Columbus is the warm heart of Ohio – a dynamic city chock-full of exciting museums, charming restaurants, and leafy historic neighborhoods.
Perfect for a weekend getaway or a as a base for a vacation to remember, Columbus is the center of the state’s government and bursting with dynamic attractions.
Downtown Columbus mixes big-city attractions with Midwestern friendliness. Start your day with a stroll through Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, an 88-acre gem just east of downtown. You’ll find alleys hiding markets, great Italian restaurants, and Columbus Commons, which is one of the city’s best spots to see a summer concert. The city’s long history of industry and invention is honored at the Center of Science and Industry, which hosts hundreds of events throughout the year.
Whether you are in the city or just outside of it, Ohio’s natural beauty is never far away. Check out Hayden Falls Park for hiking, or spot birdlife at Scioto Audubon Metro Park. Highbanks Metro Park has eight hiking trails, and Whetstone Park has the area’s most vibrant rose gardens. As you venture through Central Ohio you will find charming small towns, rolling countryside, farmers markets brimming with fresh produce, and surprisingly great restaurants.
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Sports are big in Columbus, and none are bigger than the offerings from The Ohio State University. The Buckeyes field championship teams in ranging from football to swimming, and the school’s 60,000 students take rooting for the home team seriously. You’ll also find top-ranked professional hockey, Triple A baseball, and more than a dozen golf courses – this is the birthplace of Jack Nicklaus and major tournaments take place every year.
From one-day festivals to week-long events, Columbus keeps its events and festivals calendar full. Each spring, the Arnold Sports Festival brings 20,000 athletes from around the. Rock on at Rock on the Range or see the PGA’s best play during the Memorial Tournament. Summer kicks off in style at the Columbus Arts Festival, and you can also enjoy Fourth of July fireworks, a jazz festival, and a huge Pride festival.
Ohio’s history is both uniquely American and perfectly Midwestern, and there are many historic sites to visit. Start off downtown, which is home to the grand Central High School, the imposing Central Assurance Company, and the gorgeous Broad Street Christian Church. Fort Hayes preserves an important historic arsenal, while architecture buffs will love wandering the streets of German Village and the Glen Echo Historic District.
See a different side of Columbus in one of the city’s great museums. The city is the birthplace of Jack Nicklaus, and you can learn about the master in his namesake museum. See the work of a great cartoonist at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, get your fill of fire engines at the Central Ohio Fire Museum, and learn about church history at the Jubilee Museum.
Columbus attracts top-name musical acts and has its own burgeoning scene. Throughout downtown and near campus, you can crowd surf at rowdy shows or enjoy an intimate evening of high art. Party at Rock on the Range or hear new sounds at the Breakaway Music Festival. Looking for something different? Stop in at the Asian Festival, held at the end of spring, for music from Thailand, China, and Japan.