CINCINNATI – HOME OF THE LARGEST OKTOBERFEST IN THE UNITED STATES
It’s actually a shame that Cincinnati is not one of those cities in the USA that are particularly popular with tourists. “The Queen City”, as the city calls itself, would be an ideal starting point for travelers who really want to immerse themselves in life in the USA and who want to discover the Americans in their very own way of life.
According to ehuacom, with around 300,000 residents, the city is manageable enough to be able to get at least a good first impression in a few days. As part of a metropolitan area with over two million people, however, Cincinnati is also large enough to offer truly American dimensions. The city is also considered decidedly American because it has little European influence. As I said: little, but not none at all. Because despite the unspectacular location in the Midwest, the Germans left a lasting and very lively impression here not only with their good cuisine, but also with the Oktoberfest. And the name of the city cannot really deny its European origins. It goes back to a famous Roman general.
Roman antiquity and north German mercenaries
So, if someone has thought of Cincinnati with cinnamon in their mind. Instead it was the old warrior Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus after whom the city was named. But what does a successful and morally exemplary general who lived from 519 to 430 BC have to do with an American city founded in 1788? This is where the Germans come in. Many mercenaries, especially from the north-west of today’s Germany, had settled in the area and founded a professional association – the Society of the Cincinnati. Incidentally, one of the most prominent members was George Washington, who was not only the first President of the United States, but also the first President of this same association of veterans. When the settlement finally got its urban constitution in 1814, the honorable Roman name was adopted without further ado. Cincinnati was founded.
A city in the tri-border region
But where exactly is this original American city located? Politically it still belongs to Ohio, but is located there in the southwestern border area. Visits to Kentucky and Indiana are therefore really just a stone’s throw from Cincinnati. The city’s location right on the river is also remarkable. The Ohio River is well over half a kilometer wide here and is framed by rolling hills. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to imagine that these hills are home to the most sought-after properties and the most beautiful villas. By the way, there is also room for a few vineyards where good wines are produced.
The location in the border triangle between Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky is a plus point for travelers who want to get to know the Midwest and thus important agricultural regions of the USA. How close everything is is shown by the fact that Cincinnati, Ohio Airport is in Kentucky; just under 20 kilometers in the southwest of the city.
What to see in Cincinnati
A lot has happened in the city on the mighty Ohio. Just ten years ago, the dilapidated former quarter of German immigrants “over-the-rhine” was considered the most dangerous district in America. The city administration and investors have put an end to this in a joint effort. Today “Over-the-rhine” is the trendiest quarter in the city, where you can go out wonderfully, shop and eat well. However, German restaurants in particular regularly face competition in September. Then the “Oktoberfest” (oktoberfestzinzinnati.com) celebrated. The folk festival with bratwurst, beer, dirndls and brass music is the largest Oktoberfest in the entire USA, and even worldwide – with the exception of the original in Munich, of course. Incidentally, Bavaria’s state capital is twinned with Cincinnati. That alone guarantees that the copy does not deviate too far from the original.
With originals, visitors can also get it at the Cincinnati Art Museum (953, Eden Park Drive, cincinnatiartmuseum.org) to do. The permanent collections include objects dating back to ancient times, which are best seen on a guided tour. These tours are not only highly informative and entertaining, they are also basically free. The visitor only has to pay for admission if one of the top-class special exhibitions is pending. But who is surprised when, for example, between October 2016 and January 2017 world-famous works by Vincent van Gogh from leading museums in Cincinnati are brought together?
The contemporary works on display at the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art (44 E. 6th Street) are partly more experimental and perhaps not so well known to many art lovers. contemporaryartscenter.org) to be issued. By the way, both museums are worth a visit for their architecture alone.
But not only friends of the fine arts get their money’s worth in Cincinnati. If you like, you can also experience live music here – from a small country club to a large symphony orchestra concert, everything is regularly available.
Of course, there’s plenty to do outdoors in Cincinnati. Anyone who comes around November will be in “Eden Park” (cincinnatiparks.com/central/eden-park/) directly on the Ohio River in the Walnut Hills experience the fascinating “Balluminaria”, where glowing hot air balloons come together. The rest of the year you can simply enjoy the park because of its great views, its wonderful landscape and its plants. A park of a different kind is the Coney Island Amusement Park (6201 Kellogg Ave, coneyislandpark.com). The name suggests that children can have a great time in this amusement park.
One thing that visitors to Cincinnati should definitely not miss is the nighttime view of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge that spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. Travelers should definitely not miss the daring construction and atmospheric lighting. On the Kentucky side, one can enjoy the construction from many bars and restaurants.
Cincinnati in a nutshell
- Over-the-rhine is Cincinnati’s trendy neighborhood
- In September, the largest Oktoberfest outside of Munich is celebrated in Cincinnati
- High-quality exhibitions and shows at the Cincinnati Art Museum
- The Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art shows contemporary art
- The well-lit John A. Roebling suspension bridge is a tip for “after dark”