Jazzy speakeasy and lots of bourbon: Why Cincinnati & N. Kentucky made a big travel list

As a rule, I’m not fond of lists. You know … best places to (fill in the blank.) Still, as a travel writer, I’m always curious about “Conde Nast Traveler” magazine’s annual list of best places to go in a given calendar year.

Opening this year’s issue on the 23 Best Places to go in the U.S. in 2023, I found the usual suspects: Boston, Las Vegas, San Antonio – places with a unique sense of history, style or character.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a newcomer – Northern Kentucky/ Cincinnati. I know how special this metropolitan area on both sides of the Ohio River is, but it was great to see it acknowledged by a national publication.

As often as I’ve visited, I decided it was time for another trip to check out a few of the places that charmed the “Conde Nast Traveler” writer.

“Conde Nast Traveler” also gave high marks to the boutique Hotel Covington. Located in a former department store, it has the design touches (check out the bourbon barrel wall in the lobby) and the hipness factor that most modern hotel designers strive for, without any of the cold starkness many of them end up with. You can actually SIT in their lobby and people watch.

You’ll also want to have a meal in their restaurant Coppin’s, located in a glass-enclosed atrium, which takes on completely different atmospheres at lunch and dinner. Whatever you order, don’t miss their signature tots, perfect squares of potatoes and Parmesan cheese with chili garlic mayo aioli, or the Brown Butter Cornbread with local honey.

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