Why You Should Plan a Winter Getaway to Northern Kentucky

Whether you're looking for spending time with the kids, a girls’ trip weekend, a romantic getaway, or a bourbon adventure, Covington, Newport, and Florence, Ky. feature incredible late fall and winter offerings to suit your needs.

The Best Reasons for a Winter Girls Trip in Covington, Ky.

Grab your gals and head to Covington for a trip full of local eats, unique shopping, and warming up with Kentucky’s signature spirit.

Eats – Restaurants in Covington

Covington has built a reputation as a destination for those who appreciate the delicious things in life, and for good reason. This city is bursting with regional flavors as well as global flair. Riverside Korean is an example of the latter. Their menu is filled with beautiful, vibrant dishes with authentic flavor. Or your group can try Mama’s On Main for pasta centered dishes in an eclectic, yet harmonious, space. For brunch why not visit Cedar to enjoy elevated comfort food in a welcoming space. Make sure to order one of their Bloody Marys! They make some of the best in the NKY and Cincy Region. If you are looking for something sweet to cap off the evening, make your way to Moonrise Donuts where they carry on a tradition of serving fresh donuts nightly.

A red bento box with rice, dumplings, and other Korean dishes.

Shopping in Covington

Whether you are looking for that perfect gift for a friend or a little something for yourself, Covington has all the unique boutiques for your cute, quirky, boho, or vintage needs. Looking for a custom piece of furniture or that perfect home accessory? Codo Co. can help with home décor, plants, and even elevated home goods. Handzy Shop + Studio has fun and funky clothing, accessories, home goods, and is connected to sister store Gumdrop that has a collection of playful baby & toddler clothing, toys, books, and more. Inspired Fashion is a clothing boutique that has high quality pieces available in a range of sizes that gives a little flair to your wardrobe. If your interests run more on the shiny side of things, then Dimitridon Studios may be what you are looking for. This rock and crystal shop is brimming with rough or polished minerals, fossils, and jewelry made by local Michigan and Kentucky artists.

A rack full of accessories next to clothing rack. A longhorn skull hangs on the wall.

Warm Up with Northern Kentucky Spirits

If you start to feel a winter’s chill, the best way to warm up is with Kentucky’s signature spirit, bourbon. Covington lives and breathes bourbon, but if you need a little guidance, we have that for you. The Globe is a cozy bourbon bar just off Madison Ave that offers over 100 bourbons and ryes and sources a variety of Kentucky craft beers and spirits. If you are new to bourbon and want to know more, then Smoke Justis has what you need. There’s a weekly bourbon social and a monthly women’s bourbon social for a ladies’ only evening of bourbon pours, cocktails, and conversation. 

The bourbon bar at Smoke Justis with six shelves of bourbon in the center, surrounded by a wooden bar seated with many customers

The B-Line®

Both The Globe and Smoke Justis are part of The B-Line®, NKY’s self-guided bourbon tour. Do The B-Line and you’ll receive a free gift – a hat, t-shirt, engraved whiskey glass, or whatever you pick!

Unique cocktail bars in Covington

Covington also offers the bohemian inspired cocktail bar, Second Story, with its impressive tree bar. Juniper’s is a gin centric bar offering more than 180 gins, crafted cocktails and a rotating tapas menu.

A table with several tapas plates and cocktails.

Dark Charge Winter Block Party

Fans of bourbon and beer can come together in harmony at Braxton Brewing Co.'s Dark Charge Winter Block Party. Now in its 9th year, the Winter Block Party is a celebration that honors the region's bourbon and brewing history through the release of their Dark Charge Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout and the many flavor variants. New this year, Friday will feature an exclusive, seven course dinner with Dark Charge and New Riff Distilling cocktail pairings. Visit our Dark Charge page for more information. 

A cream background with the words Covington Kentucky STAVE A Night in the Dark Braxton Brewing Dark Charge

Holiday Fun

If you are feeling the Holiday Spirit during your travels, be sure to visit Behringer-Crawford Museum and enjoy their Holly Jolly Days. This year will feature antique Christmas decorations dating back to the late 1800s, as well as their hallmark Holiday Train Display. Their NaturePlay outdoor playscape will be lit up with lights and special activities on select nights.

The entrance to the Behringer-Crawford Museum during winter with a dusting of snow.

Why You Should Kick Up Your Heels in Newport, Ky. This Winter

Entertain your senses in Newport this winter season!  Grab your partner or your friend group and soak up the history, entertainment, and culinary joys of Newport.

The History in Newport

History abounds in Newport, Ky. From its carefully preserved architecture in the West End and East End of the city to its phenomenal legacy of gambling and gangsters – Newport was Las Vegas before Las Vegas - history fans will find plenty to delight in. Wooden Cask Brewery might be just under 10 years old, but their revitalized building was once home to the infamous Flamingo Club, a major player in the gangster owned gambling scene that was Newport. Pompilio’s has been serving the Cincinnati Region since 1933, boasting a flavorful menu, the first liquor license in Kentucky after Prohibition ended, and an appearance in the Academy Award winning movie Rain Man. In the early 1800s bourbon first started being advertised and in 2014 New Riff Distilling was established in Newport, KY taking that extensive history and putting their own riff on it. Experience it for yourself by taking a tour, booking a blending event, or joining a guided tasting. Both Pompilio’s and New Riff are part of The B-Line®, NKY’s bourbon experience.

