Why It's Worth It

A scenic—but by no means sleepy—Ohio River town that clings mightily to its German, African-American, and Appalachian heritage, Cincinnati is rich in culture, architecture, and cuisine. It is home to stunning examples of classical and Art Deco architecture, miles of rolling urban parklands, bike trails, and museums housing exhibits focusing on everything from the Underground Railroad to the vintage neon signs that once dotted America’s highways. Nestled in the undulating Ohio River Valley and set on seven hills, its terrain is more strikingly San Francisco than what we normally think of a pancake-flat Midwestern city. Its recently revitalized Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is garnering national attention and may one day rival New Orleans’ French Quarter as one of America’s most scenic and historic entertainment destinations. —Keith Pandolfi