Driving through town via 71 is the quickest and easiest way. In your case, 471 to 71. traffic is often fine except rush hours. The only other option is from Maysville KY take US 68 north to state route 123 west to Lebanon. You really have to keep an eye out for the signs though because it is anything but a straight shot in.
Crowds at Kings Island will be many families, kids and teens. Even some elderly. Nothing to worry about. Great security and friendly people. It is said Kings Island is the largest seasonal theme park in the nation. That said, yes, there will be crowds.
Lebanon is in fact a great town and the Golden Lamb is a must in town. Be sure to self tour the different floors to read some of the rooms history with ghost and past visitors.
By the way. Love your home town. Very scenic and laid back.
Another vote for the Golden Lamb, but go when the main dining room is open, I've been there when only the Tavern was open and didn't think it was as good. It's Ohio's oldest hotel (since 1803) and their rooms are old-fashioned. You can walk through the hotel and unoccupied rooms have open doors so you can peer in.
Question 1: You didn't say which route you're coming in on, so it depends on how you come in from Beckley. If you use 77 to 64, you can exit 64 and connect to the AA Highway which will dead end into the I-275 beltway. Go north on I-275 to 71 to the Mason area - this avoids driving downtown. You may also take 77 to US 32 westbound which will also bring you into I-275 then go north to 71 - again avoiding downtown.
Question 2: the Mason area is 25 miles northeast of Downtown Cincy; is suburban; is an upscale community of homes in the $250000 and up variety(P&G just announced its moving its whole R&D to their complex there). The tennis complex is on the Jack Nicholas designed golf course with Kings Island/Great Wolf Lodge on the other/ east side of 71 well away from the city of Mason.
Question 3: the tennis tournament is an adult oriented event with few kids in attendance so other than making accommodations more difficult to find, it has very little impact on KI.
If you're coming to KI during the tournament, you may find it cheaper with better availability to check in the Blue Ash area for a motel. This area is a 15 minute drive from KI. Blue Ash has a huge business community which is served by a large number of motels for business travelers that are largely empty on weekends, will be cheaper than Mason area accommodations closer to the events and venues, and you're more likely to find a nice room.
Hope this helps.
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