Beyond NKU

For students looking for a great place to socialize, a new place to study or to just see more than their dorm room, Greater Cincinnati offers many options for different personalities.

Staff, faculty and students of Northern Kentucky University can ride Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky buses (TANK), free seven days a week with their All-Card. If even the most frugal college students are not sold on the idea of a free bus ride, the convenience of bus riding adds more bang to their non-existent buck. Not spending extra money on parking or gas leaves more money in the pockets of NKU students to meet, mingle and have a good time at some of the best places the Queen City has to offer.

In Newport, Ky., the Levee is a popular route destination on TANK’s itinerary. A thirty-minute ride from NKU’s Business Education Psychology Center route, Newport on the Levee offers an array of tasteful afternoon and late-night entertainment, including AMC Movie Theatres, the Newport Aquarium and Gameworks.

When it comes to satisfying your hunger, the popular entertainment center has its bases covered. Dewey’s Pizza, Mitchell’s Fish Market, AOI Japanese Cuisine and Johnny Rockets are some of the eating options. Whether it’s a group outing or dinner for two, the Levee delivers a variety of tastes.
A short walk from the central venues places you at the Hofbräuhaus. The brewpub features authentic German-style beer and pays homage to the more than 400-year-old Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany – or a convenient way to drop the “study” out of study dates with your cute German 101 partner.
The Levee also features a two-story Barnes & Noble, which has a section of DVDs and CDs in addition to the regular selection of books, magazines and other Barnes & Noble fare. After you pick out a good book, feel free to sit at the cafe on the second floor, which offers a view of the river through a large glass window.

Some students will appreciate the night life the Levee offers as a way to salvage evenings robbed by night classes or to escape dorm living for a night.

One option is Bar Louie, which is open until 2 a.m. Thursdays in August is a great introduction to the menu for students looking for a late-night hangout with $1.50 special on mini-bottles and sloppy slider burgers.

But if you’re a little leery of being by the river, you may opt for something a bit more inland. MainStrasse Village in Covington requires switching buses to reach, but the payoff is small businesses and bars, coupled with an inviting neighborhood atmosphere.

Fatty Patty’s, located on Main Street, is just one of the venues of local entrepreneurs. This particular venture specializes in pizzas and unconventionally named ice cream flavors. French Vanilla, Mint and Strawberry are safe ground for the not-so-daring, but flavors such as Spongebob need to be seen to believe. The Dining room opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m., but to-go pizza slices can be bought for a trip back to the dorm until 3 a.m.

And at this time, when the days are becoming shorter and the leaves are hinting at changing color, festivals and special events happen in the area.
The USS Nightmare, a steamboat with a checkered history converted into a floating haunted house docked near the Levee, will offer frights to visitors with a grand opening Sept. 17 and 18.

And you can get a taste of German heritage at the 32nd Annual Oktoberfest in MainStrasse Sept. 10, 11 and 12. The festival, which spans six blocks, is a mix of German and international food, music, arts and even rides for the older kids – easily translatable into “college students looking for a goofy, fun time.”

Story by Zach Grady