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The capital city of Ohio, and the biggest city in the state, Columbus, is definitely worth a visit. The city has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with plenty of museums, art galleries, and live music venues to choose from. There's also a great food scene, with a wide variety of restaurants to suit every taste. And when it comes to shopping, Columbus has something for everyone, from high-end boutiques to independent bookstores.
Of course, no visit to Columbus would be complete without exploring its many parks and green spaces. From the serene grounds of the Franklin Park Conservatory to the lively atmosphere of Goodale Park, there's no shortage of places to enjoy the outdoors in this city.
Top 10 Attractions & Things To Do in Columbus
In a city as vibrant as Columbus, it can be hard to narrow down your options for things to do. To help you make the most of your visit, we've compiled a list of our top 10 attractions and activities in Columbus.
1. Visit the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Columbus is an excellent city for those who love the outdoors. There are plenty of gardens and parks to explore, like the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. This Conservatory has a variety of gardens with diverse plant life from all over the world. You can also find a rainforest, desert, and Orchid collection. In addition, the Conservatory holds weekend weddings in the grand Palm House.
If you want to explore more of Columbus's natural scenery, take one of the many walking trails through the Botanical Gardens and Garden Campus. Some exhibitions change seasonally, like Blooms & Butterflies in the spring, and events for visitors, like glassblowing and gardening. The Conservatory is a great place to learn about Columbus's history and find hidden details about other attractions in the city.
2. Go to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the top-rated tourist destinations in Columbus because of its expansive collection of animals from all over the world, as well as its educational programs and changing exhibits. You can spend a whole day at the zoo and still not see everything, from the habitats of Asia Quest and Congo Expedition to the Heart of Africa and Shores & Aquarium.
This is a great place to visit for animal lovers of all ages, as there are plenty of opportunities to see live performances and feedings and participate in interactive exhibits. For an extra fee, you can even book a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like bathing an elephant or taking a private tour behind the scenes.
3. Visit the Columbus Museum of Art
With so many different ways to explore and experience art, Columbus is the perfect place for anyone who appreciates the arts. The Columbus Museum of Art features exhibitions and galleries showcasing the best in paintings, photography, glass, and sculpture worldwide. You can also find the JP Morgan Chase Center for Creativity, which offers a free creativity lounge for everyone.
You can try hands-on products to help inspire your creative side. And be sure to grab a bite at the Schokko Art Café before you leave! This museum is perfect for a full day of art appreciation. Other notable places to check out include the Wexner Center for the Arts on the Ohio State University campus and the Pizzuti Collection gallery in the Short North Arts District.
4. Visit COSI Columbus, the City's Science Museum
Columbus is an excellent city for science enthusiasts of all ages. The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is one of the biggest attractions in town, with dozens of hands-on exhibits that teach about everything from outer space to energy to cultural progress.
There are also regularly rotating temporary exhibits and live shows/labs. If you visit COSI, check out the planetarium - it's a fantastic experience under the 60-foot dome. And if you're hungry, COSI has a cafeteria on-site. You could easily spend an entire day there!
5. Browse the Shops at North Market
With over 20 farmers selling produce, North Market is one of central Ohio's largest farmer's markets. You'll find fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, honey, and aromatic herbs on display. Global cuisine options are available if you want a bite to eat. The market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. This is the perfect place to find fresh, local ingredients for your next meal. In addition, to produce, you'll also find vendors selling cheese, meat, baked goods, and more. There's something for everyone at North Market.
6. Take a Walk through the Topiary Park
Besides being a local treasure, the Topiary Park is also home to 54 life-size topiary sculptures. These sculptures were designed to resemble the impressionist painting by George Seurat, known as "A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte." In addition to the topiary sculptures, the park also features boats and figures floating on a pond.
Topiary Park is the perfect place to visit if you're looking for a peaceful and quiet setting. It's also a great place to enjoy a lunch break on one of the benches located throughout the park. If you're planning on visiting, the best time is during the summer when the shrubs on the topiary sculptures are fully bloomed.
7. Visit the Ohio Statehouse
The Ohio Statehouse is a beautiful building with a lot of history and art inside and outside. In the grand rotunda, free guided tours provide an overview of the history and design of the complex. The Statehouse gift shop has unique artwork from indie Ohio artists. You can also walk around the outdoor complex to see statues, memorials, and tributes to essential dignitaries and historic moments in Ohio.
8. Watch a Show at Ohio Theatre
In the 1980s, the historic Ohio Theatre was saved from demolition and restored to its former glory. This excellent theatre, which dates back to 1928, now hosts a variety of performances, ranging from musicals and ballet to opera and lectures. The stage has been modernized to accommodate these different performances, making the Ohio Theatre a truly versatile venue.
With something to suit everyone, a visit to the Ohio Theatre is a must for all families. It's the perfect place to enjoy a symphony concert by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, see the Nutcracker at Christmas, or relax with an evening of old movies. The Ohio Theatre will surely have something for you, whatever your interests.
