Photos by OHventures
On a recent business trip to Southwest Ohio, I decided to make a pitstop in downtown Cincinnati to have lunch with friends and sightsee a bit before heading back home to Columbus. I had limited time, so I asked my friend Sam to help me find the best tourist attractions that I could hit up during my stay. After a quick lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery (which had the best pumpkin ale I've ever had)located downtown at Fountain Square, Sam and his buddies Katie and Todd whisked me away to what is known as Carew Tower.
Carew Tower is 49 stories and 574 feet tall, making it the second tallest building in all of Cincinnati. For a small $2 fee, you can head up a series of elevators to the observation deck on the roof! Here, you will get the most spectacular view of the Queen City possible! On a clear day (like the beautiful November day I visited) you can see miles and miles in every direction. You can even see across the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River into Covington, Kentucky. You get spectacular glimpses at everything from the University of Cincinnati to Paul Brown Stadium (home of the Cincinnati Bengals) to every other skyscraper in the city. You can also see into Indiana!
Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1994, Carew Tower is filled with French art deco styles that encapsulate the spirit of the era it was built (1927 to 1931). While visiting the lower levels of the building, one can find a shopping mall and a very fancy bar (where we grabbed a drink, gawked at the beautiful murals and architecture, and did some people watching)! The rest of the building consists mainly of commercial office space, as well as a Hilton hotel.
Interestingly, Todd (who was full of vast knowledge) informed me that the tower served as a model for New York City's Empire State Building! While on the rooftop, Todd also pointed out all of the businesses and landmarks surrounding the city, and mentioned that Cincinnati has more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other city in the nation (including Procter & Gamble, Kroger, AK Steel, and more).
Standing atop this enormous building allowed for me to see the most of Cincinnati in the shortest amount of time. If you ever have an hour to spare while driving through, just park at the Fountain Square parking lot and make your way to the top of Carew Tower. It's also a great spot to go to plan ahead a day trip to Cincy, so you can map out your gameplan from a bird's eye view (literally).