Top 5 Things to Do in Summer in Northern Kentucky

With the warmer weather here, it’s time to start making arrangements for some fun plans this summer. And with so much to choose from in and around Northern Kentucky, it can be hard to narrow the list down to just a few ideas. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the most sought-after summertime activities to check out here in our favorite midwestern region.

1. Visit Some Picturesque Local Parks

Whether you’re hosting a picnic with a view or finishing the rest of your novel, there’s plenty of locations to choose from in the rolling hills that surround Northern Kentucky and its surrounding counties. Here’s just a few to get you started:

Mount Echo Park: Just a 15-minute drive away from Fort Mitchell, this overlook offers a view with a little bit of everything – the Ohio River, the sweeping Cincinnati skyline, and in the backdrop, the riverside Kentucky landscape. For any architecture buffs, a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired shelter lingers nearby on the hilltop, along with hiking trails and a playground.

Devou Park: A destination picnic spot (and popular wedding proposal location), this park offers another unique view of the city skyline from the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. Park benches are scattered beside the walking paths that line the space, making it the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon stroll.

Olden View Park: Sitting on the outskirts of downtown Cincinnati, this park is home to the Incline Public House, a local favorite for outdoor dining and drinks. While a lot smaller than the other spots we mentioned, this location is the perfect place to catch up with an old friend or loved one.

2. Spend the Afternoon at Newport on the Levee

Hosting more than 2 million guests each year, Newport on the Levee has over 380,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space of which to take advantage. Take in riverfront views as you walk along the pier before checking out any of the unique shops or nearby entertainment options that line the Levee:

  • 20-screen AMC Theatres
  • Pizazz Interiors
  • Sweet Dreams Candy Co.
  • Rotolo by Velocity, a boutique bowling alley
  • The Newport Aquarium
  • Immersive Gamebox

After you get your fill of fun in, you might find some local music being played just down the paved walkway. Here, benches face the Ohio River and look beyond, offering a gorgeous look at the city skyline and the hills that lay behind them.

Once you’ve sat in the sun for a bit, consider grabbing a bite to eat at one of the 22 dining options it has to offer, including:

  • 16 Lots Brewing
  • Amador
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Tom & Chee
  • Brothers Bar & Grill

As often as you might hear the phrase, it rings true here: Newport on the Levee really does have something for everyone.

3. Stop By Findlay Market

Just blocks away from downtown Cincinnati, this staple market is not only the oldest running public market in all of Ohio, but also one of its most cherished institutions to locals and visitors alike. And for good reason.

Findlay Market is a bustling core of delectable bites, artisanal treats, and culture. Hosting more than 45 full-time merchants and street performers of all kinds, you can find jazz quartets, local bands, magicians – any sort of entertainment that adds to the fun, family atmosphere that patrons have been a part of for decades.

It’s also home to locally sourced, farm-to-table shops and eateries, making it the number one destination in the region for fresh meat, fish, cheese, delicatessen, and more. So next time you’re taking a trip into town for new plants or flowers (which Findlay Market also offers), consider stopping by for some of your weekly groceries, sold as fresh as they come.

It’s open Tuesday through Sunday all year long.

4. Enjoy Local Craft Beer and Wine

Who doesn’t love a cold beer or chilled glass of wine on a hot summer day? Kentucky is home to more than 60 wineries and an ever-growing list of breweries, creating craft beer that’s sold throughout the tri-state area. And that makes sense when you consider that the region itself was known as the Beer Capital of the World before Prohibition, producing more than 33% of all the beer in the U.S. Kentucky was even home to the first commercial vineyard in the country.

So where do you begin? Well, we have a short list here for you to start with:


Brianza Gardens and Winery: Wander the gardens, listen to live music, or even join in on the next harvest at this fun winery. Just ask the staff about the schedule and they’ll provide details on how to join.

Atwood Hill: This charming winery can be found in the Morning View community of Kenton County and has hilltop views, a weekend food truck, and live music.

12 Mile Creek Winery: Award-winning wines in a cozy atmosphere? Count us in. 12 Mile is well-known for their collection of dry varieties and signature jalapeño wine Bloody Mary.


Alexandria Brewing Company: The A.B.C. is a family-friendly brewery, home to live music and the best beers in the area – some of which come in cans and can be taken to-go! They always keep experimental beers on tap and have an on-site restaurant where guests can get a quick meal to go with their growler.

Hofbräuhaus Newport: The first authentic Hofbräuhaus in America, this traditionally decorated brewery follows all the same codes and standards necessary in Munich, Germany, across their entire selection of craft beers. They host two Oktoberfest celebrations and other social get-togethers, which can be found on their website.

Wooden Cask Brewing Company: This cheeky destination has two locations (including the original taproom at 629 York St., Newport, Kentucky!) and offers 10 different craft beers on tap, a guest cider, and menu offerings for those looking to enjoy a meal.

5. Explore Fine Art Throughout the Region

Only 13 American cities are home to all five forms of art: Ballet, opera, fine art museums, symphony, and theater – all of which can be found in Cincinnati.

Whether you’re an art buff or simply just looking for a way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon, you’ll want to check out some of the fascinating museum collections that reside nearby:

The Cincinnati Art Museum: Over 65,000 pieces of art are housed in this 140+-year-old museum, which is the oldest in Cincinnati. It continuously hosts several national/international traveling exhibitions each year, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm.

Contemporary Arts Center: If you’re interested in more modern, free-flowing forms of art, you’ll want to check out this arts center that’s been in the works since 1939. Late night performances are held Wednesday through Saturday, and rotating exhibitions spotlight old and new cultures through expressionism, ecology, photography, and more.

American Legacy Tours: Experience a side of Cincinnati you never knew existed with walking tours that run day and night. Discover hidden caverns, explore tunnels that were used to build the city’s brewing heritage, or wander through the underground passages of Over-the-Rhine, a neighborhood with the densest collection of 19th century buildings in America.

Whatever You’re Looking for Is Right Around the Bend

With temperatures rising, there are so many summer-exclusive events going on in the area, you’ll never have to do the same thing twice. Check out the historic and biblical Ark Encounter, or see a major league baseball game with the Cincinnati Reds at The Great American Ballpark. No matter what you’re interested in, Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati have you covered.




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