Situated on the border of Kentucky and Ohio, along the banks of the large Ohio River, the city of Newport, Kentucky boasts numerous things to do for both locals and tourists alike. Located near the bustling metropolitan city of Cincinnati, Ohio, there are also a wide variety of sights, shops, restaurants, and much more just across the river, easily accessible by car or by walking across the Purple People Bridge. Newport is home to delicious food, distilleries, and theatre, as well as the world’s largest swinging bell. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.New Riff Distillery
© New Riff Distillery
Founded by Ken Lewis in 2014, the New Riff Distillery boasts itself as a “new riff on an old tradition,” with that tradition being classic Kentucky Bourbon. The distillery crafts a wide range of whiskeys, including Malted Rye, Rye, and Bourbon, as well as an array of specialty recipes and Kentucky Wild Gin. Created by a Kentucky liquor visionary and a team made up of corporate refugees, New Riff strives to one day be recognized as one of the great small distilleries of the world. In addition to its spirits, the distillery also offers several tours available to visitors.
24 Distillery Way, Newport, KY 41073, Phone: 859-261-7433
2.Newport Southbank Bridge a.k.a. Purple People Bridge
© Anne Kitzman/stock.adobe.com
The Newport Southbank Bridge, or more well known perhaps in Newport as the Purple People Bridge, stretches approximately 2,670 feet across the Ohio River. This pedestrian-only bridge connects downtown Cincinnati, Ohio to the city of Newport, Kentucky, as well as to trails in both states along the river. The bridge provides convenient access to both the downtown area of Cincinnati and the Newport on the Levee area of Newport. In 2006, changes were made to make it possible for people to cross the Newport Southbank Bridge along its superstructure with the use of appropriate safety gear.
425 York St, Newport, KY 41071
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3.World Peace Bell, Newport, Kentucky
© Kentucky Tourism
The World Peace Bell in Newport, Kentucky boasts the title of the largest free swinging bell in the world. The twelve feet by twelve feet bell weighs in at sixty-six thousand pounds, with the yoke weighing 16,512 pounds and the clapper weighing an impressive 6,878 pounds alone. The World Peace Bell, one of the world’s more than 20 Peace Bells, rings at noon every day, ringing with a deep and powerful tone as a symbol of peace and freedom. Visitors can take a guided tour for a very small fee between 10:00am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday.
425 York St, Newport, KY 41071, Phone: 859-655-7700
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4.The Footlighters Inc., Newport, Kentucky
Founded by a small band of community theatre volunteers back in 1963, The Footlighters Inc. is a non-profit venue for community theatre performances in the riverside city of Newport, Kentucky. With a goal of bringing theatre opportunities to Cincinnati’s western side, the theatre company puts on six main stage theatre productions at the local theater each season. These productions are performed inside of the Stained Glass Theatre, formerly an 1882 historic church building transformed into a spectacular performance space. Performances range from slapstick comedies to intimate dramas to blockbuster, big cast musicals and nearly everything in between.
802 York St, Newport, KY 41071, Phone: 859-291-7464
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5.Falcon Theatre, Newport, Kentucky
© Falcon Theatre
The Falcon Theatre is the only “true storefront theatre” in the greater Cincinnati area and boasts that they are “unlike any other theatre” in the area, welcoming guests personally every time they come to see a show. The theatre company aims for everyone to feel like they are welcome when walking through the Falcon Theatre’s doors. Situated today in the historic district of Newport, the theater was founded by Ted Weil and Dave Radtke in 1989 as a desire to expand the Greater Cincinnati area’s theatrical opportunities, built on a foundation of providing diverse and eclectic theatre experiences. the theatre provides
636 Monmouth St, Newport, KY 41071, Phone: 513-479-6783
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6.Glier's Goettafest, Newport, Kentucky
The Glier’s Goettafest in Newport, Kentucky is a “celebration of all things Goetta.” Goetta is a German dish typically compared to scrapple of breakfast sausage, a mix of seasonings, steel-cut oats, beef, and pork. The festival is two weekends full of extremely inventive food, family-oriented goetta games, and live entertainment. Glier’s Goettafest features vendors offering more than 40 unique Goetta items, the Goetta Saloon, Glier’s Goetta History Booth, a massive air-conditioned tent for dining on a variety of dishes, two stages hosting continuous live music varying from country to rock to pop, and an array of family-focused attractions, inflatables, and games.
