The Best Things to Do in Columbus, Ohio

Advisor - Karyn Johnson
Curated By

Karyn Johnson

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  • Domestic Travel

  • USA

  • Ohio

  • City Travel

  • Foodie

  • Sightseeing

  • Museums

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Curator’s statement

Columbus has experienced a population boom in recent years due to its growing tech industry, but tech isn’t the only draw to this city. The influx of younger residents has reinvigorated the arts scene, and a variety of craft breweries, urban wineries and eclectic restaurants have sprung up throughout the metropolitan area. Nature enthusiasts can find plenty of recreational opportunities on 13,500 acres across the nearly 400 parks operated by the Recreation and Parks Department, and that doesn’t even include the nearly two dozen metro parks across Central Ohio. There are great family activities, too, including the Center for Science and Industry (COSI) and the world-class Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

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Where to stay in Columbus, Ohio

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Graduate Columbus

Relaxed hotel with collegiate-themed decor plus a coffee shop and restaurant near Ohio State University.

Hyatt Regency Columbus

Comfortable rooms situated in a high rise next to the convention center in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Hilton Columbus Downtown

Hotel in downtown Columbus with direct access to the Columbus Convention Center, plus a restaurant and pool.

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Things to do in Columbus, Ohio

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Attractions in Columbus, Ohio

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is consistently ranked among the top in the U.S. and houses over 9,000 animals from 650 species.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is not just a great place to explore plant life, it also features art exhibitions, a children’s play area and a hot shop where you can make glass art to take home.

Interact with art at Otherworld, an immersive experience of sight and sound that guides you through 47 rooms of surrealist dreamscapes.

Enjoy a live performance and marvel at the stunning Spanish-Baroque architecture at the historic Ohio Theatre.

Tours in Columbus, Ohio

Admire the beautifully restored brick homes and other sights in the city’s most popular historic district on a German Village Tour.

Taste what the city has to offer by booking a walking or van-based tour through Columbus Food Adventures.

Museums in Columbus, Ohio

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a great place for kids and kids at heart to explore the scientific world and take in a show at the largest planetarium in Ohio.

Visit the Columbus Museum of Art to take in permanent and special exhibitions, eat at the fantastic Schokko Café and shop at the top-notch Museum Store.

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum shares the personal stories and shared experiences of veterans across all branches of the U.S. military.

Events in Columbus Ohio

Browse the unique art galleries and enjoy live entertainment during the Short North Gallery Hop on the first Saturday of each month.

Day Trips from Columbus, Ohio

About an hour southeast of Columbus, the Hocking Hills area offers plenty of opportunities for those seeking outdoor adventure. The area is known for its rock formations, caves and waterfalls.

Places to eat & drink in Columbus, Ohio

Shangri La Golf course

Fox in the Snow Café has a few locations around town and is a popular local spot for delicious pastries and coffee.

Pancake balls! Need I say more? Head to Katalina’s or Katalina’s, Too for these stuffed breakfast treats or other delectable breakfast or lunch options.

For one of the best burgers in town, head to The Thurman Café in German Village. If you feel daring, order the Thurmanator, featuring two 12-ounce patties loaded with toppings.

If you’re looking for fine dining, you can’t go wrong with Lindey’s in German Village. They serve a mean brunch, too.

Need to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try Pistacia Vera (German Village) or the famous Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (multiple locations). Or grab a gluten-free treat at Bake Me Happy.

If craft breweries are your thing, you have several options. Seventh Son and Land-Grant are just two of many popular spots.

High Bank Distillery Co. is known for its creative cocktails featuring their vodka, whiskey or gin. They serve food, too.

Advisor - Karyn Johnson

Travel Advisor

Karyn Johnson

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