My favorite district in Cincinnati is Mount Adams, a densely populated, older neighborhood just east of downtown. With its hilly, narrow streets, Mount Adams looks more like San Francisco than a city in the Midwest. Also like San Francisco, it’s a great place for restaurants, cute little shops and bars.
Beware, however, as the area also has two drawbacks. First, there is little parking available. Second, you definitely don’t want to navigate these streets during a snow or ice storm. Once you find a parking spot, grab it and make a leisurely exploration of the area on foot. A hilltop area of only a few blocks, the community is eminently pedestrian friendly
There’s certainly plenty to do in Mount Adams. Start at the imposing Greek temple that is the Cincinnati Art Museum (953 Eden Park Drive), which houses more than 60,000 works of art; admission is free.
Live theater and cinema can be enjoyed at Playhouse in the Park (962 Mount Adams Circle). Krohn Conservatory (1501 Eden Park Drive) boasts an orchid house, rain forest and desert plant exhibits, and various butterfly shows.
After a day of enjoying art and butterflies, you might find yourself hungry or thirsty. Fortunately, Mount Adams offers a wide variety of dining options and friendly neighborhood taverns; bar-hopping is a favored activity.
On the informal side is The Mount Adams Bar and Grill (938 Hatch St.). Originally a speakeasy during Prohibition, it was owned by George Remus, the wealthiest bootlegger in Cincinnati (and perhaps the entire country).
Adventurous Asian food can be enjoyed at Teak Thai Cuisine and Sushi Bar (Two Diamond Rated), 1051 St. Gregory St. Fine dining and a splendid view of the Ohio River Valley can be enjoyed at The Celestial Steakhouse (Four Diamond Rated), 1071 Celestial St.
Wherever you go in Mount Adams, you are surrounded by a great deal of Cincinnati’s history. Originally part of the Longworth family estate, the hill was the site of a large vineyard and winery established in the early 19th century by Nicholas Longworth.
In 1843, the district was renamed Mount Adams in honor of former President John Quincy Adams, who had been invited there to open an astronomical observatory. Toward the end of the 19th century, Maria Longworth Stroer, a granddaughter of Nicholas Longworth, established the famous Rookwood Pottery factory in the area. Though the factory is no longer in operation, its porcelains are much sought after by collectors.
Over the years, the neighborhood has evolved from a working-class community to a more upscale neighborhood of residences and retail establishments. What has remained constant, however, is an urban village with a well-defined Cincinnati character.