Cincinnati Area Botanical Gardens: 7 Days in The Queen City

Over a few drinks with friends recently, we were asked, “So, what gardens are on Flower Chick’s agenda this year?”

After mentioning our upcoming visit to Cincinnati area botanical gardens, they responded, “Isn’t Cincinnati more about chili than botanical gardens?”

Well, as you’ll soon see, it’s a little of both – and a whole lot more …

Explore Cincinnati: An Illustrated Timeline – Pivotal Moments In The History Of The Queen City #ad

Cincinnati Gardens by FlowerChick.com

Pretty Garden Plot & View From Mount Adams Looking Toward Kentucky

A city of 300,000+ in southwest Ohio, the Cincinnati area is home to almost a dozen botanical gardens and floral centric attractions. Located in the heart of growing Zone 6, Cincinnati sits directly across the Ohio River from northern Kentucky, with southern Indiana just a few miles west …

If you’ve ever visited Cincinnati, you’re aware of its many charms. This proud, scenic river city is tucked along the north bank of the Ohio River. The unofficial gateway to the south, Cincinnati beckons with an endearing mix of rolling hills, friendly cultural diversity, and a rich history dating back over two centuries.


Join Flower Chick as we spend seven days exploring Cincinnati area botanical gardens. You’ll also experience several inviting Cincinnati public parks and many of the city’s most unique local restaurants and businesses …

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Krohn Conservatory Cincinnati

Whimsical Sculptures & Plantings Outside The Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati

For your planning purposes, we’ll take you day by day through our seven days in the area. Retrace our agenda, or follow one of your very own! Either way, it’s a guaranteed great time – you’ll discover the many reasons why the Cincinnati area is near the top of so many travel lists for people of all ages …

Day 1 – Arriving in Cincinnati

Coming from Flower Chick’s home base of west suburban Chicago, it’s about a 5 hour drive to Cincinnati. The city is convenient to several major interstates, making getting here a relative breeze …

You’ll travel through Indianapolis and then east on I-70 to Richmond, Indiana to see the spectacular Richmond Rose Garden. From there, head into Ohio for a stop at Miami University in Oxford, OH (Flower Chick’s alma mater) and then south into the greater Cincinnati area …

Mt. Airy Forest, Getting Goetta, and a Creamy Whip …

From Oxford, you’ll head down Route 27 toward Cincinnati to embark on your Cincinnati area botanical garden tour. Along the way, there are a few can’t miss local spots you’ll want to take time to visit and patronize …

Route 27 takes you southeast from Oxford toward the Cincinnati area, where the road become Colerain Avenue. Near the I-275 intersection is one of the area’s best and longest running meat markets …

Stehlin’s Meat Market has stood the test of time, and for good reason. Originally established in 1913, Stehlin’s is known for their ultra fresh meats, sausages, and local specialties like goetta and cottage hams …

Stehlin's Meat Market

Wonderful Selection Of Sausages, Goetta, and Other Local Specialties At Stehlin’s Meat Market

In the United States, goetta is definitely a “Cincinnati thing”. Pronounced “get-ah”, it’s about an inch thick patty of steel cut oats, ground pork, and ground beef mixed with spices. Found on breakfast menus all across The Queen City, goetta is typically prepared simply and quickly. To cook goetta at home, brown it stovetop on both sides with a dash of cooking oil so it doesn’t stick, then enjoy with the rest of your breakfast …

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You can buy goetta pre packaged in grocery stores throughout Cincinnati, but for the best experience, pick it up fresh at specialty meat markets like Stehlin’s … the goetta here is known as one of Cincinnati’s best!

Two of Stehlin’s other noteworthy specialties are cottage hams and yard sausage. A cottage ham is actually a boneless pork shoulder butt that Stehlin’s smokes on site, so technically it’s considered pre-cooked. Yard sausage got its name since it was originally sold “by the yard” instead of individual links. The sausage itself is a German style link that’s best served lightly grilled. And you’ll find these Cincinnati delicacies (and many others) waiting for you here at Stehlin’s, so don’t miss out!

Leaving Stehlin’s, it’s a short 5 minute drive on Colerain / Route 27 to the spectacular Mt. Airy Forest, one of the Cincinnati area’s most beloved outdoor green spaces. Established in 1911, Mt. Airy Forest is Cincinnati’s largest park, checking in at nearly 1500 acres …

Mt Airy Arboretum Cincinnati

Within the Mt. Airy Arboretum you’ll find Vasey Garden voted to be among the “25 Best Cincinnati, Ohio Wedding Venues”.  The charming spot includes arbors, benches, brick paths, and many pollinator loving plants.

Vasey Garden Cincinnati

The Hardscapes at Vasey Garden Definitely Add To The Overall Charm

Flower Chick spotted many butterfly magnet plants in the garden including liatris, milkweed, perennial geraniums, yarrow, red hot poker, Joe Pye weed, and salvia.  Lots of bees and Monarchs were flitting from one flower to another enjoying the nectar.

Monarch and Red Hot Poker Flower

Monarch Butterfly Resting On A Vibrant Red Hot Poker Flower

Just south of Mt. Airy Forest and literally in the shadow of Interstate 74 is a legendary family run business that has been putting smiles on Cincinnatian’s faces since its founding in 1938 …

This is Putz’s Creamy Whip, a seasonal sweet treat destination offering soft serve ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes, and Cincinnati specialty food items like cheese coney dogs and mettwurst …

As a tried and true community staple and family friendly gathering spot, Putz’s Creamy Whip has endured for well over 8 decades. In the early 1970’s, construction of nearby I-74 threatened to close the business, but the family persevered. They contacted then President Nixon personally, asking the interstate be routed a few more feet away from Putz’s building and land. Sure enough, the request was granted and the business is still going strong today …

Yummy Blue Raspberry Creamy Whip Cones at Putz’s

Stop in for a mid afternoon snack of vanilla soft serve or Putz’s equally delicious Blue Raspberry. Putz’s Creamy Whip is a Cincinnati icon and an authentic taste of The Queen City …

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Did You Know? In Cincinnati, the term “creamy whip” refers to an establishment offering soft serve ice cream, as well as the product itself. Typically a small independent seasonal business, there are dozens of Creamy Whip outposts in the Cincinnati area …

The Ongoing Allure Of Cincinnati’s Mt. Adams …

Perched atop one of Cincinnati’s seven hills, the Mt. Adams neighborhood is one of the most popular in the city. It’s adjacent to Eden Park and the views of downtown Cincinnati and the Ohio River are unrivalled …

An evening destination type neighborhood, Mt. Adams was originally established as one of Cincinnati’s first suburbs. A warm late spring evening is perfect for exploring the neighborhood’s winding streets, which are a bit reminiscent of San Francisco. For decades, Mt. Adams has been one of Flower Chick’s first destinations on visits to Cincinnati …

Did You Know? Mt. Adams draws its name from the 6th U.S. President, John Quincy Adams.
The former President visited here in 1843 …

We’re pleased to share five of our favorite Mt. Adams businesses. Each have a story to tell, and all five are an important part of the neighborhood’s fabric and personality. If you’ve been to Mt. Adams, it’s likely these places are instantly recognizable to you, and if not, make it a point to visit. Enjoy!

Mt. Adams Cincinnati

View Of Downtown Cincinnati & The Ohio River From Mt. Adams – Former Site of The Incline

Crowley’s: Established in 1937, the official name of Mt. Adams Irish style bar is Crowley’s Highland House Cafe, but everyone knows it as Crowley’s. A low key establishment with a long bar and lots of local beer on tap, it’s a favorite for young locals later in the evening. Crowley’s is a great place to start your exploration of Mt. Adams (meaning Happy Hour) and it’s an equally fine choice to end your evening as well …

Crowley's Mount Adams

The vibe here has always been friendly, welcoming, and fun! Flower Chick stopped in on a warm Saturday afternoon and Crowley’s was abuzz with young people relaxing and socializing between a wedding and reception. You’ll enjoy yourself at Crowley’s … after all, you’re in one of Cincinnati’s most enjoyable neighborhoods and you’re sitting down at one of Mt. Adams longest running establishments. Suffice it to say, it’s hard not to have a good time at Crowley’s …

City View Tavern: This aptly named Cincinnati and Mt. Adams landmark is perched on Oregon Street, just a bit down the hill from the top of Mt. Adams …

City View Tavern Mt. Adams Cincinnati

A local tavern at heart, there has been a gathering spot for socializing and cold beer here since 1875. This hillside spot has been known as City View Tavern for the past few decades and is probably best known for their small back deck. City View Tavern’s deck affords one of the best views of downtown Cincinnati and the Ohio River in the city …

One of our long time favorites, City View Tavern is a destination for really good easy-on-the-wallet bar food like cheeseburgers and mettwurst. Mettwurst is a German style sausage you’ll find on menus throughout the area … but not too often outside of Cincinnati. And nothing beats a cold local beer with a mettwurst at the City View Tavern!

City View Tavern Mt. Adams View

Gorgeous View From The Deck At City View Tavern in Mt. Adams

Did You Know? For a bit of Mt. Adams and Cincinnati history, step outside of the City View Tavern and walk a few yards to your right. Look across the street and you’ll see two rather large brick support structures, now partially crumbling. They’re remains of the Mt. Adams Incline, which operated from the hilltop up above down to a street at the bottom. The incline operated for decades and was shuttered in 1948 …

View Of The Historic Mt. Adams Incline … See It Here!

United Dairy Farmers: UDF is an area chain of quick serve convenience stores with a long standing reputation of serving top notch ice cream treats, along with just about everything else you might need at the spur of the moment …

Flower Chick has always made a point of visiting the Mt. Adams outpost of United Dairy Farmers. Stroll through Mt. Adams and you won’t miss it – UDF is across from the parking garage on St. Gregory Street. You’ll discover United Dairy Farmers serves some of the best peach milk shakes you’ll find anywhere …

United Dairy Farmers Peach Shake

Scrumptious Peach Shake at United Dairy Farmers

A combination convenience store and ice cream parlor, United Dairy Farmers is the place to pick up essentials on Mt. Adams. Beer to go? Check. A gallon of milk? Check. Forgot to pack a tube of toothpaste? UDF has that too!

For a fast, convenient dessert option while enjoying the Mt. Adams scene, follow the locals to UDF and don’t miss one of their signature dairy treats …

The Blind Lemon: This cozy, historic spot on Hatch Street has long been one of Flower Chick’s favorite, not just in Cincinnati, but anywhere. Enjoy a few hours here and you’ll see why …

The Blind Lemon Mount Adams

Established in 1963, The Blind Lemon is named in honor of legendary bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson. The outside courtyard beckons you to linger, with live acoustic music setting the mood on most nights. The cozy inside bar area features a spectacular array of collectibles and photos of famous past patrons who’ve discovered The Blind Lemon is one of the best bars in Cincinnati …

The Blind Lemon Patio – Perfect Spot For Cocktails & Live Music

Did You Know? Classic rock fans will enjoy reading the brass plaques just outside the staircase entrance to The Blind Lemon. The plaques pay homage to the many celebrities, musicians, and entertainers who’ve enjoyed a visit to Mt. Adams and The Blind Lemon. A few notables catching our eyes: Janis Joplin, Jimmy Buffett, Peter Frampton, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash …

The Blind Lemon Cincinnati OH


Mt. Adams Bar & Grill: A friendly, welcoming place popular with couples and families, Mt. Adams Bar & Grill has quite a history. Founded in 1919 just before Prohibition, legend has it the bar operated “on the sly” until repeal in 1933. The bar, later renamed Mt. Adams Bar & Grill, was then granted Cincinnati’s first legal liquor license …

Mt Adams Bar & Grill Cincinnati

Coming into Mt. Adams from Eden Park, Mt. Adams Bar & Grill is one of the first places you’ll see … it’s right at the corner of Hatch and Louden. Housed in a handsome brick building, it’s just steps away from The Blind Lemon. Check out the food menu for a casual lunch or dinner too. This place is kind of the social center of the neighborhood and is always on the agenda for a fun evening out in Mt. Adams …

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Day 2 – Cincinnati’s West Side Parks, Eden Park, and Over The Rhine

Let’s start Day 2 of our Cincinnati area botanical gardens tour with a visit to the city’s west side …

Located just a few minutes from downtown, Cincinnati’s west side has long been considered the heartbeat of the city, a working man’s collection of neighborhoods. And our first stop is in the Price Hill area for breakfast at one of Cincinnati’s best places for breakfast and more …

Price Hill Chili: One of Cincinnati’s best known chili parlors, Price Hill Chili has been around since 1962. A comfortable neighborhood destination, Price Hill Chili fits the bill (even if Cincinnati chili isn’t your thing) …

Price Hill Chili Cincinnati

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is a great place to start your day with a home cooked meal. Flower Chick’s tour guide / husband got right into the Cincinnati swing of things with a steaming plate of 3 Way Cincinnati style chili. What a perfect way to start our first full day in The Queen City!

