Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati is one of several casinos located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Greater Cincinnati area. And the city’s local attractions are something pulled out of a book of legends, as is the case with the following five attractions you’ll find below.
Many of these attractions can be found in one convenient location: Vine Street, Cincinnati. This is the street located right in the heart of the city that serves as the border between East and West Cincinnati.
The following attractions are also rich in culture, science, and music, since the city’s sports and college landscape speaks for itself. With that said, it’s time to think outside the box and discover a diverse set of avenues that the city offers besides Ohio casinos.
Let’s see what’s happening in the Midwestern United States’ fastest-growing metropolis.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
So, our tour of Cincy begins at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. This historic zoo, the second oldest in the United States, features nearly 1,900 animals comprising 500+ species. It is arguably the most popular attraction in the city, hosting 1.2 million visitors per year.
In addition, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden also house over 3,000 plant species. So, this venue goes far beyond your average zoo with its botanical exhibits.
You can place a safe bet that you’re in for a real treat when you walk through the gates of this zoo. And with the number of available exhibits, it’s another safe bet that you’ll find something that will appeal to your interest level.
What types of animals will you expect to find here? Well, the zoo has been home to the longest-living American alligator, the fastest cheetah, and largest Komodo dragon in captivity. It was also the first zoo in the US to display an aye-aye. It is also one of just 12 zoos in the US to display bonobos.
The zoo also boasts several credentials, including earning a spot on USA Today’s list of the “Nation’s Best Zoos in 2014.” It was also named the “Best Zoo in North America” by Reader’s Choice in 2019. If you’ve seen the rest but are ready for the best, visit the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
When many of us think of zoos in the Midwest or even as far east as Pittsburgh, it’s likely we give much of the glory to those in the larger cities. But nope, while the Columbus and Pittsburgh Zoos are worth visiting, the Cincinnati Zoo continues to reign supreme as the best in the region.
Cincinnati Music Hall
If the casino table games at Hard Rock Cincinnati isn’t giving you an entertainment fix, don’t worry. While you have entertainment options all over the city, you’ll find some of the most sophisticated here at the Cincinnati Music Hall—both live and non-live entertainment.
Now that I have your attention, you can safely place a wager that you’re as likely to be entertained by spirits in this historic building as much as you will by living, breathing humans.
Let me explain. The Cincinnati Music Hall was built over a pauper’s cemetery back in 1878. This fact, of course, has justified the music hall’s status as one of the most haunted places in America.
But if you’re coming in for entertainment from the living, you’re still in for a real treat. As mentioned, the music hall is the home of the Cincinnati Ballet, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, May Festival Chorus, and more.
You’ll find high-end entertainment at this venue. Whether it’s on the stage or roaming the 130-year-old halls of the place is a different story. In other words, you’ll find the latest and greatest live entertainment. But you may also find some entertainment perpetually stuck in the 19th century and earlier.
American Sign Museum
I’ve talked about architecture, sports, history, music, art, and science enthusiasts. However, this one’s a first. The American Sign Museum will definitely satisfy the sign enthusiast in you. So, if you got a thing for signs, then step right up to the plate because you’re coming to the right place.
But don’t worry, it’s not just a big collection of signs that you’ll find in this place—far from it. You’ll find equipment used in the manufacture of signs. If you’d like an educational experience covering how signs are manufactured, the American Sign Museum will provide it.
As a relatively new museum, this venue is still growing with its 200 signs and 3,800 catalogued signs. But what can you expect to find here? You’ll see samples of gold-leaf lettering on glass, Las Vegas Showcards, a fiberglass Frisch Big Boy statue, and signs from classic outlets like Big Bear Stores, Howard Johnson’s, and Earl Scheib.
If you’re from Ohio, I’m willing to place a safe wager that you’re probably just not familiar with the companies listed above; you’re probably feeling a hint of nostalgia at this point.
Well, if you wish to experience such nostalgia first-hand, take a break from the casino gaming over at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati and take a quick tour of the American Sign Museum. And by doing so, you’ll have a few awesome flashbacks to your childhood that include shopping at the local Big Bear and stopping for lunch at Big Boy, among others.
Looking to take a full day off from the casino gaming but aren’t sure where to spend a full day in one convenient location in Cincy? Look no further than Fountain Square, which has been a leading source of shopping, dining, and entertainment for the people of Cincinnati since 1871.
Oh, and Fountain Square hosts special events every week, featuring headliners from some of the hottest names in music. Events held in the area include speeches, games, movies, concerts, giveaways, festivals, and more.
You’ll also find seasonal events held in the square as well. Top events include Halloween on the square, the ice rink, plus the largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany known as Oktoberfest Zinzinnati which is based on the original German Oktoberfest.
So, if you’re in the area during the event and wish to experience some German heritage, this is where all of it’s happening. Oh, but if you’re claustrophobic, I’d exercise caution since over 500,000 guests pack the six blocks on which it’s held.
But anyway, if you’re looking for decent outdoor entertainment, look no further than Fountain Square. Even if nothing is going on during the week you’re gaming at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, don’t sweat. There is still a shopping spree, sightseeing, and other fun activities to look forward to.
So, if you need to recharge from the casino, head on out, and see what’s happening during the week you’re in town.
You’ve probably guessed by now that Cincinnati is known for its music. So far, we’ve covered the entertainment you’ll find at the Cincinnati Music Hall plus the ongoing events over at Fountain Square.
But perhaps you won’t find anything quite like this historic concert venue. This Live Nation-operated theater has hosted a plethora of events throughout the years, including up-and-coming alternative rock and metal bands, comedians, and for a short while, themed-party nights.
The venue has also undergone its fair share of closings, subsequent reopenings, and renovations during its 115-year history on Cincinnati’s historic Vine Street.
Whether it’s the latest in mainstream music you’re craving, comedy, stage performances, or more, you’re sure to find all of it happening at Bogart’s Marquee. Regardless of whether it’s the history of the location you’re craving or if you’re looking to find an alternative means to entertainment outside what Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati is offering during your stay, you may just find what you’re looking for over at Bogart’s Marquee.
It’s small. It’s rather quaint. But it’s bustling with some of the latest and greatest artists from around the world. If you’re looking for rather intimate world-class entertainment, Bogart’s Marquee is where it’s happening.
As you can see, there is plenty to get excited about when you visit Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati. Sure, the casino gaming itself should give you plenty of reasons to visit the Athens of the West.
But the variety of things to do in Cincinnati shows you that this area offers far more than just a few casinos; there is something to do at every turn whether you’re in the city, across the Ohio in Kentucky or Indiana, or even north on the city’s outskirts.
So, don’t think the five attractions listed here means that the number of things to do in this city is limited. It’s far from it. From sports to walking and hiking trails to amusement parks, this city is cooking as we head deeper into the 21st century.
Have you spent time at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati? If so, what local attractions did you visit? Share it with us in the comments.