Nested within the heartland of the Midwest, Columbus, Ohio, is a vibrant city that caters to a diverse array of interests and tastes. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a sports fanatic, an outdoor adventurer, or a culinary aficionado, Columbus has something in store for you.
1. Discover Columbus’s Own Heart of Africa at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
As one of the largest zoos in the world, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to over 10,000 animals representing more than 500 species from around the globe. A visit to this renowned attraction offers a fantastic encounter with wildlife. The zoo’s exhibits are divided into themed regions, with the Heart of Africa being the largest and most popular one. Here, you can witness the majestic lions prowling their territory, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot some adorable cubs playing around.
In addition to the rich animal life, the zoo also features an immersive, hands-on habitat known as Jack Hanna’s Animal Encounters Village where you can interact with some of the resident animals. For those seeking a splash of adrenaline, the adjacent Zoombezi Bay water park and the 18-hole Safari Golf Course offer additional entertainment options.
2. Savor the Local Flavors at North Market Farmer’s Market
For a genuine taste of Columbus, head to the North Market Farmer’s Market. Operating for nearly 150 years, this bustling hub of activity offers a diverse range of artisanal food vendors and unique trinkets. The market is open seven days a week and is a great spot to soak in the local culture and savor an array of authentic foods and crafts.
3. Experience the Roar at Ohio Stadium
Often referred to as “The Horseshoe” due to its distinctive shape, Ohio Stadium is an iconic symbol of Columbus’s sports culture. Home to the Ohio State Buckeyes, the stadium regularly hosts football games that draw massive crowds, creating an electrifying atmosphere that’s hard to match. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or simply enjoy the energy of a live sports event, catching a game at Ohio Stadium is an experience not to be missed.
4. Step into a Sci-fi Universe at Otherworld
For a unique, immersive experience, explore Otherworld — a part-art exhibition, part-virtual reality universe, and part-interactive playground. This mind-boggling attraction, created by a team of over 40 artists, sprawls across 32,000 square feet and features over 40 different installations and rooms, each designed to transport you into new dimensions.
5. Wander Amidst the Greenery at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are a haven for plant lovers and those seeking a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle. Home to thousands of plant species, this botanical oasis is as much about exploration as relaxation. The gardens also showcase the stunning glasswork of renowned artist Dale Chihuly.
6. Learn and Play at COSI (Center of Science and Industry)
The Center of Science and Industry, or COSI, is a hands-on science museum and research center that offers an engaging, family-friendly day out. With its interactive exhibits and educational displays, COSI provides a fun learning experience for visitors of all ages. It has twice been named America’s #1 Science Museum by USA Today.
7. Flex Your Problem-Solving Skills at an Escape Room
If you’re up for a challenge, why not try your hand at escaping from one of Columbus’s many escape rooms? At places like The Escape Game, you and your team will work together to find clues, solve puzzles, and complete a mission. The experience is thrilling, family-friendly, and promises a good time for all.
8. Explore the Scioto Mile
The Scioto Mile is a scenic urban oasis that offers a host of activities. Stretching from the bustling Arena District to the picturesque Whittier Peninsula, the Mile features monuments, sculptures, fountains, and waterways. Whether you fancy a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or a bike ride, the Scioto Mile has something to offer.
9. Sample the Local Brews
If you’re a fan of craft beers, you’ll be pleased to know that Columbus’s microbrewery scene has been steadily growing. The city is home to over a dozen breweries, each offering their unique spins on classic beer recipes. Take a tour, go behind the scenes, and sample some of the most refreshing brews around.
10. Unwind at the Columbus Park of Roses
The Columbus Park of Roses is a true gem. Home to over 350 types of roses, this park fills with thousands of blooming, colorful flowers from May to September, making it a must-visit destination for any visitor to Columbus.
Columbus, Ohio, is a city that’s full of surprises. From its vibrant arts scene to its exciting sports events, from its lush parks to its bustling markets, there’s something for everyone. So whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, Columbus is sure to leave a lasting impression.