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Southwest Ohio Tour
Cincinnati Heritage & Beyond
Whether you live in Cincinnati, or just driving through southwest Ohio, the suburbs and cities surrounding Cincy offer some unique travel stops. Look forward to rollercoasters, shopping, art galleries, festivals, and outdoor fun – or stick around Cincinnati incredible architecture and arts.
Ohio’s third largest city, Cincinnati is a historic city set on the Ohio River. Cincy features everything from unique architecture to professional sports, citywide festivals, and major universities.
Check out Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati for visits to Tyler Davidson Fountain – plus shopping, dining, and entertainment. Check out the observation deck at Carew Tower, skate around the US Bank Ice Rink this winter, and of course, the much anticipated Taste of Cincinnati.
The Fountain Square District is also home to several company headquarters, including Macy's, Inc. and Delta Air Lines.
Get a look at the real Cincinnati with a trip to Over-the-Rhine, a U.S. Historic district listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. OTR is said to be the nation’s largest urban historic district with nearly 1,000 buildings.
Known for its architecture, OTR features the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, and historic Findlay Market – Ohio’s oldest public market. Covering 319 acres, OTR is also home to historic churches, theatre venues, Washington Park, and major events like the Cincinnati Fringe Festival and MusicNow.
Queen City also features dozens and dozens of city parks, plus riverfront recreation areas and nature centers. Check out historic Washington Park and Piatt Park, or stroll through the Hauck Botanical Gardens, Fleischmann Gardens, or Krohn Conservatory.
Found 25 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati by way of Interstate 71, Mason is a lively city in southern Ohio.
Mason is best known as the home of Kings Island – a 364-acre amusement park open from April to November, and drawing over three million people each year. Kings Island features close to 50 rides – 14 of which are roller coasters – plus park sections like Oktoberfest, Coney Mall, Action Zone, and X-Base.
Be sure to grab a seat on Banshee, splash around Soak City, or take the kids to see Dinosaurs Alive!
Stick around Kings Island for an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus found at the Golf Center at Kings Island. The center is comprised of the aforementioned course, the Grizzly, and the nine-hole Bruin course.
Hungry after a round? Head to the Courseview Restaurant.
Mason also features over 300 acres of parkland. These pet-friendly parks include Meadows Park, Heritage Oak Park, and Frank Hosea Woods Park. Enjoy fishing at Pine Hill Lakes Park, or set up a picnic at Corwin M. Nixon Park.
Set along Interstate 75, Monroe is located 30 miles north of central Cincinnati.
This is more of a must do for those looking to bring home some booty from their Ohio roadtrip. Head to Monroe for some unmatched shopping, found at the Cincinnati Premium Outlets.
For a more unique shopping experience, check out the Treasure Aisles Flea Market or Trader's World – an 850-vendor outdoor shopping center known as “Ohio’s Largest Family Shopping Mall.”
The must see for Monroe happens to be in neighboring Lebanon – the 52-foot Lux Mundi. Constructed in 2012, the Lux Mundi is found at Solid Rock Church along the I-75.
Plenty of golf courses surround Monroe for those who brought their clubs, or just need some time on the green. Check out Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon, Pleasant Hill Golf Course in Middletown, or Green Crest Golf Club in Liberty Township.
Set on the Indiana border, Oxford is found 35 northwest of Cincy on US Route 27. Home to Miami University, Oxford features plenty to see and do.
Oxford is an extremely artistic communities. Visitors to the area are encouraged to explore the Cage Gallery, Hiestand Galleries, and the Oxford Community Arts Center. For one stop art browsing, be sure to set aside a day for the Miami University Art Museum.
Oxford is as festive as it is welcoming. Check out the Maple Syrup Festival in March, the Oxford Kinetics Festival in April, Oxford Wine Festival in May, the Arts & Crafts Fair in June, and September’s Apple Butter Festival.
Summer brings weekly events to Oxford. Head to Uptown Oxford for the Oxford Farmer’s Market, or the Oxford Summer Music Festival held Thursday evenings at Oxford Uptown Memorial Park.
Set just north of Oxford, Hueston Woods State Park covers over 3,500 acres – and features the scenic Acton Lake. Established in 1957, the park yields 12 miles of hiking trails, a three-acre dog park, a 36-hole disc golf course, and the 18-hole Hueston Woods State Park Golf Course.
Acton Lake features swimming, boating, and fishing, while the rest of the park offers an archery range, hunting, biking, plus winter recreation like cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and sledding.
For more weekend excursions out of Queen City, check out more of small-town Ohio with trips to Harrison to the west, or Mt. Orab to the east.