3 of the Best Cincinnati Riverboat & Dinner Cruises

Take to the Ohio River and see Cincinnati in a different light on one of these excellent riverboat tours and dinner cruises.

ohio river tours cincinnati

(Photo: Getyourguide.com)

The great city of Cincinnati sits on the north bank of the Ohio River, which splits it from the state of Kentucky. The best way to appreciate the cityscape on either side of the river is by floating along it. Taking a traditional riverboat along the Ohio, complete with a paddle wheel and open decks, is a fun and traditional way to go. Throw a dinner into the mix while watching the setting sun for an enhanced cruise experience. Here are three top options.

Cincinnati Historic Sightseeing Cruise

The Queen City, as Cincinnati is known (as well as ‘The Athens of the West’), was first settled in 1788 and the city’s skyline is best viewed from the Ohio River. On this 90-minute riverboat cruise, your captain will provide commentary about the buildings you pass and their relevance to the city’s past and present. You will also learn much about the parts of northern Kentucky visible during the trip. This tour is usually available at 3pm on Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun. From $26 per person.

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Sunset Cruise on the Ohio River

ohio river tours cincinnati

The stunning River Queen is part of the BB Riverboats fleet of old-timey paddleboats. This charming white and red boat plies the Ohio River for two hours at sunset, as the lands of Kentucky and the Ohio city of Cincinnati are daubed in the warm glow of the fading light. There is also live music on board, setting a jolly tone as you explore this lovely stretch of water. There’s a cash bar on board for drinks and snacks. From $29 per person.

Cincinnati: Dinner Cruise on the Ohio River

Aboard the Belle of Cincinnati, you will find ample space on the decks and inside the cabins to sit and enjoy the river views. But the highlight of this two-hour tour is the dinner and dessert included in your cruise price. There are a number of different cruise options to choose from, including the captain’s and admiral’s dinner cruises, with the latter offering more dining options, including carved turkey, ribs and vegetarian pasta dishes. Alcoholic drinks can be purchased from the onboard bar for an additional fee. From $57 per person.

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Cincy Region boat tours

Cruise the ohio river for a unique perspective.

Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky come together at the Ohio River and the best way to experience that connection is with a boat ride. Roll down the mighty Ohio with BB Riverboats, where you can see the sites and learn our history from expert local guides. For more of a party vibe, cruise in style on a yacht or B.Y.O.B tiki boat ride. Check out Cincy Riverboat tours and experiences that offer a deep dive into our region’s history, with spectacular views of our bridges, green spaces, and city skyline.

Rollin' Down the River with BB Riverboats

Outdoors & recreation.

Outdoor fun is all around in the Cincy Region, from the peace and quiet of Kentucky back roads to an urban oasis in downtown Cincinnati to gliding down the Ohio River on a riverboat or kayak. Read More

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Signature Cruises

Experience Cincinnati and the Ohio River like never before and unwind on a day or evening cruise aboard one of the magnificent BB Riverboats. We aren’t your typical cruise company. Choose from a wide variety of our signature cruises, Read More all of which include a fully stocked bar and delicious food from our buffet. Plan a date night with your loved one on our Stonebrook Winery Sunset Cruise, relax the day away with friends on our Captains’ Lunch Cruise, or bring the kids and have some family fun and bonding on our Sunday Family Dinner Cruise. Our Signature, or Specialty Cruises are offered daily throughout the season. Read Less

Specialty Cruises

Are you looking for a unique and memorable way to spend an afternoon or evening in Cincinnati? BB Riverboats cruises have plenty of options for you, whether you're looking for family fun during the day, or a way to spend an evening with friends that you'll never forget. Read More Join the excitement and take an adventure on one of our themed dinner cruises. These riverboat cruises are designed for all tastes and interests. Bring your kids to a Princess, Pirate, or Super Hero Cruise; take your husband or wife to sightsee along the Ohio River; or grab your friends and listen to live music. For a fun guy’s night out, we offer a Bernstein’s Batch Bourbon Dinner Cruise; and for the ladies, a Girl’s Night Out with Pure Romance Cruise. Tasty cocktails at our full bar and exciting entertainment compliment all cruises. Read Less

