Columbus is a convention town. Most visitors here tend to be coming for corporate events, or families tagging along with their parents for corporate events. It's not the sort of place back-packers or honeymooners visit. Aware of this, the city has gone to great lengths to make what tourist appeal it does have count for everything.
Multiple excellent attractions are based on local history and culture. The best of these are the charming German Village neighborhood, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the lively and unique Short North Arts District. Do not miss the Victorian Village at the Ohio History Centre. The Kelton House Museum is a unique insight into the history of Underground Railroad.
The city loves the outdoors. Nowhere is this better expressed than at the wonderful Scioto Mile, a greenway coursing alongside the river that passes many parks, historical monuments and the bird-haven Grange Insurance Audubon Center. The ZipZone Canopy Tour combines nature with adventure and festivals. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is one of the best such attractions in the country.
Shopping is par excellence. The Easton Town Centre is the most visited attraction in the city. The Polaris Fashion Place is slick. Bookworms may want to never leave the Book Loft in the German Village. And nowhere is the spirit of the city better witnessed than at the North Market Farmer's Market.
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What to Do in and around Columbus city
Enjoy 38 best Columbus city attractions and points of interest to choose from!
#1 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 1752 times in trip plans
160 Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH 43219
10:00 am - 09:00 pm
With nearly 250 stores not including the plethora of terrific restaurants, this shopping mall is the city's most popular hangout. Over 25 million people visit annually. It's laid out to look like a self contained town, complete with inner streets and an outer ring street. Standard brand names and international boutiques, spas, a movie complex, a pet shop, and a brew-house can be found here. A whole day could conceivably slip by and you wouldn't run out of things to do. Summer is exciting here - there are regular concerts, a farmer's market, free yoga classes, an outdoor art exhibition and competition, streets filled with entertaining buskers, and the ever popular Movies by Moonlight.
#2 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 1137 times in trip plans
1777 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203
10:00 am - 05:00 pm
This historic attraction, built in 1895, is probably the most beautiful place in the city. It's amazing just how much floral variety they've managed to stuff in here.
There are 400 species of plants, most of which can be found in recreated biomes from around the planet - Himalayan, Rainforest, Tropical, and Pacific Islands. These areas are presented complete with rock and water bodies through which immaculately kept pathways course.
There are 43 different species in the Palm House.
The conifer and ornamental grass garden is elegantly landscaped.
The Grand Mallway bursts with flowers, and the even prettier Bride Gardens is a popular place for weddings.
In spring, the daylily garden shows off 850 varieties of the flower.
The Garden Campus combines classes in cooking and herb-rearing.
In summer, local glass artists put on a fascinating daily glass blowing demonstration.
And all of this doesn't even include the special and temporary exhibitions the gardens organise from time to time. The whole experience is nothing short of magical.
#4 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 997 times in trip plans
411 Woody Hayes Dr, Columbus, OH 43210
09:00 am - 03:00 pm
Known by various affectionate names such as "The Horseshoe" or "The Shoe" or "The House that Harley built", the historic stadium is one of the nation's most popular sports landmarks, and hosts football matches, lacrosse matches and concerts. Locals flock to the double-deck horseshoe design stadium on Saturdays almost ritually. Built first in 1922, it has since undergone various rebuildings, and now has seating for 104,944 people. Ohio Stadium is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. Tours may be scheduled by contacting the given number, but it is by appointment only.
#5 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 1110 times in trip plans
631 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43206
12:01 am - 12:00 am
Established in the early 18th century, the neighborhood was settled by a large influx of Germans between 1840 and 1860, at a time when the word 'squalor' would have been the polite way to describe the area. Fast forward a hundred years, when a lot of South Columbus was being torn down and redesigned, the community invested tremendous effort into preserving their heritage, resulting in one of the most charming neighborhoods you'll see in the city today.
