The northernmost part of the state is littered with towns along the Ohio River, each with its own identity. But the area as a whole has also become known for being a suburb of Cincinnati, as many citizens live in Kentucky and drive to work in Ohio. From tiny places like Rabbit Hash to the area's largest city - Covington, in Kenton County - Northern Kentucky's residents are diverse, including businessmen, farmers, artists and academics. For culture and commerce, few places offer such contrasting locales.
The area is also one of the fastest growing in the state, as more people are realizing the benefits of living in small towns so close to a major metropolitan area. In the last six years, nearly 26,000 new residents have moved to the three most northern counties. Those three - Boone, Kenton and Campbell - make up what many think of as Northern Kentucky, though other surrounding counties like Gallatin, Grant, Pendleton and Bracken are also considered part of the region.
Nestled among the hills and the Ohio and Licking Rivers, Campbell County boasts a population of more than 88,000. Many feel the county is split into three sections: An urban environment to the north - where its biggest city, Newport, was settled - a more suburban locale in the middle of the county, site of Northern Kentucky University, and a rural landscape to the south, made up mostly of farmland. The county's population grew by nearly six percent from 1990 to 2000, and Cold Spring, one of the state's fastest growing cities, is located adjacent to NKU. From the river, which offers boating and other recreation, to shopping malls, restaurants and movie theaters, Campbell County offers something for everyone.
Primarily a rural site until NKU was built in 1968, Highland Heights is a sleepy suburb surrounded by the growth on NKU's campus. Filled with parks and a four-mile stretch of nature trail, the town's restaurants and grocery stores are frequented by both college students and the 6,500 residents who live here. Just seven miles from Cincinnati, Highland Heights offers a small-town feel along with the opportunity to hop in the car and see the bright lights of the big city. It's no wonder NKU's students enjoy the location, safety and entertainment of the town.