12 Things to Do in Newport, KY

Newport, Kentucky has a fascinating history intertwined with the era of Prohibition and organized crime. The most notorious gangster associated with Newport was George Remus, a prominent bootlegger and lawyer. Remus established a vast bootlegging empire, smuggling alcohol from Canada and other parts of the country. He became incredibly wealthy and gained considerable influence in Newport and the surrounding areas.

For those interested in the city’s colorful history, the Newport Gangsters Tour is a must-do activity. While the city has evolved and transformed over the years, it retains a fascinating connection to its gangster past, attracting visitors who are intrigued by the tales of bootlegging, gambling, and the colorful characters who once called Newport home.

Let’s have a look together at the 12 things you can do in Newport to make the best of your days here:

1. Explore the fascinating underwater world at the Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium is home to a diverse collection of marine species and exhibits. Here you can immerse yourself in a captivating world of aquatic wonders.

One of the highlights is the Amazon Rainforest exhibit, where guests can encounter fascinating creatures like piranhas, anacondas, and vibrant poison dart frogs.

The cost of admission to Newport Aquarium can vary, so it’s best to check their official website for the most up-to-date pricing information. They often offer discounted rates for children, seniors, and online ticket purchases.

2. Take a stroll on Newport on the Levee

Newport on the Levee
Image source: tripadvisor.com

Newport on the Levee is a vibrant entertainment complex located in Newport, Kentucky, just across the river from downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.

Here you can eat, shop, go to the movies, enjoy activities such as arcade, mini-golf course, and an escape room experience.

ne of the highlights of Newport on the Levee is its picturesque location along the banks of the Ohio River. Visitors can enjoy scenic views of the river, the Cincinnati skyline, and the iconic John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, which connects Kentucky and Ohio. Walking along the riverfront promenade offers a refreshing and serene experience.

3. Explore the Newport Gangster Tour

Newport Gangster Tour
Image source: kentuckyliving.com

The Newport Gangster Tour is an ideal experience for history buffs, those fascinated by true crime stories, and anyone seeking an engaging and memorable outing. Visitors can expect an immersive experience that transports them back in time to the heyday of bootlegging, speakeasies, and the roaring twenties.

This guided tour offers a unique perspective on the city’s notorious past as a hotbed for organized crime, speakeasies, and bootlegging.

4. Take a ride on this towering Ferris wheel and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the Ohio River

Ferry Wheel

One of the activities you should not miss during t your visit is enjoying the panoramic views of the city and the Ohio River the Ferris wheel offers. From the top, you can also enjoy sweeping vistas of downtown Cincinnati, the Cincinnati skyline, and the picturesque bridges that connect Kentucky and Ohio.

As you ascend in the comfortable enclosed gondolas, you can soak in the breathtaking sights, capturing beautiful photos and creating lasting memories.

5. Visit the Purple People Bridge

Purple People Bridge

Originally built as a railroad bridge in the 1870s, it was later converted into a pedestrian bridge. The bridge holds historical significance as one of the last remaining truss-style bridges in the region.

Exploring the Purple People Bridge allows visitors to connect with the area’s past and appreciate its architectural heritage. It’s a great vantage point to appreciate the beauty of the river, the surrounding cityscapes, and the scenic bridges that adorn the skyline.

6. Learn about Newport’s rich history at the Newport History Museum

Newport History Museum
Image source: shopgreaternewport.com

At the Newport History Museum in Newport, Kentucky, you can delve into the rich history of the area and discover fascinating stories that shaped the region. The museum offers a captivating journey through time, showcasing exhibits and artifacts that provide insights into Newport’s past.

Here, you can learn about the city’s origins, its role in the steamboat era, Prohibition, and the vibrant entertainment scene that once thrived here. Explore the exhibits that highlight the city’s historic neighborhoods, iconic landmarks, and the influential figures who left their mark on Newport’s development.

7. Experience live music at the Southgate House Revival

If you enjoy live music you should add Southgate House Revival to your list. The venue often features rock and alternative bands, providing an energetic and lively atmosphere. The performances include a vast range of music genres such as indie rock, punk, garage rock, and more.

It’s important to note that the lineup and specific events at Southgate House Revival can vary, so it’s recommended to check their official website or social media channels for the most up-to-date information on upcoming shows and performances.

8. Enjoy outdoor recreation at General James Taylor Park


Begin your time at General James Taylor Park by taking a leisurely stroll through the park’s walking trails. Immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings, enjoy the fresh air, and admire the scenic views of the Ohio River.

Take your time to appreciate the natural beauty of the park and capture some memorable photos along the way.

9. Dine at the Newport Syndicate

Newport Syndicate Restaurant

Enjoy a delightful experience that combines delicious food with a unique ambiance at Newport Syndicate restaurant.

The Newport Syndicate is housed in a beautifully restored historic building that exudes charm and character. Its rich history adds a touch of elegance and nostalgia to your dining experience, providing a unique backdrop for your meal.

10. Visit the Newport Pavilion

If you have some spare money, then Newport Pavilion is the place to spend a couple of hours shopping. The pavilion is home to a variety of retail stores, ranging from national chains to local boutiques. You can explore a wide array of shops offering clothing, accessories, electronics, home goods, and more.

Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends or searching for unique items, you’re likely to find something that suits your style and preferences.

11. Sample regional dishes, craft beers, and bourbon at the various restaurants throughout Newport

Kentucky fried chicken

Originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, the Kentucky Hot Brown is an iconic dish that has become a favorite throughout the state. It consists of an open-faced sandwich with layers of turkey, bacon, and tomatoes, topped with a rich Mornay sauce and baked until golden and bubbly.

Kentucky is known for its mouthwatering fried chicken. The local variations often feature a perfectly seasoned and crispy coating, resulting in juicy and flavorful chicken. Many restaurants and diners in Newport serve up their own versions of this classic Southern dish.

12. Take a riverboat cruise

Ohio river

There is no one that is not more calm when cruising down the river. When visiting Newport, you enjoy this activity by embarking on a delightful riverboat cruise along the picturesque Ohio River.

The popular riverboat cruise experience can be enjoyed at Newport Landing, located at 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, KY 41071. Newport Landing offers a range of scenic cruises that allow you to explore the beauty of the Ohio River and its surroundings.


Sometimes small cities can make a great destination too and Newport definitely marks all the points. As you will explore Newport, you’ll be captivated by its blend of history, entertainment, and stunning river views.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a music lover, or simply looking to soak in the unique charm of this river town, Newport is ready to welcome you with open arms.

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