Riverboat Row, Newport, KY 41071
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7.Hofbrauhaus Newport, Newport, Kentucky
© Hofbrauhaus Newport
The Hofbrauhaus Newport is both an attraction and a restaurant in the popular area of Newport on the Levee. From the tasty American and German food, to the great beer to the traditionally decorated rooms, this unique Newport restaurant provides a memorable dining experience for all guests. The Hofbrauhaus Newport is designed after Munich’s original Hofbräuhaus, which is more than four hundred years old, and is the first Hofbrauhaus to be licensed by the state-owned brewery as a franchisee. The menu includes both American fare and traditional German dishes, accompanied by seasonal and specialty beers brewed on-site following German beer purity law.
200 3rd St, Newport, KY 41071, Phone: 859-491-7200
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8.York Street Cafe, Newport, KY
© York Street Cafe
Featuring knick-knacks and cozy furniture, the York Street Cafe is a blend of art gallery, lounge, and restaurant, offering a unique place for friends and family to gather in Newport for dining, art, and entertainment. Offering both outdoor and indoor dining, the menu at the cafe consists of a wide variety of options made with fresh and high quality ingredients. Appetizers include options like smoked salmon and hummus, while entrees include dishes such as Amish chicken, cheesy jalapeno grits with shrimp or salmon, burgers, and filet mignon. The York Street Cafe is also locally known for its desserts.
738 York St, Newport, KY 41071, Phone: 859-261-9675
9.Chart House, Newport, Kentucky
© Chart House
Situated on the banks of the Ohio River, the Chart House provides spectacular views of Cincinnati’s skyline and the water. The restaurant in Newport, Kentucky has been a longtime favorite among local residents and visitors thanks to its excellent cuisine and setting. The Chart House has strived to offer an ideal dining experience since 1961 and has grown to have more than twenty showcase, waterfront, and historic locations across the country. Menu options range from juicy steaks to fresh seafood specialties, with chefs tailoring the menu at each location to complement the area’s local cuisine while still introducing a touch of the exotic.
405 Riverboat Row, Newport, KY 41071, Phone: 859-261-0300
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10.Pompilio's, Newport, Kentucky
Established back in 1933 at the corner of Washington Avenue and 6th Street in Newport’s East Row District, Pompilio's has been serving the city and the surrounding region for more than eighty years. The local eatery serves authentic Italian fare and prides itself on homemade sauces, soupes, and traditional dishes, such as Italian sausage, meatballs, ravioli, lasagna, and more. In addition to the Italian cuisine on the menu, Pompilio's also offers traditional American fare, as well as a menu for children. Only the freshest ingredients available are used to make the variety of dishes, along with some one-of-a-kind recipes.
600 Washington Ave, Newport, KY 41071, Phone: 859-581-3065
© Newport Aquarium
Located just across the river from bustling Cincinnati, the Newport Aquarium brings all the wonders of the far-away ocean to your doorstep. The aquarium is an ideal year-round attraction that the whole family can enjoy together. Just a few of the exhibits you can look forward to admiring include the Shipwreck – Realm of the Eels, Stingray Hideaway, Gator Alley and the Penguin Palooza. There are many interactive activities including various touch pools where you and the children get to touch stingrays, sharks and tide-pool creatures. A definite highlight of your visit will be crossing the thrilling rope bridge over the massive shark tank.
Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport, KY 41071, 800 406 3474
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© USS Nightmare
For an entirely different night out, lovers of the mysterious and the macabre can step on board the USS Nightmare for a haunted tour like no other you will ever experience. It is quite possible that you will not be able to make it to the end of the tour – many past visitors have jumped ship in sheer horror at what lies before them. The USS Nightmare tells the story of the legendary Mitchell Massacre which took place on board the William S. Mitchell, a historic river dredger. You can expect to encounter claustrophobic dimly-lighted halls, excellent props and many costumed actors who do their best to scare you to death. Thrill seekers will love it.
USS Nightmare, 101 B, Riverboat Row, Newport, KY 41071, 859 740 2293
13.Wooden Cask Brewing Company
© Wooden Cask Brewing Company
The Wooden Cask Brewing Company is a popular craft brewery which has been acclaimed by Newport craft beer enthusiasts since opening in 2015. The brewery has two locations where you can taste their distinctive brews – you can visit the York Street Tap Room or stop by the Wooden Cask at Newport on the Levee. Both locations offer a great selection of excellent craft beers as well as wines and a range of genuine Kentucky Bourbons. At the York Street location there is a large outdoor patio and a brilliant BBQ restaurant called Beards and Bellies, which serves up appetizers, soups, salads and the best BBQ meats in the area.
Wooden Cask Brewing Company, 629 York Street, Newport, KY 41071,
14.Rotolo - Bowling, Bocce and Eatery
In Italian, Rotolo means “the roll” or is used as the verb for rolling something. Thus, Rotolo is a modern Italian interpretation of a boutique bowling alley which also offers 2 full-service bars and a 68-seat restaurant. The 16-lane bowling alley features modern steltronic scoring systems and four of the lanes are reserved for private parties. Other activities which follow the Rotolo theme include Bocce Ball, Billiards and Foosball. The center has plenty of room for just lounging around and enjoying the atmosphere. The food, of course, is also Italian and offers something for everyone from sharing plates and hand-held delicacies to delicious flat breads.
Rotolo – Bowling, Bocce and Eatery, 1 Levee Way, Suite 1112, Newport, KY 41071,
859 652 7250
15.Newport Racing and Gaming
© Newport Racing and Gaming
Newport Racing and Gaming is a popular adult gaming and entertainment venue located in the heart of Newport. The venue offers all the fun of a Vegas-style casino with dozens of different slot machines vying for your attention. If you prefer the thrill of horseracing you can get all the excitement you can handle as you bet on live races in the Simulcast area. There are also dozens of historic racing machine games to play on the floor. Once you have worked up an appetite you can head over to Smiley’s Bar and Grill for refreshments before listening to some live music entertainment.
Newport Racing and Gaming, 1723 Monmouth Street, Newport, KY 41071,
859 647 4700
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15 Best Things to Do in Newport, Kentucky
- New Riff Distillery, Photo: New Riff Distillery
- Newport Southbank Bridge a.k.a. Purple People Bridge, Photo: Anne Kitzman/stock.adobe.com
- World Peace Bell, Newport, Kentucky, Photo: Kentucky Tourism
- The Footlighters Inc., Newport, Kentucky, Photo: kozlik_mozlik/stock.adobe.com
- Falcon Theatre, Newport, Kentucky, Photo: Falcon Theatre
- Glier's Goettafest, Newport, Kentucky, Photo: craftykat/stock.adobe.com
- Hofbrauhaus Newport, Newport, Kentucky, Photo: Hofbrauhaus Newport
- York Street Cafe, Newport, KY, Photo: York Street Cafe
- Chart House, Newport, Kentucky, Photo: Chart House
- Pompilio's, Newport, Kentucky, Photo: Pompilio's
- Newport Aquarium, Photo: Newport Aquarium
- USS Nightmare, Photo: USS Nightmare
- Wooden Cask Brewing Company, Photo: Wooden Cask Brewing Company
- Rotolo - Bowling, Bocce and Eatery, Photo: Rotolo
- Newport Racing and Gaming, Photo: Newport Racing and Gaming
- Cover Photo: jonbilous/stock.adobe.com
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