A Comprehensive List of All Things Near & Dear to NKY (And My Heart)

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Growing up, I’ve moved around more times than I can count on one hand; it was just a regular part of my family’s life. Though I wasn’t happy about it all at the time, it introduced me to a lot of valuable lessons and experiences over the years. Our move to Kentucky, though, was the last/most recent for me, and is where I’ve remained through my young adult life until now. So while it hasn’t been where I’ve grown up through the entirety of my childhood, it definitely has been “home” to a lot of important milestones as of late. California has so much promise  for us already – I’ve never heard so many wonderful things unanimously about a single place before. And although I could be anywhere in this world with Tim and be totally and completely at peace, it definitely helps ease my mind about packing up my entire life and moving somewhere neither of us have ever been before. No matter what, though, there is no doubt that Kentucky will always be home – at least, our first home together, and will forever hold a very special place in my heart for that and so many other reasons. With our cross-country relocation creeping up quickly, I can’t help but think of all of the things “my old Kentucky home” showcases that nothing and nowhere else in the world can. Here is my comprehensive list of all things uniquely Northern Kentucky that physically pain me to have to part with (NOT including friends/family and in no particular order).

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(Disclaimer: This list will include things also located in the Cincinnati area. If the ‘Cincinnati’/Northern Kentucky International Airport can be located on our side of the river, so the things included in this post can be considered part of here, too.)

  1. Kentucky sunsets. (There’s nothing in the world like them – trust me.)
  2. The passion surrounding the University of Kentucky’s sports – basketball, in particular.
  3. $2 Tuesdays at Longneck’s Sports Bar.
  4. Cincinnati chili. (Skyline, Gold Star, Empress, Dixie – you name it. Any way or style, this delicacy will always be one of the hardest part about leaving.)
  5. Hiking the trails of the Natural Bridge.
  6. The Newport Aquarium. (Especially the shark tunnel.)
  7. The overall diversity of the area – being able to take a drive through rolling hills of green with white picket fence pastures one minute, and cruising through the historic district the next.
  8. LaRosa’s pizza.
  9. Themed nights and events throughout the summer on Fountain Square.
  10. The Boone County Fair.
  11. Red’s and Bengals games. (They’re basically a lifestyle/religion.)
  12. King’s Island. Because duh.
  13. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. (Specifically during Christmas time for the Festival of Lights!)
  14. Graeter’s ice cream.
  15. Sitting in the lawn for concerts at Riverbend Music Center.
  16. MainStrasse Village. (My personal favorite place to bar hop so far.)
  17. Hanging out along the riverbank, day or night.
  18. Bonfires. Bonfires everywhere.
  19. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal – I don’t think I’ll ever get too old for the Children’s Museum, tbh.
  20. Newport on the Levee and all of the shops and festivals it houses there.
  21. Taking a stroll on the Purple People Bridge.
  22. Regional haunted houses – The U.S.S. Nightmare, Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride, Land of Illusion, Halloween Haunt, etc.
  23. Macy’s Downtown Dazzle, tree lighting, and ice skating rink downtown around Christmas time.
  24. Kinman Farms any time of year.
  25. The countless local dog parks nearby.
  26. Miami Whitewater Forest. All of the Great Parks of Hamilton County, really.
  27. The Main Event, enough said.
  28. Fantastic mudding virtually anywhere after a good rain shower.
  29. WEBN Fireworks for Labor Day.
  30. Washington Park & Over-the-Rhine.
  31. Findlay Market – Handmade goods, fresh foods, and so much more.
  32. Potter’s Ranch.
  33. So many distilleries in the area – we’ve only made it to the Jim Beam American Stillhouse, but I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing more!
  34. The Funny Bone comedy club.
  35. Machine Gun Shoot at Knob Creek Gun Range.
  36. Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue. (Technically located in Indiana, but where else can you get up close and personal with wolves?)
  37. Perfect North Slopes. (Also an Indiana native, but well worth it.)
  38. Rabbit Hash.
  39. Petersburg, Kentucky.
  40. Devou Park and its spectacular view.

I won’t ever be able to list of every single thing I’m going to miss about this place, but this is a pretty good start (for just coming off the top of my head). Thank you for all of the wonderful memories and experiences, NKY. As much as I’m looking forward to broadening my horizons and experiencing such a different place and way of living for the next few years, I’d by lying if I said I wasn’t already ready to come back!

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