Tag Archives: Kentucky

Photo of the Week: View from Eden Park in Cincinnati.

Photo is taken from up-top Eden Park in Cincinnati, Ohio looking eastward down the Ohio River with Kentucky opposite. Cincinnati is known for their parks and rolling hills which leads to many scenic viewing opportunities.

Cincinnati Eden Park - Ohio River

A Working Day in Lexington, Kentucky.

Detroit and Atlanta. I’ve done the twelve-hour I-75 drive back-and-forth dozens of times over the years, usually sight-seeing along the way, sometimes stopping overnight to recharge, other times driving straight through. This day would be different. It was a working day.

I needed to put in almost a days worth of work, but wanted to get from A to B in the same day. For that to work I needed to get on the road as early as possible (4 a.m.) to get as far as I could before stopping to spend time on the laptop. The place I chose to stop, one I had never really spent any time in before on the route was Lexington, Kentucky. It was a good midway point too.

I was traveling north-to-south from Michigan so on this early morning I drove through Ohio (with a refuel at a Waffle House) and Cincinnati and into Northern Kentucky towards Lexington.

Northern Kentucky - I-75 southbound heading towards Lexington

Northern Kentucky - I-75 southbound heading towards Lexington

Reaching the city in mid-morning I headed to Common Grounds Coffee House & Cafe. It sits just outside downtown in the Aylesford Place neighborhood. As a bonus this day gave me an excuse to visit new coffeehouses, capture photos and consume as much caffeine as possible haha. It would definitely help later on.

Common Grounds Coffee House & Cafe - Lexington, Kentucky

Common Grounds Coffee House & Cafe opened in 1992. They had an extensive menu of coffee drinks and food items. My beverage of choice was a Buckeye Latte. Who can go wrong with a Ghiardelli chocolate and peanut butter coffee?! It was a relaxing place to work, with lot’s of college students from the University of Kentucky and others on their laptops.

Buckeye Latte - Common Grounds Coffee House & Cafe - Lexington, Kentucky

I roamed around the old brick building of the coffeehouse checking out all the rooms and the unique art work on the walls throughout.

After working for a few hours it was time for a change of scenery and time to checkout another popular coffeehouse destination, Third Street Stuff and Coffee.

Third Street Stuff and Coffee - Lexington, Kentucky

Third Street Stuff and Coffee sits on Lexington’s East End opening in 1991. Unique and creative, creative, creative are the words I’d use to describe it inside and out. As the name suggests it’s part craft store, part coffeehouse. Everything is decorated: the chairs, the trash cans, the outside walls, the outdoor seating, you name it. It definitely has that small-town community feel to it and all the workers were exceptionally nice. I was consuming multiple iced coffees there. 🙂

Lexington, Kentucky - Third Street Stuff & Coffee Lexington, Kentucky - Third Street Stuff & Coffee

Third Street Stuff and Coffee - Lexington, Kentucky

Third Street Stuff and Coffee - Lexington, Kentucky

I was in the heart of Kentucky basketball country, Big Blue Nation. As I sat in Third Street Stuff & Coffee their first-round SEC tournament game against LSU was getting underway. The coffeehouse emptied. The streets emptied except for some unlucky people who had to work.

I took this as the perfect opportunity to take a break and checkout the city before heading to my next coffeehouse.

Downtown Lexington, Kentucky

In downtown the tallest building in blue is the Lexington Financial Center. Proposed on the open grassed lot in the foreground is CentrePointe. The project would result in the tallest building in Kentucky being built which would feature a hotel, condos and retail and office space. A panoramic shot from South Limestone Street.

Panoramic shot - Downtown Lexington, Kentucky

Being in Big Blue Nation I had to checkout the University of Kentucky men’s basketball teams home court, Rupp Arena. The arena opened in 1976 and is part of Lexington Center, a convention center with a mall and the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The arena is named after legendary coach Adolph Rupp, who led Kentucky to four of their seven National Championships. It’s hosted NCAA Tournament Games and Final Fours and more games for Kentucky’s women’s team of late which has become a power recently too.

