This is another in a continuing series of travelogue articles showcasing presidential museums, homes, and historical sites. Join us as we visit the Queen City, Cincinnati, and the home of America’s 27th president, William Howard Taft.
President Taft: An Overview
America’s 27th president, William Howard Taft, was born in Cincinnati just before the Civil War. He pursued the legal profession early in his career, which ultimately led him into public service and politics. In the 1908 elections, he won the presidency and served in office until 1913.
Taft is the only U.S. president who also served as chief justice of the Supreme Court, a position Taft held in higher regard than the presidency. He was appointed to the court by President Harding and served for several years until just before his death in 1930.
The Taft Home In Cincinnati
Located about a mile north of downtown, the Taft Historic Site welcomes visitors free of charge. This is the home where the future president lived up until the time he left for Washington.
Guided tours are conducted daily by National Park Service rangers. You will see period rooms which have been restored to their appearance when Taft lived here, along with fascinating political memorabilia from Taft’s presidential campaign.
An overview of his many accomplishments as president and chief justice are spotlighted, and you can stroll around the grounds to see the home’s exterior and the adjacent visitors center.
Nearby in downtown Cincinnati, there are numerous attractions, especially along the Ohio River. Take a river cruise in the summer, or dine in one of the many waterfront restaurants with a view of the Cincinnati skyline.
While you’re here, be sure to try the chili at either Skyline, Gold Star, or Camp Washington, three of the area’s best known chili parlors. The chili is a slightly sweet, slightly spicy mixture that is served over spaghetti, along with onions, cheese, and beans.
For an historic lunch in a beautiful urban courtyard, we recommend Arnold’s Bar and Grill on 8th Street downtown. This is Cincinnati’s oldest bar and restaurant, open since 1861. Try one of the daily specials and soak in the historic ambience.
Just a mile from downtown, and almost straight up, is a well known city entertainment area, Mt. Adams. Here you’ll find specialty shops, restaurants, and nightlife options dotting the narrow, winding streets. An under the radar gem is the City View Tavern, well known for its outdoor deck overlooking the city below. They have a limited food menu but be sure to try a mettwurst, a mildly spicy sausage that is famous in these parts.
There are numerous other attractions in and around the city, like a world class aquarium and the famed white Bengal tigers at the Cincinnati Zoo. You’ll find an active local sports scene, dozens of great local restaurants, and a real sense of history.
Accessible from just about anywhere in the country, Cincinnati is an ideal weekend destination. Visit the home of America’s 27th president, William Howard Taft, and then explore the many attractions and great local cuisine the city has to offer.