Price Hill Chili Cincinnati

Hubby’s Breakfast – A Tasty Plate Of Three Way Chili At Price Hill

If you’re in the neighborhood a little later in the day, pop in at Price Hill Chili’s adjacent Golden Fleece Lounge for a cold local beer and your game of choice on TV …

Price Hill Chili serves breakfast all day, along with an expansive selection of sandwiches and dinner entrees. Insider Tip: Don’t forget to have a slice of baklava for dessert …

Meiners Fine Meats: This west side meat market / deli has served Cincinnati west siders since 1983. They’re known for their expansive deli, featuring deli meats and house made specialties like goetta, fresh mettwurst, and Meiner’s famous chicken salad …

Meiners Meat Cincinnati

Meiners chicken salad is famous for a reason – it’s fantastic! Hundreds of pounds of chicken salad are sold here weekly to in-the-know customers …

Now it’s time to head a few miles west to a Cincinnati park with a scenic riverside location, followed by a small neighborhood park well known for its towering trees

Fernbank Park and Sayler Park: Cincinnati West Side Gems

Fernbank Park: One of the west side of Cincinnati’s nicest parks, Fernbank Park is tucked along the Ohio River and features a 1+ mile walking path with scenic views of the river …

We enjoyed a long stroll on the paved paths while watching several freighters and tugs on the water …

Fernbank Park Cincinnati

Fernbank Park – A Beautiful Place To Take A Walk Along The River

The park consists of 63 acres and boasts the longest riverfront footprint of any park in Cincinnati.

Nelson Sayler Park: The centerpiece of the Cincinnati neighborhood of the same name, Nelson Sayler Park covers one square block and serves as the neighborhood’s social center …

Sayler Park Cincinnati

The focal point of Nelson Sayler Park is a group of grand, stately trees. Many of these trees are among the oldest in Cincinnati, dating back well over 200 years. If these trees could talk, what stories they’d tell!

Sayler Park’s flower beds are tended by a local gardening club and there’s a neighborhood farmers market held here every Tuesday in warmer months …

Sayler Park Cincinnati

Did You Know? There’s a great local bakery just across from Sayler Park. It’s the Bizy Bees Bakery, well known across the city for freshly baked pastries, fresh donuts, and more. This little corner bakery was the perfect stop to grab a sweet treat to go while enjoying the peaceful ambiance of Sayler Park …

Bizy Bees Bakery Cincinnati

Over To Cincinnati’s East Side: The Hyde Park Farmers Market and a Trip To Zip’s …

One of Cincinnati’s most attractive neighborhoods, Hyde Park is an upscale enclave that’s home to the Sunday Hyde Park Farmers Market. You won’t miss it – there’s dozens of local vendors set up on Erie Avenue in the heart of the neighborhood …

Hyde Park Farmers Market Cincinnati

Flower Chick had her eye out for local cheese and the Russo’s Ravioli stand. Russo’s Ravioli is a long standing local treasure in the Cincinnati area – they’ve been around since 1945. At their Hyde Park Farmers Market stand, you can pick up packages of their home made ravioli and sauces for an Italian style meal you won’t soon forget! Insider Tip: Try the Butternut Squash Ravioli and pair it with Russo’s Marinara Sauce …

If you like seeking out locally made cheese, stop at the Boone Creek Creamery booth for some artisan Kentucky made cheese. Flower Chick scored with some Kentucky Derby Cheddar, made with a hint of bourbon, and a delicious Apricot White Cheddar …

Just five minutes from the Hyde Park neighborhood is another of Cincinnati’s many attractive neighborhoods, Mt. Lookout. The center of the neighborhood is Mt. Lookout Square, where you’ll find several shops, restaurants, and service businesses. Approaching the lunch hour, we headed for a long time Cincinnati favorite …

Zip's Cafe Cincinnati

Zip’s Cafe: Located in Mt. Lookout Square, Zip’s Cafe is a Cincinnati local institution. Established in 1926, this casual restaurant / bar is famous for their cheeseburgers, consistently placing at or near the top of “Best of Cincinnati” polls …

Popular with locals, Zip’s Cafe is a family friendly stop for a beer and a cheeseburger. You’ll find several local choices on draught and the cheeseburger, ground fresh daily, is not to be missed. Blend in with the locals and catch up on all the local comings and goings …

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Eden Park, Krohn Conservatory, and an Art Climb …

Just a few minutes west of the Hyde Park neighborhood off Columbia Parkway is beautiful Eden Park and the adjacent Mt. Adams neighborhood. With an early afternoon visit on deck for the annual Butterfly Show, it’s time to stop at Cincinnati’s horticultural crown jewel, Krohn Conservatory …

Krohn Conservatory Cincinnati

Tropical Vibe Inside The Krohn Conservatory With Palms, Ferns and Cacti Galore

Krohn Conservatory:  Krohn opened in 1933 and is beautifully maintained by the Cincinnati Park District. Inside you’ll find the Palm House, Fern House, Desert House, Orchid House and Seasonal Floral Show Room.  In addition to hosting five seasonal floral shows each year, this last area contains a permanent citrus tree collection. Among the trees here are orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, and kumquat.

Krohn Conservatory Cincinnati

Graceful Sculptures Peppered Throughout The Various Rooms At Krohn

Take your time and don’t miss any of the display houses on your way to the seasonal shows. When Flower Chick visited the “Butterflies of the Nile” exhibit was in full force.  This exciting display showcased how lush and inviting the gardens of ancient Egypt could be. Inspiration was taken from actual paintings found in temples and tombs …

Krohn Conservatory Butterfly Exhibit

A Mix Of Butterflies Enjoying A Fruit Snack At Krohn Conservatory

The live, colorful butterflies float gracefully through the room (hundreds of them!) flitting from orchards, palms, and fish ponds with lotus plants.  A dazzling sight to see!  I spotted Blue Morphos, Malachites, Monarchs, Paper Kites and many more …

Blue Morpho Butterfly Krohn Conservatory Cincinnati

An Exquisite Blue Morpho at Krohn. It Took Awhile For Him To Land For The Pic!

Insider Tip:  Never rush through a butterfly exhibit … stand still and butterflies are likely to land on you for a perfect photo opportunity.  Also, be very careful where you step.  They sometimes land on the floor and you don’t want to injure any of these marvels of nature.

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Eden Park: The word that comes to mind when describing Cincinnati’s Eden Park is “spectacular”. Located atop Mt. Adams, the topography of Eden Park affords second-to-none vistas of downtown Cincinnati, the Ohio River, and northern Kentucky beyond …

Eden Park is home to the Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Playhouse, and almost 200 acres of green space. One of the city’s most historic parks, Eden Park has quite a story to tell …

Eden Park In Cincinnati

Some Say The Gazebo Overlooking Mirror Lake In Eden Park Is Haunted …

Did You Know? As you might suspect, Eden Park is named after The Garden of Eden. The park’s land was once the estate of prominent early Cincinnatian Nicholas Longworth, an industrialist and vintner. Longworth grew acres of native grapes on the present site of Eden Park …

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An ideal park for walking and hiking, Eden Park checks in at 186 acres, making it one of the city’s largest parks. There’s ample green space, trails, overlooks, and sports courts for active participants. Eden Park is also the gateway to Mt. Adams and if you’re up for a bit of a walk, a good place to park when spending a few hours at the restaurants and bars …

Cincinnati Art Climb

Don’t Miss The Cincinnati Art Climb! A Cool Addition To The Museum Grounds

Cincinnati Art Museum Art Climb: This Mt. Adams free attraction is new since out last visit to the city, and what a fine addition it is!

It’s the Cincinnati Art Climb, an interactive experience of sculpture and platform steps which climb 9 stories to the Art Museum parking lot on the hill above Eden Park Drive …

Great for a little exercise and savoring the views atop, the Art Climb incorporates one of Cincinnati’s most enduring traits – sets of public access steps to traverse the city’s hilly terrain. Along the way, you’ll be greeted by some of the Museum’s display sculptures, strategically placed on landings. From the top of the Art Climb, you can visit the Art Museum or walk across the parking lot to continue your day in Mount Adams …

Cincinnati Art Museum Climb View

Exercise With A View At The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Artistically Laid Out Steps

Did You Know? One of Cincinnati’s nicknames is The City of Seven Hills, and when you visit, you’ll understand why. Geographically, the area is a series of hills, many of which are home to public parks with spectacular views. Each of the city’s hills represents a specific neighborhood. The official list of the seven hills (developed by the University of Cincinnati) is: Mt. Adams, Mt. Healthy, Mt. Lookout, Mt. Airy, Mt. Echo, Mt. Storm, Mt. Washington.

Although the way down from Eden Park and Mt. Adams can be tricky for newcomers, the Art Climb is conveniently located near the corner of Eden Park Drive and Gilbert Avenue. Gilbert heads down toward the city center, and veering off on Liberty Avenue takes you into Cincinnati’s famous Over The Rhine district, where we’ll start our exploration with a unique floral themed bar …

 

A Few New Favorites In Over The Rhine

Of the many appealing Cincinnati neighborhoods to visit, none offer a better comeback story than Over The Rhine. This historic neighborhood got its name from its location north of a former canal, now Central Parkway. Long considered a workingman’s neighborhood, Over The Rhine experienced a dramatic downfall in the early part of this century …

We are so pleased to see Over The Rhine’s spectacular rebirth and renaissance over the past 10 years. What were once dilapidated and abandoned buildings now house appealing independent shops and a world class variety of food, drink, and entertainment options. One could easily spend two full days here exploring all there is to see … Flower Chick earmarked the better parts of three separate days in Over The Rhine and still had a notebook full of places to visit our next time in town …

We’ll explore more of the Over The Rhine neighborhood on Day 4 of our visit, but for starters, here are some of Flower Chick’s new personal favorites …

Somerset Bar: Tucked away on McMicken Street just north of Liberty on Main Street, Somerset is a hidden urban oasis. Enter through the back courtyard and you’ll be immersed in an outdoor greenhouse setting, which surround the center focal point bar …

Somerset Bar Cincinnati

Escape To The Jungle Oasis Of The Somerset Bar in OTR

A popular, lively place with Over The Rhine visitors, Somerset frequently offers on site food trucks serving specialty sandwiches, edibles, and such. The space itself hosts three distinct areas and the stylish bohemian style decor suits the setting perfectly …

Outside, the patio area hosts groups who can congregate in small hut like structures which can be reserved in advance. the bar has a parking arrangement with a nearby prep school, so it’s a convenient place to sit and relax for an hour or two. We loved the mid Sunday afternoon vibe here … a very cool place!

