Cincinnati, Ohio – Great American Road Trip

categories: USA Travel

Cincinnati, Ohio

Our final stop on our Great American Road Trip was in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati was our final destination so that we could attend a friend’s wedding. In fact, for listeners of the show the bride was Melody who I interviewed on Travel to Hong Kong – Amateur Traveler Episode

With the festivities we did not get a chance to experience all Cincinnati had to offer but we did get a chance to visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Cincinnati: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

This museum seemed like a fitting addition to a road trip that had included other civil rights sites, but I had not realized that the museum is like 3 museums in one.

Underground Railroad Museum

First, the museum traces the terrible history of slavery in the United States. It looks at the origin and spread of slavery. The experience of the slave ships and the life of a slave. It traces the economic causes of the South’s “Peculiar Institution” as well as the role of the northern states and Great Britain in the trade as well. There is a recreation of a slave cabin in the lobby of the museum. The museum also made use of some of the history behind the recent movie 12 Years a Slave to tell its story.


Second, the museum looks at the underground railroad and abolitionists who worked to help slaves gain their freedom. Cincinnati was only a river away from a slaveholding state so the museum explained the role of local residents in the network of safe house that constituted the underground railroad. The work was dangerous and illegal.

Finally, in the part of the exhibit that surprised me the museum looks at slavery today. It looks at wage slaves and sex slaves and what various groups are doing to continue the fight against slavery. After you have just spent the last hour or two coming to grips with the evil of slavery, it is unsettling (as I am sure it is intended to be) to learn that it is an evil that the world is not yet done with.

Next Time

We saw Findlay Market but I would like to explore that area of the city further. And of course, I wish we had had a chance to take in a Red’s Baseball game but the team was out of town when we visited.

American Sign Museum, 2012-09-08 - 048

I am intrigued also by the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati. I think I need to visit that next time I am in town.

Things to do in Cincinnati Ohio

Great American Road Trip

Our home team was playing baseball in Kansas City. One week later we needed to be in Cincinnati for a wedding. It could only mean one thing: Road Trip!

Our Route

Map of Our Route

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

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