Anyone who has lived in Cincinnati for any period of time has seen them. They are the purple signs with the yellow crown and directional arrows that say, “Queen City Tour”. I for one have seen them many times over and truthfully have not paid much attention to them until one Sunday morning not too long ago. On our way home from brunch, waiting for the light to turn green, one of these signs caught my attention and peaked my interest. My interest in these signs turned to an obsession and from there I worked to find more about this tour and where it would lead me. I turned to the Internet and search after search I began to learn more about this tour.
The Queen City Tour was originally put together by the Greater Cincinnati Beautiful Committee in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, the Enquirer Information Services, and the Convention & Visitors’ Bureau. The Queen City Tour officially began in June, 1970 and was originally created as a way to see the scenic and historic sites surrounding the city in a short 2 hour drive. Maps were created for the tour and the directional signs were posted. It was a quick and easy way to see what the city had to offer from the comfort of your automobile. Of course if you really want to appreciate all the city has to offer it will require many stops and a lot of walking.
Over the course of time the Queen City Tour has been updated from 88 scenic and historic sites to the last update in 1996 of 103 sites. From its original start with the Greater Cincinnati Beautiful Committee it has been passed on to The Queen City Tour Committee and Cincinnati Historical Society. As of today, some of the signs are faded and others have been damaged or lost due to construction. Even though the guide may be a little outdated and some of the streets have changed, there are some interesting bits on this tour and it is a worthwhile journey to take.
My intent is to keep as much of the tour in the original form as outlined in the 1996 tour guide. There have been many changes to this great city over the course of 14 years and I will try my best to pay tribute to what is now gone from the city as well as what is new along the tour route. From time to time I will add a detour here and there for some must see gems in this city. I hope you enjoy what I put here but more than that, I hope that you go and take the tour for yourself.