Safe and Dangerous Places in Cincinnati

by Carol Rucker, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Aug 30th 2010 03:15 PM

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Areas to Avoid Cincinnati

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Cincinnati may not have the high crime rates of other metropolitan areas, but crime does exist. There are both safe places and areas to avoid in Cincinnati. Before you visit, you need to know the information that can help keep you safe. Cincinnati, like any major metropolitan area, has its share of crime. Cincinnati Crime statistics for the first six months of 2010 reflect a dip over last year's numbers, but the non-violent crimes of burglary and vandalism are on the rise in select areas.

The safest neighborhoods in Cincinnati are defined as those with few calls to authorities and minimal crime. Most visitors to the city tend to stay in neighborhoods that are concerned with entertainment, dining and major attractions. We'll focus on the neighborhoods you are likely to visit during your stay.


Top Five Safe Places in Cincinnati


1-Obryonville
You can feel safe in the city of Cincinnati. Obryonville, the lowest crime neighborhood on the list, includes a commercial strip along Madison Road with a mix of restaurants and boutiques. At What's for Dinner, you can order complete meals that you don't have to cook. The BonBonerie bakes sweet treats that have people standing in long lines to buy. You will find Obryonville charming and, with only 9 reported crimes, a 47.06% decrease over last year, and you'll find it is safe.

What's for Dinner
3009 O'Bryon St.
Cincinnati, OH 45208
(513) 321-4404
Mon-Fri 10AM-7PM, Sat 10AM-4PM, closed Sun

The BonBonerie
2030 Madison Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45208
(513) 321-3399
Hours for bakery and café vary. Please see the website for additional information.

2-Mt. Adams
Mount Adams is home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Playhouse in the Park, and a number of bars, restaurants and cafes. You may wish to visit the Rookwood Restaurant. The restaurant is the former studio and site where the world-famous Rookwood Pottery was once made.

With only 46 crimes to date, down 27% percent from last year, you should feel pretty safe while visiting the museum, taking in a play or sampling the varied restaurants and bars.

Rookwood Restaurant
1077 Celestial St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 421-5555
Tue-Thu 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-11PM, Sun 11AM-9PM, closed Mon

3-Mount Lookout
The next low crime neighborhood, and one of the safe places in Cincinnati, is Mount Lookout. A few miles after you zip through the Orbyonville business district, turn right onto Observatory. When you reach Linwood Avenue, make another right and soon you'll come to Mount Lookout Square, an intersection of several streets merging together willy-nilly.

Mount Lookout Square is home to a dazzling array of cafes and restaurants. Dust Jacket, an independent bookstore is another reason to visit one of the safe areas in the city. Cincinnati is also home to one of the nation's earliest astronomical observatories, which is also nearby.

Dust Jacket
3200 Linwood Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45226
(513) 871-4224
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 11AM-5PM, Tue-Thu 11AM-8PM, closed Sun

Mount Lookout's 2010 crime statistics report 70 crimes for the first six months of the year. That's slightly higher than the previous year, but not a reason to avoid the area if you stay smart and alert.

4-Hyde Park
This trendy neighborhood is known for fine old homes, a shopping center and Hyde Park Square's trendy boutiques, restaurants and well-stocked bead shop. With all the visitors coming and going, there's a bit more crime in this neighborhood, but it's by no means one of the areas to avoid in Cincinnati.

Hyde Park reported 188 crimes through June 2010, a 15.32% drop over last year.

5-Pendleton
If you're in Cincinnati on the last Friday of the month, you may wish to head for the neighborhood known as Pendleton. That's where you'll find The Pendleton Art Center, a converted warehouse that is home to 510 artist studios. You'll want to check out the Final Friday open house, named as one of the best things to do in Cincinnati. While you're in the neighborhood, stop by the Verdin Bell and Clock Museum for a fascinating look at a unique Cincinnati business. Both are located on Pendleton Avenue.

