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Updated Jan. 2022
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 researched the best up and coming neighborhoods in Cincinnati for you. This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas, with links to popular destinations, as well as available houses for sale and apartments for rent (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop —Cincinnati movers and beyond).
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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 up and coming neighborhoods Cincinnati has to offer.
Of course, downtown has always been a popular spot. But with new bars, restaurants, shops, and housing popping up, living downtown has become even more popular and practical for young professionals and millennials in the city. With over $1.6 billion dedicated to new developments in the downtown area, Cincinnati’s center seems to be on the up and up.
What’s Happening in Downtown
From sports to food to theater shows to art museums, Downtown has a wealth of entertainment options. One of our favorite spots is the Brewing Heritage Trail Tours. You’ll journey through one of the largest collections of pre-Prohibition brewery architecture, step back in history and into the stone-lined underground beer cellars.
The Cincinnati Art Museum offers a huge collection of over 67,000 pieces and is one of the oldest art museums in the country, founded in 1881. For shopping, you’ll soon learn about Fountain Square. This historical city square features shops, restaurants, bars, hotels, an ice skating rink, and many historical gems from all the way back to the late 1800s. The area also hosts awesome activities and events that regularly pack out this city block.
For top eats and drinks, try to schedule in a few meals at these choice local hubs: Boca, Crown Republic, Igby’s, Maplewood, MidiCi, and Mita’s.
Schools in Downtown
Schools serving Cincinnati’s downtown include Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, Walnut Hills High School, and James N. Gamble Montessori School.
Homes in Downtown
Housing in this center-city is quite diverse, with a heavy amount of apartments and a few historical homes available here and there.
This pleasant residential neighborhood is one of the oldest hilltop neighborhoods in the city. Downtown and the University of Cincinnati is a 5-10 minute drive away. And despite its rich historicity and great location, for a time, Walnut Hills looked like it was fizzling out.
From 1960 to 2010, this neighborhood lost more than two-thirds of its population. But today, the resident leaders are working steadily to resurrect the neighborhood and have already made massive progress at transforming this once sleepy spot.
Unlike many other gentrifications that sweep the slate clean, discards the culture and character of an area, and throw up a few modern condo buildings and cookie-cutter hipster cafes, the leaders of Walnut Hills were determined to preserve their community. They took their time in order to protect the culture, people, and history of their region as the area went through a thoughtful and deliberate rehab.
What’s Happening in Walnut Hills
Walnut Hills is extremely walkable and is home to the city’s best green space, Eden Park, which features some of the most beautiful views of the city. The neighborhood offers a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars, like Le Bar au Boeuf, Gomez Salsa, and The Brew House. And the DeSales Corner offers a mix of new and old shops and more great local eateries like Suzie Wong’s Asian Cuisine.
Schools in Walnut Hills
Schools in this neighborhood include Walnut Hills High School and Frederick Douglass Elementary School among others.
Homes in East Walnut Hills
Walnut Hills offers a spread of housing options, from condos to row-houses to single-family homes to pricey mansions.
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.
Homes in Mount Adams
You’ll find a range of prices and styles in Mount Adams housing options.
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.
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.
There you have it: the best up and coming neighborhoods 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 Bellhop. Need to move quickly? We also provide last minute moving services in Cincinnati!