Fort Thomas is one of my favorite places to visit in the summer. It’s also one of the most walkable and beautiful places in NKY, which is why I decided to explore its namesake avenue for our next LINK streetscapes feature.
There’s a huge variety of places to go, from small shops and community theatres to fitness studios, coffee shops, bars and restaurants; there’s just about something for everyone and, for the most part, it can all be found on one very lengthy street: Fort Thomas Avenue.
Mint Yoga Studio: 18 N Ft Thomas Ave #301
The majority of the time that I am in the Fort Thomas area is because of this yoga studio. I am by no means a fitness enthusiast — in fact, I would probably qualify as the opposite. I was drawn to Mint for a class called Gentle Yoga, figuring even someone who had only done yoga a few times could handle a class with that name.
I was greeted by Paige, the kindest and most welcoming yoga instructor I had met yet. Any other time I had tried a fitness class I was either too intimidated by the instructor or simply couldn’t handle the class and would have to leave during it or was too afraid to come back.
The class was calming and light hearted, and customizable for any tenure of yogi. I left the class feeling so rejuvenated that I could actually see myself coming to the class again. After only one class Paige remembered everyone’s names and always created a very welcoming experience. This had become one of the best parts of my weekly routine. Even if I have to miss a week (or month) or two, every time I come back I am always welcomed so genuinely.
This week Mint was hosting a Summer Solstice class outside at Tower Park. Although it was 95 degrees out, I knew I couldn’t miss it.
Mint owner and instructor Nikki taught the class. Mindful of the heat, we got the option to practice on the amphitheater in the sun or on the grass in the shade. Nikki made sure everyone — whether those right beside her or up the hill in the shade — was included in the class.
Mint provided water and reminded everyone to take breaks if necessary. My friend and I opted to practice in the shade — I burn if I’m outside for a mere minute. Nikki made sure to make everyone feel included and part of the practice.
She was just a breath of fresh cool air on a blistering hot day.
Tower Park: 900 S Ft Thomas Ave.
Sometimes the best things in life truly are free. Tower Park is one of the most beautiful places to spend a summer day. Although the past few days have been alarmingly hot, this is such a perfect place to just enjoy the weather. There’s an ample playground for kids to burn energy, a walking path to help you get your steps in and lush greenery for those who just want to sit in the sunshine. There’s great paths for biking, walking or running, or if you’re just looking for some sun without the added exercise, there’s plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the weather.
The yoga class we had here was one of the many activities that Tower Park hosts, from community events to concerts. Farmer’s markets and the Campbell County Public Library host reoccurring events there this entire summer, so really there is no reason to not check out Tower Park anytime soon.
Fort Thomas Parlor: 1013 S Ft Thomas Ave.
If there is anything better in the summer than an ice cream, it is cookie dough, and Fort Thomas Parlor has both. After our very hot yoga in the park my friend and I were looking for something to cool us down. Originally, we intended to grab a drink at Grassroots and Vine, but right next door I saw a sign that said cookie dough and I forgot all about the wine waiting for us on the patio (No worries I will obviously be back there soon enough).
Everyone knows that the best part of making cookies is eating the cookie dough, and although I’ve always been willing to risk salmonella for just a bite of cookie dough, it was nice to know that they substitute the raw eggs in their cookie dough, so you don’t have to make that call yourself.
The hardest decision you’ll make will be what to order. The options here were overwhelming — cookie dough, coffee and ice cream are basically my favorite things. So, I settled for a side by side: a scoop of cookie dough with soft serve ice cream. I don’t even need to describe it to you — you already know it was so good that it could be considered life changing. While the options for both ice cream and cookie dough were endless, I went with the classic chocolate chip. But after trying my friend’s Animal Cookie cookie dough, I was a bit jealous of her. It tasted exactly like those pink and white icing animal cookies that you’d eat as a kid.
The next time I go I am absolutely trying the ice coffee float, but if it’s your first time venturing here, the cookie dough is a must.
Fort Thomas Coffee: 1 Highland Ave. Suite A
New building alert!
Fort Thomas Coffee just moved to a brand-new building on Highland Avenue and it is gorgeous. They had only been open for a few days when I visited, but you could already tell how amazing this place is going to be.
You’ll find the same amazing coffee you had before, but with some really cool additions, like cold brew coffee on tap. I hate to compare it to Starbucks, but the options of this local coffee shop reminded me of a large chain, in that pretty much anything you could imagine they had. The space is huge, so finding seating shouldn’t be a problem. If you have kids, they have the most adorable little play house that the little ones can play in while you enjoy your drink. They have a combo wine/cocktail bar that launches July 7, so you better believe I will be making a reappearance there very soon.
DORA: South Fort Thomas Avenue
South Fort Thomas Avenue recently just launched DORA, or Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area. I had no idea that they were doing this until I saw the signs posted. As if you needed another reason to visit this area, you can get your drink to go and walk around in the DORA area this summer.
They have signs posted about the rules and restrictions, but they’re clear and easy to follow. So, if your friend wants cookie dough from Fort Thomas Parlor, you want a cocktail from Grassroots and Vine, your other friend wants a beer from Midway Café and yet another wants Crab Rangoon from New Garden, it’s no problem. You can all meet up outside in the DORA zone to catch up and enjoy the summer weather.
DORA runs daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
If you’re looking for something to do on a summer day when you can’t decide what to do, the options on Fort Thomas Avenue are endless.
Have an area you want me to check out next? Email me at [email protected] for where to visit next on LINK streetscapes.