Holiday Cruises

Are you looking for a fun way to spend the summer holidays with family and loved ones? Forget the movie theatre or dinner at a boring restaurant and come aboard one of our lavish Riverboats to sail on the mighty Ohio. Read More Spend Father's Day, July 4th or Labor Day on a boat cruise that is sure to be one of the highlights of your summer! Our dinner cruises travel along the Ohio River and give you the greatest of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky sightseeing. Whether it is dining at our extensive buffet, sipping cocktails at our full bar, or busting out your best moves on our dance floor, you are sure to make memories your family and friends will cherish forever. Read Less

ohio river tours cincinnati

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Cincinnati’s Riverboat Cruises Along the Ohio River

Cincinnatis Riverboat Cruises Along the Ohio River

In Cincinnati, taking a riverboat cruise on the Ohio River is a fantastic way to connect with the city’s history as an important river trading post, and to enjoy views of its beautiful skyline. You can pick from many types of cruises, like a relaxed sightseeing trip or a dinner cruise with live music. Each journey lets you take in the peaceful scenes along the Ohio River and get a feel for the lively city life it supports.

These cruises are perfect for a variety of occasions, whether you’re looking for a romantic night out or a trip back in time. They also offer special themed cruises throughout the year, giving you a unique experience of Cincinnati’s river culture.

Exploring Cincinnati’s Waterfront Heritage

Cincinnati’s connection to the river is a big part of what makes the city special. One of the best ways to see this is by taking a riverboat cruise on the Ohio River. These boats, with their large paddle wheels, remind us of the old days when this river was a busy place for buying and selling goods and for people to talk to each other. When you hear the water splash against the side of the boat, it’s like hearing the tales of the early settlers, merchants, and dreamers who came to the area looking for new opportunities.

Nowadays, going on one of these cruises lets you see Cincinnati’s old buildings and the new changes to the city from a different point of view. Being on the boat feels like stepping back in time and going on an adventure, as you learn about how the city has changed over the years. And all the while, the Ohio River flows steadily, linking the city’s history together.

If you’re visiting Cincinnati, a riverboat cruise is a must-do. Not only do you get to learn about the city’s past, but you also get to see its beauty from the water. It’s a relaxing and informative way to spend a day, and it’s something that people of all ages can enjoy.

Types of Riverboat Cruises Available

There are different types of riverboat cruises you can enjoy on the Ohio River. These cruises give you a great view of Cincinnati’s skyline and share stories about the city’s history. For example, you can take a tour on a big paddlewheeler boat. As you travel, you’ll see important historical places and listen to stories that connect the city’s past to its present.

If you’re looking for a special night out, you might enjoy a dinner cruise. You can eat a delicious meal while floating on the quiet river and listen to live music that celebrates the area’s musical heritage.

For those who want something a bit different, there are cruises designed for specific events. You can celebrate holidays, enjoy a romantic trip under the stars, or attend a fun themed party on the boat.

Every cruise is carefully planned to show off the beauty of the river and make you fall in love with Cincinnati, whether you’re just visiting or you call it home.

Planning Your Riverboat Cruise Experience

To have a great time on a riverboat cruise along the Ohio River, it’s important to plan ahead. Choose a cruise that sounds fun to you, like a history tour, a meal on the water, or a special theme cruise. It’s a good idea to buy your tickets early, especially if you’re planning to go on a busy day or for a special event, so you can be sure to get the spot you want.

Think about the time of year and what the weather might be like; wear clothes that will keep you comfortable, and bring something warmer for when it gets cooler in the evening. Try to get there a bit before your cruise starts so you have time to get on the boat without rushing and can pick a great place to enjoy the views of Cincinnati and the river.

Make sure you know what’s available on the boat, like food and bathrooms, so you can relax and enjoy your time. If you take the time to plan, your cruise on the Ohio River could be one of the best parts of your trip to Cincinnati.

Onboard Entertainment and Dining

In Cincinnati, taking a riverboat cruise is a fun way to see the Ohio River. While you enjoy the view, there’s plenty of good food and entertainment on board. You can eat as much as you want at the buffet, or pick something special from the menu. The dishes often include local flavors, giving you a taste of the area’s food traditions. To make the experience even better, live bands play music from jazz to bluegrass, showing off Cincinnati’s love for music.

But there’s more than just food and music. The cruise has special nights where they tell stories or act out bits of history, making you feel like you’re part of the river’s long story. It’s a great mix of fun things to do, good food, and learning about the place. This way, your trip is more than just a boat ride—it’s a chance to really enjoy what makes the Ohio River special.

