Covington is the Gateway to All Things Bourbon
From Cincinnati, cross the iconic John A. Roebling Bridge over the original Bourbon Line – the Ohio River, which transported the first of America’s Native Spirit to an appreciative nation – and you’re in Covington, the North’s Gateway to the South. A bustling river community that gives Roebling his due on the Riverside Drive Statue Tour (after all, this engineering marvel was the prototype for New York’s famous Brooklyn Bridge), Covington is also the gateway to all things bourbon and one serious culinary hot spot.
Where to begin your adventure in bourbon? At the beginning: The B-Line.
This signature experience is Northern Kentucky’s own bourbon trail and a trailhead to Kentucky Bourbon Country, one that sets the bar for savoring nuanced sips. In fact, you can make a beeline here to a whopping eight “Best Bars in America,” as proclaimed by The Bourbon Review.
From Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar’s impressive lineup of 600-plus bourbons and whiskeys in Mainstrasse Village to The Globe’s own enviable bourbon list in Covington’s business district to Roebling Point’s Smoke Justis, rocking slow pours and “Kentucky hugs” (bourbons paired with smoked meats), “The Cov” brings it with bourbon.
Bourbon & Beer
Five craft distilleries are on The B-Line, including one with mystical powers and one whose bourbon is “Made by Ghosts.” The former is Ludlow’s magical, artisanal Second Sight Spirits offering a fun fortune-teller theme; the latter is Boone County Distilling Company, whose bourbon pays tribute to a pioneering spirit that reaches back to 1833.
Covington may be awash in bourbon, but it also gives a nod to the area’s beer and brewing heritage through craft breweries like Ludlow’s Bircus Brewing Company, where a dozen drafts and three-ring fun are on tap with everything from live music to circus shows. Braxton Brewing Co. also raises the roof with a taproom that feels like a friend’s (huge) living room and a rooftop bar with lawn space, a lush wall of living plants and sweeping views.
Culinary & Outdoor Delights
With diverse and delicious foodie experiences, Covington’s culinary landscape is gastronomy heaven: Dutch-inspired fine dining at Lisse Steakhuis; casual and brunch eats at The Standard, a converted 1930s garage; dog-friendly Covington Yard Bar and Food Container Park with indoor/outdoor TVs, artificial turf and artisan foodstuffs; KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia, where “soul food meets kung food.”
Those sit among dozens of other area restaurants – including one located in a building where families once shopped for coats, appliances and bedding. That would be Coppin’s Restaurant and Bar, an upscale gastropub known for its locally sourced New American fare and handcrafted cocktails, served in an airy but cozy setting within Hotel Covington. This world-class boutique hotel, built in the footprint of the former Coppin’s Department Store, is one of the top luxury accommodations in the state and, according to TripAdvisor, also one of the best in the country.
Covington is a park-and-walk kind of town, its neighborhoods enriched with 19th century architecture and lavish public art, with sculptures and murals popping up throughout its historic districts and business center. The Roebling Murals splash area history across the floodwall in colorful detail. See them from Covington Plaza, a gorgeous riverside gathering space with an amphitheater, hiking and biking paths, and kayak and canoe access.
More trails are found at Covington’s Devou Park, a natural beauty with swaths of lawn for picnics, a fishing lake, an amphitheater with outdoor concerts and a gem of a history museum at the Behringer-Crawford. An overlook offers breathtaking views of the Cincinnati skyline and Covington streetscapes where, you can be sure, a bourbon bar or three can be found nearby.
Ready to make a beeline to Covington? Plan your trip at meetnky.com/cities/covington.