The summer lineup of free, guided tours of stunning public art

Explore Newport and Covington’s remarkable public art, their vibrant entertainment districts, and enjoy some tasty delights with a series of free, guided, walking art tours this summer.

Jill Morenz, the director of the NKY Public Arts Network, will be leading the tours, which she says are ideal for visitors and tourists who want to explore the entertainment districts, as well as for residents who often discover art they didn’t realize was there.

“Even long-time residents usually learn something new on our tours,” she says.

The Public Arts Network, an initiative of the Catalytic Fund, is partnering with meetNKY to present the experiences, many of which involve visits to local restaurants, bars and shops.

For example, the Sweet and Spicy Tour, which starts at 6 PM Thursday, June 9, begins at Golden Gelato in Covington and winds through the neighborhood for about three-quarters of a mile. There will be a stop for flavored pretzels from Yankee Doodle Deli, and up-close looks at the murals and art-related businesses in the area. The tour ends at Rich’s Proper Food and Drink, where the Squad Goals cocktail, which features tequila and chili liqueur, is recommended.

The Frosty Roebling Tour, scheduled for Sunday, June 26 at 4 PM, starts at Roebling Point Books and Coffee in Covington. The 0.8-mile-long walk takes guests to meet the statue of John Roebling, crosses under his namesake suspension bridge and past the Covington floodwall murals. The tour proceeds down Madison Avenue and back into the Roebling Point neighborhood, concluding at Frosthaus for slushies, boozy or not.

The Newport Art and Architecture Tour, scheduled for Saturday, July 16 at 9 AM, includes the murals, statues and buildings of historic Monmouth Street, Newport on the Levee, and the approach to the Purple People Bridge.

Another Newport tour, called Sharks, Cannons & Bell, scheduled for Thursday, June 30 at 5:30 PM, leads from the Newport Aquarium mural to the courthouse and World Peace Bell and ends at Moondawg’s Studio for some artsy browsing time.

Other tours include stops at galleries, an in-depth discussion of the Riverside Drive statues, and Covington’s beautiful downtown post office building.

For a full list of the free tours and to reserve a spot on one of them, visit the NKY Art Tours website.