Lunken Airport

Here we are with another installment of 365 Things to do in Cincinnati and today we are highlighting a local gem – Lunken Airport.

Welcome to Lunken Airport sign

Looking for something free to do in Cincinnati?  Lunken Airport would be a great way to spend the day.  With an airstrip you can sit beside, playgrounds, picnic areas, a long bike/walk trail, this is a spot where you can spend an entire day!

In its day, Lunken Airport served Cincinnati as THE airport.  Dedicated in 1925, it was the largest municipal airport in the world.  As such, it’s home to the nation’s oldest standing control tower (picutured above).

This place is full of fun aviation related history and facts:  Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart flew in and out of Lunken Airport and Powel Crosley’s “Moonbeam” was flown here for the first time.

Lunken Airport in the early 1930's

Photo credit: Cincinnati Views

Lunken Airport served Cincinnati from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. Airport traffic moved to the new “Greater Cincinnati Airport” (located in northern Kentucky) in the late 1940’s.

Lunken Airport now serves many commercial airlines as well as private charter companies.  Dignitaries, politicians, CEO’s, VIP’s, and rockstars all use the airport as it’s close to downtown (less than 5 miles) and a little less “visible”. Locals can take flight lessons here, take a scenic tour of the city with Stratus Helicopters, and much more.

Lunken Airport runway with open cockpit and propeller plane

You can visit the old terminal to get a glimpse of its aviation history.  Lunch at the attached Sky Galley Restaurant (they used to make meals for American Airlines back in the day) which has a spacious dining room as well as dining space on the patio, adjacent to the airfield.

Lunken Airport and the sign at the Ohio River Trail

Walk into the old terminal via the door on Widmer and walk through the lobby, exiting the building in the back to see the airstrips.  Here you can watch the planes come and go. I don’t know how often planes arrive and depart on a regular day but I went on a weekday and caught three planes landing in the short time I was there.

large plane landing at Lunken Airport

Lunken Airport runway with Navy Plane

Lunken Airport offers MUCH more than just the ability to catch some planes and helicopters in action.

Things to do at Lunken Airport

There’s an 18 hole golf course as well as a driving range.

Lunken Airport Driving Range

Bring your bikes or your walking shoes and enjoy the 5 mile loop (circles the airport) which is part of the Ohio River Trail (see pic above). And the Lunken Airport path connects to the Otto Armleder Park Trail (what a GREAT park that is too!).

In addition, there are spots for picnicking and lots of playground space.

Lunken Airport covered picnic grove and playground

For more historical information on visit:
Lunken Airfield
Lunken Airport on Wikipedia
Cincinnati Transit

Lunken Airport is located at 262 Wilmer Avenue

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6 Comments

  • Please let all your readers know that they can visit http://www.lunkentower.com if they are interested in free tours of the Historic Lunken Tower on top of the terminal building. The tours can be scheduled using the Visit page. The tours are run by the Lunken Squadron of Civil Air Patrol, an all volunteer Auxiliary of the US Air Force. Thanks!

  • We went there yesterday. I was a little disappointed. The museum was closed. We had lunch at the Sky Restaurant though. I could not find the control tower or the parks to Putt Putt or play on the playground. Next time I will do a lot more research before I leave the house.

    • Lori,

      Thanks for attempting to visit our museum. I hope you tried again and did come by. We do our best with available volunteers. Our hours are limited to times our volunteers are available. We will be open both days this coming weekend during Airport Days 2016 September 3-4.

      Our goal is to have a museum building of our own that more people can visit. I’m confident that when we find a benefactor that the museum will be a glowing asset at Lunken. We have real airplanes that we’re unable to display, but the day we have our own place, we’ll begin having programs for the community with opportunities for hands on learning by schools and organizations.

      You can send me an e-mail and I’ll make arrangements to give a private tour.

  • While we loved watching the planes a few weeks ago on our visit..i was extremely disappointed with both playgrounds conditions. Definitely not maintained. Kids had fun though.

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