24 Hours in Newport

Newport is filled with a colorful history – once known for gambling, brothels, and high end clubs like the Beverly Hills Supper Club that attracted names as big as Frank Sinatra. Books like "The Syndicate's Wife" capture Sin City's sordid past. But Newport has evolved over the last 50 years or so from a seedy city to a place filled with great food, shopping, art, and nightlife. It's become a great place for the locals to hang out, as well as a town for others to visit.

Now it's your turn to sample this Northern Kentucky city in 24 hours with Soapboxmedia.

Saturday Morning: Mokkaccino and a Bike Ride
Start the morning at Mokka, one of Newport's best breakfast hideaways. You'll want to try the Mokka French Toast, battered with sweet corn flakes and topped with crème brulee pastry cream and fresh bananas or the goetta avalanche. The frittatas and the omelets are definitely worth ordering as well. Be sure to try the delicious signature drink Mokkaccino – half coffee and half and French vanilla cappuccino with whip cream. This quaint little place is smoke free daily from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Head a few blocks south to Reser Bicycle Outfitters for a little morning exercise. The staff will help you pick the perfect bike for your trip, whether it's a mountain bike, road bike or cruiser. They will even map out a 20 mile road bike ride through the city for you or provide maps of local bike trails or set you up with a short ride through historical East Newport. You may enjoy a ride along the riverfront or over the Purple People Bridge to Sawyer Point in Cincinnati. If you're not in the mood for an outdoor ride, you can still get some exercise by taking a spinning class at Fusion Studios, located just above the bicycle shop.

Saturday Afternoon
Once you've worked up an appetite from the bike ride you'll want to hit the York Street Café where you will love any item from their delicious menu. Be sure to take time to check out the toys that line the shelves in the restaurant. My favorite is the Happy Days game. After lunch you'll want to head up to the third floor art gallery to view the works of local artists.  

It's now time for a little shopping. I would start at the Kentucky Haus to pick out handmade Kentucky art, candles, jewelry and more. Next, head over to Monmouth Street starting at the C & D Record Bar. Here you can choose from hundreds of vinyl records, including an impressive array of 45s as well as compact discs. Continuing north on Monmouth, be sure to stop in Sin City Antique Gallery. You will want plenty of time to look through the antique furniture, vintage clothing, unique jewelry, instruments and more. Whether you're looking for a disguise or just want to look around , the Costume Gallery is a fun must-see.

The Carnegie Event Center is housed in an historical building once used as the Newport Public Library. Walk around this gorgeous architectural gem while checking out the ball and tea rooms, as well as the stunning lighting and furniture throughout.

Stop by Sweet Tooth Candies during your shopping trip. This old fashioned candy shop has a large selection of homemade chocolates, caramels and ice cream. They offer seasonal ice balls with homemade syrup and hand dipped caramel apples. You can smell the delicious waffle cones from outside as they are being made. Once you've eaten Sweet Tooth Candies you will want none other than candy from the Tooth.

Saturday Evening
Be sure to have dinner at Detroit Joe's. Don't be fooled by the looks as you pull up to this fine dining smoke-free establishment. It might not be beautiful on the outside but the food and the décor make up for that. My favorite is the chicken Marsala but everyone raves about the filet mignon. The homemade turtle cheesecake is to die for. Reservations are recommended.

Catch a play at the Monmouth Street Theater. This small quaint theater offers traditional, as well as unique plays with a local cast. Tickets usually run about $15 and can be purchased in advance or at the door.

It's time to cut loose at one of Newport's landmark destinations, the historic and legendary Southgate House. The building that houses this night club was built in 1814 and is filled with interesting facts including being the home to General Tommy Thompson, inventor of the Tommy gun. Bands play nightly in the lounge and bigger names tend to fill the ballroom on the weekends. In addition to the three bars, there is an art gallery on the third floor of the house where local artists can display their work.

Saturday Overnight
Even if you live in the area you should experience the Gateway Bed and Breakfast in historic East Newport. While restoring the house originally built in 1878, the owners' philosophy was to retain as much of the original house as possible, adapting their present needs to the existing structure. There were no changes made to the building, with the exception of updating the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry facilities. The original moldings and ceiling medallions are still in place. The rooms offer private baths, gorgeous furniture and a relaxing ambiance.

Sunday Morning
After you wake up, make your way to the gorgeous formal dining room at Gateway Bed and Breakfast for breakfast. Although the breakfast menu varies you might be lucky enough to taste the pancakes with 7-UP or frozen fruit with walnuts.

Once you've had a good night's sleep and filled your tummy you can tip your hat to the great city of Newport. Its fine dining, arts, shopping, nightlife and deliciously decadent history makes it worth visiting.

Photography by Scott Beseler
Taylor Park
Reser Bicycle Outfitters
York St. Cafe
Monmouth Theater
The Historic Southgate House

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