Pompilios menu surrounded by various cocktails, appetizers, and entrees.

The Entertainment in Newport

There is no lack of options when it comes to entertainment in Newport. Witness delightful performances in the intimate Falcon Theater or the stunning, remodeled church now known as the Stained Glass Theater. Also housed in a renovated, historic church is the Southgate House Revival that offers original music artists, national bands, DJ nights, open mic nights, and so much more. For dinner with your entertainment look to Gangsters Dueling Piano Bar where they offer murder mystery dinners, bourbon dinners, and dueling pianos every Saturday night.

A band plays on stage in front of a large stained glass window in the sanctuary room at Southgate House Revival.

The Food and Drink in Newport

From the humble diner to authentic Mexican; Cincinnati Style chili to farm to table fine dining, Newport is home to an amazing collection of local restaurants. You can start your day off right at Press on Monmouth, a café specializing in flavorful breakfast options, paninis, salads, and soups. All served with espresso, coffees, or local brews. For a taste of the tropics warm up with Cuban cuisine and cocktails at Amador. If you prefer, let Three Spirits Tavern warm you up with their extensive bourbon collection, signature cocktails, and cozy bites. Be sure to get your B-Line guide stamped while you’re there! For something more substantial look to Purple Poulet, a southern bistro that has the best fried chicken in Kentucky, according to Southern Living magazine. Their impressive bourbon collection and bourbon infused menu are sure to please. Purple Poulet is another stop on The B-Line®.

Image is inside Amador with a bar to the right, tables and both center and greenery flowing from the ceiling.

Holiday Fun in Newport

If you are looking for some entertaining holiday fun, try a cruise on BB Riverboats. They offer holiday lunch or dinner cruises as well as a New Years Eve cruise. At Newport on the Levee you can visit the Newport Aquarium and see some of the world’s most amazing sea life, and one-of-a-kind tradition, Scuba Santa.

Santa is in scuba gear touching a sea turtle while a mom and boy watch.

Escape the Winter Blahs with the Family in Florence, Ky.

Grab the kids and escape to a fun-filled getaway in Florence, where there’s plenty of fun and holiday spirit to go around.

The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum

Bring the family to the Ark Encounter, close to Florence, or the Creation Museum for an one-of-a-kind experience built on a biblical scale. With one of the best zoos in Kentucky, Ararat Ridge, and jaw-dropping scale, The Ark Encounter also is the largest timber structure in the world. ChristmasTime at the Ark will include a beautiful light display, live music, the multimedia program “A Family Christmas”, their zoo, and carousel rides – all for the price of parking. There will also be a fair-trade market and Ark Encounter gift shop, seasonal foods, camel rides, zip line, and VR experiences available for purchase. ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum invites families to enjoy many free activities including the beautiful Garden of Lights that includes large, lit up dinosaurs, a live nativity, and the Eden Animal Experience with live animals. Warm up inside the Special Effects Theater while viewing the free “Encounter the Wonder” 4D show, or purchase tickets for “The Christmas Star” at their planetarium.

Walkway lighted up for Christmas leading to more holiday lights at the Creation Museum

Indoor Family Fun

The days might be short, but the kids still have summer energy. Take advantage of the great indoor family fun Florence has to offer. For the kids, and those young at heart, entertainment chain Dave & Buster’s offers arcade, VR, and traditional games as well as plenty of TVs to watch the game and a full menu. For something more hands on let them run wild at DEFY Florence, an air sports and trampoline park with foam pits, obstacle course, zip line and more! The whole family will love spending time at Full Throttle Adrenaline Park. Featuring indoor go-karts, axe throwing, VR adventures, and a rage room, there’s something for everyone.

full throttle indoor karting

Holiday Fun with The Y’alls

For some outdoor holiday fun bring the family to Deck the Y’alls Lightfest at Thomas More Stadium. Witness millions of lights, enchanting decorations, Santa’s workshop, an ice-skating rink and so much more. Special events will bring live entertainment and there will be seasonal food and beverages available throughout the event. 

Nighttime display of holiday lights in pink, purple, green and yellow on the bleachers of the stadium.

and there’s more…

While Covington, Newport, and Florence have incredible offerings, don't forget that we're just a bridge away from all the exciting things happening in Cincinnati as well. A regional favorite, as well as voted Best Zoo Lights in the U.S., the Cincinnati Zoo’s Festival of Lights is an enduring family tradition. Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati turns into an ice-skating rink complete with a warming tent, and full-service concessions with hot and cold snacks and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Just outside of the region is Perfect North Slopes, which offers plenty of wintery fun with snow tubing and skiing. The Banks entertainment district will once again be home to the Christkindlmarkt, a German-American Christmas festival with holiday shopping, seasonal treats, lights, entertainment, and so much more.

Winter Cincy