Newport, Kentucky, is a charming destination located just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.
This city is a former “sin city” known for its gambling and illegal activities in the early 17th century but has since undergone a major revitalization.
Today, Newport boasts a rich history, exciting attractions, and some of the best food in the state.
In this post, I will share with you the 15 best and most fun things to do in Newport, Kentucky. So keep reading to discover them.
Things To Do In Newport, Kentucky
1. See The Aquatic Life At Newport Aquarium
Newport Aquarium, located just across the river from Cincinnati, is a unique and interactive aquarium experience that showcases a variety of sea creatures and aquatic environments.
This state-of-the-art facility features over 90 different species of marine life from all over the world, including colorful tropical fish, fascinating sea turtles, and majestic rays.
The highlight of the aquarium is the walk through five smooth tunnels that provide a 360-degree view of the ocean and its inhabitants.
The tunnels, which run through a 1.3 million gallon tank, allow you to feel as though you’re actually swimming with the sea creatures.
There are also hands-on exhibits allowing you to touch and interact with sea animals like baby penguins, starfish, and sharks.
This aquarium has been rated as one of the top attractions in Newport and is a must-visit for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the wonders of the underwater world.
2. Enjoy a BB Riverboat Cruise
You can’t say you’ve been to Newport without taking a trip on BB Riverboats. After all, what better way is there to experience the beauty of the Ohio River and its surroundings?
BB Riverboats offers a variety of excursions, from scenic lunch and dinner cruises to private events and sightseeing tours.
The boats feature indoor and outdoor seating, providing breathtaking views of the river and the skyline.
Their boats are also equipped with full bars and kitchens, serving delicious food and drinks for all occasions.
You can enjoy live entertainment and informative commentary on the river’s history and wildlife as you relax and take in the scenery.
Therefore, a trip on BB Riverboats should be on your list when looking for exciting things to do in Newport.
3. Take A Stroll Across The Purple People Bridge
The Newport Southbank Bridge, also known as the Purple People Bridge, is a pedestrian toll bridge spanning the Ohio River.
It connects Newport, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike.
Built in 1872, this 2,670-foot-long suspension bridge has been a staple of the Newport community for over a century.
It is unique in that it is painted purple, which has earned it the nickname “Purple People Bridge.” The purple color has become synonymous with the bridge and a symbol of the city of Newport.
You can walk across the bridge and admire the stunning views of the Ohio River and the Cincinnati skyline.
It is a peaceful escape from the bustling city, providing a chance to enjoy the fresh air and the sights of nature.
The bridge is open 24 hours a day, making it a convenient destination for early morning or late night walks.
4. Admire the World Peace Bell
Do you know which is the largest free-swinging bell in the world? If you don’t, let me introduce you to the World Peace Bell in Newport.
This massive bell, weighing in at 66,000 pounds, is suspended from a 1400-foot tower and is a symbol of hope and peace for people around the world.
It measures 12 feet in diameter and height, and its clappers alone weigh 6,878 pounds.
The bell rings every day at noon and has been ringing since 1999 when it was first installed.
It serves as a reminder of the need for peace in the world and the importance of working towards a better future for all people.
Visitors to the World Peace Bell can witness its magnificent size and beauty up close, as well as explore the tower and the grounds surrounding it.
There are also remnants of the Twin Towers serving as a tribute to the victims of 9/11 and a symbol of resilience in the face of tragedy.
Today, the World Peace Bell has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Newport, attracting visitors from around the world who are interested in experiencing the grandeur of the bell and its message of peace.
5. Taste Bourbon Beer At New Riff Distilling
Do you know what Bourbon is and how it’s made? If not, you need to visit New Riff Distilling.
New Riff is a modern distillery offering educational tours and tastings to learn about Bourbon.
Bourbon is a type of American whiskey made from a mixture of corn, barley, rye, and wheat. It is aged in charred oak barrels, which give it its distinct flavor and color.
You can learn about this unique process at this distillery and taste some of the best bourbonsBourbon in the region.
I’m a big fan of Bourbon, and I would highly recommend visiting this distillery if you’re looking for cool things to do in Newport.
This will be an unforgettable experience that is sure to deepen your appreciation for this classic American spirit.
6. Get Your Shopping Fix At Newport On The Levee
Newport on the Levee is the perfect destination when you need to satisfy your shopping craving.
This multi-level retail entertainment destination is located on the south banks of the Ohio River and boasts a variety of retailers and dining options.
Here, you’ll find a diverse range of stores, from high-end fashion brands to local boutiques.
You’ll have the chance to indulge in retail therapy or find unique gifts for loved ones.
The shopping center also offers a variety of dining options, ranging from quick bites to sit-down restaurants, ensuring that you’ll never go hungry while shopping.
In addition to shopping and dining, Newport on the Levee also features a state-of-the-art cinema and a number of attractions like an aquarium and interactive exhibits.
The complex is also home to a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, making it a hub for community gatherings.
All these make this shopping destination more than just a place to shop. It’s one of the best places in Newport where you can have a fun-filled day with friends and family.
7. Go For A Haunted Tour At USS Nightmare
One of the unique attractions in Newport is the USS Nightmare, a haunted ship that takes you on a thrilling and spooky adventure.
This haunted ship tells the story of the legendary Mitchell Massacre, where a dredging ship broke loose of its moorings and smashed into bridges in the Missouri River, causing death and destruction.
As you board the ship, you are transported into a world of terror and suspense.
The USS Nightmare is filled with creepy creatures, jump scares, and terrifying twists that will make your heart race.
