|Great American Ball Park / Cincinnati Reds|
|Page 2: Touring the Ballpark|
|Page 3: History Throughout|
|Page 4: Where to Stay|
Where to Stay
For those with a few bucks to splurge, there are some classic and high-end hotels nearby. (Keep in mind that rates at many of these high-end hotels can significantly less expensive on weekends.) The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza (35 W. 5th St., 513/421-9100) is an Art Deco classic with recently renovated rooms. Another classic downtown hotel is the Cincinnatian Hotel (601 Vine St.; 800-942-9000 or 513-381-3000), built in 1882 as the Palace Hotel and patterned on the Grand Hotels of the 19th century. Eight stories high, the Cincinnatian was regarded as the finest hotel in Cincinnati when built and still has the reputation of offering high-end accommodations. Newer high-end hotels include the Westin Cincinnati (21 E. 5th St., 513/621-7700), which overlooks Fountain Square and is connected to Tower Place Mall; and the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati (151 W. 5th St.; 513/579-1234).
At the midrange is the Millennium Hotel Cincinnati (141 W. 6th St.; 513/352-2100).
For those on a budget, there's the Terrace Hotel (15 W. 6th St.; 513/381-4000), which seems to suffer from a mixed reputation; and the Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Cincinnati (150 W. 5th St.; 513/357-5800). You can also stay across the river in Covington or Newport, Ky., where your choices include Embassy Suites, Marriott or Comfort Suites.
If staying downtown doesn't appeal to you, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and its many hotels are just a short freeway drive from the ballpark.
Before/After the Game
There's a rich heritage of German beer in Cincinnati, and while there's no remnants of the likes of Hudepohl, Burger and Schoenling in the area (the former Hudepohl-Schoenling brewery is now a Sam Adams brewery), you can find remnants of the German heritage that initially produced the beer culture.
The Hofbräuhaus Newport is across the Ohio River from Great American Ball Park and definitely walkable on a nice day. It's billed as the first authentic Hofbräuhaus in the United States, featuring beers brewed inhouse and German staples like Sauerbraten, Schweinsbraten and Jägerschnitzel. Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi!
Not quite within walking distance, but still worth a visit, is Covington's Mainstrasse Village, which features a wide variety of bars and restaurants (German, French, British and more) as well as shops and such. The city used to host several German beer gardens, and one of the oldest remaining ones is Mecklenburg Gardens (302 E. University Av., Cincinnati; 513/221-5353), dating back to 1865. The menu is standard German fare and some updated items, but the real reason to go is to quaff German beer in an outdoor setting.
And, of course, there's a mandatory visit to one of Cincinnati's unique food emporiums. The Reds serve Montgomery Inn BBQ at the ballpark, but the best way to experience it is at one of the three restaurants. The original restaurant (9440 Montgomery Rd., Montgomery) dates back to 1951, while there are newer locations in Cincinnati proper (925 Eastern Avenue) and Fort Mitchell, Kentucky (400 Buttermilk Pike).
Chili is also a passion in Cincinnati, which is the only major city to have multiple local chili chains fighting for business. Cincinnatians throw chili on top of anything -- beans, spaghetti, hot dogs, potatoes, burritos, dead cats -- and call it haute cuisine. Then again, the chili in Cincy is pretty unique: the flavor is not dominated by chili powder or tomatoes; rather, the flavor tends to be a little on the smoke side, with hints of chocolate and cinnamon. Skyline Chili and Gold Star are two of the leading local chains, although it seems every neighborhood and small town has its own chili house.
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