The Best Places to Live in Cincinnati (A 2019 Guide)

The Best Places to Live in Cincinnati

Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to. You’ve no doubt seen our Cincinnati City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Cincinnati’s most popular neighborhoods.

This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhops—Cincinnati movers and movers throughout the country).

A Little About Cincinnati and its Neighborhoods

Cincinnati is pinched into the very southwest corner of the state and splashed up on the shores of the Ohio River, which draws the winding line between Ohio and Kentucky. The city is steadily building its population, which was estimated at 301,301 in 2017. And the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area, which includes counties in Kentucky and Indiana, has a population of about 2.12 million.

With the riverbank to one side and a hilly, scenic landscape to the other, Cincinnati has been noted for its picturesque geography. The area’s continental climate gives the city a wide spread of temperatures and weather throughout the year. Cloudy, snowy Christmases and sunny 90-degree summers – residents get a taste of all the seasons.

Cincinnati offers a diverse blend of neighborhoods, from elite and established areas to up-and-coming millennial hubs. Currently, there are fifty-two neighborhoods, many of which were once villages that have been occupied by the city over time. To give you some clarity, we’ve highlighted some of the best neighborhoods Cincinnati has to offer.

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1. Over-the-Rhine

Over the Rhine has transformed in the past 10 years. Starting off with a few corner bars and shops, Over the Rhine is now Cincinnati’s first-pick entertainment district for many locals in the area. The neighborhood is packed with great restaurants, local bars, breweries, shops, theaters, and parks. You’ll be able to recognize the area by its unique architecture. While updated, Over-the-Rhine is notable for its immense collection of 19th-century Italianate homes and buildings.

What’s Happening in Over-the-Rhine

Over the Rhine cherishes and promotes its local art and culture. The neighborhood is home to the recently renovated national historic landmark Cincinnati Music Hall. Here, locals catch the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Opera, and Ballet performances. And the neighboring Memorial Hall hosts live music performances, comedians, and feature films.

In addition to these larger venues, there are three nearby small theaters: Ensemble, Know, and Woodward. These theaters address social issues in their performances for a more thought-provoking form of entertainment.

Over the Rhine boasts of dozens of awesome restaurants and bars, as well as several breweries. The food is culturally diverse and ranges from super casual joints like The Eagle to upscale fine dining experiences, like Nicola’s.

Washington Park is a local common spot where residents come to walk their dogs, play pick up sports, or splash in the waterpark with their kids. The park also features The Porch, which serves adult beverages, and occasionally the area hosts outdoor movies, live music, and other community events.

Findley Market is one of Over-the-Rhine’s best neighborhood event, which hosts over 40 vendors and has more than a million visitors a year. There’s food, fresh produce, meats, seafood, and baked goods, along with specialty shops featuring unique arts and crafts. Residents and visitors enjoy shopping through the market and strolling along the gorgeous Italianate architecture where street performers play their music and patrons nibble on food samples.

For some of our favorite foodie and drink stops, visit Taste of Belgium, Abigail Street, and Rhinegeist Brewery.

Schools in Over-the-Rhine

Schools in this neighborhood include Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, School for Creative and Performing Arts, and Walnut Hills High School among others.


2. Mount Adams

From its steep hills, the elegant Mount Adams overlooks downtown and the river. Amidst its winding streets and old world charm, this neighborhood is home to a diverse crowd – from young professionals to longtime dwellers. The neighborhood offers a unique collection of local businesses, restaurants, and bars with beautiful Ohio River views.

What’s Happening in Mount Adams

Mount Adams draws frequent visitors with one of the cities best views along the Celestial Street Overlook. Here, you can cross the historic Ida Street Viaduct to one of the city’s finest parks, Eden Park. Throughout this green space, locals enjoy the scenic walking and running paths around Mirror Lake. For a sample of local history and art, visit the Cincinnati Art Museum or the Krohn Conservatory.

