When the Milwaukee Brewers were town (7/16-19), I had three friends (Andrew, Jess and Jessica) make the trip from Wisconsin to Cincinnati. I gave them a chance to share what they saw and the experiences they had. This may also be useful for those thinking of making a trip to town to see some games. That said, enjoy their account of GABP and the Cincinnati area…
GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK
Favorite Part of Great American Ball Park:
Andrew: The seating! Not a bad seat in the joint. The first-base side has views of the city, the third-base side overlooks the Ohio River. Cup holders in every seat, even the nosebleeds, and every seat faces the plate so there’s no neck cramps. Affordable, too – $5 “view level” seats with a beautiful view is a heck of a deal for a major-league ballpark.
Jess: The Hall of Fame!
Jessica: The overall layout of the stadium lot or campus. I could tell a lot of planning went into the design as it was built. The TeamStore had a great look to it! The view from within the stadium bowl of the river, the circle LED’s out in centerfield, and the press box and offices were amazing! Everything just made sense for where it was placed and how it would be used. And apparently the beer at the stadium is cold, man, is it cold!
Least Favorite Part of the Stadium:
Andrew: The brats. Sorry, but nothing compares to Wisconsin brats.
Jess: The location of the scoreboard. I understand that the paddleboat party deck is in center and that no matter where you put the scoreboard, someone won’t like where it is. With that being said, no matter where it is located, it is amazing. It has to currently be one of the best scoreboards in all of MLB.
Jessica: Having “organist” on one of the signs in the press box…leading me on to believe they have one…only to find out that it was a lie.
HALL OF FAME
Jess was the only one who took time to check out the Hall of Fame. He spent about 3 hours taking a step back into time and reliving some of the great moments of Reds Baseball. His favorite part? “The wall of 4,256 baseballs to recognize Pete Rose’s all-time hits record. It is unreal to imagine that it takes a wall, 3 stories high to display the amount of hits in one player’s career.” A close second are the statues of the “Great 8” who played on the 1975 and 1976 Big Red Machine and brought the city of Cincinnati back to back World Series Championships.
The choice hotel for the weekend was the Garfield Suites Hotel (http://www.garfieldsuiteshotel.com) very nostalgic dating back to the 1970’s. It’s a well priced rate for a full size kitchen, dining/living room, 2 bedroom, and 1 bath hotel room. The perfect walk to the ballpark and an added bonus of a parking garage that averaged $3 a day. We also grabbed a nightcap at the Marriott at Rivercenter in Covington, KY. A short walk over the bridge, (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/cvgdr-cincinnati-marriott-at-rivercenter) the Marriott is a newly renovated hotel and convention center with beautifully marbled floors, new interior and home to the world’s largest indoor gazebo (and it’s a bar!).
THINGS TO DO
Newport on the Levee (http://www.newportonthelevee.com) was the first area we visited. A wonderful outdoor facility with convenient parking, theater, shops and restaurants. You can’t go wrong with finding something to do. We bought tickets online to tour on the Ride the Ducks Newport. The duck boat picks you up at conveniently in front of Newport on the Levee. Our tour was highly entertaining…including the driver wearing a handmade headdress and singing (or screaming) lyrics to “YMCA” while driving through Cincinnati’s business district. This did not phase any of the local Cincinnatians walking to and from lunch…they must be used to it. With quackers in hand we learned the history of Cincinnati and some tips and ideas of what to check out while in town.
For those of you looking for some shopping, Rookwood Commons (http://www.shoprookwood.com) was a nice change of scenery. Located about 15 minutes north of Cincinnati up I-71, Rookwood Commons offers an outdoor mall with shops and restaurants abound.
Mount Adams (http://www.mtadamstoday.com) just north of the river (according to Andrew, 297 stairs’ worth) and east of downtown. Home to Eden Park, a botanical garden, and the most breathtaking view of downtown – the hill is actually taller than most of the skyscrapers so you’re almost looking down on the whole city, and…worth the climb.
Receiving votes: the Historic Riverwalk in Newport, KY, with some beautiful historic 19th-century homes; the Proctor and Gamble HQ; Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman’s Cove Park east of the stadium.
Besides the occasional brat, as a collective group, we didn’t hit many restaurants during our stay. We worked up an appetite after all of that learning and headed to Bar Louie at Newport on the Levee for a quick bite.
Wonderful pulled pork sliders were enjoyed at the Cadillac Ranch. (http://www.cadillacranchnashville.com) located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati “The Ranch” is a great place for food and fun, including an indoor mechanical bull. At night, the place is a bumpin’ good time for music and spirits.
A great find was O’Malley’s in the Alley located in an alley off Vine Street near 3rd Street (Alley is named Odgen Place). O’Malley’s had a great jukebox, and the can’t-go-wrong beer prices, friendly and funny staff. It’s the perfect location for a few brews before heading to the game. A solid Rueben sandwich, great chili and free peanuts also helped give this place a thumbs up.
Receiving votes: The Lodge (http://www.lodgebarcincy.com) really can’t complain when the bouncers are telling you to meet the bartender, who turns out to be from Milwaukee. And there was someone in a bear costume.
Andrew: People from Cincinnati always seem to take a lot of pride in where they’re from, and based on this short trip, I can see why. They have a fun downtown area, a lot of history (baseball and otherwise) and a ball club that wins the occasional baseball game. And they sure do love their Pete Rose!
Jess: The fans and people of Cincinnati play as a great host and are very welcoming. The city itself is a very old German City so if you are the type that enjoys the hustle and bustle of a large city this might not be your place. But for someone who loves relaxing, having a cold beverage and talking/watching baseball you will have a great time.
Jessica: I’ve been to Cincinnati about 3 times prior to this trip, never trekking into the city. I was presently surprised with the history and how it really does remind you of Milwaukee. We were there for four days and still hadn’t seen everything. I’m also surprised that Great American Ball Park doesn’t come up in more conversations as to how great the stadium is.