The nearly 50 brewery buildings that make up Cincinnati's Brewery District range from Romanesque works of art to impressive brick industrial spaces. Many have stood on the same spots since long before Prohibition, outlasting neighboring structures that fell to the wrecking ball. If those buildings had faces, they'd use them to thank the Brewery District's redevelopment group. The band of residents, business owners, and developers helps protect and promote the
rich history of this former German cultural hub and epicenter of the Cincinnati brewing industry.
As part of a long-term plan to redevelop the area, the organization welcomes visitors into diverse events such as seasonal beer festivals and a pop-up beer garden
at the Findlay Market. But the most popular gatherings are the brewery tours that stop at pre-Prohibition breweries and explore the historic, secret barrel-transportation tunnels that run 40 feet below street level and directly into local refrigerators.
Initially designed as a temporary tour and fundraiser for student travel, American Legacy Tours began humbly as the Newport Gangster Tour in 2008. When met with overwhelming success, the friends who had embarked on what they thought was a temporary project decided to take root and expand, creating American Legacy Tours in 2010.
Their first order of business as an official company was to introduce the Queen City Underground Tour, an exploration of the city's underground tunnels and history as a rabbit village. Today, a cadre of educated guides leads 10 different area walking tours, including seasonal Spirit of Christmas Tours and Newport is Haunted Tours held around Halloween.
?The Spirit of Christmas Tour makes stops at four churches located in Over-The-Rhine's Gateway Quarter, each gussied up with holiday decorations. A guide leads the procession, illuminating the history and traditions of the area and sharing anecdotes about the churches. The tour ends at St. Francis Seraph Church, where tour-goers have the chance to witness nativity scenes complete with live animals and explore the Charles Dickens Village, then head into the holiday gift shop.?
Spring Tour Bus offers transportation between New York and Ohio in comfortable, amenity-packed buses. These buses, which service the Chinatown neighborhood in New York City and travel to Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati, are driven by experienced drivers with a minimum of five years experience. The buses feature reclining seats, heating and air conditioning, high-speed WiFi access, outlets, and restrooms in the rear.
Founded by a group of friends who created the acclaimed Newport Gangster Tour as a fundraiser in 2008, American Legacy Tours blossomed into a full-fledged tour company two years later. Participants choose from seven distinct tours that traverse cities as guides share fascinating and sometimes seedy history. The Queen City Underground Tour ventures beneath the city’s streets into a hidden burial vault and long-forgotten tunnels, and the Newport Gangster Tour delves into a scandalous past by visiting the sites of former brothels and speakeasies. Elsewhere, on the Haunted Covington Tour, guests feed their thirst for fright and their hunger for candy handouts from amiable apparitions.
During a self-proclaimed midlife crisis, Tod Swormstedt became the voice for some silent witnesses to American history: signs. The former editor and publisher of Signs of the Times magazine was more than familiar with the subject, and he wanted to give this particular slice of Americana a permanent tribute. He opened American Sign Museum in 1999 and filled it with nearly 4,000 books, photos, and, of course, lots and lots of signs.
Size: more than 19,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space (with 20,000 more on the way), featuring 28-foot ceilings for larger signs
Eye Catcher: a glowing McDonald's sign from 1963?six years before NASA landed a cheeseburger on the moon
Permanent Mainstay: the neon and hand-painted signs of Main Street, which recreates storefronts from decades past
Hidden Gem: the grizzly-looking sign from bygone supermarket chain Big Bear?which someone discovered while mowing grass
Don't Miss: the neon shop, open weekdays, where workers create new signs and chat with visitors
From the Press: For a glance inside the museum, check out the many video interviews here.