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Exploring Ohio: Should You Visit Cincinnati or Cleveland

I’ve spent years wandering around the globe.  In that time, I’ve traveled to 1/3 of the countries in the world, and thousands of cities and towns. But for all of my wanderings, I’ve spent most of my life in Ohio.

Ohio is one of the best states in America, although I might be a little bias. Ohio is bursting with thick forest cloaked in Native American history, to explore; adrenaline filled theme parks for adventure junkies, and entertaining cities bursting with art, food, and events to discover.

Getting From Cincinnati to Cleveland

cincinnati to cleveland By car

The quickest way to get from Cincinnati to Cleveland is by car. The drive takes about four hours, depending on traffic. The route is pretty straightforward, and there are plenty of gas stations and rest stops along the way. I just wish the gas stations where as iconic like the attractions of Route 66 gas stations. .

cincinnati to cleveland by bus 

If you’re looking for a cheaper and slower alternative to driving, you can take the bus from Cincinnati to Cleveland. The journey takes about six hours, and there are a few different bus companies that operate on this route. Keep in mind that the bus will make a few stops along the way, so it’s not the best option if you’re in a hurry. But if you don’t mind spending a little extra time on the road, the bus is a great way to save some money on your trip.

cincinnati to cleveland by plane

If you need to get to Cleveland quickly, the best option is to fly. There are a few different airports in the Cleveland area, so you can easily find a flight that fits your schedule. The flight from Cincinnati to Cleveland takes about an hour, and you can usually find flights for less than $100. So if time is of the essence, flying is the best way to get from Cincinnati to Cleveland.

how far is cleveland from cincinnati

the drive from Cleveland to Cincinnati is only about four hours. This short drive is made even shorter by the many things to see and do along the way.

For example, there are plenty of scenic outlooks, historic landmarks, and fun activities to enjoy. Not to mention, the drive is also a great way to experience the beauty of Ohio’s countryside. So, the next time you find yourself wondering how far apart Cleveland and Cincinnati are, remember that the answer is not as far as you might think.

Exploring Ohio: Should You Visit Cincinnati or Cleveland

Two of Ohio’s most prominent cities are Cincinnati and Cleveland. I’ve spent a good amount of time in both of these cities.

Without a doubt, both of these cities are worth visiting. But let’s imagine you are on a quick trip or have a limited budget. If you could just visit either Cincinnati or Cleveland then, which one would, you choose?

It is a tough question but one I will help you try to answer this question as we explore some of the highlights of each city.


Personally, I like the atmosphere of Cincinnati better than Cleveland. The parks, neighborhoods, and villages have an addicting buzz that I cannot resist.  Here are some of the best neighborhoods to go see when visiting Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Neighborhoods in Cincinnati

MainStrasse Village – Cincinnati has Mainstrasse Village. This historic neighborhood has events all year, but it is also a relaxing and lovely place to take a walk evening strolls.

There are fun bars and little restaurants to hang out. The whole village is picturesque with tree lined, sidewalks and cobblestone streets.

Fountain Square District – Fountain Square is the most popular district in Cincinnati. This is a busy part of the city and so it is one of the main places to visit for shopping and eating.

Whether you are looking for a hole in the wall bookstore or Saks Fifth Avenue, you can find it in Fountain Square District. Even if you are not into shopping, there is always something fun and entertaining going on in Fountain Square.

Neighborhoods in Cleveland

Detroit Shoreaway. – Don’t let Detroit in the name of this district fool you. This is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Cleveland.

Just a couple miles west of downtown and on the north shore of Lake Erie Detroit Shoreaway is becoming “the” neighborhood for food, coffee shops, and live music. If you are looking for a fun night out on the town, then this is the place to start.

Downtown – The center of the city has seen a resurgence in recent years. It is getting a new and modern look while still preserving the history of the city.

For visitors, it is a good place to eat and shop, but it is a good place to visit to discover the heartbeat of the city.

Things to do in Cleveland and Cincinnati 

Ok, so now we know a little bit about the neighborhoods, and sports, but let us talk a look at some of the fun things to do around the city. And Ohio has some of the best places to visit in the United States, like the rock n roll hall of fame.


Eden Park – Eden Park, as the name suggests, is a paradise. It is almost 200 acres of forested paths, green groves, and still lakes. The park has many outlooks that offer fantastic views of the city. These are perfect spots for sunsets, and remind me of the best short sunset quotes.. Located north of downtown to get to Eden Park head to Mount Adams neighborhood

Great American Ball Park and Other Sports – I can’t talk about either Cleveland of Cincinnati without talking about sports. Both cities are fanatical about their sports teams.

  • Basketball – If you are a basketball nut, then deciding between Cleveland and Cincinnati is a breeze. The Cleveland Cavs lead by LeBron James are the second-best team in the country. Cincinnati doesn’t have an NBA team, so if you are a basketball fan and want to catch a game, then your decision between Cincinnati and Cleveland is simple.
  • Baseball – For Baseball Cleveland has the Indians, which were runners-up in the 2016 World Series.  On the other hand, you have the Cincinnati Reds. The team has a deep history in the game, and the city has been home to some of the biggest baseball legends that have every played the game such as Johnny Bench and Pete Rose.
  • Football – For football fans, you have the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. The fans for both of these rival teams are some of the most extreme and loudest in America. Just going to a game in either city is a crazy experience.


National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – One of the best in the city is the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. It is a rare institutions in the country that confronts and shows some of America’s darker past. It focuses on the abolitionist years, and which is a part of America history that we should all learn about.

A few other museums to check out are

  • Cincinnati Observatory
  • Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Contemporary Arts Center

King’s Island –This theme park is fun and exciting. While it is not as good as Cedar Point, which we will talk about later, it is still a fun-filled day with the family. King’s Island has a ton of rides, entertainment, and roller coasters.


The Haserot Angel – Albeit a little creepy this infamous Cleveland landmark might be something you find interesting. In Lakeview cemetery which has over 100,000 graves, is a statue that will send a cold shiver down your spine. It is a bronze statue of an angel. Her hands and wings stretched out as sadly look into the distance. What’s creepy is that at certain times the Angel cries black tears. While a little nerve racking this is an effect of the aging bronze of the statue. And one of the best cities in the world.

Frozen Lighthouse – One of the coolest things to see in Cleveland, if you are visiting in the winter is the Frozen Lighthouse. Layers upon layers of water sprayed up on the lighthouse. As waves of water hit the tower, it freezes in chaotic patterns of ice. Over time, it becomes Mother Nature’s giant ice sculpture. It is mind-blowing and brings people from all over the state to see it. However, this Cleveland site is completely weather based.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Remember the opening of the Drew Carey show “Cleveland Rocks” part of what he meant is that found in one of the most popular sites in Cleveland’s. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has become famous all over the country for having the largest collection of rock and roll memorabilia and artifacts in the world. It is huge, informative, and fun. In the little time, it has been open the Rock and Roll Hall of Fam has attracted more than 9 million visitors.

Cedar Point – This famous theme park centers around three words – big, fast, and exciting. The park has over 17 roller coasters, five resorts, a water park, and a ton of activates that thrill seekers love. I grew up going to King’s Island, but I have to say that Cedar Point is bigger and better.

Should you visit Cincinnati or Cleveland? AS I said, they are both good options. Cleveland has more exciting things to do like Cedar Point and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cincinnati has cool neighborhoods, restaurants, and museums.  Deciding which city to visit really depends on what you are looking to see.

For more on traveling in America Check Out – Do You Need A Passport to Visit Puerto Rico / Best Backpacking Cities in America.

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