With its flourishing arts scene and upbeat student vibe, Columbus is one of the hippest cities in the Midwest. It’s anchored by the sprawling Ohio State University, which hosts almost 60,000 students. Whether you want to tour the campus, stroll around historic neighborhoods or relax in a shady riverside park, Columbus is a fantastic introduction to Ohio.
Things to do in Columbus
Columbus sits on the banks of the Scioto River, with plenty of breezy parks to explore. Most are clustered along the Scioto Mile, an urban oasis dotted with lush parkland, bubbling fountains, scenic lookouts and a riverfront promenade.
Science lovers will find the displays in COSI fascinating. The interactive center features over 300 hands-on exhibits, plus one of America’s best planetariums. The Columbus Museum of Art is another cultural highlight, harboring a treasure trove of contemporary paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
Looking to explore the local history? Head to the German Village to find streets lined with restored brick houses built by settlers who arrived in the 1800s. Today, they house a mix of artisan cafes, trendy restaurants and quirky boutiques. It’s bordered by the characterful Brewery District, where you’ll find a collection of microbreweries.
Packed full of bars and restaurants, the lively Arena District is a great place to sample the city’s food. It’s also home to the bustling North Market, where you can stock up on fresh fruit, gourmet cheese and handmade pasta. When the sun sets, the clubs and bars along Park Street serve up the city’s best nightlife.
Getting around Columbus
Columbus is serviced by an efficient network of public buses, along with taxis and rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. John Glenn Columbus International Airport is 11 kilometers northeast of the downtown area, with the drive taking around 10 minutes.