Park your car somewhere and then walk. Strolling is the only way to navigate the narrow cobblestone streets and alleys here. The architecture is a mix of various European styles, and predominantly made of brick - take pictures of the lovely homes. Definitely step into the historic Book Loft store. The neighborhood is perhaps the city's finest food district - Schmidt’s Sausage Haus is the local favourite restaurant. There are some unique art galleries worth checking out. Walk west, and you're in the Brewery District. In Schiller Park, you'll find open air Shakespeare performances.
#6 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 455 times in trip plans
1415 E Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43229, United States
02:30 pm - 11:30 pm
You're trapped in a room with 11 other people you may or may not know. Clues are hidden in every imaginable location inside. These will take you through the personal tragedy of a man, and you must understand his psyche to escape. The edgy atmosphere and slow psychological creepiness of this escape room has made it one of the city's most highly reviewed attraction and practically no one fails to enjoy it. Come here with family, friends, or as part of a corporate team building exercise. It shall not dissapoint.
#7 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 1872 times in trip plans
N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
The trendiest neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio is all about art. The best way to understand the vibe of this place is during the monthly Saturday Gallery Hop event. Beginning in the 1980s, the event sees businesses keeping their doors open into late hours. Every local artist and performer worth their salt - musician, painter, dancers, actor, magician - comes out to show off their skills, aiming to cross-promote local talent. The streets are jam-packed during this time and the atmosphere is freakishly festive. The neighborhood is very LGBT friendly, and is the location of the annual gay pride parade. The Doo Dah parade parodies 4th of July celebrations, and during Halloween, there's a third parade, called HighBall Halloween, Masquerade on High. For the rest of the time, you can browse and pop into the innumerable art galleries, specialty shops (shoes, furniture, jewellery, antiques, fashion) , pubs, gay nightclubs, and coffee houses.
#8 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 931 times in trip plans
59 Spruce Street · Columbus, Ohio 43215
09:00 am - 07:00 pm
Visited by over one million people yearly, this is one of the nation's top farmer's markets. It has been in operation since 1876, and there are over 35 vendors - butchers, greengrocers, fishmongers and farmers. The bakers are especially loved. You find more than producers here - artists and craftsmen have a place here too. Altogether, the merchants here fall into five categories - Fresh Produce and Flowers, Cookware and Gifts, Fresh Meat and Fish, Bakery and Specialty, and Prepared Foods. The merchants all take great pride in being part of a community promoting local small business. Even if you're not buying anything, this is a great place to people watch and meet the locals. During the growing season, on Saturdays, there is a special farmers market when about 20 producers bring farm fresh produce to sell from 8am onwards.
#9 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 593 times in trip plans
200 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215
10:00 am - 03:00 pm
Home of the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets, this stadium is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Depending on the event (basketball, hockey, arena football, concerts) seating space varies from 17000 to 21000. While the best way to experience the area is at one of these events, guided tours held on weekdays can be quite fun. They take you through the Main Concourse, the Bud Light Terrace, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line store, the Club Level, the Pizzuti Club Lounge, and the OhioHealth Ice Haus.
There is one tragedy associated with the arena, that of 13 year old Brittanie Cecil, who was struck in the head by a flying puck deflected from the rink. A lighter piece of trivia is that the arena is built on the location of a former prison parking lot.
#10 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 442 times in trip plans
200 Georgesville Rd, Columbus, OH 43228
12:01 am - 12:00 am
This is a simple but large casino of 180,000 feet. There are over 2200 slot machines, eventy gaming tables and three dozen tables dedicated to live poker. The game prices and buy ins are competitively affordable, and you could spend a while in the casino on ust USD 20-50. There's a sports bar and entertainment area close to the middle of the casino. The service - dealers and waitresses - is friendly and efficient. There are a number of restaurants close by, including a couple of upscale ones; the Final Cut Steakhouse is a favourite.
#11 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 519 times in trip plans
1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215
10:00 am - 04:00 pm
Completed in 1860, this beautiful Greek Revival has been the state of Ohio's centre of government since 1857. It has some impressive artworks and monuments. The Statehouse has been the centre of some important historical events, such as the location where 18 year olds were given the right to vote. The best way to explore is by tour. These tours come in several varieties. The Monument Cell Phone Tours have you visit specific monuments and sculptures, dial the given number, and listen to the descriptions; this lets you take the tour at your own pace. Similar podcast tours are accompanied by music and sound effects; they can be downloaded from the Statehouse Website. Some special event after hours tours can be organised for a fee. Or you could just take the standard guided tour.
