columbus ohio

Travel Guide: Top Things To Do in Columbus, Ohio (Arch City)

Columbus serves as the state capital of Ohio, which was founded in 1812 and was incorporated in 1816. It was chosen as the state’s new capital because of its central location and proximity to transit routes which were rivers at the time. In addition, the city was planned to be the state capital, positioning it for a role in Ohio’s political, economic, and social life.

Education, health, transportation, utilities, and professional and commercial services were the fastest-growing sectors of the local economy in the early twenty-first century. Even manufacturing and high-tech sectors were also prominent. In addition, mainline railroads, a substantial motorway network, and an international airport contributed to the city’s favourable geographic location.

Top Things To Do in Columbus

Columbus, Ohio’s capital and largest city, is an excellent site for exploration. It is named after the legendary explorer Christopher Columbus. Visitors to this city are astounded by the abundance of exciting things to do and see. You’re sure to discover something great whether you come with your family, spouse, friends, or yourself.

German Village

german village columbus
Credit: Experience Columbus

In the early nineteenth century, the German immigrants who moved here gave the settlement its name. Much of the area has preserved its Germanic roots, seen in the architecture and food. Schmidt’s Restaurant and Sausage Haus are places to go for exquisite sausage, schnitzel, and cream puffs. In addition, there is an annual Haus und Garten Tour and the German Village Oktoberfest. And don’t worry: you can burn off all that food by taking a walk in adjacent Schiller Park, named after German poet Friedrich Schiller. The European beauty of the neighbourhood and its local businesses and restaurants make it one of Columbus’ most appealing areas.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Credit: CNN

Because of its large collection of animals, educational events, and rotating exhibits, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of Columbus’s best things to do. A day at the Columbus Zoo brings you to every continent to discover more than 10,000 creatures in settings such as Asia Quest, Congo Expedition, Heart of Africa, and Shores & Aquarium. Aside from viewing animal exhibits and seeing live performances and feedings, make sure to experience the seasonal attractions at Jungle Jack’s Landing. In addition, bring your bathing suit to enjoy the wave pool and waterslides at Zoombezi Bay, which is located next door.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Credit: Columbus Makes Art

The Park’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a flora and wildlife paradise. In towering glass greenhouses, the Conservatory holds hundreds of plant species from different parts of the world. Wander through the rainforest, desert, orchid collection, and the stately Palm House, where a wedding may be taking place on the weekend. Outside, enjoy a stroll through the Botanical Gardens and Garden Campus. There are rotating exhibitions regularly, such as Blooms & Butterflies in the spring and visitor programmes like glassblowing and gardening.

North Market, Columbus

North Market Columbus
Credit: Columbus Academy

Columbus has Ohio’s sole public market, which is well worth visiting. North Market, which opened in 1876, is home to more than 30 merchants providing a range of fresh meat, fruit, baked goods, cheese, and flowers. A section of the market is put up outside on select Saturdays, while local artwork, furniture, jewellery, and other items are exhibited on Sundays from June through October.

Easton Town Centre

Easton Town Centre
Credit: wellsand associates.com

Easton Town Center, an open-air retail complex, is about 10 miles northeast of downtown Columbus, up I-670 E. In addition to Nordstrom, Coach, and Crate & Barrel, the district has a farmers market from June through August on Thursdays. The complex also houses several eateries, ranging from quick and informal like Panera Bread and Cosi to more upmarket Smith & Wollensky and Mitchell’s Ocean Club. During the summer, Easton Town Center hosts various events such as art shows, yoga classes, movie screenings, and concerts.

Huntington Park, Columbus

Huntington Park
Credit: HOK

One of the recent visitors’ favourite activities was watching a baseball game at Huntington Park. The Columbus Clippers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Clippers. This ballpark is a Cleveland Indians affiliate, and tourists like the games’ vistas, atmosphere, and affordability. The park has a capacity of 10000 people, although most visitors report it is rarely busy, enabling them to stroll around and explore different portions of the stadium.

Centre of Science and Industry

COSI Columbus
Credit: Science on Screen

The COSI is especially popular with families since the interactive exhibits, amazing planetarium performances, and other activities are designed to pique the children’s interest in science and technology. New exhibitions are changed regularly, ensuring that there is always something new and interesting. The whole top level is dedicated to children aged “Birth to First Grade,” with lots of space to run about. Don’t worry, your older children will have enough to do as well, with a variety of hands-on activities geared at all levels of learning.

Scioto Mile

Scioto Mile
Credit: MKSK

Scioto Mile is 145 acres of beautiful blooming parkland popular with both locals and visitors for strolling or bicycling, along with its integrated system connects down to the Scioto River. You’ll enjoy the city’s beautiful 15,000 sq ft interactive fountain, where your kids can have a great time splashing. It also has the country’s largest outdoor climbing wall and the 120 acres Scioto Audubon, where you’ll be able to see a variety of shorebirds. There are other events to enjoy, such as free concerts in the summer, making this a great site for a family picnic.

