One of the newest attractions in Northern Kentucky is the Creation Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd., Petersburg (tel. 888/582-4253; www.creationmuseum.org), a controversial museum that opened in 2006 in the countryside about 7 miles west of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
A decidedly Christian endeavor, the 70,000-square-foot museum features state-of-the-art exhibits, interactive sensory theater experiences, and a stellar planetarium show -- all designed to entertain visitors while bringing the Bible to life. Scientific and evolution theories are examined in great detail. For example, displays suggest that dinosaurs roamed the Garden of Eden along with Adam and Eve, and that God literally made the entire universe in 6 days, resting on the seventh day.
A magnet for families and church groups, the Creation Museum also offers a Bible-themed restaurant and cafe with outdoor seating, and an extensive gift shop. Surrounded by farmland, the bucolic grounds outside the museum include a petting zoo, a small lake, and landscaped walking trails and picnic sites. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $9.95 for children 5 to 12, and free to children 4 and under. Planetarium admission is an additional $7, and the petting zoo is an extra $2 (children 1 and under are free).
Back in the Covington/downtown Cincinnati area, the Newport Aquarium, One Aquarium Way, Newport (tel. 800/406-3474 or 859/491-FINS [491-3467]; www.newportaquarium.com), is another top regional tourist destination. Located on the banks of the Ohio River, with stunning views of the Cincinnati skyline, the aquarium displays 11,000 marine animals, including 50 sharks and 16 king penguins. It also offers 200 feet of clear, seamless tunnels that put visitors literally face-to-face with sharks and other creatures of the deep. The aquarium is open 365 days a year, from 10am to 7pm Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 10am to 6pm the rest of the year. Admission is $19 for adults, $12 for children ages 3 to 12. Late afternoon and early evening are the best times to avoid crowds.
Leaving the aquarium, head west on Fourth Street, across the Licking River, and in about 2 miles you'll come to Main Street, Covington. A left turn takes you into Main Strasse Village, a neighborhood that recalls northern Kentucky's German heritage. Over several blocks, visitors will find an inviting and interesting collection of shops, antiques stores, restaurants, art galleries, pubs, and neighborhood taverns. It's rarely overcrowded and great for a late-afternoon stroll and window-shopping, followed by dinner in a local haunt.
BB Riverboats, 1 Madison Ave., Covington (tel. 800/261-8586 or 859/261-8500; www.bbriverboats.com), offers short afternoon and evening excursions up and down the Ohio River past the city's skyline, particularly beautiful from the water at night. Call or check the website for information on the numerous options and prices.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.