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Dive into Kentucky’s Downtowns

Sometimes the best way to experience the local flavor of a city is by wandering through its downtown area. Visitors will often pass a vibrant spread of shops, art galleries and local eateries, and it is not always easy to know where to start. To help groups narrow these options, we have highlighted a few key downtown attractions among Kentucky’s most exciting cities.


Fourth Street Live


Based in the heart of Kentucky’s largest city, Fourth Street Live is Louisville’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment complex.

“We have multiple locations all under one roof. So if you go to one bar and then decide to go to a different one, it’s very convenient,” said Ashley Satterfield, marketing director of Fourth Street Live.

During the day, groups can visit retail chains like Footlocker or T-Mobile, or grab a bite to eat from spots like Taipei Café and Smoothie King in the food court. Sit-down dining options include Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse, the Tavern on Fourth, the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, the Fudgery and the Hard Rock Cafe.

Fourth Street Live is also well known for its vibrant night scene, which features everything from sports bars to upscale clubs and cocktail lounges, with popular venues like Howl at the Moon, the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse and the Thirsty Peddler. Several of these establishments offer casual activities like pingpong, bowling, billiards and arcade games.

Newport on the Levee


At Newport on the Levee, groups can stroll among signature attractions and restaurants while enjoying a full view of the Cincinnati skyline across the Ohio River.

“To have a major entertainment facility on the riverfront is just wonderful,” said Julie Kirkpatrick, vice president of sales and marketing at Meet Northern Kentucky.

Visitors of all ages are sure to find something fun and engaging to do in this eclectic hub. At Newport Aquarium, one of the area’s most beloved attractions, guests can see a 14-foot-long alligator, stroke stingrays in a touch pool and cross a suspended rope bridge above a shark tank. A few other popular attractions in the area are Gameworks, Axis Alley and AMC Newport.

There are plenty of eateries from which to choose, such as Mitchell’s Fish Market, Dewey’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery. One of the local favorites is Tom+Chee, a restaurant that specializes is gourmet grilled cheese, tomato soup and salads.

To reach downtown Cincinnati, groups can safely walk across the Newport Southbank Bridge, commonly known as the Purple People Bridge. Shuttle services run across the Taylor-Southgate Bridge by the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Stadium.

Next summer, Newport on the Levee plans to open the giant Skywheel on the main platform that will offer a 360-degree view of the waterfront and downtown Cincinnati.