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Catch the Connector

Make the most of your next trip on the new Cincinnati Bell Connector with these four itineraries. 


(S)hop Onboard

Looking for a cool gift? Need to add a final touch to a fabulous outfit?  Grab a tote and hop onto the Cincinnati Bell Connector for eclectic finds all along the route.

9 a.m. –  Across from the Connector stop at the Aronoff Center, visit The CAC Store for exhibition catalogs, accessories, locally made jewelry, fine objets d’art and housewares, as well as whimsical gifts for art lovers young and old. The Contemporary Arts Center offers free admission to everyone so you can also visit the galleries before you get back on the Connector. Before continuing you trip, head to Panera at Sixth and Vine streets, for a pastry or egg sandwich.

11:30 a.m. – Catch the Connector at Seventh and Walnut streets and head south to The Banks Station to pay a visit to the shop in the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 East Freedom Way. Through permanent and traveling exhibits, the Freedom Center shares the stories of freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times, challenging and inspiring us all.

After shopping, stop in for lunch at the Moerlein Lager House at The Banks, 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, and take in the view of beautiful Smale Riverfront Park while you dine.

1 p.m. --- After lunch, take the Connector north to the station at Sixth and Main and head over to Corkopolis, 640 Main St. You’ll find a curated selection of fine wine and craft beer, with great expertise and customer service from the staff. Sample a glass of wine and pick up a bottle (or two) for dinner, a housewarming present, or just because.

2 p.m. – Head across the street to the Friends Shop at the Library, 800 Vine St. on the Mezzanine Level, find a great deal on a good book, including an amazing selection of cookbooks, recent releases, and children’s books, plus browse literary-themed products such as bookmarks, key chains, and T-shirts and lots of Cincinnati-focused gift items. A Friends-logo tote might be a good idea, depending on how your shopping is going!

3 p.m. – With your new purchases in tow, walk back over to Sixth and Main to catch the Connector north to the stop at Twelfth and Vine and duck into Mica 12/v, 1201 Vine St. There you will find a great collection of locally made gifts, including Cincinnati prints and T-shirts, along with bags by Matt & Nat, stylish barware, gorgeous jewelry, and lots of other cool stuff. If you are in the market for even more design inspiration, walk over to Elm & Iron, 1326 Vine St., to find one-of-a-kind furniture, vintage accessories, and an eclectic collection of accessories and décor . And don’t miss their Loft at 1411 Vine St., which features a larger selection of furniture. Looking for more artwork? Don’t miss the Jack Wood Gallery, 1413 Vine St., to find vintage posters and graphic art from the late 19th century and early to mid-20th century.

4 p.m. With your arms (and bags) filled with goodies for yourself and your lucky friends, head up to Findlay Market, 1801 Race St. via the Connector at the Twelfth and Vine. Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market, is home to merchants, vendors, restaurants, and even a beer garden. Stop by Maverick Chocolates, a family owned bean-to-bar chocolate company, pick up a stunning bouquet or arrangement at Zinncinnati, then treat yourself for a day of quality shopping work with sampling of flavors from Dojo Gelato.

 
Men About Town

Turn a guy’s day out into an exciting excursion onboard the Cincinnati Bell Connector. Whether you are celebrating a bachelor party, heading to the big game, or simply hanging out with old friends, you’ll find manly stops along the route.

12:30 p.m. – Don’t try to do too much right away on your big day! Ease into things with a pulled pork or smoked turkey sandwich from the award-winning Eli’s BBQ, 133 W. Elder St., at Findlay Market. Along with their own special sauce, Eli’s has sides like cheese macaroni and jalapeno grits that would make your grandma proud. Grab your chow and head next door to the OTR Biergarten (open April to October) sponsored by Christian Moerlein and The Brewery District for music, beer, and unparalleled people watching.

1:30 – If you’re ready for more activity, and more beer, catch the Connector at Findlay Market – Elm, and make your way to Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., and find Truth, Fiction, and a number of other beers on tap brewed on premises, plus ciders, saisons, and more. You can chill in the the taproom or the rooftop, or get moving with cornhole, ping pong, Wiffle ball, or music from DJs and bands.

5 p.m. – All of that activity deserves a good dinner. Pick up the Connector at the Brewery District stop just outside of Rhinegeist and ride until you get the Aronoff Center stop. You’re just steps away from the steak dinner of your dreams at Jeff Ruby’s, 700 Walnut St., with signature steaks with classic sauces (Maytag bleu cheese, foie gras, and béarnaise, oh, my!), sides to share (but you won’t want to), and Frank Sumatra Coffee after dinner.

7 p.m. – Time to hit the big game! Whether you are cheering on the Reds or the Bengals’ game, you can walk across the street to get on the Connector by the Aronoff Center and take it to The Banks. Then you’ll have an easy after dinner stroll to Great American Ball Park or Paul Brown Stadium from the stop.

10 p.m. – Did the home team win? No matter the answer, you can still feel like a winner at JACK Casino, 1000 Broadway. Take the Connector from The Banks to the JACK station at Court and Main streets. Then enjoy cocktails at Rock Bar, rows of slot machines, and blackjack, poker, and roulette tables. Hungry? Basil Leaf Pizza is a great way to end your evening.

