Coining itself as “The Birthplace of American Astronomy,” the Cincinnati Observatory is a local landmark and the oldest continuously running observatory in the Western Hemisphere. Tucked away in a picturesque neighborhood of stately homes atop Mt. Lookout, the observatory is home to the oldest operating public telescope. There are two observatories on the property. Visits take between one and 1.5 hours starting with a talk by a resident astronomer and a short preview of what guests can expect to see while looking through the Mitchel telescope. Outside, you’ll find an in-ground sundial and in the main building, a museum-like area for exploring.
Reservations are required — the observatory is only open to the public on Thursday and Friday evenings and during special events throughout the year. Visitors should check the website for special openings for astronomical occurrences like eclipses and super moons. These events can attract hundreds of people to the Observatory’s doors.