Columbus Museum of Arts

Columbus Museum of Arts
Credit: Experience Columbus

Despite its small size, visitors believe the artwork and displays at this museum are interesting. In 2015, the Columbus Museum of Art opened a new wing with more exhibition space for permanent collections and rotating shows. In terms of travelling exhibits, museumgoers praised the variety of collections included, noting that the rotating schedule ensures that new work is displayed every few months. Another advantage, according to previous visitors, is the Wonder Room, which is meant to engage youngsters in hands-on activities that teach them about art.

Ohio History Centre

Ohio History Centre
Credit: Pinterest

You don’t have to be a history enthusiast to enjoy and appreciate the Ohio History Connection’s museum, library, and town on the grounds. The Ohio History Center has many interactive and informative exhibits spanning from Ohio’s American Indian beginnings through Civil War artefacts, changing neighbourhoods, and displays different phases of Ohio history. Additionally, if you’re an ancestry buff, go to the third level of the history centre, where historical archives are held, and researchers will help you unearth facts about your family tree. Even the Ohio Village, located outside the centre, is a wonderful treat that transports you into olden times.

Ohio Theatre

Ohio Theatre
Credit: capa.com

This 2,700-seat theatre was established over 100 years ago. It gives a lot of pleasure to see a live performance at this lovely location. Most importantly, a night out in Columbus, Ohio, maybe topped off with a visit to the Ohio Theatre. Through their Broadway Series, you may attend amazing live theatrical shows. Additionally, classical films, ballet, and concerts by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra are shown here. The Beach Boys, Harry Connick Jr., and Johnny Mathis are among the performers that have performed here. The Ohio Theatre has undergone restorations, but at its core, it remains the stunning theatre that it has always been.

Ohio Stadium

Ohio Stadium Columbus
Credit: Wikipedia

Make your way to Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, if you enjoy football. Seeing a weekend game with the beloved Ohio State Buckeyes is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. People’s affection for Ohio Stadium is reflected in nicknames like “The House that Harley Built” and “The Horseshoe.” However, being surrounded by raucous football fans is rarely as entertaining as at Ohio Stadium. This stadium has a seating of more than 100000 people, making it one of the top three largest in the country. On game day, every deck is highlighted in red, with cheering spectators dressed in the colour of their favourite club. So even if you don’t like football, you should have a good time at Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University
Credit: Forbes

Ohio State University is a real educational treasure, with one of the largest and most magnificent campuses in the United States. Most importantly, it has established a well-deserved reputation as one of the greatest universities in the United States. Ohio State University was established in 1870 and, since then, graduate programmes are quite popular. Furthermore, this school has become one of Columbus’ most beloved landmarks. You may also arrange for a tour to learn everything there is to know about it. Pre-medicine, neurology, music, journalism, and linguistics are among the more than 200 majors available.

Topiary Garden, Columbus

Topiary Garden Columbus
Credit: TripAdvisor

This garden is a creative and lovely small park that is well worth a visit. Because it has managed to combine nature and art in its special manner, it is both ingenious and beautiful. The park’s subject is a live sculptural adaptation of Georges Seurat’s Post-Impressionist painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte,” the only known topiary depiction of a painting. As you travel around the garden, you will notice many 12ft tall yew people figures, boats, dogs, cats, and monkeys. Aside from the stunning topiary show, the park also has over 220 trees and meticulously maintained flowerbeds.

Hayden Falls Park, Columbus

Hayden Falls Park Columbus
Credit: Pinterest

This park is a beautiful site to admire the stunning 35-foot waterfall and the surrounding endangered and protected vegetation. Thanks to steps, a boardwalk, and an overlook, it’s also much simpler to reach these days. On the top level, there are also several picnic tables. You and your family won’t want to miss out on this fantastic photo opportunity, only 100 yards from the Scioto River. It takes about 15 minutes to view everything in the park, but it is well worth it.

Downtown Columbus

Downtown Columbus
Credit: PlanetWare

Downtown Columbus is an open, dynamic, and welcoming community where you may live, work, and play all within walking distance. Additionally, it has urban passageways lined with marketplaces like the Pearl Market and the Columbus Commons. This is a nice spot to relax during summer concerts. So if you’re looking for things to do in Columbus, Ohio today, this is a wonderful place to start. In addition, there are always live concerts, summer theatre plays, sand volleyball, and even downtown kickball. In downtown Columbus, getting to know the neighbourhood and finding something to do is never difficult.

Ohio Statehouse

Ohio Statehouse
Credit: Pixabay

The Ohio Statehouse is a magnificent structure that sits on almost 10 acres of ground 18 feet deep. Beautiful interior and external elements such as the recessed porch and the dome, are both examples of Greek Revival style. As a result, art enthusiasts will like the artworks on display within the statehouse, including portraits of governors and lieutenant governors. Many of the artworks commemorate key events or people in Ohio history.

Ohio Expo Centre and State Fair

Ohio Expo Centre and State Fair
Credit: Wikipedia

The Expo Center became the permanent home of the Ohio State Fair, having 100 acres of property for the area in 1886. Since then, the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds have added approximately one million square feet of event space. In addition, it has about twenty one-of-a-kind historic buildings, pavilions, modern livestock facilities, and multi-purpose structures.

