Often thought of as the first purely American city, Cincinnati was one of the original boomtowns of the early nineteenth century, benefitting from its gateway position between north and south, and east and west. After economic downturns in the twentieth century, Ohio’s third-largest city is on the rise, again finding its footing at the intersection of Midwestern values and Southern charm. The nearly 300,000 residents live along the hills and bluffs of the Ohio River, overlooking the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, a naturally beautiful area to call home.
Ten Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in Cincinnati, including Kroger, Macy’s and Procter & Gamble, which has a long history in the city dating to its early stockyards. The University of Cincinnati is another big employer with nearly 44,000 enrolled students and 16,000 employees. The cost of living is around 10 percent lower than the national average, making it desirable for those looking to buy real estate. The estimated median house value was $120,400 in 2013.
The city center is the historic and architectural hub of Cincinnati. The Over-the-Rhine district is one of the largest historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which includes the renovated Fountain Square area, City Hall and the Cincinnati Enquirer Building, among dozens of others. For a Rust Belt city, it has been fairly immune to urban decay, though the urban sprawl has affected the landscape. The I-275 Beltway and Ohio River break up many of the numerous neighborhoods. Suburbs like Montgomery, Evendale, Blue Ash, Loveland and Kenwood lie north and east along the beltway and are attractive for those who don’t mind a relatively short commute. Historic neighborhoods and villages like Mount Adams, which overlooks the Ohio River, Glendale and Indian Hill are also still thriving. Metro runs buses downtown, across the river to Covington, Kentucky, and up north to Kenwood, but most residents outside the immediate downtown area rely on cars to get around.
Cincinnati is one of only 13 cities in the U.S. with all five fine arts; represented by the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Center and Taft Museum of Art. It is also home to annual events such as the Cincinnati Masters tennis tournament, Ohio Valley Jazz Festival, MidPoint Music Festival and Oktoberfest. The revitalization efforts around the riverfront over the last 15 years included a new stadium for the Cincinnati Reds and mixed-use retail and residential buildings that connect the ballpark to the Cincinnati Bengals field.