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CINCY REGION WINNERS WHEN TRAVELING WITH TWO GRANDSONS

Updated: Jul 11, 2023


Steve and I had the pleasure of spending four days recently with two of our grandsons, Nathan and Seth. The boys are first cousins. Nathan is 17, and Seth is 16. They have been great buddies since the first time they attended Cousins Camp together more than a dozen years ago. We know that many teens wouldn’t consider four days stuck with grandparents as the ideal experience, but these boys were fun, respectful, and awesome travel companions. They tolerated “the old folks,” and we were so happy to have a chance to make more memories with them.

We chose the Cincy (Cincinnati) Region for several reasons: 1) The driving distance was reasonable. 2) There was a waterpark and an amusement park with rollercoasters in the vicinity. 3) There were restaurants with food we knew they’d enjoy, and 4) the Reds were playing the Braves. Nathan is a HUGE Braves fan. Seth had never attended an MLB game. We figured this would be a big highlight, and it was.

MONTGOMERY INN AT THE BOATHOUSE

Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse, situated sublimely on the Ohio River, is a vastly popular restaurant in Cincinnati best known for its amazing ribs. After a day of driving, this seemed like the perfect way to cap off Day One. Seth said they were the best ribs he’d ever tasted, and Nathan declared it the fanciest restaurant he’d ever visited. Win-win!

Reservations are recommended, and valet parking is only $4. I strongly suggest you do both.

Onion straws were the appetizer of choice. Peruse the menu on the website, and I believe you’ll want to include this on your Cincinnati itinerary.


CONEY ISLAND PARK

Both boys are great swimmers with touches of daredevil thrown in. Waterslides, diving boards, obstacle courses, and more at Coney Island Park kept them entertained for several hours. We arrived on a day that was both unseasonably cool and slightly drizzly, so the crowds stayed far away. That meant there were no lines to contend with and more time trying “all the things.”

The park is clean, lifeguards are plentiful, and cabanas are available to rent if grandmommas are around who don’t want to roast in the summer heat. We didn’t eat while we were at Coney Island, but several concession stands and cafes are on-site. There are also showers and dressing rooms if you want them.


HITCHING POST

We were all starving by the time we left Coney Island Park, so a quick Google search sent us a few miles down Kellogg Avenue to the Hitching Post. It’s a smallish place with a roadside diner vibe, but what interested us most was its claim to have “the world’s best fried chicken.” I haven’t tasted all the fried chicken possibilities in the world, but I will say that the Hitching Post serves seriously good fried chicken. Crispy outside and juicy and tender inside. The price was budget-friendly – a definite plus.


GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK

People in our part of the world are familiar with Truist Park near Atlanta, and it is certainly one of the country’s best. But, I must say, the Cincinnati Reds have a great place to play baseball, too.

Get your tickets online well in advance, expect to pay $20-25 to park in one of the decks within walking distance, and allow time to visit the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame Museum adjacent to the ballpark.

The Reds were riding a long winning streak, so the place was packed. I was surprised by how many Braves fans were there alongside us. The Reds are a good team. We almost won, but they beat us by one run. It was a great game.

You might want to get a bank loan to pay for food inside the park! Gulp! For any substantial meals, you might want to eat before you go inside. Surprisingly, you can also bring your own food into the park – something that is rare for other parks. So, stock up on cheap snacks. You’ll be glad I told you this. I wish I’d known it before we arrived.


KING’S ISLAND

King’s Island, a fantastic amusement park, is actually about 24 miles northeast of Cincinnati in the town of Mason, Ohio. Tickets are pricey -- $85 each – and parking cost $30, so plan to enjoy the whole day once you’re inside. I’m sure the locals get season tickets which makes it more affordable for multiple visits. Again, the food inside is expensive!

There is a large section for youngsters, but our boys were after the thrill rides. We didn’t pay the high extra price for fast passes (sorry, guys), so they endured some lengthy lines. After all, we were there on a sunny Saturday in June – PEAK SEASON!

Steve kept up with the boys and their stuff – mostly cellphones so they wouldn’t lose them on the rollercoasters – while I found shade, a fun show, Graeter’s Ice Cream’s signature flavor of Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, and people to watch. I heard French from one family, an African dialect from another, and a surprising number of people communicating via sign language.

King’s Island is attractive and well-maintained. All of us had a very nice day.


Depending on the ages and stages of your children or grandchildren, there are many other attractions in the Cincy Region. We liked it, and I believe you will, too.

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