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Cruising through history between Kentucky and Ohio
By Tom Adkinson

river queen riverboat
River Queen riverboat in Cincinnati; image by Tom Adkinson.

CINCINNATI – The Ohio River both divides and unites the metropolitan region that on one bank has Cincinnati and on the other bank has Northern Kentucky, an interesting collection of several cities. Regional reality is proven by the fact that Cincinnati’s airport isn’t even in Ohio. It is across the river in Northern Kentucky.

The river, of course, provides a great perspective, and the Belle of Cincinnati and the River Queen riverboats deliver just that whenever they cast off from Newport, Kentucky. Daytime sightseeing cruises or entertainment-filled dinner cruises show you an array of sights. Among them are Northern Kentucky’s Newport Aquarium (where you can get up close with penguins, even here in the middle of the country) and Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark (home of the Cincinnati Reds, baseball’s first professional team, which is celebrating its 150th season in 2019).

river queen riverboat
View from the River Queen riverboat in Cincinnati; image by Tom Adkinson.

You pass directly under another notable structure, the John Roebling Suspension Bridge, which may look vaguely familiar. The bridge pops up in movies (“Rain Man” with Dustin Hoffman, “Marauders” with Bruce Willis, for instance), and it bears a stunning resemblance to another famous bridge, New York’s Brooklyn Bridge. The reason? John Roebling designed both of them. When the Ohio-to-Kentucky bridge opened in 1869, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It lost that claim to, you guessed it, the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883.

Trip-planning resources:

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s new book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available at

Published May 31, 2019

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