Somerset Bar Patio Cincinnati OTR

Immerse Yourself Into This Exotic Setting With A Cool Drink & Relax …


Rhinegeist Brewery: You’ll find this relatively new local brewery just a block north of the Findlay Market, housed in a repurposed old brewery structure. Rhinegeist Brewery has captured the respect and admiration of Cincinnati’s beer consumers with an appealing mix of styles …

On a nice weather day, head upstairs to the rooftop deck – here you’ll enjoy a birds eye view of Over The Rhine and the hills of Cincinnati’s near north side. A friendly gathering spot just off the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar stop, Rhinegeist draws visitors from the Findlay Market and all over the city …

Rhinegeist Rooftop Cincinnati

Great Place To Enjoy A Housemade Brew With A View At Rhinegeist’s Rooftop

Insider Tip: Try the “Cheetah”, an easy drinking lager just perfect for a warm day on the rooftop …

Samuel Adams Taproom: Did you know the vast majority of Samuel Adams beer production takes place here in Cincinnati? The brewery’s owner, Jim Koch, is a Cincinnati native and their fine portfolio of beers are brewed here in the former Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewery on Central Parkway …

Sam Adams Brewery Cincinnati

The Inviting Sam Adams Taproom in OTR – Try Beers You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

Just a stone’s throw east of the production brewery is the new Sam Adams Taproom in the Over The Rhine neighborhood, quite near Findlay Market. Join us for a Sunday afternoon visit …

A welcome addition to this part of Over The Rhine, the Samuel Adams Taproom offers two long bars and rows of communal tables to relax and savor the brewery’s standard and latest offerings. We enjoyed a couple of pints of Sam Adams Cincinnati Lager, a companion beer to the well known Sam Adams Boston Lager …

We met a friendly new Samuel Adams employee here who had just recently moved to Cincinnati, and enjoyed sharing a bit of history about the long established brewery across the street and its place in Cincinnati’s brewing lore …

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Dinner on the Banks of the Ohio River

Montgomery Inn Boathouse: Another of Flower Chick’s Cincinnati favorites is the Montgomery Inn Boathouse, located on the Ohio Riverfront just north of the baseball stadium. The Boathouse, a popular riverfront mainstay, is a sister restaurant to the original Montgomery Inn, which dates to 1951 …

The Montgomery Inn Boathouse has also been around for decades – it’s a Cincinnati staple for bbq ribs, steaks, pork chops and other approachable fare. The walls of the Boathouse are filled with pictures of famous admirers, many of whom have Montgomery Inn ribs shipped across the country (you can too!) …

Montgomery Inn Cincinnati

A popular choice for dinner, you’ll be rewarded with an expansive view of the Ohio River and northern Kentucky beyond. The ribs are legendary … accented with Montgomery Inn’s signature barbeque sauce and slow cooked so they fall off the bone with an ever so slight tug. Lean and meaty, you’ll be hard pressed to find better ribs in Cincinnati, or anywhere else for that matter …

Fun, approachable, and social are three words to describe Montgomery Inn Boathouse. As an added bonus, there’s a big adjacent parking lot so you won’t hassle looking for a spot. One of our long time Cincinnati favorites!

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Day 3 – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Cincinnati History & More Gardens

Day Three of our Cincinnati area botanical gardens tour takes us to the city’s near north side. This area is home to two urban park gardens and the very popular Cincinnati Zoo & Botanic Gardens. Before getting started in earnest, let’s pay a visit to a legendary Cincinnati spot for breakfast …

Camp Washington Chili: Established in 1940, Camp Washington Chili is one of the city’s best known chili parlors, but don’t overlook their delicious breakfasts, served with a smile. Ask anyone around Cincinnati for their opinion of the best area chili and Camp Washington is sure to get a mention …

Camp Washington Chili Cincinnati

Enjoy A Delicious Meal At Camp Washington – Perfect Chili, Eggs, Goetta, & Coffee

Expanded and remodeled in the past decade, Camp Washington Chili is a beloved Cincinnati destination. Located just off the freeway at the Hopple Street exit, there’s ample lot parking and extended hours to get your chili fix …

Flower Chick visits Camp Washington Chili every time in town and if you stop and enjoy breakfast or some chili, you’ll understand why. The chili served here has a rich distinctive flavor that sets it apart from all the other great Cincinnati chili parlors. While it’s hard to proclaim which chili is “best”, Camp Washington Chili is always at the discussion’s forefront …

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Fleischmann Gardens: About six blocks east of the Cincinnati Zoo is Fleischmann Gardens, a lovely city park which was once the estate of Charles Fleischmann, founder of the famous Fleischmann Yeast Company …

Fleischmann Gardens

Accented by ornamental gates and gaslight lamp light fixtures, this four acre park features the oldest Gingko tree in Ohio, and winding paths to explore the landscape. Descend down a set of stone steps to reveal an evergreen maze.

Most of the flowers planted in the garden beds are lantana.  A very good choice since they are drought tolerant, don’t need deadheading, and most important … they attract pollinators.

Fleischmann Gardens

The Well-Manicured Evergreen Maze At Fleischmann Gardens

Flower Chick has always loved Gingko trees.  The fan-shaped leaves are mesmerizing and the golden color in the fall is a real standout. This one is indeed very special – 93 feet tall with a 247-inch circumference – wow!  If only it could talk … imagine the stories it could tell!

Fleischmann Gardens Gingko Tree

The Oldest Gingko Tree in Ohio – A Truly Majestic Specimen!

Hauck Botanic Garden: Located in Avondale on Reading Road, Hauck Botanic Garden and the Civic Garden Center are situated on eight acres of land once owned by Cornelius J. Hauck. As a passionate horticulturist, Hauck transformed the property into a diverse garden and then willed it to the city upon his passing in 1967.

Hauck Botanic Garden Cincinnati

The grounds are free for the public to visit and they are home to hundreds of varieties of trees, shrubs, evergreens, and other plants. Each season brings new life and new experiences to the gardens …

Hauck Botanic Garden Cincinnati

Exploring The Garden Was A Delight … Paths Lead To “Secret”, Lovely Areas

You’ll find a small Japanese style garden, a children’s area, pollinator section, and daffodil glade among the charming areas to discover on the Hauck grounds …

Hauck Botanic Garden

Vibrant Orange Coneflower Spotted In The Children’s Garden

Did You Know?  Coneflowers, aka Echinacea, are tough upright perennials in the daisy family. Coneflowers have raised cone-like centers hence, their name, which attract butterflies and bees. After bloom, the seed heads attract songbirds, such as goldfinches.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden: Established in 1875, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is one of the nation’s oldest zoos. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. This 75 acre site is home to almost 1,900 animals …

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The meticulous garden beds throughout the zoo grounds include pollinator gardens, rain gardens, green roof garden, community gardens, conifer garden, edible gardens and more …

Located in the front entry village on the north side of the Gift Shop, the Butterfly Garden is just one of many zoo garden beds that are conducive to butterflies, bees, and other important pollinators.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Eye-Catching Floral Display At The Zoo Entrance Includes Impatiens, Phlox & Zinnias

Did You Know?  In January 2017 – Fiona the hippo, the zoo’s most famous current resident, was born six weeks prematurely and her survival was in doubt. At the time of her birth, she weighed only 29 pounds, which was 25 pounds less than the lowest recorded birthweight for her species. The zoo’s efforts to save her and her subsequent improvement to good health provided a viral sensation on the internet. Today, at the age of five, happy & healthy Fiona now weighs 1,600 pounds and she will be a big sister soon!


 

Fiona the hippo statue at Cincinnati Zoo

The Sweet Hippo Statues Depicting Fiona And Her Mother Bibi On The Zoo Grounds

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is a beautiful place to walk around and learn about the many animal residents and appreciate all the flora and fauna present.  The garden beds are lovingly tended by staff and each plant has an identifying label for easy recognition …

Cincinnati Zoo Gardens

Colorful Garden Beds Around Every Corner – Here’s A Mix of Begonias, Bidens & Vinca

The vegetation in the animal areas and the many garden beds interspersed throughout the zoo grounds are all maintained beautifully.  Loved to see all the pockets of color!

Insider Tip:  Choose annual flowers that don’t need deadheading for an easier to maintain display. Some good low maintenance choices include begonias, calibrachoa, impatiens, lantana, lobelia and vinca.

Cincinnati Zoo Flowers

Feathered Friends Enjoying The Green Space & Water Features At The Cincinnati Zoo

Flower Chick spotted large clusters of bamboo growing near the elephant and giraffe quarters at the zoo.  Thinking that was pretty neat … I was curious as to what other animals like bamboo besides the obvious pandas.

Did You Know?  Pandas are not the only animals that eat bamboo. Other animals that love eating bamboo include bamboo lemurs, mountain gorillas, and Asian elephants. Some giraffes will eat it too, but they prefer acacia tree leaves.  Chimpanzees also eat bamboo and use its stem as rods for scooping and eating termites.

Cincinnati Zoo Giraffes

The Giraffe Ridge Area Of The Zoo – These Handsome Herbivores Have Plenty To Munch On

Enjoy a wonderful mix of wildlife and the botanical gardens at the Cincinnati Zoo!  The fifth-oldest of its kind in the US and the Zoo’s Reptile House is the oldest existing Zoo building in the country, dating from 1875. From Hippos to Aardvarks to Cheetahs and King Cobras … a variety of cool animals to discover.

Cincinnati Area Botanical Gardens

Serene Setting For Pelicans, Ostrich & Antelope at The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Skyline Chili: Skyline Chili is synonymous with Cincinnati … it’s one of the two prominent chili parlor chains in the area, Gold Star being the other. This picturesque Skyline outpost in the Gaslight Square area was the first to be franchised … its location near the University of Cincinnati helps make it one of the most popular in the city.

Skyline Chili Cincinnati

We Worked Up An Appetite Walking Around The Zoo – Time For Some Cheese Coneys!

Skyline is famous for their plates of chili served 3 Way, 4 Way, and 5 Way. 3 Way is chili and a mound of grated cheese over a bed of spaghetti noodles. Four Way adds onions or beans, 5 Way adds both. Another specialty is cheese coneys, a mini sized hot dog on a small bun with cheese and chili …

Skyline Chili is Cincinnati’s largest chili parlor chain and you’ll find their locations all across the Cincinnati area. Founded in 1949, Skyline is synonymous with Cincinnati chili …

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Clifton Market: This friendly local supermarket is the hub of the neighborhood and offers everything you need, whether you’re staying a day or a month. There’s an impressive selection of locally made edibles, plenty of local beer, and a fresh to order deli …

From here, you’re just steps away from one of the longest running establishments in the neighborhood, Arlin’s Bar. Let’s stop in for a cold one …

Arlin’s Bar: You’ll find Arlin’s Bar on Ludlow Avenue in the heart of the Gaslight District, less than five minutes from the Cincinnati Zoo …

Arlin's Bar Cincinnati

Time For A Cold, Refreshing Beverage On A Hot Day – Next Stop At Arlin’s

This long standing ultra comfortable establishment is a neighborhood mainstay. Arlin’s is well known for their wings and impressive selection of draught beer. Although the place has changed names and owners over the years, there has been a bar in this space since 1890, Beat the Cincinnati heat with a stop in at Arlin’s for an ice cold beer!

