We’re continually on the hunt for opportunities to add richness to our lives. In the time of the road trip revival, we are proud to feature a monthly section featuring destinations within driving distance of Charleston that make for a great getaway. We feel that our worldly and devoted readers will find these places interesting.
Driving 3 1/2 hours northwest of Charleston brings you to Petersburg, Kentucky. Here, you’ll find one of the most interesting museums in the country. This trip involves a bit of driving, but you’ll enjoy a bunch of cute places and see lots of stuff. Here is what you may want to plan for your visit.
WHAT TO SEE & DO IN PETERSBURG & NEARBY AREAS
Welcome to Petersburg, KY- a hidden gem in the heart of Northern Kentucky. The first place to check out is the 75,000-square-foot world-renowned Creation Museum, where you can learn about the history of the world as interpreted through the Bible. The 140+ exhibit museum with a 4D theater and planetarium is an extraordinary experience for the whole family and a must-see educational and thought-provoking attraction for anyone visiting the area. Take advantage of the botanical gardens and Eden animal experience with donkeys, pigs, alpacas, and more.
An exciting add-on option at the museum is the Screaming Raptor zip lines, with five levels and aerial adventures.
Get out on the water in single-person kayaks with Green Acres Kayak Rental to enjoy paddling on the Whitewater River. History lovers may prefer seeing the William Henry Harrison Tomb of the 9th US President five miles away in North Bend.
And in another direction, three miles away, is Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg, with table games, nearly 1400 slots, and Barstool Sportsbook. On Fridays and Saturdays, there is the Boogie Nights Club ‘70s and ‘80s dance party, live music on the roof, and special events throughout the year, like Rodney Carrington in concert and Tri-State Wrestling.
For an unforgettable aquatic experience, don’t miss the Newport Aquarium, a 28-minute drive from Petersburg. This top-rated aquarium will transport you to an underwater world filled with exotic sea creatures and hands-on exhibits that are engaging and educational, perfect for kids of all ages.
A few minutes further (across the bridge) is Cincinnati, a Mecca for entertainment, culture, and shopping. The city’s iconic Findlay Market is bustling with local vendors selling various goods, from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
And while in Cincinnati, how can you skip the world-famous Cincinnati Zoo? It’s a must-visit destination, especially for animal lovers. The zoo is home to over 500 animal species, including some of the rarest and most endangered animals on the planet, Rico (the IG famous Brazilian porcupine), and the world’s most renowned hippo siblings, Fiona and Fritz.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
In case you get hungry, the Creation Museum has onsite restaurants, Noah’s and Palm Cafes. I prefer to head over to Washington Square Cafe in nearby Burlington. This cozy café is the perfect spot for a delicious meal, and its menu features a variety of locally-sourced ingredients that will satisfy your hunger. I recommend the Trio Salad, Tuna Melt, or Buffalo Chicken Wrap. The sweet potato fries with a maple-bacon-bourbon cream sauce are a must! They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The beautiful circa 1822 Tousey House Tavern is practically next door, open for lunch and dinner. I recommend Tousey’s Pasta (with chicken or shrimp), Deviled Eggs, and Fried Green Tomatoes for lunch. Sunday brunch offers a Breakfast Brown (think Kentucky Hot Brown), Steak & Eggs, and quiche. Bourbon flights are another attractive feature.
In Newport, by the aquarium, Tom + Chee is my favorite, with hand-crafted melts and a variety of soups. Hofbräuhaus, at the same location, will take care of your German food needs with mouth-watering favorites like grilled sausages, potato pancakes, and schnitzels.
WHERE TO STAY OVER THE WEEKEND
When it’s time to rest your head, you’ll find plenty of comfortable and affordable lodging options in and around Petersburg. From budget-friendly motels (Quality Inn & Suites) to cozy bed and breakfasts (First Farm Inn —with horseback riding), there’s a place to suit every taste and budget. The Comfort Inn & Suites is my top pick.