Rupp Arena - Lexington, Kentucky basketball - Big Blue Nation

Right outside the gates in the lobby is the old Rupp Arena center court.

Rupp Arena - Lexington, Kentucky basketball - Big Blue Nation

After checking out downtown and driving through the University of Kentucky I headed to Coffee Times on the southern outskirts of town. It seemed like a cool place, but had a lack of electrical outlets. When choosing a coffeehouse to spend time in, that won’t work for me. I headed to a nearby Starbucks for a while, before it was time to hit the open road.

I headed the rest of the way through Kentucky, into Tennessee and finally into Georgia and the Atlanta area. I arrived after midnight making it almost a 24-hour day trip south. All that caffeine consumption sure came in handy. 🙂

I accomplished a lot though getting work done, being on the open road, capturing some photos and spending time in a new place and drinking lot’s of coffee. What could be better? It’s definitely something I’ll do again. Returning to Lexington is a must too.

Do you stop for long periods of time when on the open road? If so, what do you do? Explore? Work? Checkout the local restaurants and bars?

The Queen City, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky

Cincinnati. The Queen City. Northern Kentucky. So much history, so beautiful and so many great places to see. I’ve talked about my time in this area before but I thought I’d give my top ten list of things to do (so far) when in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Skyline Chili. This is the one place people think of when they think Cincinnati and dining. There are several locations in the area. Make sure to get the cheesy coney’s with chili. They have their own secret recipe. Don’t forget to put the bib they give you on!

Zip’s Cafe. Get a Double Zip Burger with cheese along with cheese and chili fries. You might get hooked like me. Zip’s Cafe sits right in the heart of Mount Lookout an eastern Cincinnati neighborhood along with several other restaurants, bars and nightlife options.

Devou Park. The hills become higher and more numerous as you approach Cincinnati from the north and they definitely keep up their intensity as you enter Kentucky. A great place to get a panoramic view of the city, Ohio River and the Northern Kentucky suburbs.

John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. Standing along the Ohio River in Covington, Kentucky you get amazing scenery and some great photos from both the east and west side of this amazing landmark. Open since 1866, you’ll find pictures of the iconic bridge everywhere around town.

Purple People Bridge. A pedestrian only bridge around since 1886. On one side you have Yeatman’s Cove Park and downtown Cincinnati on the other you have downtown Newport, Kentucky with shops, restaurants and the Newport Aquarium. It’s neat to be able to walk and say I’m in Ohio, oh wait I’m now in Kentucky!

Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park. Sitting right along the Ohio River, whether your running, walking or just hanging out you’ll see various gardens (each representing a different part of the world), sculptures and homes off to the north in the hills.

Yeatman’s Cove Park. Also along the Ohio River, it resides in downtown and on the location the city was founded. You can grab a cart and go riding up and down the central riverfront. Run up and down the Serpentine Wall that separates the park from the river, also a perfect spot to catch a concert or other event. Get great scenic shots of the city and Roebling Bridge. You can flow from one park to the next, running along the river on a nice day, can’t beat that!

Eden Park and Krohn Conservatory. Eden Park resides near the Ohio River but up in the hills. It’s home to a fountain, lake, the Cincinnati Art Museum, magnificent views of both Ohio and Kentucky and a conservatory. Krohn Conservatory is home to an indoor tropical and rainforest setting with flowers, trees and plants from all over the world. There is an international butterfly show coming up too.

Carew Tower. What ever city I’m in I have to go up the tallest building to get a view of everything. Standing up-top Cincinnati’s tallest building on the observation deck (the 48th floor) you get a great view of the skyline and the rest of the city. On a clear day you can see the suburbs in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Attend a Cincinnati Reds baseball game. Known as baseball’s first professional franchise founded back in 1882, the Red Stockings, they have so much history. Great American Ball Park, sitting right on the riverfront, makes for the perfect day outside.