Ludlow Garage: One of the city’s most popular live music venues, Ludlow Garage draws its name from its former incarnation as an auto repair facility. Originally established in the late 1960’s Ludlow Garage has seen many legendary performers grace its stage. Notably for classic rock fans, The Allman Brothers performed here in 1970, a show captured live which you can relive on vinyl …

Ludlow Garage Cincinnati

Lost Cincinnati Concert Venues of the ’50s & ’60s: From the Surf Club to Ludlow Garage …  #ad

 

Today, Ludlow Garage presents music of all genres in an intimate, acoustically impressive setting …

William Howard Taft National Historic Site: Tucked in between Over The Rhine and the University of Cincinnati campus is the former home of America’s 27th President, William Howard Taft …

Did You Know? Our 27th President, William Howard Taft, was born in Cincinnati in 1857. He is the only American in history to serve as President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. To date, Taft is one of only two U.S. Presidents buried in Arlington National Cemetery, John F. Kennedy being the other.

Taft Historic Site Cincinnati

The childhood family home of President Taft showcases many original furnishings and history of his career. Owned by the Taft family for many decades, the home was donated to the National Park Service as an historic site and completely remodeled to harken back to when the future President lived here …

Free to explore, and you’ll discover the rich history and legacy of William Howard Taft, the only person to date to hold the office of both U.S. President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court …

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Mecklenburg Gardens: From the Taft home, it’s a short five minute drive to the corner of Highland and University. Here you’ll find the city’s longest running German restaurant, Mecklenburg Gardens, instantly recognizable by the vine covered outdoor seating area …

Mecklenburg Gardens Cincinnati

Stop By For Great German Food & Tap Beer Selection At Mecklenburg Gardens

Another of Flower Chick’s long time favorites, we enjoyed a German style dinner of sauerbraten & schnitzel with red cabbage and spaetzle, washed down with one of Mecklenburg Garden’s many German imported beers on draught …

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Day 4 – A Day in Northern Kentucky

To start off Day Four of our Cincinnati Area Botanical Gardens tour, we’ll head over to Monmouth Avenue in historic Newport, KY …

Gourmet Chili: This humble Newport, KY staple on Monmouth Street is one of the Cincinnati area’s longest running chili parlors. The name may have changed a handful of times over the years, but this local favorite has been dishing out Greek style Cincinnati chili since the 1920’s …

Gourmet Chili Cincinnati

Enjoy a homestyle breakfast or a plate of 3 Way Chili at this friendly place and if it’s nice out, sidle up to one of the street side tables. Fast friendly efficient service and a perfectly prepared breakfast will get your day off to a good start! It’s easy to see why Gourmet Chili is approaching 100 years in business – everything is top notch and easy on the wallet …

Gourmet Chili Newport KY

Traditional Breakfast For Flower Chick & 3 Way Chili For Mr. FC 😉

Cookie Jar Bakery Since 1927, this humble Monmouth Street bakery has been churning out loaves of fresh bread, scrumptious cookies, Danish, donuts and more from early morning to mid afternoon. A traditional old school bakery if there ever was one, Cookie Jar Bakery fits in perfectly in this historic Newport area …

Cookie Jar Bakery Newport KY

Don’t Miss The Cookies At Cookie Jar Bakery … Yum!!

Pick up a few of your bakery favorites, including freshly baked iced cookies, sweet rolls, delicious bakery bread, and more …

Ebert’s Meats: Take a stroll up and down Newport’s historic Monmouth Avenue and stop in at Ebert’s Meats, a long running local meat market that has served the neighborhood since 1897 …

Fresh cut meats, house made sausages, and deli salads are the star of the show here. Flower Chick opted for fresh mettwurst, a pound of tasty chicken salad, ham salad, and a few other local goodies. Ebert’s has the look and feel of a traditional old time butcher shop, down to the shirt and tie bedecked owners and personal service with a smile …

Ebert's Meats Newport

Ebert’s recently negotiated a new short term lease agreement with the building’s owner and word is they’re looking to relocate the business to a new nearby location in the neighborhood, so check their Facebook page for all the up to date details and hours …

Boone County Arboretum: Located about 25 minutes southwest of Covington, the Boone County Arboretum encompasses 121 acres.  The Arboretum is also known as Central Park, and was the nation’s first arboretum within an active recreation park setting.

Boone County Arboretum

This specialized arrangement of diverse plant families and 12 athletic fields are all connected by a 2+ mile winding multi-use trail. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk for your year-round enjoyment of the more than 3,600 trees and shrubs. There is no charge for admission or parking.

The Boone County Arboretum Pollinator Garden

Entrance To The Pollinator Garden At The Boone County Arboretum

We entered the walking trail at the pollinator garden … just look for the Monarch butterfly statue!  This is a nice exhibit with many butterfly loving plants and display boards explaining how you can help our winged friends.

Boone County Arboretum Magnolia

We Spotted This Gorgeous Magnolia Bloom … The Size Of A Dinner Plate!

Throughout the year, the Arboretum also offer various classes and programs for all age groups. In addition, many of the Boone County Extension horticulture classes are taught at the Arboretum. A pretty place to take a nature hike and appreciate the many types of trees.

Boone County Arboretum Trail

A Portion Of The Paved Trail At The Boone County Arboretum In Northern Kentucky

Newport Aquarium:  This wonderful aquarium is located at Newport on the Levee, across the river from Cincinnati. There are 70 exhibits and 14 galleries to explore … including five seamless acrylic tunnels totaling over 200 feet in length.

Newport Aquarium

Inside The Newport Aquarium – Clean, Well Labelled Displays Make Learning Fun!

The aquarium is home to thousands of aquatic animals from around the world.  It is the first aquarium in the world to have success in breeding shark rays. It also hosts a collection of alligators, including rare albino alligators.

Newport Aquarium Albino Alligator

Albino Alligator Smiling For The Camera – It’s Estimated There Are Only 200 Of Them In The World

Enjoy many interactive displays at the aquarium where you can go beyond the glass and build a special bond with the animals through touch. Cool critters like horseshoe crabs, sea urchins, sharks and stingrays await your gentle connection with guides on hand to tell you about these remarkable residents.

Newport Aquarium Kentucky

A Photogenic Iguana At The Newport Aquarium

We especially liked the completely refreshed Coral Reef Tunnel! You’re surrounded by a sixty thousand gallon thriving underwater community filled with colorful corals and schools of tropical fish. Featuring over 50 species of fish, this vibrant exhibit is a reminder of how important it is to protect the ocean’s corals.

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Newport Aquarium Coral Reef

The Popular & Colorful Coral Reef Tunnel At The Newport Aquarium

Hofbrauhaus – Newport: Just across the street from the Newport Aquarium is the Kentucky outpost of the famous Munich, Germany Hofbrauhaus. A bustling beer hall ambiance serves hundreds of festive diners daily, who stop here to enjoy great Hofbrauhaus beers and authentic German cuisine …

Hofbrauhaus Newport

Experience Munich in Newport … Authentic Biers & Food At Hofbrauhaus

Best described as a place guaranteed to put you in a good mood, Hofbrauhaus offers daily specials and even specials for college students later in the evening. We didn’t eat here as we needed to make our scheduled time at the Aquarium, but it’s on our list for next time … the food looked fantastic!

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Dixie Chili: We loved our visit to Dixie Chili, one of the Cincinnati area’s longest running chili parlors. This busy, welcoming location hums right along like a finely tuned watch, dishing out plates of Cincinnati style chili, cheese coneys, and more …

Dixie Chili Newport

Since 1929 – They Know What They’re Doing!

Dixie Chili first opened in 1929 and is considered one of Cincinnati’s best. And yes, the plate of 3 Way Chili tasted as good as it looks!

Plate of 3-Way Chili At Dixie

A Delicious Plate of 3-Way Chili At Dixie In Newport KY

While you’re here, play the free jukebox if you have a few minutes. It offers a diverse, eclectic selection, with everything from jazz to classic rock to pop, country, and more. We were really impressed with the staff here at Dixie Chili! They were happy to guide us, answer questions, and share a little history …

An ideal lunch stop before or after a visit to the Newport Aquarium, be sure to put Dixie Chili on your to do list any time you’re in Newport. And, you can order cans of Dixie chili from their website to enjoy a taste of the Cincinnati area at home …

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Roebling Point Books & Coffee: Flower Chick always has her eyes open for a local bookstore whenever we travel. Luckily for her, Roebling Point Books & Coffee is right in the heart of Newport on 6th Street …

Roebling Point Bookstore

What’s Not To Like … Like Books, Like Coffee? This Is The Place For You!

Part local bookstore and part “linger and enjoy a cup of coffee” type place, Roebling Point Books & Coffee has an excellent selection of locally themed books written by area authors. Flower Chick picked up two interesting books written locally:  One a true crime novel about Newport and the other a beach read mystery book.

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The Party Source: Flower Chick and her tour guide husband are big fans of bringing home local beer and wine from our “Visiting Midwest Gardens” destinations. When in the Cincinnati area, there’s arguably no better place to do so than The Party Source, located in the shadow of I-471 in Newport …

Hudy Delight

The Highly Quaffable Hudy Delight Beer – We Were Happy To Find It!

In search of some Kentucky made wine and a supply of old school Cincinnati area beers, Party Source came through. We picked up a case each of Hudy Delight and Wiedemann’s, two long running area favorites. We learned the production of the wonderful Hudy Delight is in ownership transition, hopefully to be resolved by the time you read this or visit the Cincinnati area …

 

A Stroll Along Bellevue’s Fairfield Avenue …

Immediately east of Newport along the Ohio River is the charming town of Bellevue, which of course translates to “beautiful view”. The town is right across the river from Mt. Adams on the Cincinnati side, and the main street, Fairfield Avenue, is home to shops, restaurants, and more …

Here are a couple of our new favorites …

Darkness Brewing: This small production brewery drew us in due to their focus on brewing dark beers (hence the name). Housed in a repurposed industrial space, Darkness turns out a full line of beer and ales that are dark in color but not heavy on the palate …

Darkness Brewing

The Eclectic Patio At Darkness Brewing In Bellevue KY

We enjoyed a pint of their milk stout and house dark lager before embarking on a little shopping …

Le Sorelle Boutique: This attractive store has something for everyone! Located on Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, you’ll delight in new and used women’s and children’s apparel, as well as fashionable accessories for men, women, and children.  You’ll also find gift and novelty items including greeting cards, candles and jewelry …

Le Sorelle Boutique Bellevue

Walk To The Back Of Le Sorelle For A Good Selection Of Gently Used Clothing

Flower Chick found two cute practically brand new tops and a colorful bracelet on my visit. Definitely stop in if you’re in the area!

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Schneider’s Sweet Shop: Established in 1939, Schneider’s is one of the Cincinnati area’s most beloved sweet shops. They’re most famous for their fabulous opera creams, available in both milk and dark chocolate varieties.

Opera creams are most commonly seen in the Cincinnati area. They got their name because they were handed out during intermissions at the Cincinnati Music Hall during opera performances …

Schneider's Opera Creams

Schneider’s Opera Creams Are So Yummy – Available In Dark Or Milk Chocolate

An opera cream is a chocolate candy with a filling made of sugar, cream, vanilla, and a bit of marshmallow cream. Schneider’s Sweet Shop was an early local producer of opera creams and they’ve been available here pretty much since the place opened …

Opera Cream cakes and tortes are also popular in the area … you’ll find them at select bakeries around town. At Schneider’s, you can buy opera creams and a full assortment of candies, chocolate and otherwise. It’s a must stop when in northern Kentucky …

Dinner at Pompilio’s & An Evening in Covington

Pompilio’s Open since 1933, Pompilio’s is one of the most enduring and popular Italian restaurants in the Cincinnati area. As comfortable as your mother’s kitchen, the dining area is a throwback to classic eateries that have lasted generations …

Pompilios Italian Restaurant

A special place, Pompilio’s is known not only for their Italian specialties like lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and house made ravioli, but their adjacent attached bar Colonel Pomp’s Tavern. The house beer on tap is Wiedemann’s, a northern Kentucky staple that’s been served here for almost 90 years. The bar also makes one of the best Old Fashioned cocktails you’ll find anywhere …

Pompilio's Bar Newport

The Inviting Colonel Pomp’s Tavern Inside Pompilio’s in Newport

Did You Know? A prominent scene from the movie “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, was filmed here at Pompilio’s …

Insider Tip: Pompilio’s offers several of their famous pasta sauces in jars to take out. We particularly like the Butternut Squash Sauce …

Gypsy’s : We discovered Gypsy’s, a friendly Covington establishment, tucked along Covington’s Main Street near the heart of town. A low key dog friendly place, Gypsy’s really starts to hum later in the evening. That’s a little past our bedtime, but we had a blast here anyway with the early evening crowd …

Gypsy's Mainstrasse Covington

Gypsy’s Is A Fun & Lively Dog Friendly Bar In Mainstrasse Village

There’s drink specials during Gypsy’s extended happy hour, sports on t.v., and a great selection of draught beer and all your favorite spirits. If you’re staying in Covington like we did, it’s walking distance from just about anywhere in town, along with the many other establishment along the Mainstrasse …

Our friendly, efficient bartender made us feel like regulars … if we lived here, we would be!

