When a place promotes itself as “where the city meets the country,” that sounds pretty darn good to us. In this case, the city in question is Cincinnati, and Alexandria (the country) is in a different state.
There’s plenty to do in Alexandria, KY, so you won’t have to hit the highway to have a good time. You can hit some golf balls along the rolling hills or take a pleasant hike on level ground. You can sample classic-style and wildly inventive wines and even study up on mysterious sea life.
Are you ready to get to know this lovely and lively little place just east of the Interstate 75 corridor? Let’s go!
Where Is Alexandria, KY?
This community of about 10,000 is so far north in Kentucky that it’s almost in Ohio. They call this area the Northern Kentucky River Region.
Alexandria isn’t right on the Ohio River, but it’s a quick drive from it. The river bridge on U.S. Highway 27 is just 14 miles to the north, with Cincinnati, Ohio, on the other side. Back home in Kentucky, Lexington is 80 miles away via Interstate 75. The commonwealth’s largest city, Louisville, is just over 100 miles to the west of Alexandria.
6 Best Things to Do in Alexandria, KY
Here are some great places to spend your time in Alexandria. Don’t try and race through all of them. Feel free to pick and choose the activities that appeal to you the most.
1. Grab Breakfast at Lou Lou’s Cafe at Spare-Time
One of the best ways to get to know a place is by eating where the locals do. This charming eatery has the look and feel of a classic diner and serves up burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
Tried-and-true favorites form the foundation of the menu, but the chef’s creative tweaks put them over the top. Lou Lou’s in Alexandria, KY, gets high marks for portion size, value, and consistency, too. Those are all big pluses in our book.
2. Go Bowling at Southern Lanes Sports Center
Southern Lanes is the place if good, old-fashioned family fun is up your alley. This old-school, family-run bowling alley also has pool tables, arcade games, and a bar. Oh, and there’s a beach volleyball set up that’s entirely indoors, which is something you don’t see every day. They dish out tasty pizza, too.
There are a couple of potential strikes against Southern Lanes, though. It’s cash only, and there’s a smoking area inside.
3. Visit Stonebrook Winery
No, northern Kentucky isn’t exactly known for its winemaking, but this winery and vineyard is helping to put it on the map. Some say Stonebrook is tricky to find, but its two dozen varieties of reds, whites, and fruit wines make it worth seeking out.
They make wines from classic grapes like Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay but also from fruits like blueberries, peaches, and elderberries. The winery and tasting room are located in an elegantly rustic renovated farmhouse. It’s four miles north of Alexandria, KY, in Camp Springs.
4. Golf at Hickory Sticks Golf Club
If you see a sign with directions to California, you haven’t taken a wrong turn. Don’t worry; this neighboring community with the same name as the Golden State is where you can swing some clubs.
The rolling hills this area is known for provide a gorgeous backdrop while upping the challenge considerably. The course at Hickory Sticks is well-maintained and has a great reputation for being a good value and having a friendly staff.
5. Go to the Newport Aquarium
We’re a few hundred miles from the nearest ocean, but you can still see sharks, stingrays, eels, and other deep-sea creatures right near Alexandria, KY. In nearby Newport, this million-gallon aquarium has 70 different exhibits featuring thousands of living, swimming things.
You can carefully cross a bridge inches away from sharks (if you dare) and see how shipwrecks become thriving artificial-reef ecosystems. The amazing marine menagerie includes albino alligators and five kinds of penguins.
6. Hike in Alexandria Community Park
If you’d like to get some exercise in a beautiful forest setting, the Alexandria Community Park is right here in town. The 0.7-mile paved trail runs along a gorgeous lake that’s also popular with serious and casual anglers. It’s a well-kept and level loop with no difficulty at all.
Off the path, you can also explore some wilder nature trails. There’s also a playground, a few ball fields, and a disc golf course in the park, so there’s usually lots of activity.
What’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Alexandria, KY?
Like many places in the Midwest, late spring, early summer, and early fall are the best times to make your stop in Alexandria, KY. You’ll want to time it just right to avoid the bitter cold of the winter and the sultry heat of the late summer. More specifically, May, June, and September are considered the most comfortable months.
Is Alexandria, KY, Worth a Visit?
Besides its natural beauty, Alexandria has a relaxed pace and a welcoming attitude. These attributes make it a sweet spot for taking a break from the road or escaping city congestion.
Some even say it’s like visiting a small Southern town that happens to be in the North. Alexandria, KY, is just a little out of the way from several major highways, so it’s certainly a friendly detour worth making.
What are your favorite smaller cities in Kentucky?