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Eat, Drink, Park – Cincinnati Pre/Post Concert & Game Guide

If you’re planning a visit to Cincinnati, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky for a concert or game it can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the area.

There are plenty of options for dining, parking, and lodging on both sides of the Ohio River if you know where to find them.

I’m sharing local tips to help make the most of your time before or after a concert or game downtown in Cincinnati.

view of downtown Cincinnati from the purple people bridge

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Arrive Early for Your Concert or Game

Table of Contents

If you want to make it to your concert or game before it starts, allow lots of extra time for traffic congestion and parking.

Streetcar in Cincinnati Ohio

Take Advantage of the FREE Streetcar in Downtown Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Bell Connector aka streetcar takes you to points of interest around downtown Cincinnati. The best part is that it’s FREE!!!

There are 18 stops on the Cincinnati Bell Connector Streetcar 3.6 miles loop that connects several neighborhoods in downtown Cincinnati.

If you take the streetcar, you can save on parking in another part of the city by not paying for parking next to venues with inflated special event parking prices.

What are the Connector Streetcar Hours of Operation in Cincinnati?

  • Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. 
Roebling Bridge Cincinnati Ohio

Park in Kentucky and Walk Across the Ohio River

Another way to avoid traffic congestion and save on parking is to park on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River at Newport on the Levee or in Covington, Kentucky.

You can walk across the Southgate Bridge known as the “Purple People Bridge” pedestrian bridge or the Taylor Southgate Bridge in Newport to Cincinnati.

In Covington, KY you can walk across the Clay Baily Bridge or John A. Roebling Bridge to Cincinnati. (More about what’s near all of those options below)

stadium traffic in Cincinnati Ohio

Plan Ahead for Parking

If you choose to park in a large parking garage next to any of the stadiums in downtown Cincinnati be prepared to wait a while in traffic to enter the garage or leave afterward.

This is especially important if you don’t want to miss the beginning of your concert or game.

If you hate sitting in traffic consider arriving early or staying late. There are plenty of area restaurants or bars to check out before or after the game or concert in downtown Cincinnati.

Use a Parking App to Save Money on Parking in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

You can compare prices to save on parking in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky with the following apps:

  • ParkWhiz ( You can book parking in advance with the app)
  • ParkMe (This app also shows how full the lot is)
  • Spot Angels (This site tells you the cheapest/ closest parking and the max limit on the meter)
  • Parkopedia ( This site includes the walk time to the venue from the parking location and payment options)

If you’re parking at a meter you may want to go ahead and download the following apps to speed up the process and monitor your metered time from your phone.

Additional Public Transportation

  • Go Metro (Cincinnati)
  • Southgate Shuttle Trolley (Shuttle routes are only in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Bellevue, and Newport in Northern Kentucky)
  • TANK (Transit Authority Northern Kentucky) (For really big events there are sometime TANK shuttles from Northern Kentucky University)
Bengals fans at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati Ohio

The Banks in Downtown Cincinnati

This section of downtown Cincinnati is located between Paycor Stadium where the Cincinnati Bengals play and Great American Ballpark where the Cincinnati Reds play baseball.

You can see nice views of the Ohio River and Northern Kentucky from this area.

Concert and Sports Venues at The Banks

? Parking Near The Banks in Cincinnati

Central Riverfront Garage – 102 West Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH. Central Riverfront Garage spans 5 city blocks with multiple entrances and has over 7000 parking spaces.

I would also recommend checking the parking apps previously mentioned or parking in a less busy area and using the free streetcar.

Parking in Covington or Newport, KY is another great option depending on where your venue’s specific location is in Cincinnati and if you are willing to walk.

The Banks in Cincinnati Ohio

? ? Places to Eat and Drink Within Walking Distance of The Banks in Cincinnati

? Hotels Near The Banks

AC Hotel by Marriott at The Banks – 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH

(Hotels near Fountain Square are also walkable but a farther distance)

Sing the Queen City  in Cincinnati Ohio

Additional Things to Do Near The Banks

Here is a full list of hidden gems and unique things to do in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Fountain Square in Cincinnati Ohio

Fountain Square

520 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH

?Parking Near Fountain Square

Fountain Square has a parking garage below 520 Vine Street.