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Julie’s Inspiration Consignment Shoppe This upscale women’s consignment shop is just up the block and across the street from Gypsy’s.  The friendly, delightful owner waited on me and we discussed gardening and dogs … go figure.  😉

Julie's Consignment Covington

A Nice Array of Gently Used Clothing & More At Julie’s On Main Street

This attractive store not only sells clothing and jewelry, she also has art, furniture, collectibles, and other items for sale. Flower Chick scored with a cute necklace, a summer top, and a pair of shorts … all famous name brands at great prices.

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Devou Park: This beautiful park is the pride of Covington and northern Kentucky. Devou Park’s overlook area affords quite possibly the most striking view of Cincinnati you’ll encounter anywhere in the area …

Flower Chick loved the long, meandering, climbing road that took us to Devou Park’s overlook view. The park itself is over 700 acres of hills, sprawling terrain, open green spaces, and recreational pursuits. Dating back to 1910, Devou Park was once the site of the Devou family farm. Their former estate home now houses the park’s lovely Behringer-Crawford Museum, a cultural center devoted to the history of the area …

Devou Park Overlook

This beautiful park is the crown jewel of Covington, KY. It’s the site of family gatherings, weddings, hiking, corporate events, and more. Visitors can literally spend the whole day at Devou Park and still not experience it all …

 

Bill Finke & Sons: Located just south of Devou Park, this family owned and operated meat market is one of the best in northern Kentucky. They’re best known for house made goetta, but offer a full range of meat cuts and deli salads …

Finke Meat Market

Fantastic Selection Of Housemade Goetta, Sausages And Deli Salads At Finke & Sons

Flower Chick picked up a cottage ham, goetta, ham salad, and a few other specialties to take home. A real neighborhood “in the know” place, Bill Finke & Sons is located minutes from downtown Covington at the intersection of Amsterdam and Sleepy Hollow Roads …

Piper’s Cafe & Ice Cream Bar: Located on Covington’s 6th Street just east of Main, Piper’s Cafe and Ice Cream Bar wasn’t on our radar before visiting the area, but it sure is now!

Pipers Covington

Delicious Ice Cream Creations – Try The Adult Versions For A Refreshing Drink!

This locally popular ice cream spot differentiates itself by offering a revolving mix of flavor combinations for shakes, slushies, and other cool treats. The outside seating area offers adult versions, made with the spirit of your choice and paired with complementary ice cream flavors. A bourbon infused shake and a mai tai slush went down wonderfully well on a hot late spring evening …

On weekends in the warmer weather, Piper’s offers live entertainment in their courtyard. A perfect after dinner destination just two blocks off Covington’s Mainstrasse area …

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Day 5 – Cincinnati’s Riverfront, Downtown, and Historic Parks

Day 5 of our Cincinnati area botanical gardens spotlight tour takes us to lively downtown Cincinnati, home to four of the city’s most beautiful and welcoming parks. Let’s get started with breakfast on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River and a walk across the historic Roebling Suspension Bridge to downtown Cincinnati …

Roebling Bridge To Cincinnati

We Walked Across The Roebling Bridge From Covington To Cincinnati On A Sunny, Hot Day

Anchor Grill: A Covington comfort food diner staple, Anchor Grill is located off the corner of Main Street and Pike since 1946. Open long hours every day, we love their slogan painted on the side of the building, “We May Doze, But We Never Close …”

Anchor Grill Covington

Stop In At The Anchor Grill For Good Food & Friendly Service!

Enjoy breakfast classics and be sure to order some goetta … the Glier’s Goetta production facility is right across the street. While you’re eating, ask the staff to “strike up the band” in the back room – there’s an old school animated band that “plays” along to whatever your choice is on the jukebox. Kids (and adults) love it!

Anchor Grill Band

For A Real Retro Treat, Strike Up The Band While At The Anchor Grill!

Anchor Grill is a very short walking distance from anywhere along Mainstrasse in downtown Covington …

Roebling Suspension Bridge: Flower Chick decided to walk across to Cincinnati, especially since our first floral destination lies at the foot of Cincinnati’s oldest bridge, the Roebling Suspension Bridge …

Many of the city’s bridges spanning the Ohio River are walkable, but the Roebling Suspension Bridge holds special allure due to its long history. Officially titled the John A. Roebling Bridge, it opened in 1867 and was at that time the longest suspension bridge in the world …

Roebling Bridge KY to OH

The Pedestrian Walkway Portion Of The Roebling Bridge

The bridge offers a dedicated walking area for those who wish to traverse across the Ohio River from Kentucky to Cincinnati or vice versa. It’s quite a nice walk! There are historical plaques along the way and if you’re lucky, you’ll see a barge or riverboat on the river below …

Approaching Cincinnati, you’ll catch your first glimpse of Smale Riverfront Park and its beautiful gardens, with the Cincinnati Reds ballpark in the background …

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Smale Riverfront Park: Located on 45-acres along Cincinnati’s downtown riverfront, this picturesque park’s many features include tree groves, a rose garden, meandering paths, splash areas, a playground, picnic area, garden plots, porch swings, fountains, statues, an event stage and much more. Wow!

Cincinnati Area Botanical Gardens

Lovely Views Of The River From This Lush, Well-Planned Sprawling Park

John G. Smale, former Chairman of Proctor & Gamble, presented a large gift to the Cincinnati Parks Foundation for the construction of this beautiful green space in honor of his late wife, Phyllis.  Phyllis Smale was a passionate master gardener and advocate of conservation and community public gardens. Upon John’s passing in 2011, the Park officially became the John G. & Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park.

Cincinnati Gardens Smale Riverfront Park

Burst Of Color In This Garden Plot In Smale Park With Coneflowers, Zinnias, Lamb’s Ears and More

Walk around and you’ll discover neat pockets of flower beds among the well-tended patches of grass and diversity of trees.  Flower Chick and her hubby enjoyed resting our feet for a bit and partook of the porch swings overlooking the Robeling Bridge and riverfront.  Great idea for all ages!

Smale Riverfront Park Cincinnati

The Porch Swings Allow Visitors A Sweeping View Of The Ohio River and Northern KY Shoreline

A newer addition to the riverfront park is the Gardner Family Rose Garden.  A beautiful area to stroll or sit and take in the lovely flowers and scents.  Next time we are in Cincinnati we’ll make sure to see the spots in the park that we missed, especially the carousel and labyrinth.  Smale Riverfront Park is a wonderful focal point for the Queen City … and not to be missed!

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Smale Riverfront Park

An Area Dedicated To Roses Interspersed With Perennials At Smale Riverfront Park

Downtown Cincinnati Bell Connector Street Car: The Cincinnati Bell Connector Street Car is a free form of public transportation designed to get you around downtown and Over the Rhine and reduce car traffic. This quiet, electric streetcar system runs all day and well into the evening and follows a route from the riverfront to the north end of Over The Rhine. Stops are clearly marked and voice announcements alert you to upcoming stops …

Cincinnati Bell Connector

A Great Way To See The City Of Cincinnati – Hop On The Free Connector Street Car

To get your bearings in downtown, Flower Chick recommends making one full loop on the street car to take in the sites. Then, exit near your desired destination and simply hop on the Bell Connector again when you’re ready to move on to your next destination …

Did You Know? Cincinnatians developed a clever mnemonic to help remember street names downtown. The mnemonic is a handy reference for the downtown area’s street names, going east to west. As the saying goes in Cincinnati, “Big Strong Men Will Very Rarely Eat Potato Chips” (some use “pork chops” instead of potato chips). The first letter in every word corresponds with a downtown street name, east to west. They are: Broadway, Sycamore, Main, Walnut, Vine, Race, Elm, Plum, Central.

Lytle Park: After visiting Smale Riverfront Park, we headed a few blocks east in downtown Cincinnati to Lytle Park, which holds a special place in the city’s history …

Lytle Park Cincinnati

Attractive Lytle Park Garden Plot With Abraham Lincoln Statue In The Distance

Lytle Park is well known for several reasons. The first reason is the beautiful display of late spring and summer flowers you’ll see here. Canna lilies, zinnias, coleus, and begonias add color to the beds.  At the beginning of the growing season, flower beds of tulips steal the show.  Lytle Park presents the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Did You Know? Lytle Park was the original site of Fort Washington, built in the late 1700’s to protect the area from hostile attacks. The park’s Abraham Lincoln statue was dedicated in 1917 by Cincinnati native and former U.S. President William Howard Taft …

Lytle Park Lincoln Statue

Bronze Statue Of Abraham Lincoln Facing The Entrance Of Lytle Park

Another fascinating factoid about Lytle Park … there’s a freeway underneath it!

When Interstate 71 was being routed through downtown in 1970, the Lytle Tunnel was constructed. This tunnel, which is actually a part of the interstate, is the longest tunnel in Ohio. During construction, Lytle Park was reconfigured and several structures were removed from the park’s perimeter. The current version of Lytle Park sits atop the tunnel, with interstate traffic flowing underneath …

Taft’s Ale House: One of Cincinnati’s popular new breweries is Taft Brewing, which you’ll see in stores and on tap around the city. Taft’s Ale House is one of the brewery’s brewpubs, located in the Over the Rhine area at 15th and Race …

Taft Brew House Cincinnati

Pay Homage To The Brewery Gods At Taft’s Ale House In Cincinnati

Housed in a former church, Taft’s Ale House specializes in tri tip, a select cut of beef. It’s featured in the form of tacos, sliders, wraps, platters, and as an addition to salads. An excellent tasty cut of meat that’s low in fat, it was a pleasure to see it so prominently featured …

We enjoyed an order of tri tip sliders with horseradish sauce and a couple pints of house beer. Highly recommended as a lunch stop when exploring the Over The Rhine area.

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Graeter’s Ice Cream: Graeter’s Ice Cream is one of the most instantly recognizable names in Cincinnati. Tell someone you’ve visited The Queen City, and chances are great you’ll be asked, “Did you stop at Graeter’s?” …

More than just an ice cream parlor, Graeter’s is a Cincinnati institution with dozens of locations around the area. Founded in 1870, Graeter’s is best known for their signature French Pot style ice cream, made in small batches each day. Their most famous flavor is their Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, but everything is great here (Flower Chick loves the seasonal fresh peach flavor).

Graeter's Cincinnati

A Visit To Cincinnati Isn’t Complete Without Stopping At Graeter’s At Least Once …

In addition, to ice cream, many Graeter’s locations also feature specialty chocolates, candies, and creative bakery. We visited the Graeter’s location at 14th and Vine in Over The Rhine … a welcome stop on a hot day!

