Columbus, located in the center of Ohio, is the state capital. It is the largest city in Ohio and the 15th largest in the United States. Columbus is a cosmopolitan town and is home to Ohio State University, as well as many tourist attractions. It has a variety of trendy restaurants, stores and corporations that add to the overall appeal. People of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy all that Columbus has to offer.
Popular Tourist Attractions in Columbus, Ohio
When visiting the Columbus area, there are many sights to tour. Some noteworthy attractions to add to your list include:
Capital Square is a 10-acres plot of land in the geographic center of Columbus. It's the site of the Ohio Statehouse, a Greek revival structure, built in 1839 of white Ohio limestone, and the current home of the Ohio legislature and the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor, and Treasurer. A senate office building, also made of Ohio limestone, shares the square, as do a number of monuments and statues, including a statue of William McKinley, a former Ohio governor and assassinated president, and a monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus, the city's namesake.
Ohio State University
The largest University in Ohio and the third largest in the U.S., Ohio State University is home to over 50,000 students each year. Founded in 1872, the university offers a wide range of degrees and is well known for its championship "Buckeye" football and basketball teams. The area surrounding the University, particularly along High Street, is filled with quirky bookstores, dive bars, music stores, and ethnic restaurants.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is very family friendly. Located in Powell, it is just north of Columbus. The Zoo and Aquarium features over 5,000 animals and exhibits including Arctic fox, polar bears and brown bears as well as elephants, tigers, manatees and tufted deer. The zoo has a range of food options, from coffee shops to an expansive food court featuring burgers, pizza, pretzels and ice cream.
Easton Town Centre
No trip to Columbus is complete without visiting Easton Town Centre. This area is filled with retail shops such as Macy's, Coach, Victoria's Secret and Crate and Barrel. The appeal of this area is that all of its retailers are in an open air setting letting you enjoy the scenery and family-friendly setting.
Located just south of downtown, German Village is the site of the original settlement for the many German immigrants who flocked to the city in the mid to late 1800s. Today, it is the largest privately funded historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. It's an eclectic mixture of brick townhouses, walled gardens, iron balustrades, and trendy restaurants and shops. Take a stroll through the picturesque streets here and make sure to visit the Book Loft, a complex of three buildings and dozens of rooms, filled with discount books. Just north of downtown Columbus, Ohio, along High Street, sits a trendy, upscale neighborhood, referred to as the Short North. The area is rich with art galleries, quirky boutiques, ethnic restaurants, and gracious Victorian homes.
Another neighborhood to check out that is adjacent to the Short North is Victorian Village. This area is a quiet section filled with beautifully restored 19th Victorian houses. In addition, the Brewery District, adjacent to German Village, is filled with converted lofts and warehouse condos, created out of the 19th century brick brewery buildings that grew up in that area. A few of the warehouses have been revived as microbreweries. There are also several popular restaurants and nightspots in this neighborhood.
Finding dining options in Columbus is not a problem. For those looking for an upscale restaurant, Mitchell's Steakhouse located at 45 North 3rd Street is a great choice. This restaurant features steak, seafood, chicken and chops and is set in a modern style that will please the pickiest of guests.
Any chain restaurant you can imagine can be found in Columbus. From Golden Corral to Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant, the choices are endless. No trip to Columbus would be complete without ordering a pizza from Donato's which was founded in Columbus and remains one of the most popular chains in the area.
If you are visiting Easton Town Centre, check one of the many options such as The Cheesecake Factory, Panera Bread and California Pizza Kitchen. You might also enjoy dining at the Columbus Brewing Company located in the Brewery District. It is a microbrewery/restaurant known for unique brews such as Columbus Pale Ale and Columbus Apricot Ale. It also features a vast menu that can be paired with the various beers.
In German Village is Schmidt's Sausage Hausa, known for their spicy "Bahama Mama" sausage and luscious house-made cream puffs. German Village is also home to the original Max and Erma's Restaurant, a cozy corner pub that launched as a national restaurant chain.
Whether you are in town for an overnight stay or a long weekend visit, there are several options for lodging. For those looking for a romantic getaway, consider staying at a quaint bed and breakfast such as the historic Harrison House located at 313 W 5th Avenue.
Lodging options in Columbus that are near Ohio State University include:
- Fairfield Inn & Suites OSU: This hotel is part of the Marriott chain and is located at 3031 Olentangy River Road. It features wireless internet, luxury bedding, jetted tubs and mini fridges.
To get the best possible deal, check out each hotel's website for specials on packages and other promotions. Columbus has a lot to offer people of all ages and lifestyles. Be sure to choose accomodations in an area where you will be most comfortable. Depending what is on your itinery, there are many options to fit into your schedule that will allow you to relax after a long day of sightseeing.