Seasonal Events and Themed Cruises

In Cincinnati, the riverboat cruises are special because they change with the seasons and offer different themes that appeal to all kinds of people, no matter the time of year. As the Ohio River changes with each season, so do the cruises. For example, in the fall, you can enjoy the beautiful red and gold leaves, in winter, you can see twinkling holiday lights, and in summer, you can watch fireworks.

They also have special trips like history tours, wine tastings, and evenings with jazz music. These cruises are more than just a trip on the river; they’re a way to really feel the local culture and have an experience you’ll always remember.

Whether you’re someone who loves history, in a romantic mood, or a family looking for fun, there’s a riverboat cruise in Cincinnati that feels like it was made just for you.

In Cincinnati, you can hop on a riverboat cruise to see the city from the Ohio River in a special way. As you float along, these cruises give you a chance to learn about the city’s history right where it happened, enjoy live entertainment, and even dine on board.

You can pick from different themed trips, which means there’s something for everyone, whether you love history, parties, or just relaxing on the water. These cruises are a big part of Cincinnati’s cultural life, bringing together locals and tourists to share the joy of discovering the river’s beauty.

They offer a fun and educational experience that changes with the seasons, so there’s always a new reason to come aboard and see the city from a fresh perspective.

Post Author: Luke Huxham

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ohio river tours cincinnati

Ohio River Cruises - Cincinnati & Pittsburgh

Most cruises on the Ohio River will include other waterways, such as the Mississippi , Cumberland or Tennessee River . The American Queen Steamboat Company offers a couple of cruises on just the Ohio River during June and July. The itineraries  travel round trip from Cincinnati or between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh .

Ohio River in Cincinnati

Ohio River in Cincinnati

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cincinnati-skyline-from-kentucky-shore-night.jpg

You’ll find companies that offer day and evening cruises along the Ohio River in a few different cities, such as Cincinnati, Louisville and Pittsburgh. Although, you won’t experience it onboard a ship for multilple days, you can still enjoy this amazing river as you travel along it for several hours. Event, sightseeing and themed day cruises are available throughout the year.

Ohio River Facts

The Ohio River begins at Point State Park in Pittsburgh where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers join together. Before reaching Pittsburgh, the Allegheny flows through New York and Pennsylvania for about 325 miles. And the Monongahela flows for about 130 miles through West Virginia and Pennsylvania until it reaches Point State Park.

Three Rivers in Pittsburgh - Allagheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers

Where the Allegheny and Monongahela Meet to Form the Ohio River in Pittsburgh

By David Schwab, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Flowing in a westerly direction from its source, the Ohio River stretches for 981 miles passing through or bordering Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana. The mouth of the river is in Cairo, Illinois where the Ohio River meets the Mississippi River. 

A rather shallow river, the Ohio has an average depth of only 15-20 feet. And the river’s widest point is located west of Louisville where it stretches for one mile from bank to bank.

The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River stretching for 652 miles across four states. The two rivers are joined together in Paducah, Kentucky.

Ohio River Cruises Destinations

An overnight cruise on the Ohio River will travel through a few states and could include any of the following: Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The most well-known cities along the Ohio River are Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

A five-day round trip cruise from Cincinnati will travel to Louisville, Kentucky and Madison, Indiana. And a six-day cruise will travel from Cincinnati to Maysville and Augusta, Kentucky and Huntington, West Virginia.

A seven-day cruise on the Ohio River will depart from Pittsburgh will travel to Marietta, Ohio, Point Pleasant, West Virgina, Maysville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. And an eight-day cruise will begin in Cincinnati and travel to Pittsburgh stopping in the same cities and make an additional stop in Wheeling, West Virginia.

For cruises combined with the Mississippi River, you’ll travel between Cincinnati and St. Louis.

An Ohio and Cumberland River cruise will travel between Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee.

Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky

Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky

By Stevietheman at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

The American Queen Steamboat Company is the only company that offers overnight river cruises on just the Ohio River. Pricing starts at $949 per person, and itineraries are available for about three weeks in July. They range in length from 5 to 8 days, and all depart from Cincinnati.

A few companies feature day and evening cruises on the Ohio River. In Cincinnati you'll find BB Riverboats and Queen City Riverboats . And in Louisville you can cruise the Ohio River onboard The Belle of Louisville .

Whether you choose to take an overnight cruise on the Ohio River or only a day or evening cruise, you'll have a chance to experience this great U.S. river with either option.

If you enjoyed reading this page, please share it with other people you think would also enjoy reading it. Thank you! :)

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Lauri Wakefield  is a travel writer who specializes in  river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+ .

