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Cincinnati Neighborhoods Visitors to Cincinnati soon discover what locals have known for years - it is a city divided (by Vine Street ). There are two distinct parts of the city: East and West. The East is more modern and populated by many transferees and young successful families. The West is older and more conservative - home to many who "built" the city working at P&G or GE. The city center is older and parts are a bit run-down, but there is still charm.
In the city: The traditional hip area is Mt. Adams, overlooking downtown. It is an artsy community with many homes and condos perched on the hill. Parking is difficult on the narrow steep streets but there are restaurants, galleries and clubs frequented by young, hip types - some venues with a sparkling view of the city lights. Mt. Adams is also home to the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and the Cincinnati Art museum - both worth a visit. Just north of the city, The Main Street area is slowly becoming gentrified - more people are moving into the area, and over the past several years restaurants and nightspots have made the area one to visit. However it is still not safe to wander off the beaten path in the Main Street area. Nearby are the college communities of Clifton (University of Cincinnati) and in the Dana avenue area the catholic college of Xavier. Both are easily reached from downtown either by car or bus. Like most college communities the clubs and restaurants cater to a younger crowd and are hot spots late at night. Adjacent to Clifton is Northside, a burgeoning progressive neighborhood known for its community activism, creative culinary establishments and shops, nightlife and MOBO, Cincinnati's bicycle coop.
To the East: If you are looking for a typical Cincinnati neighborhood to visit, go just north of the city to Hyde Park or Mt. Lookout . Both have town squares with cute little boutiques and good restaurants on the neighboring streets. If you go farther out to the northeast (along I-71) you will come to Montgomery and Blue Ash - both decidedly suburban areas, but both with cute downtown areas with shopping and dining. Further out, there is Loveland - a beautiful city along the scenic Little Miami River. Although Loveland is small, it is home to a few cute shops and restaurants along with the Loveland Bike Trail - a 70-mile flat, paved trail which runs along an old railroad track. If you care to go further out, you will come to Lebanon , a quaint old city filled with antique shops.
To the West: The close-in neighborhoods of the west side (Price Hill, Fairmount) have unfortunately not fared as well as those to the East - although there is history in these areas, they are not safe. Going farther out (I-75) you will come by St. Bernard - home to many who worked at the Ivorydale P&G plant. Further north the old German town of Reading has transformed itself to a destination for those planning a wedding - the downtown streets are filled with wedding boutiques. You can also explore the town of Glendale - a very upscale area with a small downtown housing cute shops and boutiques. Out further, you come to the new suburb of West Chester - this area was farmland 15 years ago, but is now filled with upscale communities and pretty good restaurants - although West Chester is more an area than a neighborhood - there is no downtown.
South of the River: The areas of Covington and Newport in Northern Kentucky are right across the river, and are the areas where Cincy goes to party. There are many nice restaurants along the river, but if you go further into the communities, you will find historic Main Strasse Village in Covington , an old German community with a beautiful church. In Newport , you will find jazz clubs and restaurants. It is well-worth a trip across the river.