Checkout one of my day road trips there in a previous blog entry where I go into more detail on some of the places I just described. What is your favorite thing to do in southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky? I still have to checkout Montgomery Inn, Findlay Market, the Newport Aquarium, take a Ohio riverboat ride and go to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. What else do you suggest?

Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Detroit to Atlanta. Atlanta to Detroit. I’ve spent a lot of quality time on I-75, which runs from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the bottom of Florida. One of my favorite areas along the route is Cincinnati and North Kentucky. I’ve spent some time here when passing through, but this past Saturday the reason I got on I-75 was to spend the day there.
Cincinnati - from Devou Park, Covington, Kentucky

Driving south and with the sun coming up I crossed over the Ohio River with the city and stadiums to the left into Kentucky. I got some much-needed hot java at my favorite Starbucks in Kentucky (yes, I do have a favorite location in every state) in Florence about ten miles inside the state line. I stayed on the Kentucky side and went looking for a place in the hills to get some scenic shots of the Ohio River and the Cincinnati skyline. I found Devou Park in Covington. A perfect setting, despite it being chilly. I got photos of Covington and the Kentucky suburbs and Cincinnati. Breathtaking with the blue skies and cumulus clouds.
Cincinnati hills from Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park

Venturing into Cincinnati and back into Ohio, I went to my two favorite parks along the Ohio River, Yeatmans Cove and Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park. Yeatmans Cove Park is right by the sport stadiums and has steps that remind me of Rocky in Philadelphia. You park on an angle as the parking lot goes straight down into the water. Theodore M. Berry International Friendly park contains gardens that represent five of the planets continents. Lot’s of greenery, flowers and statues. You can get scenic views of the houses in the hills right off to the north as you walk.
Cincinnati ice rink at Fountain Square

Always visiting the parks and riverfront when passing through and even a Reds game, I’ve never ventured into downtown. Not this trip. I parked right in the heart at the The Westin Cincinnati by Fountain Square. Walking out of the hotel I immediately was in Fountain Square, in the center of the downtown area. I spent some time and got some pictures of the ice rink as they are getting it ready for the winter months, went inside a prototype of a Cincinnati street car that’s going to help transport people around the region and hung out around the fountain itself.
View atop Carew Tower in Cincinnati

Within a block is Carew Tower the tallest part of the skyline and another great place to get picturesque views of the city and region. You can not only see Ohio and Kentucky but Indiana as well which is part of the immediate area. I got up to the 49th floor some stairs some elevator and took photos from every direction, trying not to look down. It was pretty cold up there.
Skyline Chili cheese coneys in Cincinnati

It was time for some eats. Where else was I going to go other than Skyline Chili. I got two cheese coneys topped with their famous chili and was definitely impressed. I got offered a bib to wear, but I passed. I’m regretting that. I also checked out Graeter’s, home of what I heard is the best ice cream in town. I didn’t have any because I was full, but bought a stuffed animal and then sat and soaked in the atmosphere looking out towards Fountain Square.

I hung out in The Westin Cincinnati for a bit, charging my phone and watching everyone come and go, then took off out of the downtown area. I needed to get some meat as I was making fried rice, my signature dish, that night so I made a stop at Stehlin’s Meat Market on the northwest side of town. Boy the good things I heard about them were absolutely true. I got some of the best cuts/pieces of chicken and steak I’ve ever had. The fried rice turned out amazing by the way.

Lot’s of people pass through the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region every day on I-75 and other major thoroughfares on the way to their destination. With the parks, hills, skyline and downtown area, Ohio River, eats and with Kentucky being right there, Cincinnati is definitely a world-class city worth spending time in.

Check out my photos from the trip. Also check out my other Cincinnati photos when passing through on trips past. I would definitely recommend a Reds game, going up in the hills and checking out as many parks as you can.