Columbus is clearly a city on the rise. The 14th-largest city in the United States and one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, Columbus’ growth has been spurred by education, employment opportunities and nationally and internationally recognized businesses.

It boasts a thriving arts and entertainment scene, vibrant neighborhoods and nationally recognized restaurants, and our city is known for its collaborative, progressive and innovative nature.

We at Experience Columbus know you’re going to be surprised and delighted once you’re here. Whether you’re considering making a move to the heart of the Midwest or you’re here and ready to explore your new home, we’ve put together five things to do when relocating to Columbus: 


Father and son exploring the Dinosaur Exhibit at COSI


1. Visit Columbus’ top attractions

Columbus is home to plenty of esteemed attractions including museums, a stellar zoo, beautiful botanical gardens and everything in-between.

Our city’s top attractions are must-see whether you’re a resident or visitor.


Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

As seen on National Geographic’s “Secrets of the Zoo,” the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium  is home to more than 10,000 animals representing 600 species from around the globe. For more than 95 years, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has evolved to be a cornerstone of the community and a destination inspiring the appreciation and conservation of many of the earth's most amazing animals.


Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

World-class horticulture, art and nature-based exhibitions and educational programs for all ages awaits at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Situated on 40 acres on the eastern side of Franklin Park, the Conservatory features the historic John F. Wolfe Palm House, 83,000 square feet of glasshouses, botanical gardens and meeting and event spaces. 


Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

One of the most recognized science museums in the nation, COSI has combined science and fun since 1964 with 300+ hands-on exhibits, Ohio’s largest planetarium, Giant Screen Theater, live shows, and more. There’s truly something for all ages to learn and enjoy.


Columbus Museum of Art

If you're looking for artistic inspiration, this is the spot. The Columbus Museum of Art's (CMA)  collection spans work from Columbus-born artists like Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, George Bellows and Elijah Pierce to the luminaries of 19th and 20th-century art.


National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM)

The only place in America dedicated to telling the stories of all US veterans from all branches of military service throughout history, NVMM inspires both in its mission but also its architecture, which has earned accolades from Architectural Digest for its curving lines and unique cast concrete construction.


Easton Town Center

Named the number one Retail Experience in America by Chain Store Age magazine for three years in a row, Easton includes scores of brands, including national and local stores and restaurants.

With convenient access to John Glenn International Airport and downtown Columbus, Easton is a hub for shopping not only in Columbus, but the Midwest.


LEGOLAND Discovery Center

LEGOLAND Discovery Center  at Easton Town Center is a creative and engaging experience for kids of all ages, and features 36,000 square feet dedicated to interactive games, play areas, building challenges, rides and a 4D movie theater.


Columbus Metropolitan Library - Main Branch

Located Downtown, the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Main Branch is a stunning facility and a great place to get a card for the fantastic Columbus library system. The original building opened in 1907 and the main atrium is an inspiring space that you’ll want to check out while you enjoy one of the finest public library systems in the nation. Afterward, head outdoors to check out the Topiary Garden Park, the only known topiary recreation of a painting in the world.

There’s lots of amazing programming that happens year-round at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, which just celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2023. 


The Wexner Center for the Arts

Serving as The Ohio State University's multidisciplinary laboratory for contemporary art and culture, the Wex provides exhibitions, performances, screenings, educational programs, artist residencies, and publications. Most exhibitions in the gallery are free to visit, with other special events incurring ticket fees. 


The Ohio History Connection

Consisting of the Ohio History Center and the Ohio Village, the Ohio History Connection is a spectacular center for Ohio history. Beyond the fascinating exhibits and displays, OHC offers many special events and experiences year-round for all ages, coinciding with commemorative months and historic events. Ohio Village, a recreated 19th-century community, is open seasonally and a must-see. 


Nordecke Fans at Field


2. Feel the energy at our lively sports venues

The Arena District and University District serve as the heart and soul of sports in Columbus.

