POPULATION: 1,624,827 (urban), 2,137,406 (metro) | TIME ZONE: Central | CLIMATE: Climatic transition zone (warm to hot and humid summers with significant rainfall, cold and snowy winters)
Cincinnati’s original name was Losantiville. A mashup of four languages, the name supposedly means “The city opposite the mouth of the Licking River.” (It’s all much more interesting as a confusing and questionable mystery, so we’ll spare you an explanation.) The city was renamed in honor of the Society of the Cincinnati, a patriotic-hereditary group of American Revolution heroes. The society was named for Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, one of the heroes of early Rome whom George Washington was often compared to. As the first major US city founded a) after the American Revolution and b) inland, Cincinnati is sometimes considered the first city that is purely American. Cincinnati has also been called the “northernmost southern city.”
It has a history as a national crossroads for transportation, culture—and the fabled Underground Railroad. In the 1800s, Cincinnati was a boomtown competing with coastal cities like New York and New Orleans. By the mid-1800s, it was America’s sixth-largest city. Procter & Gamble is Cincinnati’s largest single employer, and was founded in 1837 by a British candlemaker and an Irish soapmaker capitalizing on the availability of animal byproducts from the city’s then famous stockyards. For a while, Cincy was referred to as the Paris of America, with its ambitions in arts, culture and commerce. (You'll also find that even today, the arts and culture scene in the city is active, accessible, affordable--claims that can't always be made in places like New York and San Francisco.) While Cincinnati had less influence from European immigration than cities in the east, it did have a sizable and influential German population—which helps explain a local penchant both for beer and for a German staple food known as goetta, made from spiced ground meat and oats. In the late 1800s, railroads began to displace steamboats for freight, changing trade patterns slowing Cincinnati's growth. Chicago and St. Louis became more influential.
The Queen City
Juncta Juvant (Strength in Unity)
RANDOM SONG ABOUT THE CITY
"Cincinnati Jail," by Lonnie Mack
PRO SPORTS TEAMS
Cincinnati Bengals (NFL)
Cincinnati Reds Baseball (MLB)
Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL)
Cincinnati Rollergirls (WFTDA)
Cincinnati Revolution (AUDL)
Cincinnati Saints (NPSL)
FC Cincinnati (USL)
ALSO KNOWN FOR...
Being a stop on the Underground Railroad
World’s second largest Oktoberfest after Munich
"The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati," a Dr. Demento top-20 song
The sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati
The American Cornhole Association
Proctor and Gamble
The Kroger Company
Former Mayor Jerry Springer
Doris Day, Steven Spielberg, Bootsy Collins, Eddie Arcaro, Roger Staubach, The Isley Brothers, Pure Prairie League, Linda “Shaniqua” Miles, Harriet Beecher Stowe
Opinions of Downtown Cincinnati living seem to be split. There’s a lot of discussion about it being difficult to park and shop, and there’s disagreement on whether the downtown scene is truly vibrant. Wanting to live in Cincinnati proper requires a peek at the Mount Adams neighborhood, which has been compared to a small version of San Francisco. The neighborhood overlooks the Ohio River, and offers nightlife, restaurants and culture, and is close to downtown. Some describe the neighborhood as feeling old-world European. The neighborhood is surrounded by a park named Eden, which should give you some idea of how this place is regarded.
Hyde Park was named for New York's famous neighborhood of swells (which in turn was named for London's equally famous neighborhood of swells). Many decades later, Hyde Park remains one of Cincinnati’s most prestigious addresses. Centrally located, it's a good neighborhood for walking and jogging. Right nearby is the botanical palace of the Krohn Conservatory. It's also close to the Cincinnati Art Museum, and downtown is about four miles away.
The suburban village of Glendale is Ohio’s only village listed as a National Historic Landmark, so designated as the first planned railroad commuter town in the U.S. Originally a place for railroad workers to live, it evolved into a neighborhood of note for wealthy businessmen.
Indian Hill is legally known as "The City of The Village of Indian Hill." Once the village’s population passed 5,000, they were legally obliged to become a city—hence the desire to legally insert the word “village” into their name. Originally an agricultural community, some ambitious, 1920s businessmen began building mansions and country estates. Wealthy folks still find the town desirable today. (That's the kind of thing that can happen when The Robb Report deems a town the “best place to raise a family.")
Cincinnati’s sprawl has seen an explosion of outlying housing and commerce activities. North of the I-275 beltway, traffic can be a challenge. In this respect, Cincinnati has changed.
Montgomery is an idyllic little town that was once a coach stop on the Cincinnati-Zanesville Road stagecoach route. After decades of being a sleepy little hamlet, in the 1960s it became a desirable bedroom community for affluent Cincinnatians looking to move to the ‘burbs. Fanciers of Montgomery love it and some have even referred to it as a real-life Mayberry. Evendale is another small town that was once home to abolitionist and Underground Railroad facilitator John Van Zandt. One big difference in Evendale (pronounced “even-dale,” as in you can’t even pronounce it like “Dale Evans”) is that the town also happens to be home to Formica and GE Aviation.
The suburb of Blue Ash gets its name from Carpenter's Run Baptist Church, built there in the late 1700s out of blue ash logs. Today, Blue Ash has a reputation as a close-knit community whose population of 12,000 swells by almost 500% during the day due to the great number of corporate headquarters and office parks in the community. For a time in the 1800s, Loveland was known as the Little Switzerland of the Miami Valley, with wealthy Cincinnatians having summer homes there. Formerly a busy railroad town, Loveland is now a major stop along the Little Miami Scenic Trail—the third longest paved trail in the US at almost 75 miles.
Kenwood is a small community that has the distinction of being a major shopping destination. Mason has turned into one of the most affluent suburbs of Cincinnati, with CNN and Money Magazine both designating it as one of the best place to live in the U.S. Mason’s community center, at almost 200,000 square feet, is one of the state’s largest public recreation facilities.
Delhi Township is a quirky place that in many ways seems like your typical American suburb. You'll find big-box stores, fast food and outlet malls. You'll also find rolling hills and a rural landscape--and a lot of roads named things like Glenway Avenue, Glenway Cross and Glencrossing Way. This is a market basket of socioeconomic strata, from poor to middle-class to wealthy. West Chester is a burgeoning, upper-middle-class suburb that feels more small-town than city-fied--despite being surprisingly cosmopolitan. It's even home to one of the Cincinnati area's largest mosques. There's also the Ronald Reagan Voice of Freedom Park with rolling hills and a lake. And let's not forget the world’s largest indoor train display at (yes) EnterTRAINment Junction.