Kentucky's Northern Ohio River Region lies along the state border on the Ohio River with Ohio.


Map of Northern Ohio River Region

Many of the following are basically a continuation of Cincinnati across the river into Kentucky from Ohio.

Other destinations




Kentucky's Northern Ohio River Region is where the North meets the South. From the very urban cities of Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue, and Dayton (not to be confused with Dayton, Ohio) which are virtually an extension of Cincinnati down to the start of the rolling bluegrass country and horse farms, the region is a surprisingly diverse one and is probably the most culturally Midwestern region of Kentucky—at least the parts closest to Cincinnati.

The term "Northern Kentucky" is used mainly for the counties within the core of the Cincinnati metropolitan area. Outside of that area, the culture becomes somewhat more southern, though not to the extent of areas to the geographic south. For example, Maysville is included in some definitions of the Cincinnati area, but is far enough away from the city to be culturally distinct.

The terrain is very hilly, particularly near Cincinnati. This provides many famous vantage points of that city, including Covington's Devou Park, a once notorious stretch of I-75/I-71, The Cut-in-the-Hill with one of the most stunning views of any urban area, and finally the many vistas one gets while travelling around I-275 from I-471 to I-71/I-75. A particularly spectacular vista that is less known can be found where I-275 crosses the Licking River right after the exit for KY 9 and the AA Highway, its a stunning view that may cause accidents due to drivers rubbernecking to see the hills of the Licking River Valley give way to Cincinnati's famous skyline on the horizon.

Accents and culture gradually get more northern as you head north. Many people in the suburbs of Cincinnati are transplants from that city, whereas some of the outlying areas have everything you'd expect from the south. A cool landmark signifying the beginning of these southern accents is the Florence Y'All water tower in Florence.

The urban areas near Cincinnati are very nicely preserved. Newport developed a particularly nice collection of family entertainment options while Covington is waiting for magnificent old architecture to come back to life again. Bellevue has redeveloped its business district bringing in some charming restaurants and shops along with a new brewery in the works. The historic architecture is stunning in these areas, looking more East Coast than Southern or Midwestern and generally better preserved than in Cincinnati.



American English is the language of choice. You'll hear more Northern, Midwestern accents as you head closer to Cincinnati, and more Southern ones away from the city.

Get in

  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG IATA) is located in Hebron, and is a short drive from Cincinnati.
  • Northern Kentucky can also be reached via I-75, I-71, I-275.

Get around


Two area attractions (in)famous around the country are the Creation Museum just outside Hebron and Ark Encounter near Williamstown. Both are owned and operated by a group that promotes a "young-Earth" interpretation of the Book of Genesis... and we'll leave it at that.

  • 1 Butler-Turpin State Historic House, 1608 Hwy 227 Carrollton (Located in General Butler State Resort Park), +1 502 732-4384, . Tours at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00PM May - Nov. This fine country home built in 1859 is a place of remembrance for one of Kentucky's foremost military families from colonial times, through the revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War. Built in the Greek Revival style the house is a three-bay, masonry structure with a commanding view of the Kentucky River valley. Adults $5 Under 18 $3.
  • Newport Aquarium. On the riverfront in Newport.
  • Kentucky Speedway. For a time, racing fans could take in races at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. It hosted both NASCAR and IndyCar racing from 2000 until IndyCar pulled out after the 2011 season, and continued to host NASCAR racing until that organization took it off its schedule for all three national series after the 2020 season. Its most notable use since then has been as a massive parking lot for large Ford pickups. Due to ongoing shortages of semiconductors in the early 2020s, many automakers have been unable to complete otherwise built vehicles; Ford (which has a huge truck plant about 55 miles away in northeast Louisville) chose to rent out the speedway as a holding area for trucks while awaiting chips for final completion.
  • 2 Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, 3380 Beaver Rd, Union, KY 41091. A salt lick surrounded by sulfur springs, containing extensive fossil deposits. The Visitors Center features a mastodon skull and giant sloth skeleton.



Newport offers the most lively nightlife in the region with such places as the Hofbräuhaus Newport and Arnie's. Covington also has a strong nightlife centered around its historic German district Mainstrasse Village. The area is also well known amongst Ohioans as a place where alcohol laws are looser, as a result there are many large liquor stores immediately across the river.

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This region travel guide to Northern Ohio River Region is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!