Chances are you’ll not make it to the end of the tour without letting out a scream or two.
The highly-skilled actors and special effects team create an atmosphere of fear that is unmatched. This is sure to be one of the frightening things to do in
8. Catch A Show At Falcon Theatre
Established in 1989, the Falcon Theatre has been a beloved cultural hub for over thirty years.
This theatre has been providing a wide range of dramatic genres and styles to its audiences, from classic plays to contemporary productions.
The theater’s intimate setting creates an immersive and engaging experience for each performance, allowing audiences to truly connect with the actors and the story.
The theatre prides itself on its commitment to local talent, often showcasing local actors, directors, and writers.
This allows for a vibrant and diverse range of productions that reflect the community and the region.
Therefore, the Falcon Theatre is the place to be when you need that dose of live entertainment.
9. Go on a Newport Gangster Tour
I know this may sound unusual, but the Newport Gangster Tour offers a unique look into the city’s criminal past.
This guided walking tour takes visitors through the streets of Newport and highlights the Prohibition-era bootlegging and organized crime that once dominated the city.
The tour features a stop at various historical sites and tells stories about notorious gangsters and their illegal operations.
It also provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of Newport and the challenges the city faced during a time of great change and turmoil.
Although not everyone will find the topic of gangsters and illegal activities appealing, the tour offers a captivating look at a lesser-known aspect of the city’s history.
So it’s worth including it on your list of unique and exciting things to do in Newport, Kentucky.
10. Go Beer Tasting At Wooden Cask Brewery Company
Are you looking for a place to enjoy great craft beers and a laid-back atmosphere? Look no further than Wooden Cask Brewery Company.
This family-owned brewery has been brewing some of Newport’s finest beers since 1998. It pays homage to old English pubs with its cozy, rustic interior and serves a rotating selection of hand-crafted beers made with only the highest quality ingredients.
You can sample some of their 18 Wooden Cask beers on the menu and find your new favorite brew.
They also have a changing menu of small-batch brews, allowing you to experience new and unique flavors with each visit.
This is a great place for beer enthusiasts to gather and share their passion for beer.
It’s also one of the best spots in Newport to unwind after a long day and enjoy a cold, refreshing beer.
11. Watch Live Music Performance At Southgate House Revival
Southgate House Revival is a treasured music venue that celebrates Newport’s rich history of live music.
Established on October 12, 2012, this music venue has gained a reputation for its stunning acoustics and commitment to hosting diverse musical acts.
In addition to its live events, the venue also features an art gallery, bar, and restaurant, making it a one-stop destination for a night out.
The bar serves a wide range of craft beers and cocktails, while the restaurant offers a menu of hearty dishes and snacks.
Therefore, don’t let boredom take over your night. Head to the Southgate House Revival and enjoy the sounds of local musicians, touring artists, and everything in between.
So be sure to include a visit to this place in your list of fun places to visit in Newport, Kentucky.
12. Relax at General James Taylor Park
Take a break and enjoy the great outdoors at General James Taylor Park in Newport.
This serene two-level park is nestled along the Ohio River and is perfect if you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the city.
The park features stunning views of the river, as well as walking trails, a bicentennial reading wall, picnic areas, a historical monument, and plenty of green space to explore.
The park’s lower level is home to a fishing area, making it the perfect place to cast a line and try your luck at fishing.
I found this to be a great spot for a picnic or a relaxing stroll. Its natural beauty and peaceful surroundings make it an ideal place to unwind and recharge.
So if you’re looking for cool things to do in Newport, this is definitely worth checking out.
13. Take Your Furry Friend To The Newport Dog Park
When traveling with your furry friend, Newport Dog Park is the perfect place to take them for some exercise and socialization.
This off-leash dog park provides a safe and fun environment for dogs to play and run around.
The park features stunning landscaping, walking trails, pavement paths, and a large open area for dogs to run and play.
The park is also equipped with water stations, shaded areas, and pet-friendly seating areas.
So if you’re looking for a place to give your dog some much-needed exercise, this is one of the best sites in Newport.
Not only will the dog be able to stretch his legs and play, but he’ll also be able to socialize and make new friends.
14. Taste Italian Delicacies At Pompilio’s
Food is a big part of the cultural experience in Newport, and one restaurant that should not be missed is Pompilio’s.
This Italian restaurant was established in 1933 and has been serving authentic Italian cuisine for generations.
This makes it one of Newport’s attractions that food lovers should definitely check out.
One of the highlights of Pompilio’s is the extensive menu featuring a variety of classic Italian dishes, such as spaghetti, ravioli, meatballs, lasagna, and chicken parmigiana.
All dishes are made with the freshest ingredients and are prepared to perfection, ensuring that every bite is packed with flavor.
15. Go Bowling At Rotolo
The last on this list of best things to do in Newport is bowling at Rotolo. Rotolo is an Italian word meaning “roll,” and it fits the popular bowling alley.
The bowling alley features a 16-lane facility with state-of-the-art Steltronic scoring systems that provide accurate and fun-filled gaming experiences for bowlers of all skill levels.
Other games available here include Foosball, Billiards, and Bocce Ball.
Additionally, the bowling alley offers leagues, tournaments, and open bowling. It also features a 68-seat restaurant and 2 full-service bars with a variety of drinks and snacks to choose from.
Last but not least, the atmosphere at Rotolo is lively and energetic, with music and sound effects creating an exciting and immersive experience.
The bright and colorful decor makes it a fun and enjoyable place to be.