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Ohio River Cruises

The Ohio River rolls and roils along, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Cairo, Illinois. It’s the largest tributary by volume of the Mississippi River.

In fact, at its confluence with the Mississippi, the Ohio (Seneca for “good river”) is considerably more mighty than the mighty Mississippi itself!

How mighty? Consider: The Ohio River is 981 miles long, flows through or borders six states, and is home to more than 25 million people — about 10 percent of the U.S. population (in the Ohio River basin).

USA River Cruises provides opportunities for the adventure seeker and the amateur (or not so amateur) historian aboard one of our Ohio River cruises.

For example, we offer an eight-day trip from lovely little Alton, Illinois (actually on the Mississippi River not far from St. Louis, Missouri), to Louisville, Kentucky. The trip begins on a high note in Alton, site of the last debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in October 1858.

Many of our trips provide convenient dry-land travel on board our “Hop-On/Hop-Off” buses. These buses (which look just like our ships!) travel alongside our cruises from port to port, so you’ll be able to take exciting shore excursions without the hassle of worrying about ground transport.

Call USA River Cruises now for details!

Grand Ohio River-American Melody

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Unwind And Explore Ohio’s Eastern And Southern Shores!

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West Region

You’ll see a definite shift in the development of the landscape as you approach the exciting metropolis of Cincinnati.

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Central Region

Follow the winding Ohio River Scenic Byway across southern Ohio and you’ll see more farmland and fewer industrial sites.

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Southeast Region

The longest straight stretch of the Ohio River Scenic Byway along land once surveyed by George Washington.

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East Region

Our eastern-most section follows the history, manufacturing, and development of cities along the Ohio River.

Discover our long and winding river road for a travel experience so matchless you’ll want to rewind and do it again and again. Read on to learn more about this unique adventure.

Whether you are cruising by automobile or motorcycle, the Ohio River Scenic Byway is the perfect ride with exceptional river views, breathtaking hills and lush forest valleys connected by curvy routes dotted with charming river towns – ideal road stops with fabulous local food and interesting things to do.  While the entire national byway spans 943 miles, continuing west into Indiana and Illinois, nearly half of the journey (or 452 miles) borders the great state of Ohio with near-constant views of the mighty Ohio River.

A beautiful drive in any season, the route is rarely crowded.  Traffic is heaviest between July and October, but most of the stretch is free from congestion with few exceptions near larger population centers at peak drive times. The Ohio River Scenic Byway covers 13 Appalachian counties opulent in diversity.  These special places are not only known for their natural beauty but also for their cultural resources. Rich in history and flourishing with activity, the beauty of the water attracts and inspires musicians and artists from all over the world.

Travel the paths of pioneers and presidents. Not only does the Ohio River Scenic Byway follow the path of explorers and adventurers, the verdant heartland byway passes through the birthplaces of three US presidents.  Wander an ancient byway – prehistoric Indian sites and ancient earthworks are plentiful all along the byway.

Travel light and dress casual, but be prepared for a party!  The people of Appalachia have a celebration for everything that happens along the river.  Festivals are frequent and most often free!

Whether unwinding on a weekend excursion or embarking on a weeklong adventure, you’ll find your pleasure on the Ohio River Scenic Byway!

Ohio River Cruises

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ohio river tours cincinnati

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Source: New America's River Roots Festival will feature Tall Stacks-like riverboat cruises

America's River Roots , a celebration of musical and cultural celebration scheduled for 2025 to kick off America’s 250th anniversary, will feature tall stacks riverboat cruises, a source with knowledge of the event told The Enquirer.

The event will feature cruises on 8 to 10 riverboats, the source said.

It's not being billed as Tall Stacks revitalized, but it does answer the call of many to bring back the popular Cincinnati steamboat festival, which was last held in 2006 .

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Tall Stacks was held six times between 1988 and 2006 on the banks of the Ohio River to celebrate Cincinnati's riverboat heritage. Attempts to bring back the three-day festival in 2009 and 2012 failed because it was too expensive to host, according to past Enquirer stories. Cincinnati is located on the Ohio River and steamboats are part of the city's history . In 1826, Cincinnati had established itself as a steamboat center, with 143 steamboats operating on the Ohio River − 48 of them built in Cincinnati.

America's River Roots is anticipated to bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the banks of the Ohio River in October of 2025.

An official announcement is scheduled for Wednesday.

America’s River Roots will showcase the Ohio River and its role in America's history. A group of private citizens have been raising money for months to bring the festival to life.

