By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com
Once counted among the largest cities in the United States in terms of population, Cincinnati, Ohio, is a powerhouse with a rich history and culture that remains today. Whether you’re moving to Cincinnati or currently reside there, you’ll want to check out this list of reasons why living in Cincinnati is great!
1. STRONG JOB MARKET.
Cincinnati is home to nine Fortune 500 companies, including retail giant Kroger and consumer goods leader Procter & Gamble. On top of being a hot spot for successful companies, recent reports show job growth is up in Cincinnati and the surrounding area with an unemployment rate of 4.3% (a ten-year low). Much of this growth has been seen in the consumer goods market, but construction is also on the rise. Local companies have made it clear they have no intentions of slowing down either, as employers like Kroger have recently announced they’re going into a hiring rush to add up to 800 new employees.
2. GREAT FOR GRADS.
With a good job market, it’s no surprise that the Queen City is a great place for recent college graduates and 20-somethings. In fact, Cincinnati was ranked among Forbes top ten best cities for new college grads. The city was ranked because of its employment opportunities and affordable apartments—the median rent for a two-bedroom is roughly $2,140 a month. In addition, more than a quarter of the population falls into the young adult age range. On top of affordable apartments and good jobs, Forbes also recognized Cincy’s lifestyle options, which means recent grads from University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, and other colleges in the area have access to a number of great restaurants, nightlife, and other entertainment.
3. THE CHILI IS BETTER.
Cincinnati has a unique take on chili. Rather than a thicker chili, Cincinnati chili is thinner and used as a sauce with seasonings such as cinnamon, cloves, and even chocolate. It’s usually served on spaghetti or coneys. People here eat it up by the tons…literally. In his book, The Authentic History of Cincinnati Chili, author Dann Woellert reports that the city consumers more than 2 million pounds of chili topped with 850,000 pounds of shredded cheddar a year, which is probably why this is the Chili Capitol of the World. While there are a number of places to enjoy chili, locals love Skyline Chili, which offers coneys, burritos, and other ways to eat chili. The standard is a 3-Way (that is, chili served on steaming spaghetti and covered with cheddar). Add onions or beans for a 4-Way, or you can go all in with a 5-Way.
4. BETTER GET GOETTA.
Second to chili, the German-American dish goetta, pronounced get-uh, is one of the most popular dishes in Cincinnati. Born from the city’s German influence and heritage, this dish is made of ground meat—usually pork or pork and beef—steel-cut oats and seasonings like thyme or sage. People in Cincy love it so much that there’s even a weekend-long festival in its honor, the Glier’s Goettafest. Sure, it’s across the Ohio River in Newport, Ky. (which is basically considered Cincinnati), near the Newport Aquarium, but people go there to try different variations of goetta, enjoy live music, watch cloggers, and play in goetta-themed games.
5. DON’T FORGET DESSERTS.
After dinner, you have to have something sweet, and what better follow up than ice cream? Locals love Graeter’s Ice Cream. The ice cream itself has been locally made since 1870 and is still run by the grand and great-grandchildren of the original owner, Louis Graeter. While you really can’t go wrong with any flavor you choose—you can sample all of them, just so you know—Cincinnatians recommend the Black Raspberry Chip, a combination of Oregon black raspberries and chunks of chocolate. If ice cream isn’t your thing, you can always pick up some buckeyes. Not to be confused with the tree nut it resembles, this Ohio-favorite treat consists of peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate with a small circle of peanut butter left exposed.
6. ZINZI HISTORY.
Founded after the American Revolution in 1788, this city became a booming town when steamboats began trading on the Ohio River in the early 1800s. Some consider Cincinnati as the first purely American city with less influence from European immigrants as some of the coastal cities. However, there’s no denying German immigrants made their impression on “Zinzi.” Besides the influence on food with dishes like goetta, you can still hear the German influence in the way people talk. Locals say “please” a lot, but they’re not saying the magic word for nothing. Many residents use the word “please” as a way to ask someone to repeat themselves, which goes back to the German phrase “bitte,” a shorthand to ask someone to repeat.