No matter where you are in the Cincinnati area, you’re never far from a Graeter’s. Even if you’re not in the area, you’re in luck … Graeter’s ships nationwide! Check out their website for details …

Arnold’s Bar & Grill: For a happy hour drink and a side order of history, stop in at Cincinnati’s oldest bar, established in 1861. If you’re looking for the latest Cincinnati microbrew offering, chances are you’ll find it on tap at Arnold’s …

Arnold's Bar & Grill Cincinnati

The Infamous Bathtub (Without The Gin) Outside At Arnold’s Bar & Grill In Downtown Cincinnati

Open four days a week at 4 p.m., Arnold’s used to be one of our favorite Cincinnati lunch spots. An ownership change has shifted the focus somewhat to a later evening local live music destination, but the history of the place is intact. You’ll find Arnold’s at 210 E. 8th Street … just look for their historic bathtub out in front (really!)

Fountain Square: A world renowned symbol of Cincinnati, Fountain Square is located at the epicenter of downtown on Vine Street. Fountain Square is the center of the city’s public life and the centerpiece is the majestic Tyler Davidson Fountain, dedicated in 1871 …

Fountain Square Cincinnati

The Tyler Davidson Fountain a.k.a. The Genius of Water Statue

Today, Fountain Square is downtown Cincinnati’s gathering space, just as it has been for generations. Here you’ll find some of Cincinnati’s finest shops, restaurants, and lively events featuring art, music, and performance …

The Tyler Davidson Fountain operates seasonally, from the Saturday before baseball’s opening day through late November.

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Ohio Book Store Since 1940, this seven floor warehouse of used and collectible books has drawn visitors from all over the world. Located just a half block from Arnold’s Bar and Grill, Ohio Book Store is the perfect place to source a book about Cincinnati or local history.

Flower Chick was pleased to find an autographed copy of a beautiful coffee table book, “Mount Adams: A History” …

Ohio Bookstore Cincinnati

In addition to its expansive local author section, you’ll find many rare and collectible books, along with more common titles and books you never knew you just had to own …

Plan for at least an hour to browse around and buy, then head to one of the area’s many great bars for refreshments …

Piatt Park While walking west on 8th Street downtown in the general direction of Washington Park, we came across charming Piatt Park, the oldest park in Cincinnati. A two block long park, it’s an inviting outdoor space for downtown workers with benches strategically placed for relaxing over the lunch hour or after work …

Piatt Park Cincinnati

Piatt Park is Cincinnati’s oldest park, dating to 1817. The park is best known for regal statues of two Ohio born U.S. Presidents, James Garfield and William Henry Harrison. The statue of Harrison holds special significance as it’s the only equestrian statue in Cincinnati …

Presidents Harrison and Garfield are both commemorated here, so here’s some interesting information about each …

Piatt Park James Garfield

The Statue Of President James Garfield In Piatt Park

Did You Know? James Garfield, the 20th U.S. President, was ambidextrous and could write with both hands. Fluent in both Greek and Latin, Garfield could simultaneously write in Greek using one hand and Latin with the other hand …

The Sole Equestrian Statue In Cincy Featuring President Harrison

Did You Know?  William Henry Harrison, our 9th President, served the shortest term of any U.S. President … only 30 days. He developed a bad cold from being outdoors on his inauguration day, which later turned into pneumonia and claimed his life …

Our tour of prominent downtown Cincinnati parks takes us to another historic locale, Washington Park, on the southern edge of the Over The Rhine neighborhood …

Washington Park This park, which has undergone a spectacular renaissance, dates to just before the Civil War. It’s anchored on its west side by the grand Cincinnati Music Hall and the park grounds are the site of many local events …

Washington Park Cincinnati

One Of The Entrances To Vibrant Washington Park

You can reach Washington Park easily via the Cincinnati Bell Connector Street Car, which offers a stop on each side of the park. In addition to historically significant artifacts, the park features a dog park, children’s play area, and an interactive water park …

Washington Park, along with most of Over The Rhine, experienced a major decline in the last years of the 20th century. Thankfully, the park has rebounded spectacularly and it’s now one of downtown Cincinnati’s crown jewels, just as it was early in its existence …

Washington Park Gazebo Cincinnati

The Stunning Gazebo In Washington Park Highlighted By Canna Lilies Around The Base

Today you’ll find a 450 space parking garage beneath the park and events taking place every week throughout the year. Flower Chick truly enjoyed seeing the reinvigorated Washington Park once again serving as a community gathering space …

Washington Park Cincinnati Splash Pad

Summertime Fun For All At The Splash Pad In Washington Park

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Moerlein Lager House Situated at the riverfront in between the baseball and football stadiums, Moerlein Lager House celebrates the roots of Cincinnati’s brewing industry as the brewers of the Christian Moerlein brands.

Moerlein Lager House Cincinnati

What’s On Tap At The Moerlein Lager House On The Cincinnati Riverfront

If you’re planning to use the Roebling bridge to walk across to Kentucky, the Moerlein Lager House is ultra convenient for you. It’s just a short walk to the bridge entrance, making this an ideal stop to refuel and refresh. Opt for any of the Christian Moerlein beers on tap … they’ve got them all!

Once back in Covington, it was time to set our sights on happy hour and a light dinner. On the agenda is a tried and true local tavern which continues to stand the test of time …

Herb & Thelma’s: Founded in 1939, this casual bar and grill is a real locals place. Located on Pike Street not far from Devou Park, Herb & Thelma’s is family owned and operated and draws a crowd from the neighborhood …

Herb & Thelma's Covington

The Retro Cool Herb & Thelma’s – Great Stop For A Burger & Beer

Classic Cincinnati beer memorabilia adorns the walls while couples and regulars take their places at the bar or in the comfy back room. Order food at the bar and they’ll call your name when it’s ready to pick up and take to your table. Super friendly and come as you are casual, Herb & Thelma’s is one of our favorite places near the heart of Covington.

Herb & Thelma's Covington KY

Inside Herb & Thelma’s Tavern – Good Food, Good Friends, Good Times

The menu isn’t expansive, but you won’t find a better cheeseburger or mettwurst anywhere in town. The meat is sourced from a local Cincinnati west side meat market and prepped daily, Herb & Thelma’s is easy on the wallet, welcoming, and really tasty! Stop in and you’ll see what we mean …

Day 6 – The East Side, Ault Park, Glenwood Gardens

Two of the Cincinnati area’s most impressive floral locales are on deck for Day Six of our Cincinnati area botanical gardens tour. We’ll mix in visits to a few iconic local businesses along the way, so let’s get started in the Hyde Park neighborhood for breakfast …

Echo Restaurant: This historic breakfast and lunch spot is the social center of Hyde Park Square. Established in 1945, The Echo serves up all your breakfast favorites in a comfy, casual setting …

Echo Restaurant Hyde Park Cincinnati

Welcome To The Echo Restaurant In Hyde Park

Known city wide for a rotating selection of freshly baked pies and made from scratch soups, The Echo is the perfect place to start your day on the east side. If you’re a third shifter or just craving an eye opener, The Echo offers bloody mary’s and mimosa cocktails too.

The Echo Restaurant Hyde Park

Grab A Booth / Table, Or Sit At The Counter For A Tasty Breakfast At The Echo

The Echo is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day … we like coming in during the week for their delicious breakfast specials ..

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Ault Park: From the heart of Hyde Park, follow Observatory Avenue as it winds around past the Cincinnati Observatory. Soon you’ll enter one of Cincinnati’s most beloved public spaces, beautiful and historic Ault Park …

Ault Park Cincinnati

Loved This Traditional Sign Leading To The Rose Garden In Ault Park

At roughly 224 acres, Ault Park also is one of the best parks in the city in which to observe the ancient geology of Cincinnati. The park provides picnic facilities, nature trails, children’s play areas, and lookout points to view the majestic Ohio River. The Ault Park pavilion features a picturesque backdrop that makes it a popular venue for weddings and private parties.

Ault Park Gardens

Ault Park Semi-Shade Garden Starring Hydrangeas, Ferns, Astilbe and Hostas

Did You Know? The park is named in honor of Ida May Ault and her husband Levi Addison Ault, who was prominent in the development of Cincinnati parks. In the park’s early years, 97 sheep were employed to trim the lawns and shrubs.

Best of all in Flower Chick’s opinion, are the many gardens located throughout the park … let’s start at the Garden of Roses.  This pretty space has a mix of old-fashioned roses, climbing roses, hybrid teas, and shrub roses all in magnificent bloom when we visited in June.

Ault Park Garden Of Roses

The Colorful Mix Of Roses & Pollinator Loving Perennials In The Ault Park Rose Garden

I didn’t see identification labels on all the beautiful roses – the orange one below sure did catch my eye!  Love the color and full, glorious bloom.  I’ve always been a fan of orange – coral colored roses and this one was spectacular!

Cincinnati Area Botanical Gardens

Stunning Orange Rose At Ault Park – Perfect Shape & Color!

The Great Lawn Garden at the west end of the lawn includes a nice mix of natives and perennials to attract the important pollinators.   The butterfly weed, bee balm, lavender, coneflowers, globe thistle and more were blooming and all abuzz with busy bees.

Did You Know?  We must protect bees from pesticides by only using organic products in our yards for lawn care and pest control. By using pesticides, you are not only killing the “bad bugs” (mites, flies, aphids, mosquitoes…etc.) but the “good bugs” as well (bees, ladybugs, spiders, lacewings…etc.)

Ault Park Gardens

Pollinator Magnet Plants in Ault Park Including Butterfly Weed, Bee Balm, and Lavender

The fascinating Adopt-A-Plot Gardens at Ault were a real delight!  The Plots are a wonderful way in which members of the community care for a tiny section of the park. Many years ago the park was in a bit of a mess.  Part of the solution was to invite avid gardeners to take over a little plot of land in the park and create something beautiful … really a neat idea!

Ault Park Adopt A Plot Gardens

A Pretty Example Of One Of The Adopt-A-Plot Gardens Tended By Volunteers At Ault Park

Today, volunteers plan, plant and maintain an ornamental plot in the Adopt-a-Plot gardens. They purchase their own plants, tend to the garden, weed, water and most importantly talk with park goers, usually about gardening … naturally.

Some of Cincinnati’s Finest Local Businesses – Hyde Park, Oakley Square, and Beyond

Through the course of our Day Six travels around Cincinnati, we mixed in stops at a variety of some of the city’s best long tenured local businesses … we hope you enjoy discovering a bit about them!

Busken Bakery: Just minutes from Hyde Park and Ault Park on Madison Road is one of Cincinnati’s best known full service production bakeries. Busken Bakery has been turning out cookies, bread, rolls, cakes, and pastries for almost 100 years … 1928 to be exact.

Fabulous Selection Of Baked Goods At Busken Bakery

We love their original Smiley Face cookies, but Busken also produces fantastic coffee cakes, especially their moist and scrumptious double butter coffee cakes. And you don’t have to live in Cincinnati to enjoy Busken – they ship nationally twice a week …

Servatii Pastry Shop & Deli: Before embarking on a little shopping in the Hyde Park area, Flower Chick stopped in at one of Cincinnati’s best bakeries, Servatii Pastry & Deli. There are about a dozen Servatii locations in the Cincinnati area … they’re best known for fresh baked pretzels, special event cakes, and specialty breads …

Servatii Bakery Blue Ash

Some Of The Delicious Offerings At Servatii Bakery …

Servatii is a great place to pick up an opera cream torte or a fruit torte. Don’t forget the strawberry danish! Yum!

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Snooty Fox Resale: Established in 1980, the Snooty Fox is a chain of luxury and designer brand consignment shops for women, men’s, and children’s clothing along with furniture and home decor.  They have seven stores in the greater Cincinnati area.