#12 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 453 times in trip plans
480 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
10:00 am - 09:00 pm
Established in 1878, the museum has expanded its focus from European and American art in the early modern period to include contemporary art and photography. The pride of the museum is its permanent exhibitions - collections by local artists such as Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Elijah Pierce, and George Bellows. Of broader interest are the Cubist paintings by Picasso and Juan Gris. Other masterworks include those by Cézanne, Boucher, Ingres, Degas, Matisse, Monet, Edward Hopper, and Norman Rockwell. The museum's aesthetic is decidedly unusual compared to most other modern and contemporary art museum. Art works are arranged flush to and around each other on the walls, instead of being spaced apart. Outside the museum is a sculpture gallery and a rock garden that you can look down on from the cafe.
#13 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 615 times in trip plans
3923 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214
06:00 am - 07:00 pm
This large community park was founded as one of the hundreds of Victory Gardens all over the country after World War II. As a place of locals to kick back their heels, it is excellent - full of paths for strolling and cycling and jogging that course along the Olentangy River. There is a lake where you can cast out a fishing line. There is a children's playground, a pretty gazebo where people like to watch the sunset. A portion of the park has been renovated to form the Whetstone Prairie reflective of Ohio's natural landscape. There is a community centre in the middle of the park. But the crown jewel of the park has to be its stunning rose garden with 11000 flowers in 350 different varieties. The scent of the roses gives the gardens a wonderfully fragrant air. These flowers bloom at different times throughout the year in the Heritage Rose Garden, the Herb Garden, and the Formal Rose Garden. Check the garden website to know the best seasons to visit. On the whole the beautifully maintained park is a gem of place.
#14 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 492 times in trip plans
233 S Civic Center Dr, Columbus, OH 43215
12:01 am - 12:00 am
The Scioto River bisects the city of Columbus. The area around the river, especially close to downtown, used to be seedy and run down. To save it, local businessmen partnered with the city to give it a makeover. Thus the Scioto Mile was born - a greenway of acres and acres of the city's greatest public space. The boulevard is lined with parks, gardens, playgrounds, fountains, a free climbing wall, , benches from which to view the river flow by, restaurants galore, and basically everything a waterfront ought to be.
Bicentennial Park: a public amphitheatre, great restaurant, and huge interactive water fountain lit up by LED lights in the evening.
The Audobon Metropark: The delight of shore birds and birds of prey, with its own nature center
The country's largest free outdoor climbing wall.
The Cultural Arts Centre: Classes in ceramics, sculpture; drawing, painting and printmaking; fiber arts; jewelry and enameling; and beading.
Genoa Park: check out the city's skyling from the amphitheatre in the evening, when it's lit up with LED lights. Note the fountains and deer sculptures
The Promenade: Cool your heels in the shady swings. Play chess on the tables. Take in the views of the downtown riverfront from Coleman’s Pointe or the birch-tree shaded Prow
Battelle Riverfront Park: Take in all the monuments to firefighters, workers, and other departed
The World's Largest Gavel: Find it along the Lower Scioto Greenway. It's made of bright stainless steel.
#15 of 38 Things to do in Columbus city | Added 536 times in trip plans
1500 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240
10:00 am - 09:30 pm
This two story fashion mall's chops are bolstered mainly by the presence of five heavyweight chains - Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Von Maur, JCPenney and Sears. That said, the other independent stores are no pushovers; their exclusive outlets are much in demand. Altogether there are over 100 stores, including a Starbucks and a Apple Store. The food court has seating for over 700 people, and that is in addition to the handful of excellent full service restaurants. Kids will enjoy the gigantic soft play area. And though the prices are quite reasonable, the terrific architecture of the place gives it a nice, upscale feel.