9. Explore German Village
In the mid-19th century, many German immigrants moved to the area now known as German Village. They brought a taste of home in the form of coffee shops, confectionaries, groceries, and restaurants.
Today, German Village is a popular destination for visitors who want to experience a European atmosphere. The narrow streets and cobblestone ground make you feel like you are in another world. Sausage Haus and Katz's Deli are just two enticing eateries that German Village offers.
You can also find a variety of unique shops and boutiques throughout the area. German Village was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and is truly a one-of-a-kind neighborhood.
10. Watch a Game at Huntington Park
Huntington Park is the perfect place to visit if you want to feel like a local in Columbus. This is because the park is home to the Columbus Clippers baseball team. The park offers an exciting way to enjoy one of the city's premier attractions and is located in the heart of the Arena District.
One of the best things about Huntington Park is its stunning view of the downtown Columbus skyline. This makes it a perfect place to visit for an afternoon or evening game. Additionally, night games at the park often end with spectacular fireworks that light up the sky and add to the beauty of the downtown skyline.
Top 4 Day Trip Ideas from Columbus
You don't have to go far from Columbus to find exciting places to visit. Many day trip ideas are perfect for a quick getaway. Here are four of the best:
1. The Hocking Hills
The Hocking Hills region is one of the most beautiful and unique areas in all of Ohio. The area features stunning sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Several cabins and lodges are also located throughout the region, making it the perfect place to stay for a weekend getaway. The Hocking Hills region is just a short drive from Columbus and is a perfect day trip destination. You can also find a variety of other activities in the area, such as zip-lining and canoeing.
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is another excellent day trip destination from Columbus. The park is located northeast of the city and is a great place to enjoy nature. The park features over 33,000 acres of land and is home to various animals. There are also many hiking trails located throughout the park. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the perfect place to spend a day if you want to escape city life's hustle and bustle.
The Mansfield Reformatory is a historic prison open to the public for tours. The reformatory was built in 1896 and was in operation until 1990. The reformatory has been featured in several movies, including "The Shawshank Redemption." The reformatory is just a short drive from Columbus and is an excellent day trip destination. You can tour the reformatory to learn about its history and see the cells where prisoners were once held.
The Mohican State Park is a state park located in the Mohican River Valley. The park is home to several hiking trails, waterfalls, and a scenic gorge. The park is also home to the Loudonville Canoe Livery, where you can rent canoes and kayaks to explore the river. You can also camp at the park, and several cabins are available for rent. The Mohican State Park is great for enjoying the outdoors and experiencing nature.
You can find various places in Columbus, from hotels to Airbnbs. Here are three of the best places to stay in Columbus:
1. Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph
The Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph is an upscale hotel located in the trendy Short North area of Columbus, Ohio. The hotel is situated in a modern building and is just an 8-minute walk from the North Market. The Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph offers chic rooms with contemporary furnishings and an industrial vibe. Each room includes Wi-Fi (fee), a flat-screen TV, an espresso machine, and a custom-designed bed.
Upgraded rooms also offer original artwork and/or views of the High Street. The hotel also offers suites with living areas and sofas. The Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph provides 24-hour room service. You can also dine at the hotel's high-end restaurant with a bar. The hotel also offers a 24-hour fitness room, a spa, and a lobby lounge showcasing art exhibits. Valet parking is available for a fee. Pets are also welcome at the hotel and will receive their own beds and food bowls.
The Hyatt House Columbus is a great place to stay if you're visiting the area. It's located across the Olentangy Trail from the Olentangy River and is just a 13-minute walk from Ohio State University. The hotel is close to the Ohio Stadium and Columbus Museum of Art, about 1 mile away. If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Columbus, the Hyatt House is a great option.
The rooms are comfortable and relaxed, with flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and mini-fridges. The suites have kitchenettes and pull-out sofas. And the upgraded suites even have exercise bikes. In addition to the great rooms, the Hyatt House also has a cafe/bar, an indoor pool, a 24/7 fitness center, and a patio with a fire pit. Plus, there's a 24-hour convenience store on-site. And if you need it, the hotel offers breakfast and parking.
This hotel is perfect for those who want to be close to the action but still have a place to relax. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, and the hotel offers plenty of great amenities. Guests can enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast each morning, a nightly cocktail hour with free drinks and snacks, and a free shuttle to local attractions. There's also an indoor and outdoor pool, a whirlpool spa, and a 24-hour exercise room. You can even use the coin-operated laundry to wash your clothes.
These are only a few of the many great places to visit in Columbus. No matter your interests, you're sure to find something to enjoy in this diverse and vibrant city. So, if you're looking for a fun-filled vacation full of excitement and adventure, be sure to add Columbus to your list! You won't be disappointed.
Regardless of what activities you get up to, we would like to wish you all the best on your trip! Remember to take lots of pictures, have fun and take care!
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