The Northern Kentucky and Cincy region have so many fun things to do; unique places to eat; award-winning craft breweries, bourbon distilleries and bars; cool shops; walking tours; and museums and performing arts attractions, you could spend a month here and not get to them all. But if you’re the type of traveler who also likes to explore during your visit, who wants to take a trip within your trip, NKY has some great day trips for you.
Come Find Bourbon
When you cross one of the bridges leading into Northern Kentucky or land at the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky International Airport, you enter Bourbon Country. Come Find Bourbon is a partnership between three Bourbon Country cities-Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown (C,F,B, - get it? Come Find Bourbon). These bourbon-centric cities offer you authentic, off the beaten path, bourbon experiences. You can learn about, see, touch, smell, and taste bourbon life at one of the bourbon bars, bourbon-infused restaurants, and Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® distilleries in these cities.
The small town of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky—one of Southern Living’s “Best Tiny Towns in the U.S.”—is only 45 minutes away from downtown Cincinnati, on a lush Kentucky riverbank. The always Instagrammable General Store is just one of the attractions of Rabbit Hash—there’s also a local winery, Verona Vineyards, an antiques shop, and a great local BBQ spot, The Scalded Hog. Oh, and we almost forgot to mention that the whole town is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s likely you’ll get to meet the mayor when you visit, as long as you’re a dog lover. Yes, the mayor of Rabbit Hash is a dog, and has been since 1998.
Big Bone Lick State Park
Just 15 minutes down the road from Rabbit Hash you’ll find a Kentucky state park that’s not only chock-full of history, it also brims with prehistoric finds. Big Bone Lick State Park, in Florence, Ky., is known as the “Birthplace of American Vertebrate Paleontology.” Explorer Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis and Clark fame, spent weeks here discovering prehistoric bones. So many skeletons of prehistoric animals were discovered that it was named for their “big bones.” There’s a museum on-site featuring them, and some big-boned contemporary creatures—American Bison—roam the park. Like all the state parks in Kentucky, it’s also beautiful—perfect for refreshing hikes or camping.
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Ky. is about a half hour’s drive from Lexington and two hour’s drive from Covington. There’s something beautiful to see around every corner of Shaker Village. In the early 20th century, it was home to the third largest community of Shakers in the U.S. You can stay in the gorgeous Inn, filled with Shaker reproduction furniture and décor, have a variety of outdoor adventures, and eat some of the best food in the state, with a truly farm-to-table menu, in the restaurant.
What do you think of when you think of Kentucky? For most people, two things immediately spring to mind—bourbon and racehorses. We’ve mentioned how our state is the perfect place to Come Find Bourbon, but if you’re interested in getting an up-close view of the horses of Kentucky, Georgetown is the place to go.
The Kentucky Horse Park is here, “the only park of its kind in the world.” It’s a working horse farm as well as a competitive venue, educational facility, museum, and even theme park! You can meet thoroughbred legends, learn about the history of horse racing, go horseback riding, see the powerful draft horses in the Big Barn, and more. But that’s not all there is to Georgetown—be sure to visit the charming downtown shops and cafes, and if you’re a craft beer fan, stop by their local brewery, Country Boy.
You can get to Maysville, Kentucky in about an hour’s drive from downtown Covington or Cincy and like most drives in Kentucky, it’s a scenic one, winding along the Ohio river.
Maysville is rich with history and charm. You can tour the National Underground Railroad Museum, take in a variety of artistic works in the local galleries, see a jaw-dropping collection of miniatures at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, take a walking tour of the Old Washington historic district, and get your Line Guide stamped for The B-Line. That’s right! Maysville is on the Northern Kentucky bourbon tour, The B-Line. This town is steeped in bourbon history—some even say that Maysville is the “birthplace of bourbon”—and is home to the Old Pogue Distillery, one of the oldest distilleries in Kentucky, and still family-owned.
If you’re interested in getting another stamp on your B-Line passport, stop in at Augusta, Ky.—it’s on the way to Maysville from Covington and Cincy. Augusta is home to the Beehive Tavern, one of the newest stops on our local bourbon tour, The B-Line. It’s also charming small town guaranteed to give you a Kentucky local color moment. It sits right on the Ohio River and the views are gorgeous. In fact, USA Today named it “One of the most picturesque towns in Kentucky”. If you’re a fan of George Clooney and his family, be sure to visit Augusta’s Rosemary Clooney Museum.