GETTING AROUND: There are several ways to see Cincinnati without doing the navigating yourself. The Gray Line runs 2 1/2-hour bus tours of the city beginning at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at 1 p.m. Saturday. Adult fare is $13.50. For reservations, call (513) 241-8000.
Royal Carriage Company offers horse-drawn carriage tours of the city starting at Fountain Square. A half-hour ride costs $20; an hour ride costs $35. Special tours for the hearing-impaired can be arranged. Call (513) 721-0001 for more information.
Balloons Unlimited tours Cincinnati by air at sunrise and before sunset for $125 per person. If there is a party of three, the price drops to $115 a person. Call (606) 581-6966 for reservations and information.
BB Riverboats runs several kinds of Ohio River tours year-round on old-fashioned paddle-wheelers with big smokestack whistles. Lunch cruises cost $11.50 to $13.95, and last two or 2 1/2 hours. One-hour afternoon sightseeing cruises depart at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and include lively commentary on Cincinnati's sites and history. Evening dinner-dance cruises range from $16 to $22 per person. For reservations and information: (606) 261-8500.
Finally, there are several floating restaurants on the Kentucky side of the river. One, The Islands, has outdoor seating and a swimming pool; all have fabulous views of the Cincinnati skyline and the bridges across the Ohio River, including one designed by John A. Roebling in the mid-1800s as the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge.
WHAT TO DO:
The Taft Museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays and holidays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Occasionally there are Sunday afternoon concerts given in one of the galleries.
The Contemporary Arts Center is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $1, free on Saturdays.
The Plum Street Temple can be toured; call (513) 793-2556 to make arrangements.
The Cincinnati Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $2; admission is free on Saturdays. Public tours are offered without charge Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Information Center.
Krohn Conservatory is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is free. Each Sunday in November the conservatory will stay open until 8 p.m. for "Oriental Evenings," programs of Japanese music and cultural displays.
The Playhouse in the Park, in Eden Park, is the city's only regional professional theater. Year-round performances are given daily except Mondays. For information, call (513) 421-3888. INFORMATION:For further information about Cincinnati, call the visitor information line, (513) 421-INFO, or contact the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, 501 Vine St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, (513) 621-2142. -- Magda Krance