The event is one of several festivities scheduled across the nation leading up to America's official quarter-millennial on July 4, 2026.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Source: New America's River Roots Festival will feature Tall Stacks-like riverboat cruises

Shown: The Island Queen runs down river past downtown Cincinnati for the first day of Tall Stacks in 1999. Tall Stacks was held six times between 1988 and 2006.

America's 250th birthday to be celebrated in Cincinnati with 'River Roots' celebration

ohio river tours cincinnati

An event celebrating the 250th anniversary of the United States is planned for next year in Cincinnati.

America's River Roots, a musical and cultural celebration, will take place in Cincinnati on the Ohio River in October 2025. The event is one of several festivities expected across the nation, leading up to America's official quarter-millennial on July 4, 2026.

Organizers will announce more details about America's River Roots at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center .

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, both appearing virtually; Mayor Aftab Pureval; Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reece and more will make remarks.

When is America's River Roots?

The event will be held Oct. 9-12, 2025, according to a press release.

What is America's River Roots?

America's River Roots will bring a lineup of music, food and cultural attractions to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky's riverfront areas to celebrate the United States' 250th anniversary in 2026. The event is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people and millions of dollars.

Coming in 2025: America's River Roots event announced for Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky

by Christian Hauser, WKRC

(WKRC, file)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Starting with Cincinnati’s bicentennial in 1988, Tall Stacks immediately became a beloved event in the Greater Cincinnati area.

The last Tall Stacks celebration was nearly 18 years ago in 2006. It drew hundreds of thousands of people to the area to look at the riverboat and more. From 1988 to 2006, every three or four years, the Ohio River would be filled with riverboats from a time gone by.

Then the Great Recession hit, and the event disappeared for good. For years, people have been asking if there will ever be another Tall Stacks event.

Now, with the announcement of America's River Roots, the Tri-State will once again see a dozen riverboats on the banks of the Ohio River. Organizers with America's River Roots hope to capture some of the magic of Tall Stacks in a new celebration. A beginning to America's 250th birthday in 2026.

"The way we're going to do that is by celebrating the growth that this region had in fueling in America in its early 250th year. Also, The Freedom Journey and the diverse cultures that we shaped here," said America's River Roots Event Co-Chair Rick Greiwe.

Greiwe and the rest of the organizers think this can be as big or bigger than Tall Stacks.

"The venue for this event is double. I mean, we have Smale Park and we have Covington Landing, which is finished. Half of Newport's waterfront will be finished. So, this is a brand-new riverfront, and we really want to showcase the riverfront to the world on both sides," Greiwe said.

A River Roots Gospel Revival and other education programs will put a spotlight on The Freedom Journey and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Cuisine attractions will include celebrity chef presentations, bourbon and craft beer tastings, multicultural food vendors, and regional food artisans.

But now, America's River Roots looks to revive at least some of what made Tall Stacks so special. BB Riverboats owner Alan Bernstein said there will be 12 riverboats on the water for the four-day event taking place in 2025.

"I've talked to all 12 of the owners and a lot of the crews, many of them are really looking forward to this. It hasn't happened in quite a long time. So, I think everybody understands the importance and the historical significance," Bernstein said. "Cincinnati was the steamboat capital of the world back in the 1860s and 1870s. This was what we built, the majority of steamboats in the world were built here in Cincinnati."

Here's a look at those 12 riverboats:

  • Celebration Belle
  • Belle of Cincinnati
  • River Queen
  • The Belle of Louisville
  • Mary Miller
  • Anson Northrup
  • The Riverboat Twilight
  • Julia Belle Swain
  • Three Rivers Queen
  • The General Jackson Showboat
  • The Natchez
  • The Colonel

America's River Roots will take place from Oct. 9, to Oct. 12, 2025. It will feature more than just river boats though, it will also include music, food, history, and more.

It's the starting event nationwide to America’s 250th birthday.

"We look at this river roots experience as a great way to lead into the nation's 250th anniversary. Late in 2025, it's a great springboard to all the activity and excitement that we anticipate in the year 2026," America 250 Ohio Commission Executive Director Todd Kleismit said.

Organizers expect hundreds of thousands of people to head to the Tri-State and bring with them an economic benefit in the tens of millions of dollars. Bernstein said folks will get to see something that's never happened before, the last three remaining steam-powered riverboats together.

"It has never been done. They'll be racing on Sunday. It's the big, featured event, the three steamboats. It's going to be a very neat race," Bernstein said.