Pendleton has a bird's eye view of the Hamilton County Courthouse, the Justice Center and a few other high profile municipal buildings. It's near the site of the soon-to-be-built Cincinnati Casino. Perhaps it is because of this high profile that the area has reported minimal crime, while Over the Rhine right next door logs far higher crime statistics.

Pendleton Art Center
1310 Pendleton St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 421-4339
Final Friday PM-10PM

Verdin Bell and Clock Museum
444 Reading Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 241-1855
Guided tours are available for a small charge. Call (513) 241-4010 for details.


Top Five Areas to Avoid in Cincinnati


Many Cincinnati neighborhoods are a mix of low and high crime areas. Even those neighborhoods designated as "high crime" areas have sections where crime is minimal.

Over-the-Rhine has had a bad reputation for years, but statistics show three western suburbs have surpassed all other areas of the city for reported crimes. Cincinnatians who live in the eastern suburbs rarely travel to the western side. Visitors to the city may do well to make that same choice.

Beginning with the highest crime areas in Cincinnati to date, here is the list of dangerous places in Cincinnati that you may want to avoid.

1-Westwood
East vs. West is not just a Cincinnati thing, but it makes sense these days. West Fest, the annual Westwood street festival is generally safe. There are stores, restaurants and residential streets where you should feel safe. Still, recent crime statistics reflect an increase. The 1,535 crimes that were reported through June 2010 include 75 robberies, 224 burglaries, 573 larcenies and 94 auto thefts.

2-West Price Hill
This community has reported 1,013 crimes through the first half of this year. The figure represents a 14.21 percent increase over the same period last year, including increases in most categories of violent crime. There are no grand landmarks in West Price Hill, or anything else tourists simply must see, so it's a place that can easily be avoided.

3-East Price Hill
The 944 crimes committed through June of 2010 earned this western suburb the number 3 spot for reported criminal activity in Cincinnati. Given the dangers, unless you have business in the area or a personal visit to make, you may wish to find another place to pass your time.

4-Over-the-Rhine
Over-the-Rhine has received national accolades for its historic architecture. It boasts galleries, trendy shops, a Segway dealership, several grand old churches and the historic Findlay Market. Main Street features galleries, street festivals, art openings and trendy condominiums. The Art Academy, School for the Creative and Performing Arts and the Cincinnati Music Hall are all located in Over-the-Rhine.

Findlay Market is a cool Saturday venue showcasing street musicians, arts and crafts, local produce, great food and fresh meat and fish. The Know Theatre is a Cincy Fringe Fest site and offers productions year round. Over-the-Rhine has a lot to offer visitors to Cincinnati. But it is one of the city's scary places since it ranks number 4 for crime in the city. That's because 690 crimes have been reported for 2010, although that number is a decrease over the last year.

When you visit Over-the-Rhine, travel by car and park in well-lit areas. If you're going to the Music Hall for a concert or performance, walk with crowds and park in adjacent lots. If you stay on well-traveled streets, such as Vine, Central, Parkway and Main, you'll be avoiding the more scary places in this part of Cincinnati. When you visit Findlay Market, pull into the lot and park on the grounds to stay safe.

Findlay Market
1801 Race St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 665-4839
Tue-Fri 9AM-6PM, Sat 8AM-6PM, Sun 10AM-4PM

Know Theatre
1120 Jackson St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 300-5669

5-Avondale
If you become ill while traveling, you may not be able to avoid Avondale. This neighborhood is home to Cincinnati Children's, Shriner's and University Hospitals, the Ronald McDonald House and many medical practices. Avondale streets are lined with distinguished single family homes, stately trees, new apartments and condominium communities built for medical personnel. There are also a few run-down areas.

Avondale holds the number 5 spot for reported crime in Cincinnati, but neighborhood activists have taken to the streets in recent years. This area is also home to two of the major attractions in Cincinnati – the zoo and the botanical gardens. Perhaps it is the active neighborhood association, strong tourism dollars and the diverse population that account for crime being down by 15 percent.

Stay aware of the potential dangers when you visit Cincinnati. If you use your common sense, stay alert and take reasonable precautions, you'll love your next trip to Cincinnati.
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