Cincinnati consists of 52 neighborhoods within 78 square miles of rolling hills and picturesque landscapes. Each of these neighborhoods brings a distinct set of businesses, people, and architecture to our overall cityscape, and it is important to highlight each of these great communities.
The inaugural Neighborhood Highlight features none other than Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhood: Columbia Tusculum. Founded in 1788, Columbia Tusculum is known for its collection of 19th century Victorian architecture, sweeping vistas of the Ohio River valley, proximity to multiple parks, and neighborhood walkability.
My ideal day in The Queen City’s flagship neighborhood includes:
Pizza and a MadTree Lift from Taglio
First, a call to Taglio to order New York-style pizza. Taglio is a spinoff of Cincinnati favorite A Tavola, and is located in a small shopping center on Columbia Parkway. The pizza is really good and the restaurant features order-at-the-counter service, plus beer and wine*. Additional menu items include salads, apps, and heroes. But what’s left to be desired in its interior space can be made up for by taking your delicious pizza to-go for a pizza picnic.
My brother and nephew taking in the sights from the Alms Park Pavilion
View of the Ohio River from an overlook at Alms Park
Alms Park is a picturesque Cincinnati Park where you can take in the greenery in addition to views of Lunken Field and the Ohio River. It is one of my favorite Cincinnati Parks, and it’s pretty small, which lends to its charm and peacefulness. The pavilion is great for weddings and events, or merely taking in the views. The playground and swings are great for the kids (and the kids at heart, of course), as well as watching airplanes take off and land from the airport. Plus, pizza picnic!
Painted Ladies on Tusculum Avenue (north of Columbia Pkwy)
Painted Ladies on Tusculum Avenue (south of Columbia Pkwy)
Making your way back down Tusculum Avenue, it’s a must to stop, check out, and photograph the Painted Ladies. These Victorian-era homes are painted in three or more colors to embellish their architectural details. While Painted Ladies were made famous on Full House, Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhood features one of the most notorious collections in the country, and they are beautiful.
Streetside Brewery (exterior with patio)
Franklin hanging out on the patio at Streetside
A boy and his flight
After taking in the sights of Alms Park and Painted Ladies (with Fido in tow, of course), I’d next grab a beer from Streetside Brewery, which features street parking (please drive responsibly), a patio with a handful of tables, and seating for a couple dozen inside. The interior isn’t all that big, but the building is larger than it appears, and the brewing equipment is visible from the taproom, which I enjoy. (Please note that dogs are not allowed inside.) Try any or all of what they have on tap. I recommend the Alpha (IPA) and Tea Bags (blonde ale with green tea).
If you’re not quite ready to head home after my ideal day (or night) in Columbia Tusculum, I recommend a nightcap at Pearl’s (dog-friendly on the patio) or karaoke at Tostado’s (not dog-friendly). If you do go the nightcap route, I recommend an Uber (also not dog-friendly).
The next time you’re thinking about something to do, make your next day out in historic Columbia Tusculum.
Note: this day (or night) out is also mostly kid- and dog-friendly.
Disclaimer: The idea to put a spotlight on various communities in Cincinnati is to give an idea for a destination to spend a day or evening that you maybe haven’t before. Some neighborhoods are more residential and less commercial than others. That doesn’t negate their uniqueness in the overall landscape of greater Cincinnati, but that is why some will not be discussed on the Neighborhood Spotlight series, or why some neighborhoods are grouped together. I’d also like to note that the neighborhoods are selected at random and the places chosen within each are merely some of my favorites out of places I’ve been and not necessarily the best. I’m always looking for ideas of where to go!
*You will need to check on Cincinnati Parks’ alcohol policy if you are thinking of getting beer and wine to go from Taglio.