With its many restaurants and pubs along romantic, historic streets, Mount Adams offers a ton of spots that are perfect for a date night or evening with friends. For a taste of this fancy neighborhood’s high-end, visit Boca. This restaurant serves exceptional food from their beautiful and sparkling dining rooms.

For drinks, check out Mt Adams Bar and Grill. This local hub claims have used a barback once owned by the Cincinnati native who was the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous character, Jay Gatsby. The Blind Lemon is another wonderful spot to enjoy some fresh sippers in a garden patio or at the edge of a crackling bonfire.

But after dinner and drinks, there’s still plenty of entertainment and stops during a night out in Mount Adams. Our top pick? The two-time Tony Award-winning theater, Playhouse in the Park, which features some of the same actors, directors, and designers from Broadway.

Schools in Mount Adams

Schools near this neighborhood include Walnut Hills High School, Hughes STEM High School, and WIlliam Howard Taft Elementary School among others.

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3. Oakley

This urban-style suburb has gained a lot of attention because there are so many things to do in the area. But frankly, there just isn’t enough room for everyone who’d like to live here, and listed homes sell within hours. Its great location close to downtown and with easy access to major highways quick travel is just one of the perks of living in Oakley. But many of its perks lie within Oakley’s busy borders.

What’s Happening

The area’s recent revamp is their aquatic park, complete with a diving board, splash pad, and waterslide. Another new revamp to the neighborhood is the popular Oakley Wines – a beer, cocktail, and wine bar that packs in hundreds of patrons each weekend. And Ault Park is just a quick jaunt away.

Sample Streetpops sweet popsicles, a cappuccino from Deeper Roots Coffee, or a fresh drink from Rooted Juicery + Kitchen. Red Feather is another hot-spot and creates upscale dishes like their blackened lamb rack with mint chimichurri. The neighborhood also hosts frequent community events like their Oakley After Hours and the Oakley Fancy Flea Market.

Schools in Oakley

Schools near Oakley include Hyde Park School, Kilgour School, and Norwood Highschool among others.

Homes in Oakley

Homes in Oakley tend to cost a bit more than the average house price throughout the city, but not by much.


4. Hyde Park

Located on the east side of Cincinnati, this neighborhood is centered around the Hyde Park Square – a two-block area packed with quirky shops which have become a destination for the rest of the city. Cincinnati locals know Hyde Park as a more refined and exclusive neighborhood. But actually, this eventful pocket of the city is full of friendly shops and locals that welcome newcomers to the fun!

What’s Happening in Hyde Park

The Square is one of Cincinnati’s oldest shopping hubs, and has over 175 unique stores, restaurants, and bars, and frequently hosts community events, like the Hyde Park Farmers Market on Sundays and the annual Hyde Park Blast which packs out the street with vendors, joggers, and bikers completing the Midnight Chariot Race.

Besides all the amazing events at the central park, this neighborhood offers a lot of things to do. Coffee Emporium is a local favorite that serves scones, fine teas, locally roasted coffee, and is set up in a beautiful, green, Victorian-style shop.

But if you really want to feel like a local, stop by Carl’s Deli, talk to the owner, and grab a fresh cut sandwich and soda to go. Echo serves the best breakfast in town with delicious omelets and house-made biscuits. Pop over to Arthur’s for a cheap and massive burger. And close out the night at Dutch’s for some wine and charcuterie.

If you’re interested in more educational entertainment, visit the19th century Cincinnati Observatory located close to the park and catch a glimpse at a supermoon!

Schools in Hyde Park

Schools in Hyde Park include Hyde Park School, Saint Mary School, and Kilgour School.

Homes in Hyde Park

Hyde Park has plenty of row-houses and features a hobbit-like mushroom house built by professor Terry Brown and his students in 1993. Elsewhere, Hyde Park has more affordable housing, including condominiums and multi-family apartments.

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There you have it: the best places to live in Cincinnati

We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhops. As we said, we coordinate local and long distance moving services in Cincinnati, and we would love to help.

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