Westwood was originally established as a desirable residential neighborhood, included as part of the expansion to Cincinnati's growing inner-city population during the 19th to mid-20th centuries. Many of Cincinnati's wealthy industrialists built their homes in Westwood, including Procter & Gamble founder James Gamble.
Westwood's main thoroughfares (specifically Harrison Avenue and Boudinot Avenue) feature many uniquely large and decorative houses, while surrounding streets include a mixture of apartment homes and housing, as constructed by the large number of German immigrants who settled in the Cincinnati vicinity. The area's growth continued steadily for many decades, becoming a residential haven for many of Cincinnati's blue-collar workers, and leading to additional development in the surrounding neighborhoods. The seamlessly adjacent city of Cheviot, Ohio is also one of the oldest suburban communities in Hamilton County. Even longtime residents have a difficult time determining where Cheviot ends and
Westwood begins, or vice versa.
Mount Airy Forest, adjacent immediately to the north, is Cincinnati's largest park (and forest), and is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States, encompassing approximately 1,470 acres (5.9 km2) of semi-thickly wooden hillside and parklike hilltop land. Bracken Woods is an urban park in Westwood containing a nature preserve.
Westwood contains the Westwood Town Center Historic District.