There are additional 3CDC parking garages at the following locations near Fountain Square:

  • 411 Race Street
  • 120 W 5th Street
  • 526 Race Street

Nearby Concert and Performance Venues

Graeter's ice cream Fountain Square in Cincinnati Ohio

? ? Places to Eat and Drink Within Walking Distance of Fountain Square

?Nearby Hotels

Things to Do Near Fountain Square

Flowers in Washington Park

Washington Park

1230 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH

?Parking Near Washington Park

Washington Park Garage – 1310 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH

tacos at Che in Cincinnati Ohio

? ? Places to Eat and Drink Within Walking Distance of Washington Park

?Hotels Near Washington Park

Hard Rock Casino (Streetcar Stop)

?Hard Rock Casino – 1000 Broadway, Cincinnati, OH

? Parking Near Hard Rock Casino

There is metered street parking nearby in addition to parking garages and paid lots.

  • Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati Parking – 1007 Gilbert Ave, Cincinnati, OH
  • 1310 Sycamore St, Cincinnati, OH 
  • Broadway Parking LLC – 313 E 13th St, Cincinnati, OH
  • Ziegler Park – 1322 Sycamore St, Cincinnati, OH 

Find all of the restaurants and bars at Hard Rock Casino here.

Entree at Crown Republic in Cincinnati

??Places to Eat and Drink Within Walking Distance of Hard Rock Casino

Newport on the Levee

Newport on the Levee – Newport, Kentucky

One Levee Way, Newport, KY

?Newport on the Levee has a large parking garage for an affordable price. It’s a great parking option for venues in downtown Cincinnati near the Banks if you’re willing to walk across the pedestrian bridge.

The is metered street parking along with a parking garage for the MegaCorp Pavillion.

Concert Venues in Newport, Kentucky

Westsider sandwich at Tom and Chee

? ? Places to Eat and Drink at Newport on the Levee

The following restaurants and bars are located at Newport on the Levee

? ? Places to Eat and Drink Within Walking Distance of Newport on the Levee

view of the purple people bridge from Newport on the Levee

Things to Do Near Newport on the Levee

Here is a full list of hidden gems and unique things to do in Newport, Kentucky.

? Hotels Near Newport on the Levee

Roebling Bridge

Venues that You Can Walk Across the Roebling Bridge to or Take Public Transportation From Covington, KY to Cincinnati, OH

Covington Yard

?Parking Near the Roebling Bridge

There is metered street parking near restaurants and on side streets.

*Be on the lookout for signs for residents only on side streets.

  • 381 Greenup Street Parking
  • Midtown Parking Garage – 501 Scott Street
  • Gateway Center Parking – Corner of East 4th Street and Scott Street

? ? Places to Eat and Drink Within Walking Distance of the Roebling Bridge in Covington, Kentucky

Reasons to dine at The Standard Covington

? Parking Near Mainstrauss and Clay Bailey Bridge

There is metered parking on the streets.

  • River City Garage – 10 Rivercenter Blvd., Covington, Ky
  • River Haus Parking – 501 Main St, Covington, KY

? ?Places to Eat and Drink Within Walking Distance of Clay Bailey Bridge

(The Bridge Connects Covington, KY, and Cincinnati)

Mainstrasse Village in Covington KY

Restaurants Near Mainstrasse Village

Coppin’s at Hotel Covington

Madison Ave. in Covington, KY

?Madison Live (Madison Theater) – 734 Madison Ave, Covington, KY

? ?Places to Eat and Drink Within Walking Distance of Madison Ave in Covington

? Parking Near Madison Ave in Covington

There is metered street parking on Madison Ave and on the side streets.

  • Ampco System Parking – 24 E 7th St, Covington, KY
  • Duveneck Lot – 730 Washington Avenue, Covington, KY
  • Hotel Covington Garage: 27 E. Pike St., Covington 
  • Gateway Center West – 300 Madison Ave, Covington, KY

? Hotels Near Madison Ave in Covington

Hotel Covington – 638 Madison Ave, Covington, KY

Hidden Gems and Unique Things to Do in Newport, Kentucky

Looking for more Things to Do Around Cincinnati?

Check out these articles:

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