In Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, aka the Cincy Region where Ohio and Kentucky gaze across the Ohio River at one another, four cities – Cincinnati and Covington, Newport and Florence, Kentucky – entertain with new attractions and new twists on old favorites.
Mid-afternoon’s a bargain on BB Riverboats
To get an eyeful of city skylines, glide down the Ohio aboard one of BB Riverboats’ authentic paddle wheelers. The tour boat company is big on groups, and its dock in Newport is well equipped for motorcoach travelers. New, shorter mid-day and afternoon cruises work well for tight schedules and cost less because they don’t include a meal.
Free art is abundant in Cincinnati
Speaking of deals, art is abundant, and often free in Cincinnati, from the Cincinnati Art Museum to downtown walls splashed with imaginative murals. Tucked into the Aronoff Center for the Arts, where popular touring Broadway shows have returned, the Weston Art Gallery offers free admission and guided tours. October 13-16, city blocks that stretch from Findlay Market in Cincinnati to Covington will light up as BLINK® | Illuminated by ArtsWave returns. Between 1.25 and 1.5 million people experienced Blink in 2019, organizers say, making it the largest event in the region’s history.
The riverfront rocks in Newport
In Newport, 50 species of fish brighten the new Coral Reef Tunnel exhibit at the Newport Aquarium while moray eels, lionfish and other seldom-seen sea creatures peek out in Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels. Hands-on encounters with an entourage of African penguins can be arranged. Next door to the aquarium, Newport on the Levee is livelier than ever with new shops, bars and restaurants. At its Bridgeview Box Park, groups grab drinks and food from local purveyors operating out of open-air shipping containers and dine outdoors, next to the river. On Friday nights from April through October, free concerts by local bands add music to the air.
Inspiring stories of struggles for freedom
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati sits above the Ohio River, crossed by so many slaves who sought freedom. By illuminating the struggles for freedom, the museum continues to inspire and remind that freedom must be protected. A newer exhibit, Invisible: Slavery Today, is the world’s first permanent museum exhibition about human trafficking. Near the museum, the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame will open in July, in time for the Cincinnati Music Festival. Bootsy Collins, Otis Williams, the Isley Brothers and Charles Fold are the first Cincinnati artists to be honored with stars along the walk.
A trio of gaming options
Gaming is an option on both sides of the river. In Cincinnati, Hard Rock Casino is the biggest game in town, with nearly 100 live table games, 1,600 slots and a poker room. Newport Racing and Gaming combines gaming, historical racing machines, horse racing broadcasts and off-track wagering. Near Florence, Turfway Park will reopen in early fall with live Thoroughbred racing, a new grandstand and clubhouse and 850 historical horse racing machines.
For more information, contact:
Regional Director, Leisure Sales