Heckle of Tulle and Trinkets