Founded in the 1790s by James Taylor, Jr., Newport is named after British Admiral Christopher Newport, who helped to found the Jamestown colony in 1607. In its early years, Newport was home to an army post, which helped to spur the town's growth. Later, it was known as a vice district, given Cincinnati's conservative nature it was a perfect nearby refuge for burlesque, gambling, and other vices. The City had a strong mafia presence for many years.
Today, it is proximity to Cincinnati that provides the spur, as Newport's hotels and riverfront area draw visitors from the Queen City. The city is quite a bit more family friendly these days with Newport on the Levee having an aquarium and many family friendly events. In spite of these changes, if you know where to look you can still find some vice.
There are three airports close to Newport:
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG IATA) is on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.
- Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF IATA)
- Lexington (Blue Grass Airport) (LEX IATA)
Newport is served directly by Interstate 471, which can be reached by Interstates 71 (from Columbus and Louisville), 75 (from Dayton and Lexington), US 50 (Columbia Parkway from the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati) and 275 (the circle beltway).
One of the most beautiful panoramic views in the country occurs when driving northbound on Interstate 71/75 (the interstate routes share the same highway in part of Northern Kentucky) traveling into downtown Cincinnati, just before the Brent Spence Bridge. If you go this way get off in Covington at 4th street and cross over the Licking River to Newport where 4th St joins 5th St.
The Purple People Bridge (officially the "Newport Southbank Bridge"), formerly a road and rail bridge, now a pedestrian and bicycle only bridge, is a good way to get across from Downtown Cincinnati, particularly if you can't find a parking spot in Newport and want to park in one of the less traveled parts of the Cincinnati riverfront (though with a revitalization of Cincinnati's downtown and riverfront this is getting more and more difficult). The Bridge is nicely landscaped and could make a pleasant walk on a warm evening. Its also open to cyclists.
RedBike, Cincinnati's bike share program, also has some stations in Newport most notably right by Newport on the Levee so you can quickly ride your bike straight from Downtown Cincinnati or Over the Rhine to Newport in minutes via The Purple People Bridge. Sadly, its not as easy to get from nearby Covington as the bridges over the licking river are quite high and could be difficult to ride a bike over.
- TANK runs buses all over Northern Kentucky. Check website for routes and times.
- The Southbank Shuttle which is provided by TANK provides regular bus service from Downtown Cincinnati to the Covington and Newport Riverfronts. For more information on times and stops check the Southbank Shuttle website here.
- Megabus, 4th Street at Race St (north side of 4th Street at Race Street, Downtown Cincinnati.), toll-free: . Megabus is a budget bus company offering service to Cincinnati from Chicago, Indianapolis, and Columbus. The Cincinnati stop is close enough to Newport that it shouldn't be hard to get down by public transportation or taxi. Fares start at $1.
Newport is on a grid, so getting around by car is relatively easy. Keep in mind that the street numbers/addresses get larger as you are going south instead of north. Monmouth Street is the main commercial district and the area around Newport on the Levee its main Entertainment district.
Parking can be difficult. The Levee has a parking garage, but on weekends it can be full. It used to be free to park on the riverfront, but the restaurants in the boats on the river banded together to jack up prices to rates way above what you'd pay to park in the Levee garage, expect to pay around $6 to park there.
Finally you could try parking on the narrow city streets, but keep your eye out for any parking restrictions such as street cleaning.
Newport is very walkable. Most everything you'll need is within walking distance as the city is relatively small and compact. The pedestrian-only Newport Southbank Bridge (popularly known as the "Purple People Bridge") connects the Newport on the Levee mall with Downtown Cincinnati.
- Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK), . Provides bus service in Northern Kentucky and has several routes that crosses the Ohio into Cincinnati.
- TANK Sales Office; Mercantile Building; 120 East 4th Street, Cincinnati, OH; Hours: M-F 6:30AM–6PM.
- 1 Newport Aquarium, One Aquarium Way, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Hours: Daily: 10AM-6PM. Hours are usually extended during the summer, however, on special occasions hours can be cut back.. An Aquarium that has a unique design, spectators are in a "cage" which is a glass surrounded tunnel, completely surrounded by large underwater exhibits. Admission: Adults: $24.99; Children (Ages 2 - 12): $16.99.
- 2 World Peace Bell, 4th & York St. Hours: M-Sa: 10AM-4PM. One of largest bells in the world, this bell was made to be part of a never built Millennium Monument that would stand right next to where its at now.
- 3 East Row Historic District. large walkable historic district with well preserved collection of 19th century Victorian homes
- 4 General James Taylor Park. park at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers offers closeup views of the legendary Cincinnati, Ohio skyline. Site of the former Newport Barracks, a military instillation from 1803-1894.
Newport previously had the reputation of being where to go to find strippers, due to revitalization, most of these places have closed down. In its place is a rich nightlife, and many family-oriented destinations and events, though if you look hard enough there still are a few gentlemen's clubs here and there.
- Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, ☏ , fax: . While the KSO has its offices in Newport the KSO performs all over Kentucky so be sure to call or fax the KSO is you're interested in their schedule.
