Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HugeParty Where? Cincinnati, Ohio

HugeParty Where? Cincinnati, Ohio

While I tend to focus on bigger trips to awesome cities, "HugeParty Where?" is a series of blog posts dedicated to some of America's lesser-traveled mid-sized cities. 

Each city in this series doesn't have the same reputation as LA, Miami, Chicago or Las Vegas... however... I've done some on-site research to confirm there is a HugeParty to be found.

Cincinnati, Ohio...Seriously?

I can confirm Cincinnati is actually fun, but if you've never been I can understand your skepticism. Most of you have probably only heard of Cincinnati's sports teams (Bengals & Reds), some of you may be familiar with their distinct type of chili. But what you may not know is that "The Queen City" boasts an impressive HugeParty, but only if you know where to look. 

The 'Nati, as the kids are calling it these days.

Read more after the jump!!!

5 HugeParty Reasons why Cincinnati is a Must-Go

  1. Colleges Galore - University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Dayton and Miami of Ohio... Plenty of mid-sized campuses blanketing the greater Cincinnati area. This equates to an impressive young partier presence. Like it or not, college kids know how to party.
  2. Impressive Variety - For a small city, Cincinnati has a variety of options for your party palette. Hipsters, locals, college kids, downtown socialites, gameday visitors. There is something for each of you, mostly walking distance or a short cab ride away. I've highlighted some of my favorites below.
  3. Great Craft Beer and Liquor Presence - The craft beer boom has taken over the entire United States, and Cincinnati is no different. Most bars and restaurants feature lengthy draft lists, specialty cocktails and regional whiskeys like George Remus. Personally, whenever I'm drinking beer in Cincy I'm asking the bartender for Rhinegeist Brewing's "Truth IPA". Simply delicious. Consider brewery gems like MadTree and Braxton, which are gaining prominence in the city as well. 
  4. Sports! - Cincinnati Reds Baseball, Cincinnati Bengals Football (not Soccer), and a flurry of collegiate sports throughout the year makes Cincinnati a great place to take in a game. Great American Ball Park has one of the finest stadium experiences in Major League Baseball, and Bengals fans tend to be a rowdier group. 
  5. Road Trip - With a central geographical position in the Midwest, Cincinnati is a 5-hour or less road trip from Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, St. Louis and Nashville. And who doesn't love a good road trip?

    Mt. Adams

    A local's neighborhood, mixed with a collegiate flair. Perched and overlooking the rest of Cincy, Mt. Adams boasts a HugeParty at a variety of locations, for day-drinking, late nights or live music. Seek outdoor refuge and scenic views at Mount Adams Pavilion, pour back countless drafts and shots on the patio at Next Chapter, or turn up your night with jello shots and loud music at Monk's Cove. The burgers and views at City View Tavern can't be beat, and of course there's the local dive Crowley's Irish Pub, ready to serve your sins.

    Quite frankly, the bars are so close to each other it's easy to crawl around and try them all. 

    Downtown Cincy

    The first experience most out-of-towners have with Cincinnati is undoubtedly the downtown area. Whether you're in town for a wedding (like my first time), a conference, or to catch a ball game... the downtown bars, restaurants and clubs will be your first exposure to the city. And that's not a bad thing either, the downtown area offers a decent mixture of food and fun.

    Nestled up next to each other, The Righteous Room and Scene Ultra Lounge are longstanding stalwarts of the HugeParty downtown. Relatively new to the area is Igby's, perhaps the freshest looking bar in the area.

    Ready to eat? Mexican restaurant Nada is fantastic and Akash India features some of the spiciest (and tastiest) Indian food I've ever had. I'm told Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse is one of the best in the country, but I've yet to attend.

    Secret Spot: The Rooftop Terrace on The 21c Museum Hotel boasts strong drinks and a great vip rooftop experience, if you can gain access.

    Over-The-Rhine (OTR)

    Perhaps the coolest area in Cincinnati. OTR is an up-and-coming, hipster ridden, urban transformation project. Less than two decades ago OTR was the scene of race riots, and some people may argue the negative effects of gentrification and econocide are happening in this area today. 

    Honestly, this blog isn't here to tackle those larger issues, I'm just here to tell you this area is a HugeParty and I highly recommend visiting. For bar recommendations, head to The Lackman for great drinks, or Japp's Since 1879 for the late night sweaty dance party. 

    Great food? Head to Bakersfield for tacos, Kaze for fantastic sushi and The Eagle for fried chicken.

    Fun Fact: Do you love sports and 90's Boy Band "98 Degrees"? You're in luck. Nick and Drew Lachey opened up their own sports bar, Lachey's. Check it out!

    Shots in OTR

    The Banks

    The stretch of area between the two sports stadiums generates quite a buzz on a game-day. Reds, Bengals and opposing-team fans alike descend to this riverfront area, which features a variety of bars and restaurants. My personal favorites are Holy Grail before a game, or Tin Roof on a regular night out. Be wary of the crowd/clientele, as the drunk fans and "bros" can make this area tough to enjoy if you don't like loud and crowded bars.

    Getting Handsy at the Ball Park

    Take it or Leave it: Other Cincinnati Offerings

    Cincinnati Chili - Honestly, so much hype is built around the chili in Cincinnati, and to a degree... deservedly so. I love chili as much as the next guy, and Cincy's version is a different beast than what you're probably used to (no beans, add onions, less tomatoes). Cincinnati "Three Way" Chili is served over spaghetti noodles with cheddar cheese on top. It's good, not great. And spare yourself the trip to Skyline, the most popular chain restaurant. You can do better and find a place like Camp Washington Chili, or Empress Chili.

    Casino - Like to gamble? Awesome, because Cincinnati has a casino for your degenerate gambling addiction. I can't speak too highly about the Horseshoe Cincinnati, as it's not exactly the Aria Casino in Las Vegas. But who cares? It's a gambling venue, in Cincinnati, a short taxi ride away. What else are you going to do when the bars close at 2am?

    Cincinnati Quote

    "Cincinnati is a beautiful city; cheerful, thriving, and animated." - Charles Dickens

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    1 comment:

    1. I was just in the Midwest on a road trip. You're right about how great they can be. Will have to add Cincinnati to the next one.


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