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Kentucky itinerary: Northern Kentucky immerses groups in artisanal cuisine and eclectic shopping


In northern Kentucky, culinary swagger is second to none. The booming restaurant scene boasts everything from gourmet hot dogs and French Pot ice cream to bouillabaisse and celebrity steaks.

“With our incredible location at the edge of the Midwest and the South, easy access via many major highways and a wealth of hotel options, the northern Kentucky region is ideally situated to welcome all varieties of group travel,” said Erin Hoebbel, tour/travel manager for the Northern Kentucky CVB. “Our organization is dedicated to ensuring each group we work with feels immersed in the destination and receives a big dose of Southern hospitality with unique amenities and a personal point of contact in our region.”

Northern Kentucky CVB provided this three-day itinerary.  

Findlay Market in Cincinnati, OhioPhoto: @bamaze11

Findlay Market, Cincinnati, Ohio

Day One
Stretch before dinner, jump on the table and participate in the Chicken Dance at Hofbräuhaus Newport. Modeled after the original 400-plus-year-old Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany, Hofbräuhaus Newport is home to the area’s largest biergarten with an unparalleled view of the Cincinnati, Ohio, skyline.

Day Two
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. If there’s goetta on the menu, groups must try it. Goetta is a sausage and steel oat delight that’s become a local novelty. After breakfast, enjoy a leisurely morning shopping in Bellevue for some sweets. Don’t miss:

Witt’s End Candy Emporium — enjoy all the nostalgia and candy groups loved as kids.

Schneider’s Sweet Shop — bring back the memories of the old-time corner ice cream and candy store remembered from years ago. Ice balls and opera creams are its specialty.

• Shopping — Explore boutique stores around Bellevue or stroll the streets and enjoy the quaint, small-town atmosphere. 

New Riff Distilling in Newport, KentuckyPhoto: @ktren22

New Riff Distilling, Newport, Ky.

After shopping, enjoy lunch and a tour at New Riff Distilling. After sampling bourbon and whiskey, blend some spices at Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices. The store boasts more than 500 herbs, spices and blends and will guide groups to a delectable concoction. 

No visit to Cincinnati is complete without a visit to Graeter’s Ice Cream in Fountain Square. Graeter’s produces craft ice cream and gelato using a small batch, artisanal French Pot process — a production method dating back over a century.

Next, tour the historic Tousey House Tavern and enjoy true Kentucky fare of fried chicken and hot browns.

Day Three
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then visit Vom Fass at Crestview Hills Town Center, where groups will enjoy a demonstration of gourmet oils and spices. Feel free to explore all of the distinct shops at Crestview Hills Town Center.

Montgomery Inn Boathouse, a landmark Cincinnati restaurant that has been wowing locals, visitors and celebrities since 1951, is the lunch stop. Enjoy mouthwatering ribs and grab a bottle of savory barbecue sauce to take home.

After lunch, visit Findlay Market. Explore some sweet treats at Holtman’s Donut Shop and Maverick Chocolate Co.

For dinner, board a BB Riverboats cruise. A favorite of the riverfront for more than 30 years, BB Riverboats will educate groups on the history of the river, serve a magnificent meal and encourage groups to dance under the stars. 

Northern Kentucky CVB


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