All in the Family

9 a.m. – Start the day at Smale Riverfront Parkwhere you can ride Carol Ann’s Carousel, walk the Labyrinth and swing in the Rosenberg Swings.  Hop on the Cincinnati Bell Connector at The Banks on Second Street.

10:30 a.m. – Hop off the Connector at Sixth and Main, walk west one block to Sixth and Walnut to explore the UnMuseum at the Contemporary Arts Center.

12 p.m. – Lunch options are within easy walking distance of the CAC.  Try BRU Burger, Nada, or Panera.

p.m. – Hop on the Connector at Sixth and Main stop and ride to the SCPA / Washington Park stop.  Play on the Washington Park playground, splash in the fountain and watch the dogs in the dog park. Hop on the Connector at the 14th and Elm / Music Hall / Washington Park stop and ride back to The Banks. 

2 p.m. – Visit the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum at Great American Ball Park before calling it a day.


Art-inerary

Cincinnati has a long history as an arts and culture hub, with incredible museums, theatres, and music organizations. The Cincinnati Bell Connector makes it easier than ever to enjoy the incredible arts all around you in Cincinnati, even while you are onboard. From the Connector, you can see a number murals created by ArtWorks that celebrate the Queen City and some of her most famous sons and daughters.

ArtWorks is an award-winning non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth and talent to create art and community impact, “transforming Greater Cincinnati one wall at a time” with its mural program.

You can find out more about the murals on this tour, and all the public art downtown at downtowncincinnati.com/artventure.

Start your trip at the Central Parkway stop and you’ll see Fresh Harvest, a depiction of big, bold, fresh produce on the Kroger Building. From that vantage point you can also see What’s Happening Downtown, where larger-than-life figures peer outside their windows to see what’s going on around them.

Once on the Connector you’ll pass HomeComing – Blue Birds, by Charley Harper, one of Cincinnati's most celebrated artists, who studied and taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Next along the route you’ll spy another Cincinnati artist in the Self-Portrait, Elizabeth Nourse, which celebrates the life and work of this groundbreaking painter.

Enjoy the ride down Walnut Street as you head toward The Banks. As you approach the stop, you’ll see a familiar face. The Cobbler's Apprentice Plays Ball is based on a work in the permanent collection of the Taft Museum of Art by Frank Duveneck. However, the ArtWorks artists have given him a cheeky update!

Heading north on Main Street, as you approach the stop at Eighth & Main, you’ll see Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #6, a billboard-sized Pop Art masterpiece. Turning the corner of Main Street onto Twelfth Street, you’ll be greeted by two murals. Ice Cream Daydream celebrates a love for color and candy in a fantastical mural while the abstract Energy and Grace, uses vibrant colors and whimsical movements to capture the energy and momentum in Over-the-Rhine. Approaching Race Street, No Place Like Home, created in partnership with Tender Mercies, pays tribute to items that many take for granted but are hugely important to the impoverished and homeless, including those served by Tender Mercies.

The Connector continues north, past Washington Park and Music Hall. As you pass the stop at Liberty and Elm, look to you left to Central Parkway to see Cheers to Cincy, Past and Present! that graces the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Brewery wall. This mural raises a glass to both the city’s beer making tradition and Cincinnati’s contemporary beer culture.

If you need a break from the ride, hop off the Connector at Findlay Market – Elm and have lunch from one of the great restaurants there or enjoy a treat. After that, continue your journey to find out more about Cincinnati history and art.

As you are making your way south on Race you’ll see the one and only Rosemary Clooney. The beloved star of White Christmas, a Cincinnati native, is featured in all her melodic majesty in Swing Around Rosie. At the stop at Liberty & Race you’ll be greeted by Ezzard Charles: The Cincinnati Cobra, a two-time World Heavyweight Champion, jazz musician and widely respected citizen of Cincinnati.

As you near Music Hall from across Washington Park, you will see a tribute to The Vision of Samuel Hannaford, which offers views of the many local landmarks this architect designed, including Music Hall, City Hall and Elsinore Tower. Just past that mural is The Golden Muse, based on a figurine from an 18th century mantle clock in the Taft Museum of Art’s collection. Fun fact: The music surrounding her is Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man which made its debut at Music Hall in 1942.

Crossing over Twelfth Street on the Connector you will be see Canal at Vine Street Circa 1990, which honors Central Parkway’s early years as  part of Miami & Erie Canal. Next to this mural Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat to passers-by, as one Cincinnati original, business man, bon vivant, and former vice-mayor, Jim Tarbell honors another, Peanut Jim Shelton, the vendor who famously served his customers wearing a tuxedo and top hat at the old Crosley Field and Riverfront Stadium.

The conclusion of your ride on the rails brings you back to the beginning, both of your trip and the story of Cincinnati. Across Central Parkway you will see Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519-439 B.C.), who came to the aid of the Roman republic during a crisis and famously gave up that power once the issues were resolved. He remains a model of civic virtue and the city takes its name from his legacy.  

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