Cincinnati's Fountain Square Is a Top Public Square for 2021, USA Today Readers Declare

This marks the second time in recent weeks that USA Today readers have honored the Queen City.

Fountain Square - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Fountain Square

USA Today readers must be spending a lot of time in Cincinnati, because yet another local institution has received an honor from the newspaper.

“10 Best,” USA Today’s travel information hub that frequently relies on reader input, puts Cincinnati’s Fountain Square among the country’s top ten public squares for 2021. Readers voted for Fountain Square and other nominees in February after a panel of judges had culled the initial nominee list.

Fountain Square lands at No. 7 on the list, edging out Healdsburg Plaza in Healdsburg, California; Wright Square in Savannah; and Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C.

Centerway Square in Corning, New York is No. 1.

With the 1871 Tyler Davidson Fountain as its centerpiece, Fountain Square is one of Cincinnati’s most-recognized and most-visited attractions. The area is celebrated as the heart of Cincinnati and has spurred plenty of development and activity in nearby blocks. The district around Fountain Square is filled with restaurants and bars, with many live performances and rallies happening on the square itself.

Fountain Square famously can be seen in the opening credits for the ‘70s/’80s sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati.

In a Cincinnati travel guide, USA Today commends Fountain Square for its nightlife, writing:

Looking for free entertainment? Check out what's going on at Fountain Square. Surrounding the 1871 Tyler Davidson Fountain, the square is the heart of downtown Cincinnati. It features a music stage and a large high-definition LED board. A wide variety of concerts and other events are held here. During the summer, events are held almost nightly: concerts, trivia and salsa dancing, to name a few. A full bar is offered during all events and food vendors are often on hand. In the fall, football fans gather to watch the Bengals play on the big screen. In the winter, an outdoor ice rink is installed on the square. The rink is lit for nighttime skating. Fountain Square offers restrooms and free Wi-Fi.

Smale Riverfront Park also nabbed an honor from USA Today readers recently, landing at No. 5 among the nation’s top river walks.

See USA Today’s full list of the best public squares in the country.