Top Reasons to Plan a Spring Trip to the NKY and Cincy Region

Condé Nast Traveler Named Us a Best Place to Go in 2023

Before we share details on NKY and Cincy region top things to do and locals' favorite restaurants and hangouts, you need to know that we were named one of the "23 Best Places to Go in 2023" by Condé Nast Traveler! 

Second story view of Main Street in Mainstrasse Village at night

Five Reasons to Travel to Covington, Kentucky this Spring

With a charming, historic downtown and access to the outdoors, Covington offers some of the most unique boutiques, restaurants and views in Northern Kentucky.

Bird's eye view of a wooded trail in Devou Park with bicyclists riding through it

Devou Park

This 718-acre park offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, golf and disc golf. It also has a playground, an amphitheater, a pavilion and a beautiful view of the Cincinnati and Covington skylines.

Blue plate with salmon, green beans and potatoes under a drizzle of white sauce at Bouquet Restaurant in Covington, Ky

Covington, Ky. Named “The Best Restaurant City in America”

Covington has the best eats. From the best Southern fare at Libby’s Southern Comfort to “Best in the City” Asian food at Kung Food Chu’s AmerAsia to a restaurant that made Esquire’s List of "100 Restaurants America Can’t Afford to Lose" – Bouquet (their salmon with green beans and potatoes is pictured above) – to local favorite Bard’s Burgers, featured on Food Network’s Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives, dozens of restaurants in Covington are worth the road trip! In fact, Only in Your State named us “The Best Restaurant City in America.”

Inside view of Earth to Kentucky, a sci-fi, games, comics, and art toys shop in Covington, Ky.

Unique shopping in Covington, Ky.

One of the pleasures of traveling to Covington, Ky. is the local as local gets authenticity around every corner and that includes our shops. From an actual magic shop – Hierophany and Hedge – where you can choose your own wand like Harry Potter to a unique Sci-Fi and Bootleg Toy Shop – Earth 2 Kentucky (pictured above) – to handcrafted one-of-a-kind wooden treasures at Grainwell, a wealth of local arts at Purple Paisley, and unique clothes, cards and accessories at Handzy Shop + Studio. These are just a sample of the memorable shops you’ll discover in Covington.

Sunset in the background over the Ohio river with the John A. Roebling Suspension bridge spanning from NKY to Cincy

The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

This historic bridge connects Covington to Cincinnati and offers breathtaking views of the Ohio River and the city skyline. Did you know it was designed and built by the same engineer who built the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC? In fact, our Roebling Suspension Bridge is the prototype! Visitors can take a walk or bike ride across the bridge for a unique experience.

Booths and people and trees under a sunny sky for NKY Pride Festival in Mainstrasse Village Covington, KY

Mainstrasse Village

This charming German-style village – a Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places – is filled with shops, restaurants, bars and a park, making it a great place to spend an afternoon or evening.

Inspiration for planning your springtime trip to Newport, Ky.

Newport is a must-visit for its top-tier attractions and a laid-back, something-for-everyone vibe.

Entrance to the shops of Trade at Newport on the Levee

Shopping in Newport, Ky.

Newport is a shopper's paradise, with a wide variety of shops and boutiques offering unique and locally made items. You could spend a day exploring all the shops at Newport on the Levee.

A woman in traditional German dress serving four large beers to a group at Hofbrauhaus Newport

Restaurants in Newport, Ky.

Newport also boasts a thriving dining scene, with a variety of restaurants and cafes serving up delicious meals. Here’s a short list to help you plan:

Hofbrauhaus Newport (pictured above) – The first Hofbrauhaus in the U.S., Newport’s adheres to the standards for German food, beer and fun set by the original Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany.

Tom & Chee – Do you love grilled cheese? You’re in luck! Tom & Chee is famous for their huge variety of grilled cheese sandwich options, plus their delicious soups. Located at Newport on the Levee.

Brothers Bar & Grill – Enjoy a wide-ranging menu of American favorites while drinking in the beautiful views of the Cincinnati skyline at this restaurant, also located at Newport on the Levee.

Two families looking up in wonder in the Coral Reef Tunnel exhibit at the Newport Aquarium

Awesome Attractions in Newport, Ky.

Newport is home to the award-winning Newport Aquarium, where guests can pet a stingray, get face-to-face with rare white alligators, walk inches above a shark tank and even explore a sunken ship while surrounded by exotic and fascinating underwater creatures. And if you’re looking to cross another type of water, wander nearby to the Purple People Bridge, a historic railway bridge that’s been turned into a brightly painted pedestrian walkway connecting Newport to Cincinnati across the Ohio River.

Two glasses of beer, one light one dark, on a wood table at Darkness Brewing in Bellevue Ky.

