Stuff your mouth with amazing flavors. Fill your social feed with incredible shots. Sip cocktails so scrumptious you’ll never regret your age. Get inspired by creative works of art, historic architecture, and to-die-for views. Enjoy authentic bourbon experiences. Find outdoor adventures at whatever speed you prefer to go. Want to inspire travel envy? Come to Covington, Kentucky.
Covington, an Official Gateway to The Kentucky Bourbon Trail, offers easy access to seven distilleries plus an abundant array of other bourbon-centric venues. Whether you’ve got one night, three nights, or longer to stay, we’ll keep you busy enjoying authentic bourbon experiences.
Here’s just a sampling of the fun possibilities that await.
Kentucky Bourbon Distillery Tours
No matter how much or how little you know about bourbon, you can learn a lot on a distillery tour. Most distilleries host tours and tastings; while themes vary, on most every tour you can expect to learn the history of the founding family and brand, glean insights into mash bill recipes and production techniques used, see the equipment that transforms grain to liquid, visit rickhouses to see aging barrels, and sip the results at a tasting bar. At key points, you’ll hear stills clanging and chugging, sniff sweet and sour mash, get a pleasant whiff of the evaporate known as the Angel’s Share, and taste America’s Native Spirit.
Reservations are recommended for distillery tours; typically, you can check available dates/times and book your reservation on the distillery’s website.
Covington offers five distilleries as part of The B-Line, Northern Kentucky’s unique bourbon tour:
- Boone County Distilling Co., which honors bourbon history and proclaims it’s “made by ghosts” of distillers who paved the way, offers a guided tasting (from $9) and a one-hour grain to glass experience (from $14) Tuesdays through Sundays at its distillery in Independence.
- Neeley Family Distillery, a small family-owned operation in Sparta, offers guided 1.5-hour tours and tastings for $20 every Monday-Saturday at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. If you don’t have time to tour, tastings are available at each half hour for $15 per person.
- The Old Pogue Distillery, where fifth and sixth generation Pogue family members produce bourbon using time-honored family recipes, offers tours that typically last 40-60 minutes on select dates that include the chance to taste bourbon and rye inside the historic family home. You can also visit the nearby Old Pogue Experience in downtown Maysville at The Kentucky Gateway Museum and enjoy tasting Old Pogue bourbon and rye for $5 each.
- New Riff Distilling, where traditions meet innovation in Newport, offers a bonded tour through the distillery’s nooks and crannies for $20, a barrel proof tour and tasting through the warehouses for $35, a grain to glass tour and tasting with New Riff’s co-founder Jay Erisman for $45, and a blend experience to create your own bottle of bourbon for $90.
- Second Sight Spirits, where artisan distillers aim to present local products in new ways, offers a distillery tour and tasting from $14 and a “séance” evening of drag, burlesque, and cocktails from $10. The distillery is located in Ludlow.
Beyond The B-Line, additional distilleries are also worth a visit.
- Bird Distillery in Augusta honors history with its aged and un-aged whiskeys. It’s also home to Baker-Bird Winery, the oldest wine cellar in the U.S.! Current visiting hours are 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Pensive Distilling Co., in Newport produces and bottles spirits on site and operates as a distillery, bar, and restaurant. It offers 45-minute tours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from Noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays from Noon to 2 p.m. Tours include single barrel bourbon samples along with stories of Newport’s bootlegging history. The tours are free, you just need to book at least one hour in advance.
The B-Line is Northern Kentucky’s DIY Bourbon Trail. It is currently comprised of five craft distilleries—all of which are also on The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour—plus eight bourbon bars—all of which have been named The Best Bourbon Bars in America by The Bourbon Review—and six bourbon-centric restaurants. All 19 stops are located throughout Covington, Newport, Independence, Sparta, Augusta, and Maysville in Northern Kentucky. Some stops are within walking distance of one another, others are a short drive away. To do The B-Line with a bonus download the free Line Guide (aka digital pass) to earn a free gift.
Burn calories as they’re consumed with Riverside Food Tours. Walk through some of Covington’s tastiest neighborhoods. The Roebling Bridge Tour includes visits to five restaurants, a beer tasting, and a local market. The Mainstrasse Tour strolls through a German Village with stops for food, beer, and wine. Both tours are priced from $65.
American Legacy Tours’ Newport Gangster Tour wanders some of the streets near Covington where the mob once ruled. Learn how the town gave rise to the modern gaming industry. Starting at the Gangsters Dueling Piano Bar, the tour covers a flat .75-mile route that’s wheelchair/stroller accessible. $29.
Sail the Ohio River with BB Riverboats between the skylines of Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. Relax on an evening dinner cruise, music & sunset sightseeing cruise, or Dixieland Jazz brunch cruise. Lunch and a variety of sightseeing cruises offer fun on the river. All signature cruises include a fully stocked bar and food buffet. Prices vary starting at $29.
Cincy Brew Bus offers a five-hour bourbon tasting and distillery tour that stops at New Riff Distilling for a tour and tasting, Second Sights Spirits for a tour and tasting, The Littlefield bar for a bourbon flight, then at the Bourbon Haus 1841 historic bourbon bar. $75 for drinkers and $40 for non-drinkers.
Prohibition Bourbon Bar in Newport has the cozy vibe of a small Prohibition-era speakeasy, but don’t be fooled by its size: This gem of a bar tucked inside Newberry Bros. Coffee boasts the world’s largest collection of bourbon at 6,412 different labels and counting! Build your own tasting flight of four half-ounce pours, opt for a recommended flight, or better yet let co-owner Peter Newberry choose a mystery lineup. Prices are $9+ depending on selections.
Revival Vintage Spirits & Bottle Shop is a one-of-a-kind mecca for bourbon lovers and collectors located in downtown Covington. You can taste vintage bourbons from every decade going back as far as 100 years. The astonishing collection of rare and vintage bottles is available for purchase and tasting. Flights of four half-ounce pours are $20+ depending on selections.
All tour prices are per adult age 21+ and do not include taxes, fees, or gratuities. Availability may vary and prices may change at vendor’s discretion. Whenever available, advance reservations are recommended.