If you are considering coming to Covington, Ky., for the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event, or to visit our storefront or attend a book-release party at our store at 837 Willard St., here is a quick brain dump on the geography, the food and the amenities.
Our storefront is one block off of Main Street in Covington, and it’s a 10-minute walk from the Ohio River and the bridges directly to Cincinnati, Ohio. As a result, you can easily walk from the riverfront and downtown hotels to our store.
If you don’t want to walk (or the weather sucks), consider taking the Southbank Shuttle (it’s all of $1 to ride), which can take you from downtown Cincinnati to Covington and Newport, our next-door neighbor. Details on the Southbank Shuttle are here. There also is bus service throughout all three cities that is run by TANK.
Where to Stay
Until they finish construction on the Covington Hotel near our store, the options are to stay at one of the nice and fairly inexpensive chain hotels on the Covington riverfront, book a room through AirBnB, or stay in downtown Cincinnati.
The hotels on the Covington riverfront include: Hampton Inn, Courtyard, Extended Stay, Marriott, Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn. All are clean, safe and offer decent amenities within walking distance.
If you opt to stay in Cincinnati, I highly recommend the 21c Hotel (no, we don’t get kickbacks). It is a full-service hotel. Amazing restaurant (the Metropole). Fantastic breakfast. Great bar and bartenders. And there’s a semi-secret rooftop bar (the entrance is in the alley). Plus you are steps away from the Contemporary Art Center, my three favorite restaurants downtown and Fountain Square. They also feature challenging modern art in the lobby and are exceedingly nice people.
Entertain Your Family
One of the things we love about raising our kids here is the city is very family friendly. The downtown area (Cincinnati, Covington and Newport) feature enough to keep kids busy for days. Really. Days.
The Newport Aquarium is a short walk from downtown. The Fire Museum is awesome if you have kids who like fire trucks. If your kids are a little older (8 to 10), try the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). Start at the top floor where they have a wild area for kids to create art. We’ve spent days there. Plus the contemporary art throughout is top shelf. And the Zaha Hadid-designed building is fantastic to explore.
If it’s nice outside, go down to the riverfront on the Cincinnati side to the Smale Riverfront Park to blow off steam and ride the merry-go-round. Plus there are a ton of places to eat there at The Banks. (Morelein Lager House there is great for kids and adults.)
The ace in the hole for entertaining the kiddos is the Cincinnati Museum Center. You can spend two or three days solid here without boring the kids (or yourself). The Children’s Museum is there, plus the History Museum, an IMAX theater, the Natural History Museum, an ice cream parlor and all the old train station stuff that kids love. We lived there every weekend when our kids were young.
If your kids like art, head up to Mt. Adams (one of the hills 5 minutes from downtown) for the Cincinnati Art Museum. They have kids programs, including a dedicated space for kids to run wild, art style. Check it out here. And the museum features free admission.
All the above places can be visited easily with public transportation.
Where to Eat
Oh this is difficult. I live to eat. This list could go one for a long time and only scratch the surface. For this entry, I’ll stick to places in Covington only and avoid the chains.
Frida 602, great tacos and margaritas.
Cock and Bull, totally solid pub, great fish and chips and insane draft beer.
Goodfellas, totally solid New York pie. Go upstairs for amazing bourbon.
Keystone, great brunch; fantastic mac and cheese.
Riverside Korean, just fantastic. Never fails.
Kung Food (aka Amerasia), cheap, tasty and one of the best beer lists in the city.
Bouquet, fancy but really good. If you love wine, go here.
NuVo. This is a place to get your mind blown. One of the three best meals I’ve had in this city was here. If you are food-obsessed, it’s a must.
Left Bank Coffeehouse, best coffee in Covington. Great place to vegetate.
Anchor Grill, bring cash. The goetta is made across the street at Glier’s. The best place to nurse a hangover and is just one block from our store (coincidence?).
If you are going to eat across the river, things get even more nuts. Stay tuned.
— Christopher Schwarz