Kentucky Tourism
Back to Main Site

Along Kentucky's North Shore

Kentucky's northern border is the Ohio River, across the top notch of the state . The river has always played an important role in the heritage and history of Kentucky so follow along and sample scenic beauty, quaint destinations and plenty of history.

The trip to Maysville from Lexington takes a little over one hour, so you may want to plan some extra time to tour and wander off the main path for this part of the trip.

Follow U.S. 27/68 northeast toward Paris to take in towns that developed according to their proximity to the Ohio River. On the way, take a short detour to Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park. Known for its soothing, therapeutic salt springs by Native Americans in Kentucky, pioneers and affluent 19th Century Southerners, Blue Lick State Park marks the site of the last Revolutionary War battle fought in Kentucky.

Just one of the many beautiful Kentucky Wildlife Management Areas, the Clay Wildlife Management Area offers visitors a relaxing drive near the north-flowing Licking River.

Then head to Old Washington and Maysville, towns that were deeply involved in the Underground Railroad system prior to the Civil War. Maysville/Mason County Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Floodwall MuralRussell Theatre
Built in 1929, premiered the Rosemary Clooney movie, The Stars are Singing, in 1953. Maysville was her hometown. Renovation of the theatre is currently underway.

Kentucky Gateway Museum Center
The outstanding miniature collection rivals others on display in Chicago and England.

Old Washington Visitors Center

Harriet Beecher Stowe Slavery to Freedom Museum (Old Washington)

Floodwall Murals

KY 8 tracks along the river from east to west over the state's northern region. If you prefer a faster route a bit inland from the river, head for KY 9, the AA Highway, toward Augusta, the riverside hometown of George Clooney and the filming location for Disney's production of Huck Finn.

Rosemary Clooney House Museum

Augusta Art Guild's Gallery

Tree Climbing at Earthjoy Continue northwest and drop in on the tiny burg of California for some industrial strength tree climbing near A. J. Jolly Park. EARTHJOY, Northern Kentucky's first recreational tree climbing destination.

Just 15 miles northwest to Newport, a bustling river city where the history of Mansion Hill Neighborhood is splendid and the attractions along the river bank fit every taste from family fun to night life.

Newport Aquarium

Newport on the Levee

Just across the Licking River in Covington, is the prototype for New York's Brooklyn Bridge. Construction began prior to the Civil War but was halted by the war. Completed in 1866 Roebling's Suspension Bridge is a testament to his talents.

Located in Devou Park, one of the largest urban parks in the state, the Behringer-Crawford Museum chronicles the culture, art and heritage of this river region.

Rabbit Hash General StoreBack on I-75, go south to the Ky 18 exit and turn west toward the Ohio to visit the quaint hamlet of Rabbit Hash (in Boone County named after you-know-who) just to the south on Ky 20. The town was featured on Animal Planet for its canine mayoral candidates and is home to the Rabbit Hash General Store which has been in business since the early 1800s.

Just down Ryle Road near Union is Jane's Saddlebag, a "hands on" historic educational experience complete with a restored "saddlebag" home.

Go south and east on 338 along the river to the signs for Big Bone Lick Historic Site. Mastodons and wooly mammoths once roamed this area to find salt deposits. The animals got mired in the bogs for eternity and now you can see their likenesses.  Visit the museum and other amenities.

From fascinating history at Blue Licks State Park to a scenic drive through one of the most enjoyable Kentucky Wildlife Management Areas, the Kentucky North Shore has a lot to explore. Start planning your adventure today!