Flower Chick was delighted to find a pair of shorts, jeans, a cute shirt and a necklace (on display in the window) at the Snooty Fox – the name cracks me up!

Snooty Fox Consignment Stores

Snooty Fox Carries Brands Like Chico’s, White House Black Market, Tory Burch 

Snooty Fox even offers bus tours where they take you for a full day of shopping at multiple Snooty Fox locations … plus wine and refreshments. Talk about a fun girls’ day out!

Clothes Mentor: Flower Chick has always liked this nationwide women’s resale brand.  The stores are always well stocked and organized.  They even have never worn overstock merchandise … especially name brand, quality shoes.

Clothes Mentor

Shopping Clothes Mentor Lowers Your Carbon Footprint By Giving Clothing Items A Second Life

Over the years, I’ve scored a leather jacket, boots, multiple pairs of shoes, shirts, dresses, pants, and purses at various Clothes Mentor stores both locally and those we’ve found when travelling.

Clothes Mentor is resale – and it’s better than retail. Shop like new designer clothing at up to 70% off of retail. Clean out your closet and bring them your gently used apparel and make some money!

Aglamesis Brothers: Just north of the Hyde Park neighborhood is Oakley Square, a cute section of town filled with specialty shops and restaurants. Here you’ll find a long standing Cincinnati ice cream and gourmet candy retailer, Aglamesis Brothers …

Aglamesis Brothrs Icecream & Candy

The Charming Exterior Of Aglasmesis Brothers Ice Cream & Candy

Founded in 1908, Aglamesis Brothers is beloved locally. Their specialty is delicious premium ice cream which they serve by the dish or cone at their location here in Oakley Square. An authentic, original ice cream parlor, it’s popular with families, couples, kids, and seniors open to close …

Aglamesis Brother Interior

Step Back In Time At Aglamesis … Delicious Ice Cream Awaits!

You’ll feel a rich sense of history as soon as you walk in … the ice cream parlor is accented with imported marble, exotic Tiffany lamps, and long service and candy counters. It has been this way for well over 100 years, drawing praise from national publications like Bon Appetit, The Food Network, and scores of regional newspapers …

Insider Tip: Try the Gourmet Peach Ice Cream and thank us later!

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Quatman Cafe: You’ll find the under the radar Quatman Cafe in Cincinnati’s Norwood neighborhood on Montgomery Road. This friendly locals place fills up during the lunch hour with city workers, first responders, and other in the know …

Quatman Cafe

The Comfortable & Affordable Quatman Cafe In Norwood – Try A Cheeseburger Special!

Founded in 1966 and consistently rated as having some of the best cheeseburgers in Cincinnati, Quatman Cafe offers quick, friendly service and a small but varied selection of beer on draught. Flower Chick heard and read so many good things about this place that we just had to stop for a cheeseburger to go …

Everything we heard and read is right … the cheeseburger is fantastic! Stop in for a cheeseburger or one of their daily lunch specials …


Pleasant Ridge Chili: Since 1964, this casual diner operation has been doling out Cincinnati style chili and comfort food favorites. Further north on Montgomery Road from the Quatman Cafe, we stopped in and enjoyed a plate of Cincinnati style 3-way chili and a cheese coney …

Pleasant Ridge Chili

We Stopped For Lunch And Enjoyed The Chili At Pleasant Ridge

Mingle with the locals here at Pleasant Ridge Chili … they know a good thing when they see it!

Deer Park Deli: Just a few minutes north of Pleasant Ridge in the Deer Park neighborhood is the family owned and operated Deer Park Deli, which has served the community since 1950 …

Truly a one stop shopping destination, Deer Park Deli offers a fresh meat counter, fully stocked deli, grocery items, fresh produce, made to order sandwiches, and an expansive liquor selection. We picked up a bottle of wine from the area’s largest winery, Meier’s, along with a cottage ham, and a loaf of fantastic house baked bread. One of Deer Park Deli’s long time employees shared a bit of history about the business and guided us to a few local products to take home with us …

Deer Park Deli

We love seeing locally owned businesses like Deer Park Deli thriving in their communities … stop in to visit and shop when you’re in the area.

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Blue Ash Chili: For one of the last chili parlor stops while in Cincinnati, we stopped in at the popular Blue Ash Chili, recently relocated into their new home.

Blue Ash Chili

Established in 1969, Blue Ash Chili is consistently ranked as one of the top Cincinnati chili parlors. Featured on The Food Network, this place was bustling at lunch with in the know diners who realize they’ll score a great meal at a great price …

We were pretty filled up by the time we arrived, but did manage to find room for a couple of cheese coneys. They are definitely one of the city’s best!

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Glenwood Gardens: This 335-acre park features formal gardens, prairies, forests and wetlands, as well as a 1.0-mile paved trail and a 1.6-mile Wetland Loop nature trail. Flower Chick opted for the 1 mile paved trail as the day she visited the temperature was in the mid-90’s.  Part of the path is shaded by beautiful mature trees … which was a welcome respite from the blazing sun.

Glenwood Gardens

Glenwood Gardens Is A Great Escape From The Daily Grind – Pretty Garden & Water Feature

A nice feature in the park are the educational signs with pictures and descriptions of the many trees planted on the grounds. Interesting to see what they look like during the summer months and what color the leaves turn in the fall …

Glenwood Gardens Cincinnati

Informative Signs Tell You About The Many Trees Planted Throughout The Gardens

The walking paths are a great way to see the unspoiled beauty at Glenwood.  Even on an extreme heat day, people of all ages were out hiking and exploring the grounds.  Such a peaceful and green space for getting away and focusing on nature …

Glenwood Gardens Cincinnati

Verdant View Of The Many Acres Of Natural Beauty At Glenwood Gardens

Children (and adults) will delight in the Highfield Discovery Garden (entrance pictured below).  Features include a butterfly garden, frog and toads garden, trolley garden and wizard’s garden. This 12-acre area is a treat for any age. It is designed to encourage guests to explore the natural world in a fun, engaging environment.

In 1993, Mrs. Mary Burchenal bequeathed to the park district her residence she called “Cotswold.” The property, home to the Cotswold Visitor Centre, was was named for its resemblance to the rolling pasture land in Cotswold, England. The gift shop offers a variety of nature-related merchandise.   Flower Chick picked up a cute Monarch butterflies t-shirt on sale.  They also have refreshing beverages and clean washrooms.

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Glenwood Gardens Cotswold Visitors Center

The Cotswold Visitors Center Up The Hill At Glenwood Gardens

Leaving Glenwood Gardens and heading south back toward the city brings us to the Wyoming neighborhood of Cincinnati. The neighborhood was named after Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, home to many of the area’s early settlers …

Wyoming’s draw is their charming, walkable downtown which is home to two long running local businesses. Let’s pay a visit to both …

Wyoming Pastry Shop: Tucked off the corner in the heart of the business district, Wyoming Pastry Shop is a welcoming traditional local bakery in business since 1934. They’re best known for beautiful special occasion cakes, pastries, and fresh baked bread.

Wyoming Pastry Shop

Try The Dark Chocolate Covered Shortbread With Caramel & Sea Salt!

Stop in for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat while exploring the downtown Wyoming district …

Wyoming Meat Market: Right next door to the Wyoming Pastry Shop is the Wyoming Meat Market, a local butcher shop and deli known for their house made sandwiches and grill out catering menu. A friendly little place, we were impressed by the selection of creative deli offerings and house made sausages.

Wyoming Meat Market

With some fresh Italian sausage, pasta salad, and ham salad in tow, we headed back toward downtown Cincinnati and Covington …

Greyhound Tavern: Since 1921, the Greyhound Tavern is a welcoming northern Kentucky tradition dating back to 1921. When streetcars ran in Cincinnati and beyond, this was the southern terminus of the city’s streetcar lines …

Greyhound Tavern KY

With an inviting and genteel atmosphere and sophisticated comfort food menu, the Greyhound Tavern offers an authentic taste of the South in northern Kentucky. You’ll find Kentucky’s signature dish, the Hot Brown, on the menu here and it’s the perfect dinner choice …

Try The Signature Cocktail The Famous Bourbon Slush

Settle in at the Greyhound Tavern and relax with a bourbon slush (pictured) and opt for one of their famous comfort food entrees. Don’t miss out on Greyhound Tavern’s famous onion rings, available in half and full orders. A deliciously sweet onion is sealed in a golden crispy batter … fantastic!

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Day 7 – Cincinnati Shopping, Food Specialties, & The Ohio River

Who doesn’t like a day to go shopping?

You’ve probably guessed by now we’re big fans of supporting local independent businesses. These creative, hard working independent businesses are the backbone of the area economy and allow you to shop where the locals shop. As an added bonus, economic studies show that a higher percentage of every dollar you spend at a local independent business stays in the local economy vs. dollars spent at chain stores …

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Day Seven of our Cincinnati area botanical gardens tour is literally a visit to the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. Let’s start things off with a visit to one of Cincinnati’s oldest meat markets …

Avril – Bleh Meats: This family owned deli / meat market is one of Cincinati’s most historic, opened in 1894. You’ll find them on Court Street in the north central downtown area, just off Vine Street. They’re easy to visit as there’s plenty of parking in front of the store on Court …

Avril-Bleh is best known for their sausages made in house. They supply many of Cincinnati’s finer restaurants and also offer a take out stand in front of the store during most lunch hours …

Avril Bleh Meats Cincinnati

Fine Selection Of Meats At Avril – Bleh in Cincinnati

It’s one of the city’s go to locations for fresh mettwurst, yard sausage, and other specialty blends you won’t find elsewhere. Avril-Bleh is also known for their home made soups and heat and serve entrees like BBQ ribs and sauerbraten. They’re open at 8 a.m., making this a perfect stop before breakfast and shopping at the Findlay Market …

Dunlap Cafe Just a short walk from Findlay Market, the Dunlap Cafe is a great casual choice for breakfast before exploring the market. Established in 1936, Dunlap Cafe is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Over The Rhine. It’s a great local spot for a delicious casual breakfast before shopping at the market …

Dunlap Cafe Cincinnati

Insider tip: Dunlap Cafe offers a breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese, and mettwurst. The mettwurst is locally sourced from Queen City Sausage and the combination is sublime! Stop in and try one …

Findlay Market – Cincinnati’s Public Market

Established in 1855, Findlay Market is one of the oldest public markets in the country. A constant hub of activity six days a week, Findlay Market is on the must-visit list if you’re spending time in Cincinnati …

Drive here (we like to park in the north lot) or take the convenient Cincinnati Bell Connector Streetcar, which stops on both sides of the market. Just remember, you’ll probably buy a bunch of goodies, so a car (and a cooler) are probably a better option …

Findlay Market Cincinnati

So Many Choices At Findlay Market – Bring A Tote Bag & Explore The Fresh Options

Over the past 200 years, Cincinnati has been home to several public markets. Findlay Market is the only one remaining and is stronger and more robust than ever. An entertainment destination of sorts, Findlay Market offers fresh food shopping, a new beer garden, restaurants, and specialty vendors all in one historic locale …

Findlay Market Cincinnati

Inside View Of The Historic Findlay Market

Plan to spend at least an hour here … more if you’re lingering in the beer garden. Findlay Market is an absolute must visit for anyone spending time in Cincinnati …

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Bee Haven: when you visit the market, be sure to explore the immediate area to discover all kinds of unique local businesses. One of our new favorites is Bee Haven, located a stone’s throw away from the market on Elm Street …

Bee Haven Cincinnati Findlay Market

The Cute Bee Haven Store Offers A Nice Variety Of Honey Products – It’s The Bees Knees!

