With old-fashioned gas lamps and wide tree-lined avenues, Clifton still reflects the elegance of yesteryear. Some of the mansions that once housed Cincinnati leaders have been restored to their original grandeur. In addition, a number of old, well preserved, brick and frame homes remain, adding to the historical flair of the neighborhood. Many homes are located on larger city lots offering a suburban-like lifestyle.
Clifton was incorporated as a village in 1850 with the growth of Cincinnati suburbs and was annexed as part of Cincinnati in 1896. In the early 1900s, the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College were established and the area gained great esteem as the intellectual center of Cincinnati. Today, Clifton is an “in-city suburb” and is a distinctive neighborhood with its cultural diversity. It is a great place to call home for those who enjoy daily city life in a suburban setting.
Along Ludlow Avenue in the Gaslight Business District, many local shops and restaurants have been serving the community for many years including Graeter’s Ice Cream Shop and Skyline Chili, just to name a few. There are also quite a few local cafes, coffee houses, pharmacy, hardware store and other businesses. A short drive south to Corryville and there are even more restaurants and shops including an Amazon pickup store. Uptown Clifton also has many local shops and restaurants. Since Clifton is so centrally located, it is just a short trip downtown or to a nearby suburb satisfies any larger shopping needs. For those who enjoy local produce and meats, Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine is a five-minute drive away.
Head to Mecklenburg Gardens to enjoy a German meal and brew. It’s been in business since 1865. Adriatico’s on W. McMillan Street offers a thick-crust Sicilian-style pizza in a casual atmosphere. There many, many more local restaurants to enjoy in the Clifton area. Ludlow is the hub or venture along W. McMillan for even more gastronomic options.
Burnet Woods with its lake, band stand, picnic areas and trailside museum is partly bounded by two of Clifton’s main streets. Out on the brow of a hill, affording a magnificent view west and north is Mt. Storm Park. Rawson Woods Bird Preserve has 10 acres and is located at Middleton and McAlpin Avenues.
Clifton Meadows is a private club with ample facilities for swimming, tennis, baseball, shuffleboard and basketball. The handsome Clifton Recreation Center has a gym and the many separate facilities offer volleyball, handball and crafts to all. Golfers are a 15- minute drive to many private and public courses and tennis fans have easy access to many courts in the vicinity. In addition, University of Cincinnati offers many recreational activities to the whole city, many of which are free of charge.
The Clifton Cultural Arts Center is located on Clifton Avenue in the former Beaux-Arts style Clifton School. This iconic building houses art exhibits as well as classes for art, dance, music, foreign language and theater. A prominent landmark is the Esquire Theater on Ludlow Avenue. It was established in 1911 showing silent films and live acts. This movie house is now known for art films as well as first-run movies. It has been named a Best Movie Theater several times for the Cincinnati area.
For those who enjoy the nightlife, the Brewery District in Over-the-Rhine is a short drive away, or one can stay in Clifton and enjoy music from the Ludlow Garage or head to Uptown Clifton to Bogart’s for a concert. Outdoor concerts are held at the Burnet Woods band stand and the Ludlow Plaza in the summer.
For those who enjoy bicycling, there is a Cincy Red Bikes station on Howell Avenue.