Navigating the US: Getting Around in Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati regally sits on the edge of one of the Ohio River’s many curves as the “Queen City” of the Midwest, known for baseball cheating scandals, chili, and the abundance of German heritage celebrations. As the only 19th century American city to leave an impression on the then 30-year-old English author Charles Dickens, Cincinnati has a distinct styling all its own, blending Northeast, Old South, Midwest, and Appalachian styles into one booming cityscape. Don’t worry about getting around in Cincinnati though—we’ve got all the information you need right here!
Recommended Modes of Transportation
- Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA)—despite what its acronym says, SORTA isn’t just sort of a Metro line—it definitely is. As one of two different bus lines that service the area, SORTA is the main line of transportation for the Ohio side of the state line. If you’re looking for an easy, cheap way to get from one attraction to the next, the Metro 1 bus is the best choice for you. This line takes its passengers to the most popular sightseeing locations, such as Union Terminal Museum Center and sports stadiums. For more information about SORTA and a detailed route map, check out Go-metro.Com.
- Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK)—The second bus line in Cincinnati, it caters to those who want to go across the river into Kentucky to check out the Newport and Covington areas. For express routes, these lines will be marked with an “X”. If you’re looking for route maps, check out Tankbus.org for more information.
- By Car—Driving is the most common and convenient form of transportation throughout Cincinnati, especially if you’re planning on getting from one side of the city to the other. Though navigating might be a bit difficult, due to the lack of street grids in any area but Downtown, so bring a GPS unless you want to go on an adventure and not end up in the proper destination.
Major Highways and Roadways to Know
There are five different major highways you need to be aware of when in Cincinnati—I-71, which comes from Columbus and Louisville, I-74, which comes from Indianapolis, I-75, which comes from Dayton and Lexington, 471, which is a southern leg of I-71, and 275, which is a circle beltway around the city and its surrounding area. Also, US 50 is an expressway that links the east-side of Cincinnati to the west-side.
Best Places to Park
If you need to find a cheap and easy-to-find place to park in a jiffy, BestParking.Com is probably the most useful resource for you. Just choose your type of parking and the cost that best fits your budget, and you’re all set!
Though Cincinnati is in the name of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), it’s not as close to the city as you’d think. Located on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, CVG is known for having the highest rates for flights in the country, making it difficult to find a cheap flight. It’s known for having one of the best records of on time flights, helping offset the high price of flying out of this airport.
Lunken Airport is another option for travelers, though it is significantly smaller and normally used by travelers flying their own planes or taking a chartered flight.
The Port Columbus International Airport, the Dayton International Airport, and Louisville International Airport are within driving distance, too, if you’re looking for cheaper flights than the ones CVG has to offer.
- Cincinnati Art Museum—Located in the beautiful Eden Park, this art museum is one of the best in the nation, featuring special exhibitions and a beautiful collection of art by Cincinnati artist. One of the best parts about this museum though is its price—it’s free!
- Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal—Originally the Union Terminal train station, this National Historic Landmark is now home to The Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History and Science, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, and Robert D. Linder Family OMNIMAX Theater, providing information on a broad span of interests.
- Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens—Open all-year-round, the Cincinnati Zoo offers a variety of different special events, such as the Festival of Lights in the winter and HallZOOween during October. As the second oldest view in America, it offers tourists a look at some beautifully manicured landscapes and well-tended animals.
- National Underground Railroad Freedom Center—Because Cincinnati had a significant part in the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, this museum illustrates the city’s role in the efforts to help thousands of slaves escape to freedom. As you walk through the halls, it teaches you about the struggle for freedom in the past, in contemporary times, and for the future.
For more information, feel free to check out these websites: