[Local Color and the Eternal Quest for Good Eats]

There is, of course, more to life than science fiction conventions. (At least, that's what people tell us. We're not altogether sure we believe them, though we remain open to persuasion.) If you subscribe to this view, the subsequent sampling of Cincinnatiana may pique your interest:

  • The Cincinnati Zoo -- the oldest zoo west of the Appalachians, and younger only than the Philadelphia zoo -- would like you to know its history.

  • The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is home to the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, the Cincinnati Historical Society, and the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater. Union Terminal itself, Cincinnati's old (and current) train station, is a magnificent example of Art Deco at its peak; the mosaic murals at the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky International Airport once adorned its now-demolished main concourse.

  • The Cincinnati Fire Museum is located at 315 West Court Street, downtown. Cincinnati was among the first cities in the nation to institute professional fire brigades, and firefighting innovations developed here would eventually become the standard throughout the rest of the country.

  • Unlikely to earn a spot on your intinerary, perhaps, but our phone company has been providing local communication service since 1873. (We think of it as "ours" because, while it has always been "Bell," it was never owned by AT&T [The Phone Company].)

  • For those who care to take the plunge(s), Paramount's Kings Island's coasters and waterpark are about 10 miles north of the convention site on I-71. The Surf Cincinnati waterpark is located about 15 miles west-northwest of the hotel, near I-275 (exit 36).

  • Riverbend Music Center hosts most major touring acts, and is the unquestioned World Headquarters of Parrothead Fever (the currently active strain of which is less virulent, but still provokes episodic relapses).
And last -- but certainly not least, given the fan-hours spent in planning -- there's the food. A wide variety ("something for every taste," to coin a phrase) of restaurants can be found in and around town.

(All right, we'll cop. Some of us natives occasionally get a bit smug about the place. Hey, these things happen. Just to keep things honest, we encourage you to check out the page about Cincinnati in HotWired's Rough Guide for an "objective" [*smirk*] view.)

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  Last updated: Monday, August 25, 2008
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