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Northern Kentucky has become a popular alternative overnight destination for business and leisure travelers visiting Cincinnati. Most hotels offer shuttle buses to the city or other locations in northern Kentucky. The traffic is not as bad as Cincinnati's, and guests are close to nightlife and restaurants on the south side of the Ohio River.

The Cincinnati Marriott at RiverCenter (tel. 859/261-2900; http://marriott.com) is a new high-rise hotel right on the river at the foot of Madison Avenue in Covington, directly across from the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. It's a favorite of business travelers; weekend packages are available for leisure visitors. Rates run $159 to $249 double.

A local landmark known for its circular style, the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront (tel. 859/491-1200; www.radisson.com/covingtonky) sits hard against I-75 -- the major north-south route through Ohio and Kentucky -- along Covington's Fifth Street. Rooms cost $99 to $199 double. Other riverfront hotels include Comfort Suites Hotel (tel. 859/291-6700; www.choicehotels.com), on Newport's Riverboat Row; Embassy Suites (tel. 888/EMBASSY [362-2779] or 859/261-8400; www.embassysuites.com), at Covington's RiverCenter; Hampton Inn/Cincinnati Riverfront, 200 Crescent Ave., Covington (tel. 800/HAMPTON [426-7866] or 859/581-7800; www.hamptoninn.com); and Holiday Inn/Riverfront, 600 W. Third St., Covington (tel. 859/291-4300; www.holidayinn.com).

Northern Kentucky's historic riverfront neighborhoods also offer some quaint bed-and-breakfasts. Two of the best are the Amos Shinkle Townhouse B&B, 215 Garrard St., Covington (tel. 859/431-2118; www.amosshinkle.net), which is just 2 blocks from the river near the Mike Fink restaurant; and Christopher's Bed and Breakfast, 604 Poplar St., Bellevue (tel. 888/585-7085 or 859/491-9354; www.christophersbb.com), located in a restored turn-of-the-20th-century church that features the intriguing combination of whirlpool tubs and stained-glass windows in the guest rooms. Rates at both B&Bs run $105 to $179 double.

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.