Local 12 asked Bernstein about the potential for a rebirth of a Tall Stacks-style festival. He said if the upcoming river festival goes well, he thinks there could be enough interest to bring back a river festival every four years or so.

More details will be released in the coming months about America’s River Roots, including the lineup of musicians, celebrity chefs, and the first date of cruise tickets and merchandise sales.

ohio river tours cincinnati

Austrian Beer Garden on South Bass Island in Put-In-Bay, Ohio

  • 11 Most Inviting Towns in Ohio

Brave the winding rivers of a state named from the Iroquois term "ohi-yo," translating to "great river." While there are numerous destinations to enjoy in Buckeye State, such as the cities of Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland, the most inviting towns in Ohio have many features and enticements that will give you an excellent river rafting tour of the land. Dive into the immersive majesties of Chagrin Falls and Yellow Springs for a rejuvenating escape. Revisit the past in history-preserving locales like Marietta, Mount Vernon, and Loveland. Sample the riveting culture of Put-In-Bay, Athens, and Ashtabula. But most of all, cherish all the invaluable and unprecedented moments you will experience in the most inviting towns in Ohio.

Yellow Springs

The Little Art Theater in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Summer comes alive in the vivacious town of Yellow Springs. Only around 30 minutes from Dayton, visitors can brave the woodland trails of the Glen Helen Nature Preserve or down the 752-acre limestone gorge of John Bryan State Park. From there, you can capture scenic moments of the Little Miami River and even spot some hikers and bikers along the Little Miami Bike Trails. At the Clifton Mill, you can be treated to history lessons on grist mills and their importance to the community, and on April 20, celebrate the annual Earth Day by harvesting as many fruits as possible. For those who need a place to stay to sample some of your scrumptious harvest, the Mills Park Hotel, The Owl’s Roost, and Jailhouse Suites are some of the many lodgings you can savor Yellow Springs’ delicacies.

Chagrin Falls

PNC Bank and People Dining on Main Street, Chagrin Falls

Approximately 40 miles from the city of Cleveland, Chagrin Falls is not the kind of place to feel chagrined. Indeed, the waterfalls in the Chagrin River Park are among the many attractions that will surely keep you elated in town. There are also the glass-blown exhibits and masterpieces at the Glass Asylum, whereas the Chagrin Falls Historical Society & Museum the town’s turbulent inception from 1833 to the modern milieu. The historic Popcorn Shop, the oldest sweet shop in town, is a perfect place to purchase a taste of the past. And when it comes to accommodations, the Inn of Chagrin is one of the finest establishments you can call a temporary home.

Peoples Bank Theatre downtown Marietta, Ohio.

Since 1788, Marietta has remained the oldest settlement in Ohio along the confluence of the Ohio River and Muskingum River. It was first a settlement of the Adena and Hopewell Native Americans before early pioneers occupied the territory. The remnants of these great Native Americans can be found among the burial mounds, embankments, and passageways the pre-pioneer tribes left behind—there are even Native American earthenware at the Mound Cemetery or Marietta Earthworks. Marietta is notably mentioned in The Pioneers, a novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough about Westward expansion. You can explore for yourself the arboreal beauty of Marietta at the Gunlock Park, Kroger Wetland, and the Wayne National Forest. There is more to see and experience in Marietta, and opulent lodgings like the Lafayette Hotel and the Hackett Hotel have a number of necessities to keep you staying.

Downtown Granville, Ohio.

Around 33 miles from Columbus, Granville is a grand location to admire the Native American history of Ohio. Infirmary Mound, located in the aptly named Infirmary Mound Park, is one of many Native American mounds that the Hopewell people created. More can be found in Salt Run Park, while an early Hopewell settlement can be explored in the Raccoon Valley Park. Additionally, Newark Earthworks can be gleaned at the Licking County Area. You can better understand the Hopewell tribe and other Native Americans in the area at the Circle Museum. Meanwhile, the Robbins Hunter Museum, Bryn Du Mansion, and Granville Inn are living museums that reveal what pioneer life was like. For accommodations, look to the Broadway Guest House, the Porch House Bed & Breakfast, or the Historic Buxton Inn for your daily needs.

Harbor in Put-in-bay, Ohio.

