85 votes

Carew Tower

441 Vine St, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 USA

Open Now
Sat 10a-7p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    not Accepted
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
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Historic Treasure

Our Take

Although it's more or less sad and empty inside now, Carew Tower remains an architectural gem. Take a moment to admire the stunning art deco details on the ground floor before heading to the observation tower up top. It's the city's second-tallest building by a mere 86 feet, so the view is worth the trip. Other reasons to visit include the Christmas decorations during the holiday season and to grab milkshakes at the counter in Hathaway's Diner.

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“see stunning views for miles”

Carew Tower is the second tallest building in Cincinnati, Ohio. Completed in 1930, it stands 49 stories tall in the heart of downtown, overlooking the Ohio River waterfront, and is a National Historic Landmark. It contains the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza (formerly the Omni Netherland Plaza). The hotel is described as "one of the world's finest examples of French Art Deco architecture" and was used as the model for the Empire State Building in New York City. The building was eclipsed by the Great American Insurance Building at Queen City Square on July 13, 2010, rising 86 feet (26 m) higher than the Carew Tower. Prior to the Great American Insurance Building, Carew Tower gave Cincinnati the distinction of having an American city's tallest building, constructed pre-World War II. It is named for Joseph T. Carew, proprietor of the Mabley & Carew department store chain, which had previously operated on the site since 1877. Today the building is home to a mixed crowd of tenants, including a shopping mall, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, and offices. Visitors can pay $2 each to access the observation deck, which is located on the 49th floor. On a clear day, visitors can see for miles in all directions, and three states (Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio). Because of its architectural standards, as well as its identity with the city's heritage, Carew Tower was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994. 

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Your Rating

Reviewed by
Cullen Brown

  • Expert
  • 67 Reviews
  • 97 Helpful
April 16, 2014

This is a must stop if you are visiting Cincinnati for a couple of days. Make sure you bring cash, as it's a pain in the ass to get all the way to the top only to be told that your plastic is no good here. Also, if you are sensitive to pressure changes, you might want to bring gum. The elevator ride is harrowing.

4 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 29 Reviews
  • 44 Helpful
July 02, 2014
Rated 5.0

Hands down the BEST view of Cincinnati. Once you get to the top, you have to pay $2 to actually go out and view, but it is definitely worth it. It's said that you can see all the way into Indiana on a clear day. I was there on a rainy day and could still see pretty far. There are also binocular stands that you can drop a quarter in to and get some good views across the river.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Joel Schat

  • Photographer
  • 237 Reviews
  • 527 Helpful
July 25, 2014
Rated 5.0

Love the view from up here! It is one of the easiest awesome views that doesn't cost much and will still blow your mind! If your really lucky you will see some crazy people base jumping off of it!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 18 Reviews
  • 10 Helpful
April 14, 2014

Take a couple of elevators to the observation deck and get an epic 360 of the city.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 886 Helpful
July 09, 2012
Rated 3.0

Essential stop for a cool Instagram shot of the city. Plus the building is all art deco-y!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
John Newman

  • 7 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
May 17, 2019
Rated 5.0

The views from the observation deck are beautiful. They give you a new perspective of the Queen City that you need to experience first hand! It’s so neat to look down at Vine Street snaking all the way through downtown, Over the Rhine, and up onto the hills of Clifton. Plus the view of historic Northern Kentucky is great. I highly recommend this for a quick stop while visiting downtown Cincinnati.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 03, 2018
Rated 5.0

It’s an awesome spot! FYI, it’s $6 cash for adults now.

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Reviewed by

  • 5 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 08, 2016
Rated 5.0

I loved this, for $4 for adults and $2 for kinds this is an awesome view and a must see. It's all outside which is pretty awesome! Great 360 view of Kentucky, Cincinnati and Indiana on a clear day.

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Reviewed by

  • 15 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful
June 24, 2016
Rated 4.0

The views are absolutely worth five stars, but figuring out how to get to the observation deck was a little challenging. We were in town on a Sunday during a Cincinnati Reds game so not many people were in the shopping mall on the bottom floor of the Carew Tower. My sister and I ended up walking around the whole SkyWalk and eventually ran into a security guard and we asked him for assistance. The price is $4 cash only as of June 5th, 2016 and worth it. The views are phenomenal!

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Reviewed by

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 25, 2015
Rated 4.0

Beautiful view. Creepy elevator. Price went up to $4 cash only

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Carew Tower

441 Vine St
Cincinnati, Ohio
45202 USA


Open now until 7:00 pm
  • Mon - Thu: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun, Sat: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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