Columbus is calling, and summer is the perfect time to visit. Picture sunny days spent paddling on the Scioto River with family and moonlit evenings toasting on rooftop patios with friends. Keep reading for the top five reasons to visit Ohio's capital city, named one of the Best Weekend Getaways in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.

1. We're a Day's Drive Away

Looking for a drivable destination to visit this summer? Consider Columbus, a one-day's drive for more than half of the U.S. population. Enjoy an affordable getaway by purchasing a Columbus Attractions Pass, which offers up to 50% savings, or booking a two-night stay to receive exclusive offers like a free Lyft gift card.

Red, White and Boom in downtown Columbus takes place annually on July 3.

2. Festival Season is Back

From the Columbus Arts Festival June 10-12 to Red, White & BOOM! on July 1, and from Jazz & Rib Fest July 22-24 to the brand-new CBUS Soul Fest Aug. 20, nearly 30 festivals and events await this summer in Columbus. Whether you love music, food or the arts, there’s an event for you. 

Scioto Mile Kayaks

3. Outdoor Activities Abound

Make the most of summer by heading outdoors this summer. Climb the largest free outdoor rock-climbing wall in the country at Scioto Audubon Metro Park. Kayak on the Scioto River and enjoy stunning views of the downtown skyline. Or float along a lazy river at Zoombezi Bay. Need more inspiration? Check out the Columbus Outdoor Trails Pass, which features 22 different outdoor experiences around the region and offers participants the chance to win a $100 monthly giveaway.

Brewdog at the Columbus Pride Parade

4. We're Home to the Largest Pride Celebration in the Midwest

With more than 700,000 visitors, Stonewall Columbus Pride put Columbus on the map as one of the top spots in the country to celebrate Pride. Join this year’s Patron of Pride, Carmen Carrera of RuPaul's Drag Race, June 17-18 for a festival and march and see why Matador Network named Columbus one of the “9 Best Gay-Friendly Cities in the U.S.”

Exterior view of Budd Dairy rooftop and patio

5. Patios and Rooftops are Calling

Nothing says summer like dining al fresco. Whether you’re looking for the perfect patio for brunch, people-watching perch or rooftop for sips and sunset, you’ll find plenty of options in all of Columbus’ neighborhoods.

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