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For Cincinnati, the national love keeps coming

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Posted at 5:39 PM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 18:02:33-04

Cincinnati, you’ve come a long way, baby.

No longer nationally known as the town stuck 20 years in the past, the Queen City is drawing a lot of national kudos for its affordability, livability and entertainment.

Here are some accolades Cincinnati has received in recent years.

Curbside Appeal

“Massive street-painting parties, evening glow-art-decorating bashes followed by epic group bicycle rides — this is Cincinnati?” wrote Yuping Pan, author of “The 10 Trendiest U.S. Cities That You Can Still Afford to Buy In," for Realtor.com in March. “Yep, the third-largest city in Ohio now wholeheartedly embraces its groovy side."

Cincinnati’s $138,000 median home price helped make it more appealing to live in than New Orleans, St. Louis and Charleston, South Carolina on Pan’s list.

Livability 

Other national publications have also noted Cincinnati's assets. 

In 2015, Forbes.com ranked the city as the fifth-most affordable metro area to live in out of 100 surveyed. Beyond low home prices, Forbes cited below national average costs for groceries, utilities, transportation and health in our region. 

This translates into great news for recent college graduates, according to Rent.com, which ranked Cincinnati 10th on its 2015 list of the Top 10 best cities for post-grads. The website said Cincinnati's 5,000 acres of parks and green space, below-average unemployment rate (4.9 percent), moderately affordable rental rates and high number of millennials (27 percent of the total population) made the city a great place to be an adult.  

Speaking of jobs, a 2015 analysis of various North American cities by marketing company Conway also ranked Cincinnati in the top five for the following industries: transportation and logistics; chemicals and plastics; metals; aerospace; transportation and logistics; and beer. 

Food & Drink

The benefit of Cincinnati’s low cost of living and well-paying jobs is that both young and old can actually enjoy what makes the town so trendy.

Take the boom in great local craft beers for example. The magazine BeerAdvocate named Braxton Brewing in Covington and Taft’s Ale House in Over-the-Rhine two of the best new craft beer makers to open in 2015. Fifty West Brewing, which recently expanded its Production Works, took home a gold medal this week from the 2016 World Beer Cup for its 10&2 Barleywine brew.  

If beer is not your thing, how about a drink from one of the best urban wineries in the country, according to Wine Enthusiast magazine? In a new ranking of America's top urban wineries that the magazine published in March, Westwood's Henke Winery came in at No. 6.

Staying upright while drinking should not be a problem since the Queen City is now a boomtown for good food, according to national food critic Keith Pandolfi. Pandolfi, who grew up in Anderson Township, has written about Cincinnati's food scene in such national publications as Saveur, This Old House and the Wall Street Journal, as well as SeriousEats.com.

“You have this collection of insanely talented chefs in this concentrated area,” Pandolfi said in a 2015 interview. 

Parks & Recreation

After blowing a paycheck on all that good food and drink, there are plenty of free activities in Cincinnati, thanks to the 49 parks scattered throughout the city’s 52 neighborhoods. In 2015, personal finance website WalletHub ranked Cincinnati No. 1 in the nation for its parks and recreation after examining basic costs, the quality of parks, climate, the accessibility of entertainment and facilities. 

The site also ranked the Queen City No. 1 for staycation locations, citing the number of amusement parks and day trip attractions per capita. (Check out this great list of local destinations.)

And at the end of the day, we get to enjoy one of the country’s most beautiful skylines, according to Thrillist.com. Earlier this year, Cincinnati was the only Buckeye State metro area to make the website's list of America's top 20 skylines, coming in at No. 10.