- 1 Thompson House, 24 E 3rd St, ☏ . 4-level former mansion converted to rock 'n' roll venue. This nearly 200 year old building is also known for being the birthplace of Brig. Gen. John Tariaferro Thompson, the inventor of the "Tommy Gun". Due to a family dispute, this place has changed ownership for better or worse depending on your tastes in music.
- [formerly dead link] Riverside Rollergirls. All-girl flat-track roller derby action in Newport.
- 2 Newport Gangster Tour, 56 E Fifth St (2 blocks south of the Levee), ☏ . 1PM, 5PM Saturdays. A look at Newport's history of vice. A tour about gangs, gambling and girls and the venues that once held all of them. $15.
- 3 BB Riverboat Cruises, 101 Riverboat Row (On the Riverfront past the levee behind the Newport Aquarium), ☏ , toll-free: . Series of riverboat tours offered on an old steamboat, the Belle of Cincinnati. You can take either a normal 1 hour cruise seeing both Downtown Cincinnati and the old Riverfront cities of Northern Kentucky or have lunch or dinner on board. Also available are cruises for special events, including a very expensive cruise during the Labor Day fireworks at Riverfest which fills up early. Prices vary, check website for event.
- 4 Southgate House Revival, 111 E 6th St, ☏ . The Southgate House is an excellent venue for seeing Indie rock and roll acts. Kicked out of their old venue (now known as the Thompson House) the owners managed to secure an old church building to "revive" their locally famous venue.
- Arcade Legacy, 1765 Monmouth St. An arcade with over 20 consoles and over 50 arcade machines.
- 1 Newport on the Levee. 1 Levee Way; The Levee is a collection of stores, restaurants, an aquarium, and movie theater.
- 1 Dixie Chili, 733 Monmouth St, ☏ . Mo-Th 9AM-1AM, F,Sa 9AM-3AM, Sunday: 10AM-1AM. Cincinnati-style chili served a bit spicier than most varieties of the regional specialty. Also notable for offering a "6-way" chili (see here for an explanation of "ways"), which adds chopped garlic to a "5-way". Locations also in Covington and Erlanger.
- 2 La Mexicana Restaurant, 642 Monmouth St, ☏ . Probably the best authentic Mexican taqueria in the Cincinnati area. This is the real deal, and if you aren't familiar with real Mexican street food, make sure to get the horchata (rice milk) on a hot day nothing beats it.
- Sis's Family Affair: Home cooking with a popular steak night on Thursday. Live music several times a week.
- 3 Pompilio's, 6th Street and Washington Ave, ☏ , fax: . Pompilio's is a good Italian restaurant. The restaurant is famous for playing host to the scene in Rain Man, where Dustin Hoffman knows how many toothpicks fell onto the ground.
- Brio Tuscan Grille, One Levee Way, ☏ . Su- Th 11AM-10PM, F,Sa 11AM-11PM. Italian restaurant
- Sweet Tooth Candies: Homemade candies and ice cream.
- 4 Newport Pizza Co, 601 Monmouth St. 11AM-11PM. Locally owned pizzaria, notable for having pizza with Cincinnati Chili on it.
- Smoothie King, 1 Levee Way, Suite 2119, ☏ .
- 1 Hofbräuhaus, 3rd and Saratoga (at the Levee), ☏ . Originating in Munich, Germany, this is the first Hofbräuhaus in the United States which makes sense when you realize that Cincinnati is Munich's sister city.
- Huddle's: Sports bar with a diverse crowd and plenty of regulars
- 2 Crazy Fox Saloon, 901 Washington St (head down Washington St from the Levee), ☏ . 3PM - 2:30AM. Laid back, friendly neighborhood bar. It is gay-friendly and doesn't allow any discrimination. Great jukebox, cheap drinks, great people. Cheap.
- 3 Beer Sellar, 301 Riverboat Row. Floating bar on a barge with a spectacular view of Downtown Cincinnati. Huge variety of beers on tap. Has kind of a post-college fratty atmosphere with a larger selection of drinks than places like that often have.
- 4 Wooden Cask Brewery, 629 York St, ☏ . Cozy brewery with a decent beer selection and on site restaurant, specializing in small batch brews.
- 5 Carabello Coffee, 107 E 9th St. Tu-F 7am-8pm, Sa. 8am. - 8pm. Closed Su, M.. Cafe and roaster that offers excellent coffee they also have pour over style brewing by request. Their mission is to be an ethical company that not only buys their coffee from ethical sources but also gives back to communities where it was grown. Free Wifi as well.
- 1 Travelodge Newport Riverfront, 222 York St, ☏ , fax: .
- Comfort Suites.
- 2 Hampton Inn, 275 Columbia St, ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Includes Wi-Fi, Breakfast, and indoor pool.
- 3 Aloft Newport on the Levee, 201 E 3rd St, ☏ .
- Covington is also a Kentucky-based satellite of Cincinnati.
- Cincinnati is the largest city in the region.
|Routes through Newport|
|Richmond ← Cincinnati ←||N S||→ Fort Thomas → Lexington|