Explore Bellevue, Ky.

Located just a hop, skip and jump away from Newport is the quaint river city of Bellevue. The main thoroughfare — Fairfield Avenue — is lined with colorful historic buildings, leafy trees and plenty of independent boutiques and restaurants. Grab brunch at Yuca before meandering to specialty shops like the boho-leaning Coda Co., Twice As Nice antique store or Splendid Things gift shop. Then stop for a local craft beer at Darkness Brewing or an over-the-top milkshake (with or without booze) at Nomad.

Accommodations in Newport, Ky.

Newport offers a wide range of accommodations to suit any budget, from luxurious hotels and resorts to budget-friendly bed and breakfasts. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Newport has something to offer.

Florence, Kentucky is a Road-trip Worthy Destination in Springtime

For family-friendly fun and adventure, look no further than Florence, which has indoor and outdoor attractions for everyone.

three children enjoying playing on concrete hippos at Florence nature park in Florence ky

The Florence Nature Park

For those looking for a more natural experience, the Florence Nature Park is a great place to explore. This beautiful park features a variety of hiking trails, picnic areas, and a lake, making it a great spot for a relaxing spring break getaway.

pitcher throwing a pitch from a pitcher's mound at a Florence Y'alls baseball game in florence ky

Catch a Florence Y'alls Game

For sports fans, the Florence Y’alls baseball team are a must-see. The team plays at Thomas More Stadium and the games are a great way to enjoy the beautiful spring weather while cheering on the home team.

Two young men pointing at the Ark Encounter

The Ark Encounter

Bring the family to Ark Encounter, close to Florence for one-of-a-kind experiences. With one of the best zoos in Kentucky, Ararat Ridge, and jaw-dropping, built-to-impress scale, the Ark Encounter also is the largest timber frame structure in the world.

Black floor with red walls in the background. The room is filled with pits full of foam squares in black, red, yellow and purple

Get Extreme at DEFY Florence

After a few hours at DEFY Florence, they’re guaranteed to have a good night’s sleep! DEFY is an extreme air sports and trampoline park, featuring a ninja obstacle course, extreme dodge ball, trapeze, foam pits, and more.

Big bone lick sign

Big Bone Lick State Historic Site

Named after a prehistoric salt lick the once drew mammoths, mastadons and other Pleistocene megafauna to the site, Big Bone Lick is now a state park that offers 4.5 miles of hiking trails, camping, birding, mini golf and its own herd of bison. Visit the on-site museum for exhibits on paleontology and Ice Age mammals, or spend your time exploring the great outdoors.

Old wood building under blue sky with a big sign reading Janes Whine Shoppe

Jane’s Saddlebag

Located near Big Bone Lick is another can’t miss spot: Jane’s Saddlebag, 35-acres of living history. Named after a reconstructed and restored rural “saddlebag” home on the site, the property includes farm animals, a general store, a restaurant and a wine shop. Explore an 1800 smokehouse or a replica 1700s flatboat — the type Lewis and Clark would have used on their expedition down the river.

Rabbit Hash General Store

Rabbit Hash

Known for its series of dog mayors and nearly 200-year-old general store, Rabbit Hash is a little hamlet located on a bend on the Ohio River — perfect for a lazy Sunday drive. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the town is made up of about 12 buildings and 300 people, all of which are full of character. Shop for crafts and antiques, sip on wine at Gunpowder Creek Vineyards or catch live music on weekends.


Don’t forget Cincy!

Fire burning on patio of Bar Louie with Cincy skyline in the background

That’s not all! One of the best things about planning a trip to Northern Kentucky is the fact that Cincinnati, Ohio is just a bridge-walk away.

Three hippos in their water enclosure behind glass with a little girl touching the glass near a hippo's face

Enjoy the Cincinnati Zoo when you visit NKY. Located just a short drive from Covington, the Cincinnati Zoo is a must-see attraction for animal lovers. With over 500 species of animals, it's one of the most diverse zoos in the country. And it's repeatedly named The Best Zoo in the U.S. by the readers of USA Today. 

So many fun things to do in the Cincy Region!

The Zoo is just a start. Here's a few more ideas for your springtime trip to the NKY and Cincy Region:

cincinnati museum center at union station

Cincinnati Museum Center

Inside the American Sign museum, a woman standing surrounded by neon signs

American Sign Museum

A large white, pink, and gold Lucky Cat statue with a red collar at the Lucky Cat Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio

Lucky Cat Museum 

Be sure to check out our friends’ website – Visit Cincy – for  more cool things to do, and great places to eat and drink. 

So, pack your bags and head to the NKY and Cincy region for a spring break you'll never forget! With so much to see and do, you'll have a hard time leaving.