Put in your free time by visiting Put-In-Bay, the “Key West of the North.” As a premier resort village on South Bass Island in Lake Erie , Put-In-Bay commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812 with Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. The Lake Erie Islands Historical Museum exhibits many martial and maritime memorabilia during the war, whereas the Benson Ford Ship House shows the former forecastle of a huge cargo ship which Henry Ford ’s company owned. Enjoy the flight of butterflies at the Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center, or ride on vintage horses at Kimberley’s Carousel. Every year from May 5 - 6, Put-In-Bay celebrates the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony. And if you require a place to spend your evenings, you can always find safety and comfort at the Commodore Resort, Victory Station Hotel, or Bird’s Nest Resort.

Streetview of downtown Loveland, Ohio.

Nearly 24 miles from the city of Cincinnati, Loveland invites travelers with a bevy of beautiful delights. Being the "Sweetheart of Ohio” means upholding a standard of attraction, and Loveland’s ties with the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trails has designated it as a Buckeye Trail Town suitable for bikers and hikers. To learn the town’s background, tour the Loveland Historical Society & Museum. To appreciate the modern culture and heritage of Loveland, watch live performances at the Loveland Stage Company and the Loveland Art Studios on Main. And if you really want to fall in love with Loveland, then travel to the medieval-looking castles of Loveland Castle, aka Chateau Laroche, or Castle Skateland. Should you want a place to stay, you can book a room at the Loveland Lofts.

Mount Vernon

Overlooking Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Sing along the Kokosing River towards the town of Mount Vernon. Named after George Washington ’s former plantation house , Mount Vernon contains the Woodward Opera House, the oldest known “free-standing opera house in the United States. It is also the birthplace of Daniel Decatur Emmette, the composer of the music genre known as “Dixie”, and Mary Ann Bickerdyke, a military nurse during the American Civil War . Close to these cultural attractions is the Kokosing Gap Trail, a 14-mile trail replete with leisurely trails and treks. In August, you can attend the wonderful Mount Vernon Music and Arts Festival, while on July you can watch the Knox County Fair. Lastly, Mount Vernon Grand Hotel, the Mount Vernon Inn, and the Coleman Family Gallerie Suite are among the many establishments you can refreshen and recharge in Mount Vernon.

Milan, Ohio: A beautiful pink Ford is parked in front of local shops on a summer cruise night.

As cultural aesthetic as Milan in Italy , the inviting town of Milan in Ohio on the Huron River is the birthplace of the great American inventor, Thomas Alva Edison . One can tour his childhood home—a redbrick house on Edison Drive. In addition, visitors can explore the Sayles House inside the Milan Historical Museum, which illustrates the town’s conception in 1804 thanks to Moravian missionaries from the Czech Republic. The Sayles House is, oddly enough, a toy and doll museum as well as a blacksmith’s workstation. Only about 36 miles from Put-In-Bay, stay a while in pristine accommodations such as the White Dog Bed & Breakfast, Alto Inn, or Milan Inn-tiques.

Main Street in Athens, Ohio.

As culturally refined as the Greek acropolis of Athens , the town of Athens in Ohio along the Hocking River is home to the prestigious Ohio University. Many of the state’s students and the townsfolk gain clarity and exercise when traipsing through the Wayne National Forest. They also peace and satisfaction when exploring Lake Hope State Park in addition to the charming Zaleski State Forest. Being a sophisticated locus of Ohio’s class and culture, Athens embodies the aesthetic appeals of humanity with artworks found in the OHIO Museum Complex, the Kennedy Museum of Art, and the Dairy Barn Arts Center. Once the societal marvels of Athens hook you into staying, you ought to purchase a room at either the Athens Central Hotel, Ohio University Inn, or Hometown Inn.

Lake Erie Coastline, Ashtabula, Ohio.

On the shores of Lake Erie sits the humble town of Ashtabula. Travelers can go fishing at Walnut Beach Park and Ashtabula River Trail along Lake Erie, considering the town was named after the Algonquian phrase for “river of many fishes”. When it comes to history, the Hubbard House Underground Railroad Museum is filled with victories and sacrifices of the abolitionist movement . In the rural areas of Ashtabula, make sure to visit one of the 30 wineries in the fertile Grand River Valley, where you can sample the finest wine in Ohio. Indeed, Ashtabula contributes 50% of Ohio’s aggregate grapes specifically in the wineries of the Grand River Valley. Come explore this astonishing town only 53 miles from Cleveland.