Speaking of German heritage, a huge plus to living in Cincinnati is the annual Oktoberfest Zinzinnati! This celebration is the largest Oktoberfest in the country and the second largest in the world, following Munich, Germany, with 500,000 visitors each year. Herren und frauen can eat, enjoy seven-stages worth of live German music, do the Chicken Dance, and enjoy more than 1,300 barrels of beer. If one festival isn’t enough, Cincinnatians love local breweries. Be sure to check out spots like Mt. Carmel, Listermann, Fifty West, MadTree, or Rhinegesit, all of which are favorites among natives and transplants alike.
8. ART & ANIMALS.
Both the Cincinnati Zoo and Cincinnati Art Museum are among the oldest of their kind in the country. The Zoological Society of Cincinnati was founded in 1873 and officially opened two years later, which means the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is the second oldest in the U.S. Originally having only 26 animals—which included raccoons, monkeys, and a circus elephant—and 400 birds, the zoo now has more than 500 animals and 3,000 plant species for the more than 1.5 million annual visitors to enjoy. The Cincinnati Museum Association was founded in 1881, and five years later, the Cincinnati Art Museum was finished in Eden Park. It was the first purpose-built art museum west of the Allegheny Mountains and heralded as “The Art Palace of the West.” It now houses more than 65,000 works that span 6,000 years.
9. FOUNTAIN SQUARE.
Another historic spot, though with much more modern attractions, is Downtown Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. Located on the corner of West 5th and Vine streets, this public area brings in more than 2 million people each year with events, free concerts, tailgates, and lunchtime contests. When not used for a special event, people gather there for lunch, coffee, or just a place for kids to play in the water feature. Locals love this city jewel, as it’s close to a number of restaurants and attractions and is a centralized hangout spot. Fountain Square even has the U.S. Bank Ice Rink in the winter months, so it’s a year-round attraction.
10. YEAH, THE BRIDGE LOOKS FAMILIAR.
One thing many newcomers and tourists will note is that rather familiar-looking bridge between Cincy and Covington—and with good reason. The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge was the prototype of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, which was finished by Robeling’s son, Washington Roebling. Another interesting note about the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge is that, when it opened in 1866, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, coming in at 1,057 feet long.
11. GO TO KINGS ISLAND.
About half an hour north of Cincinnati is Kings Island, the largest amusement and water park in the Midwest. Kings Island is known for its action-packed assortment of rollercoasters, such as Banshee and The Bat. The park is also home to The Beast, which was the longest, tallest, and fastest wooden rollercoaster in the world when it opened in 1979. This ride also holds the world record for longest ride time (clocking in around four minutes and ten seconds).
12. MAJOR SPORTS.
Cincinnati has two big league teams: the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and MLB’s Cincinnati Reds. While there’s no science behind it, a significant number of Bengals fans believe that the past two decades haven’t been successful due to a curse revolved around the injury of Raiders running back Bo Jackson and the death of former owner, general manager, and one-time coach Paul Brown. On a happier note, the Reds are always a cause for celebration in Cincy. With roots going back to 1869, the original Red Stockings were considered the first professional baseball team. Count on the city to shut down on opening day, as it’s instead focused on the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade and other events leading up to the opening game, which is always held at home.
13. RED FANS ARE THE BEST.
Speaking of the Reds, the Big Red Machine’s fans are ranked among the best baseball fans in the country by Forbes. This is due to its reach with fans of all ages. According to Forbes, Reds fans are the fourth best group in the country with high radio ratings and one of the largest social media reaches in the league. The Reds’ Twitter has more than 411,000 followers and is regularly filled with news, announcements, and even some interactive opportunities for fans. For something really interesting, check out the Reds Facebook page. Not only does it have more than 1.1 million followers, but its timeline goes all the way back to 1876 and is full of landmark moments for the team.
Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.