Historic Sites

Every city has its own unique feel and vibe, which is determined by a number of things. The local historic sites are no doubt one of the largest contributing factors to the aura that surrounds a city. When in Cincinnati, users recommend paying a visit to Cincinnati Observatory Center, in the Hyde Park area to get a feel for what truly makes up the city.

Fort Ancient State Memorial
Beautiful natural surroundings highlight this historic Native American site. Dating back 2000 years, the site is comprised of several ceremonial mounds and about 18,000 feet of earthen wall, portions of which were used along with the moon and sun as a calendar. In the museum, a range of artifacts including stone tools and bones provide a fascinating look at Native American history in the region; the grounds feature numerous trails, a scenic overlook, and picnic spots. (513-932-4421, 800-283-8904)

Harriett Beecher Stowe House
This 1833 home was originally built for the president of Lane Seminary, who happened to be Dr. Lyman Beecher, father of famed author and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. She lived in the house for about two years until she married professor Calvin E. Stowe. Today, the house functions as cultural center to preserve African-American history. (513-751-0651, 513-324-2218)

St Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption
You will be in awe upon entering this beautiful cathedral. There are 82 stained glass windows, one of which is the largest in the world. The tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is plated in gold and set with semiprecious gems. The outside is a superb example of Gothic architecture. One of just 35 cathedral basilicas in the US. Brochures are available for self-guided tours; groups of 10 or more can arrange docent-guided tours with 2-weeks notice. (859-431-2060)

Harrison Tomb State Memorial
Ninth President of the US, William Henry Harrison spent the better part of his life in the Midwest, where he became known as a fearless and talented military leader. Harrison first earned acclaim for his hard-won victory in the Battle of Tippecanoe, and then during the War of 1812 won further accolades for his leadership of the battalions which defeated the British and Native American armies, and is credited with killing chief Tecumseh. Elected President in 1841, Harrison died of pneumonia just a month after entering office. His tomb, topped by a 60 foot stone obelisk, is on Mt. Nebo in North Bend. (614-297-2630, 800-686-1535)

Cincinnati Observatory Center
Located in northern Cincy, this observatory bears the distinction of being the nation's first, dating to 1842. Originally housed at Mt. Adams (formerly known as Mt. Ida), the observatory moved to Mt. Lookout in 1873. In 1979, the observatory became part of the Physics Department of the University of Cincinnati, with the center as it is today being formed in 1997 and revitalized to open its doors as a non-profit organization in 1999. (513-321-5186)

William Howard Taft National Historic Site
Birthplace and childhood home to the 27th United States President and former Supreme Court Chief Justice, William H. Taft. It's an excellent example of Greek revival architecture, and it's been restored to represent the home when Taft lived in it. An adjacent educational center provides orientation video and exhibits on Taft and other family members. (513-684-3263)

Loveland Castle Museum
Take a short drive to northern Cincinnati and discover one of the area's most charming buildings, a castle that's a replica one-fifth the scale of a 10th-century Norman Castle. Construction on the castle began in 1929 by Sir Harry Andrews. It took five decades to complete. The castle is also known as Chateau Laroche. (513-683-4686)

Betts House
Constructed in 1804, this house is the oldest brick house in the state. It stands on its original site and is open for tours on a limited basis. It's also used as a research center where historians come to study building materials and traditions of the past. It's located in the Betts-Longworth Historic District in Cincinnati's West End. (513-651-0734)

Waldschmidt Homestead Historical Site
Located on its original site, this 1804 home was constructed by Christian Waldschmidt, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Originally it included a store. Waldschmidt was active in the German community and funded many community businesses, from the state's first paper mill to a sawmill and blacksmith shop. During the Civil War, the house served as headquarters for General Joshua Bates. After decades of neglect, the home was restored and opened to the public in 1953. A prime example of Pennsylvania Dutch architecture and contains Americana furnishings and memorabilia. (513-576-6327)

Maps and Directions

Fort Ancient State Memorial 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites, Parks
Neighborhood: OREGONIA
Harriett Beecher Stowe House 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: MOUNT ADAMS
St Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites, Religious Sites
Neighborhood: COVINGTON
Harrison Tomb State Memorial 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites, Sightseeing
Neighborhood: NORTH BEND
Cincinnati Observatory Center 10Best List Arrow
Type: Planetarium / Observatory
Neighborhood: HYDE PARK
William Howard Taft National Historic Site 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: UPTOWN
Loveland Castle Museum 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: MASON
Betts House 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
Waldschmidt Homestead Historical Site 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: MONTGOMERY
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