Bee Haven specializes in local honey, sourced from their own hives located right here in Cincinnati. Flower Chick loves to buy local honey on our Visiting Midwest Gardens excursions … depending on the locale, honey will offer a slightly different flavor palate. This is due to the types of flowers the bees pollinate, and why it’s so important to plant pollinator gardens for our bee friends …

Bee Haven also offers honey based hand and body care products, beeswax candles, and more in their cute shop. We stopped in twice while in town … local honey is a great gift idea for someone caring for your outdoor plants while you’re away!

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Cincinnati’s West Side Meat Markets and Bakeries

Regina Bakery: If you like old school bakeries offering freshly baked bread and yummy coffee cakes, head over to Cincinnati’s west side and stop in at Regina Bakery …

Regina Bakery Cincinnati

Serving the area since 1964, this well respected local bakery has quite a following. We were impressed with the many local meat markets and small stores carrying fresh baked loaves of bread and brat buns from Regina Bakery …

Flower Chick stopped in for a loaf of their famous Buttercrust bread and a peach coffee cake … take it from us, it’s well worth a stop at Regina Bakery!

R & R Meats: This friendly west side operation is a thriving catering business and meat market located right next door to Regina Bakery …

Like any of the markets we visited and profile for you here, R & R Meats is a great source for fresh sausage, deli salads, specialty cuts of pork and beef, chicken, and whatever they’ve got fresh that day …

Wassler Meats: One of the best known meat markets in all of Cincinnati, Wassler Meats is locally famous for their house brand sausages, which you’ll find served in restaurants all over town. This friendly local meat market also offers a wide selection of house made deli salads – we picked up a pound each of ham salad and chicken salad and can’t wait to stop in again next time in town!

Wassler Meats Cincinnati

Zip Dip: We love the name of this west side creamy whip just a few blocks west of Wassler Meats. Their specialty is soft serve ice cream, but they also offer a nice menu of picnic style favorites, like hot dogs, burgers, french fries, and so on …

Zip Dip Creamy Whip

In business since 1950, Zip Dip is instantly recognizable by their neon sign, featuring a bolt of lightning and a soft serve cone. We hear it’s quite a sight all lit up in the evening hours!

Zip Dip Orange Swirl Creamy Whip

The Orange – Vanilla Swirl Creamy Whip Was Delicious!!

Insider Tip: Everything is really good here, but be sure to try an orange – vanilla swirl cone. All we can say is “WOW”!

Bridgetown Finer Meats: A few minutes away from Zip Dip is Bridgetown Meats, a combination full service meat market / wine shop / specialty grocer. Flower Chick had her eye on their house barbecue sauce, pictured below … it’s a sweet and tangy sauce that pairs well with everything from grilled chicken to french fries to burgers.

Bridgetown Finer Meats

The store has a separate wine section with a varied selection of reds, whites, and specialty varieties …

Humbert Meats: Last but not least in our Cincinnati west side meat market tour is Humbert Meats in Delhi Plaza on Rapid Run Road. In business since 1964, it’s a west side favorite specializing in fresh meat and sausages, catering, prepared meals, and an expansive deli …

Humbert's Meats

Calling our name were Humbert’s chicken salad, fresh potato salad, mettwurst, and center cut pork chops, all top notch! With a couple coolers filled to the brim, it was time to get out on the Ohio River …

Take The Anderson Ferry Across To Kentucky …

Anderson Ferry: Need a shortcut from Cincinnati’s west side over to Kentucky? Line up for a ride on the Anderson Ferry, a car ferry service operating since 1817 …

Anderson Ferry Cincinnati

The Anderson Ferry – A Fun, Efficient Way To Cross The OH River

The short five minute trip takes you across the Ohio River and holds about 20 vehicles, give or take a few. The Anderson Ferry operates continuously from early morning until late evening and the cost is an ultra reasonable $5 per car. It’s a scenic short journey on the river, with the Cincinnati skyline looming off in the distance …

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Did You Know? The average depth of the Ohio River as it flows through the Cincinnati area is about 27 feet …

Anderson Car Ferry

The Ferry Was Full Of Vehicles As We Headed For Kentucky

Once you reach the Kentucky side, it’s a scenic 10 minute drive along Route 8 back into the heart of Covington …

Heading To The East Side: A Garden, A Creamy Whip, and A Jungle …

Salem Gardens: This east side favorite is a preferred casual hangout for almost 100 years. Established in 1926, Salem Gardens is a friendly spot offering great burgers, fresh salads, cold beer, and more …

Salem Gardens

Like many Cincinnati places of its vintage, Salem Gardens is not really a garden, but is so named because of the large beer garden which used to adjoin the space. There’s a really nice outdoor patio here now – it’s a preferred neighborhood destination, especially when the weather cooperates …

Mt Washington Creamy Whip: Since 1957, this attractive Cincinnati creamy whip has been a staple in the Mt. Washington neighborhood. Inside you’ll find an array of historic photos from the Cincinnati area and ice cream treats to satisfy your sweet tooth …

Mount Washington Creamy Whip

Flower Chick stopped on a hot late spring day for a blueberry – pineapple twist cone that really hit the spot … so refreshing!

Jungle Jim’s: The best way to describe Jungle Jim’s … is a supermarket on steriods.  Jungle Jim’s International Market, formerly named Jungle Jim’s Farmer’s Market, is a mega grocery store with two locations in the Cincinnati area. The main location has been described as a “theme park of food”.

Jungle Jim's Cincinnati

Jungle Jim’s International Market – Like No Other Supermarket

Jungle Jim’s resembles a theme park due to the unusual displays throughout the store and the sheer square footage. At the entrance, animal replicas are accompanied by occasional roars and the splashing of a miniature waterfall in the background. Inside are several animated displays, such as a lion that sings Elvis Presley songs and a “rock band” composed of General Mills cereal mascots. You really have to see it to believe it!

The store is notable for one of the largest wine collections in the U.S., live seafood tanks, and an in-store cooking school.  If you get lost inside, (like we did) a helpful team member will point you in the right direction.

Jungle Jim’s is a great place to pick up local food specialties to enjoy at home. We left with several Cincinnati staples in tow … Skyline and Gold Star Chili, local wine, and more …

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Drinks With A View And Don’t Forget Gold Star

Incline Public House: This fun place is a dining stand out on Cincinnati’s near west side. It draws its name from the old Price Hill Incline, which used to top out in the small green space adjacent to the restaurant until it closed in 1943 …

Price Hill Incline Plaque

A great place for drinks and a view or creative casual dining, Incline Public House offers one of the best city views from their outdoor patio. They’re well known for Sunday brunch, pizza direct from their on site pizza oven, and a lively bar popular with all ages …

Incline Public House View

Magnificent View Of Cincinnati Atop The Incline Public House Restaurant

We were really impressed with the energetic young staff here, which come to think of it, was true of many bars and restaurants we visited in Cincinnati. Friendly and efficient, the group here at Incline Public House makes it yet another reason to pay a visit …

Gold Star: Formerly known as Gold Star Chili, Gold Star is one of two major Cincinnati area chili parlor chains. They’ve recently expanded their menu offerings to include mouth watering burgers, harkening back to Gold Star’s early roots as a burger restaurant …

Gold Star Chili Cincinnati

Gold Star is generally considered one of the Cincinnati area’s go-to places for chili. They’ve been around since 1965 and you’ll find locations all across the city and northern Kentucky. You’ll also find their chili to go in cans, both at their locations and at area grocers. Take a taste of Cincinnati home with you!

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Braxton Brewing: Braxton is one of a handful of up and coming breweries making a name for themselves in the Cincinnati area. Their main facility and taproom is located in Covington, which features a rooftop space (with a vertical garden!) that’s a fun gathering space in cooperative weather …

Braxton Brewing Covington

Rooftop At Braxton Brewing – Flower Chick Was Impressed By The Green Wall Of Live Plants

There’s a great view on the rooftop, and the downstairs bar is spacious and comfortable. We particularly liked Braxton’s Garage Beer, so named because it’s an easy drinker. You’ll find it available at the brewery or stores around town. We picked up a six pack to go from the United Dairy Store up in Mt. Adams …

Braxton Garage Beer

The Easy Drinker ‘Garage Beer’ Was Our Favorite At Braxton

Bringing Home A Taste of Cincinnati …

As you can see, the Cincinnati area is chock full of appealing independent businesses and restaurants. If you like to experience “local”, Cincinnati is for you!

Before leaving the area, Flower Chick patronized a few more wonderful local businesses to take home a taste of The Queen City. So, join us for one last quick spin around the area …

Chili Time: Seeking one more Cincinnati chili fix, we headed to the well known Chili Time Restaurant in the St. Bernard neighborhood, just a bit north of the zoo …

You’ll know you arrived when you see the iconic Chili Time signage, which has marked the restaurant’s location since it opened in 1963. A great place for all your breakfast favorites and Cincinnati style chili, this comfortable spot has been a local favorite for decades. As an added bonus, Flower Chick reports their coffee is really good too!

Chili Time Cincinnati

We really enjoyed stopping here for breakfast and having a friendly chat with our waitress. She commented what a fine we did visiting many of her local Cincinnati favorites and gave us a few more for our list the next time in town …

North College Hill Bakery: A few miles north of Chili Time is one of Cincinnati’s most beloved bakeries, North College Hill Bakery. In business since 1933, you’ll find their products in specialty markets around town …

North College Hill Bakery

Follow Your Nose To The North College Hill Bakery

The bakery is most famous for their freshly baked breads, coffee cakes, donuts, muffins, and well, you get the idea. Whenever there’s a list of Cincinnati’s best bakeries published in the local media, you’re guaranteed to see North College Hill Bakery at or near the top …

Langen Meats: Heading back toward Indiana on I-74, our last stop is in Harrison, OH which straddles the Ohio – Indiana border. Not far off the freeway is Langen Meats, a popular local meat market that has been in business since 1924 …

Langen Meats

Their friendly helpful staff will guide you through their many offerings, including an outstanding chicken salad from their deli. Two items you don’t want to miss at Langen Meats? A cottage ham and some Leona sausage. This sausage, actually a loaf that’s best as lunchmeat on a sandwich, is kind of like old fashioned bologna with a slightly richer taste. Pair it with some good mustard and hearty Cincinnati bakery bread and you’re all set for lunch …

If your travels don’t take you near Harrison, Langen Meats also has a location on the west side of Cincinnati …

Summary – Cincinnati Area Botanical Gardens

Though Flower Chick has visited the Cincinnati area several times over the decades, this was the trip of a lifetime!

Even if you’re not one for vacationing in cities, the Cincinnati area offers spectacular green spaces which rank the city at or near the top of “Cities With Best Parks” polls. We love showcasing the Cincinnati area’s botanical gardens along with its attractive, enduring public parks …

Smale Riverfront Park Cincinnati

Colorful & Creative Garden Plot At Smale Riverfront Park In Cincinnati

Gardeners and gardening enthusiasts will revel in the many stunning outdoor floral displays dotting the area. Flower Chick visited as many as she could – seven days just doesn’t cover it. But at least it’s an excuse to visit the Cincinnati area again!


Great View Of Cincinnati From Across The River – Fun For The Whole Family!  #ad

As for Cincinnati’s local businesses, we are so pleased to experience the area’s creativity, hospitality, and respect for history, culinary and otherwise. Several restaurants first visited decades ago are thriving more than ever. The area’s beer and brewing scene is more popular than it has ever been, even while keeping beloved local brands in the forefront …

Cincinnati Botanical Gardens Krohn Conservatory

Don’t Miss The Krohn Conservatory In Eden Park To Be Transported To Exotic Lands …

Be sure to visit all the Cincinnati area botanical gardens on your travels to The Queen City! Thank you for coming along with us, and we’d love to hear about all your Cincinnati favorites

Until our next “Visiting Midwest Gardens” feature, happy growing and all the best!

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