The downtown Swiss tourist village of Sugarcreek, Ohio

Hailed as the “Little Switzerland of Ohio,” Sugarcreek is a 53-minute away getaway from the satellite town of Akron . The town is also a gateway to Ohio’s Amish Country, where small cheese factories and industries dominate the region due to the dedication of the descendants of Swiss and German immigrants. Amidst the alpine- and Swiss-architecture of Sugarcreek awaits the World's Largest Cuckoo Clock in the main square, built in 1972 and measuring 23 feet tall and 24 feet wide. The Age of Steam Roundhouse serves as a museum preserving many of the locomotives that improved American lives in Ohio. And every year since 1952, the jolly folk of Sugarcreek celebrate their heritage with the Ohio Swiss Festival, soon to occur on September this 2024. Say cheese in your photos while tasting the exquisite cheese of Sugarcreek, and do not forget to find accommodations at the Weaver Barns, Sugarcreek Village Inn, or Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek.

In Conclusion

Ohio embodies many qualities that are welcoming and enticing, especially in the most inviting towns in a state filled with great rivers. From resplendent abodes and settlements such as Yellow Springs, Sugarcreek, and Put-in-Bay to locations continuing to both preserve and honor the past like Milan and Granville, these small towns of the Buckeye State have numerous qualities in high quantity. It is not enough to simply hear about these towns—you ought to visit these awesome dwellings for yourself. Because in a state where many American presidents—like Rutherford B. Hayes , William Henry Harrison , and Ulysses S. Grant —were born, and where Orville and Wilbur Wright perfected aviation, you will be soaring down many great rivers to a handful of the hometowns great men and women once called home.

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COMMENTS

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    The Queen City, as Cincinnati is known (as well as 'The Athens of the West'), was first settled in 1788 and the city's skyline is best viewed from the Ohio River. On this 90-minute riverboat cruise, your captain will provide commentary about the buildings you pass and their relevance to the city's past and present.

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    Check out Cincy Riverboat tours and experiences that offer a deep dive into our region's history, with spectacular views of our bridges, green spaces, and city skyline. Take in the sights, sounds and history of the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky river region on one of several boat tour options. Ride the waves of the Ohio River on a ...

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    BB Riverboats is the Official Riverboat Cruise Line of Cincinnati since 1979, offering premier sightseeing, dining, and private event cruises on the scenic Ohio River. Experience Cincinnati like never before aboard one our many themed event and dining cruises - one of Cincinnati's top things to do!'

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    Coming up in just a few weeks, The River Hop Tour will take you on a four-day, three-night cruise on the Ohio with stops at many exciting destinations and unmatched views of the vibrant fall foliage. To begin this riverboat adventure, guests will board the Belle of Cincinnati in Newport and prepare for an unforgettable few days.

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    Not only does the Ohio River Scenic Byway follow the path of explorers and adventurers, the verdant heartland byway passes through the birthplaces of three US presidents. Wander an ancient byway - prehistoric Indian sites and ancient earthworks are plentiful all along the byway. Travel light and dress casual, but be prepared for a party!

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    Call 1.406.541.2677. Start Planning My Trip. The Ohio River is nearly 1,000 miles long and stretches from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania all the way to the Mississippi River , between Missouri and Kentucky's border. Our Ohio River cruises will usually visit cities such as Louisville, which has a vast array of cultural diversity that quickly ...

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    America's River Roots will take place October 9-12, 2025, to kick off America's 250th anniversary in 2026.

  24. 11 Most Inviting Towns in Ohio

    11 Most Inviting Towns in Ohio. Brave the winding rivers of a state named from the Iroquois term "ohi-yo," translating to "great river." While there are numerous destinations to enjoy in Buckeye State, such as the cities of Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland, the most inviting towns in Ohio have many features and enticements that will give you an excellent river rafting tour of the land.

  25. Cincinnati plans massive new America's River Roots festival in 2025

    The America's River Roots festival will run from Thursday Oct. 9, 2025, through Oct. 12, 2025, with events spanning from Smale Riverfront to Sawyer Point in Cincinnati, as well as sites in ...

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    CINCINNATI— The regional nonprofit Ohio River Way voiced enthusiastic support for Governor Mike DeWine's announcement of a $152 million investment in transformational projects along Ohio's ...

  27. Riverboat Dinner Cruises in Cincinnati

    Signature Cruises. Experience Cincinnati and the Ohio River like never before and unwind on a day or evening cruise aboard one of the magnificent BB Riverboats. We aren't your typical cruise company. Choose from a wide variety of our signature cruises, Read More all of which include a fully stocked bar and delicious food from our buffet. Plan ...