Polaris Fashion Place

Polaris Fashion Place
Credit: 10TV.com

The Polaris Fashion Place is a significant shopping destination in Central Ohio with many high-end retailers, such as Sephora, Express, Pandora, and Von Maur. This place is a two-story shopping centre including an outdoor lifestyle area, an enlarged Forever XXI store, and a Barnes & Noble for book enthusiasts. In addition, the mall’s new lifestyle extension allows consumers to dine at over twenty different caf├ęs and restaurants while also enjoying entertainment.

Top Places To Eat in Columbus

If you want to unwind in this beautiful city, try these great restaurants in Columbus.

The Refectory Restaurant & Bistro

The Refectory Restaurant & Bistro Columbus
Credit: TripAdvisor

Enjoy an elite dining experience at this wonderful restaurant with a classic vintage setting combined with some delectable French cuisine. This restaurant has an incredible wine list, so stop by for a wine tasting session or an intimate supper with your loved one. When it comes to this eatery, you can never go wrong.

Lindey’s

Lindey's Columbus
Credit: OpenTable

Enjoy a tasty dinner in this trendy American restaurant that delivers authentic cuisine in an ambience that complements your stay. The wonderful service and tasty meals offered here make this establishment one of the top restaurants in Columbus, and you will undoubtedly want to return after giving it a try.

Mitchell’s Ocean

Mitchell's Ocean Columbus
Credit: Experience Columbus

Mitchell’s Ocean is one of Columbus’ greatest restaurants. The restaurant is conveniently located inside the Easton Town Center, with lots of parking outside. The restaurant’s opulence is obvious. However, it exudes a degree of refinement that enriches your overall eating experience. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to enjoy exquisite dining while looking out the window at the gorgeous view of the shopping mall complex.

Barcelona

Barcelona Columbus
Credit: Pinterest

This restaurant is the ideal location for the most delectable Spanish cuisine and expertly made beverages. Whether you’re coming in for breakfast or supper, the servers at this restaurant are eager to offer you some delicious menu items. After a long day well spent in this beautiful city, this is the ideal place to unwind and have a delicious meal.

Fireproof Restaurant

Fireproof Restaurant Columbus
Credit: Fireproof Restaurant

Fireproof Restaurant, located near Goodale Park in the Italian Village district, is a fixture on High Street, one of the city’s busiest streets. The restaurant is a steakhouse that represents both excitement and elegance simultaneously. It is also used for both socialising with friends and a romantic date. The meal selection is varied, with fish, meats, veggies, and appetisers nicely organised on the menu.

Z Cucina di Spirito

Z Cucina di Spirito
Credit: Z Cucina

This rustic Italian restaurant delivers some of the best Italian cuisine available. Above all, the chef here provides a personal touch and allows no space for error. So make sure to try the numerous dishes on the menu, including pasta, cheese, desserts, and a great wine list to wash it all down.

Cap City Fine Diner and Bar

Cap City Fine Diner and Bar
Credit: Columbus Navigator

You can’t help but notice the transformational decor that transfers you immediately to the 1950s when you enter inside Cap City Fine Diner and Bar. Above all, you will be immersed in craftsmanship with a refreshing twist of conventional innovation. It is one of those places that will transport you back in time and also provide an extensive menu.

Mozart’s

Mozart's
Credit: TripAdvisor

Taste some of Austria’s greatest tastes while relaxing in one of the most welcoming settings you’ve ever seen. This European-styled restaurant delivers a choice of delectable cuisines. It has a well-curated range of beers and wines that are always cold and ready for you. On the other hand, you will also get to listen to live classical music while dining.

Top Places to Stay in Columbus

Hotel LeVeque, Autograph Collection Columbus
Credit: The Gettys Group

Columbus, Ohio’s capital city, is brimming with events, entertainment, and hotels to fit every budget and lodging style. So, many of the greatest downtown hotels appeal to those who like to stay in the thick of things, near the convention centre or Nationwide Arena. Other hotels place travellers in popular regions such as the city’s growing riverside sector and the Short North Arts District. In addition, you can find hotel alternatives for your preferences ranging from boutique and romantic motels to suitable pet-friendly housing.

Hotels

Hotels
Hotel LeVeque, Autograph Collection

Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square

Hilton Columbus Downtown

Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph

Hilton Columbus/Polaris

The Blackwell Inn and Pfahl Conference Centre

Hyatt Regency Columbus

Crowne Plaza Columbus North

Graduate Columbus

The Westin Great Southern Columbus

Sheraton Suites Columbus

Residence Inn by Marriott Columbus University Area

Drury Inn & Suites Columbus Convention Centre

Hampton Inn & Suites Columbus Downtown

Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel

Double Tree Suites by Hilton Columbus

Moxy Columbus Short North

Holiday Inn Columbus Downtown

Best Western Suites Columbus

Conclusion

You can expect excitement in downtown Columbus, Short North, or elsewhere as there are plenty of enjoyable activities. In addition, there are fun things for individuals of all ages and interests to do day or night. Columbus, Ohio, is a must-see if you seek a weekend getaway in the Midwest.

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