If pro sports are your scene, head to Sports Street, aka Nationwide Boulevard, to take in the Columbus Blue Jackets, Clippers or Crew in the vibrant Arena District. Tip: the Arena District is part of a DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area) and has plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy with friends before the game!

The University District is home to The Ohio State University and all things Buckeye if you’re looking to take in some of the top college sports in the nation.

Just a taste of our city’s top sports venues:


Nationwide Arena

This multipurpose arena is the centerpiece of the Arena District. It’s the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets, but also holds concerts and additional events year-round. Field

A world-class stadium for a world-class city, the Crew’s soccer stadium has a 20,000-person capacity with amenities like field-level suites and a beer garden. The U.S. Soccer Men's and Women's National Teams played here a combined three times in the stadium's first year. Field hosts its first MLS All-Star Game in July 2024.


Huntington Park

This beautiful park and its amazing skyline views are home to the Columbus Clippers baseball team (the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians). The Savannah Bananas World Tour comes to Huntington Park in May 2024.


Ohio Stadium

The Shoe is one of the most iconic venues in North American sports and is the fourth-largest on-campus facility in the nation with a capacity of 102,780. It’s home to the Ohio State Buckeyes’ football team and hosts major concerts and events throughout the year, including NHL’s Stadium Series in 2025.


Schottenstein Center

Where The Ohio State University’s men's basketball, women's basketball, and men's ice hockey teams come to play. The Schott also hosts a variety of concerts, family shows and touring productions. It has the largest seating capacity in the Big Ten Conference with 19,049 seats.




3. Explore our distinct and vibrant neighborhoods

Exciting and diverse, Columbus is home to a blend of unique neighborhoods and communities that are known for being open, welcoming, smart and entrepreneurial. No matter your preferred daily pace, your interests or your lifestyle, there’s a neighborhood for everyone in Columbus.

Learn more about all our city’s communities and keep reading to explore our most central neighborhoods: the “Five on High.”


Reminagined comfort foods at Watershed Kitchen and Bar


4. Savor our rising culinary and beer scene

Columbus continues to prove that its food and drink scene is unrivaled. Named one of the best destinations for culinary travel in 2024 by Essence and the third-best beer city in the nation in USA Today’s 10best Reader’s Choice Awards, Columbus continues to gain momentum as a foodie’s dream destination.

Our chefs and restaurants are making headlines in publications like Food & Wine, Forbes and Bon Appétit, and two Columbus chefs were recently named 2024 James Beard Awards semifinalists

Columbus is home to restaurateur Cameron Mitchell and Jeni Britton, the mind behind Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams , both with locations throughout the city. Whether you want to check out one of the top food halls in the country with your family, enjoy a date night downtown or toast to the weekend with friends at one of our rooftop bars, Columbus’ food scene has a spot for you.

Don’t forget to download and explore our free experiential trails, a great way to try food and drink around the city with prizes along the way. You can try the Columbus Coffee Trail, Columbus Outdoor Trails Pass, Columbus Distillery Trail and Columbus-Style Pizza Trail, among others.


People raising hammers at Makers Social


5. Become an insider and stay in the know, and volunteer at events around the city

One of the best ways to stay connected to everything happening in the city is by becoming an Experience Columbus Insider (ECI). The program intends to educate residents and provides resources and benefits in addition to owning an official accreditation. It will empower you as part of the local ECI community, and you'll enjoy the benefits of being in-the-know on local developments and behind-the-scenes opportunities. You’ll meet other ECIs at exclusive ECI events, you'll stay informed on city happenings, and you’ll get plenty of local perks along the way.

Some of those perks include discounts and offers at local businesses, invitations to dress rehearsals and opening nights of performances, access to Experience Columbus Insider exclusive events and behind-the-scenes tours and more.

Another great way to build community is by volunteering behind the scenes at our city's amazing events. Columbus is booming with festivals and events, which couldn't happen without volunteer help. The best part? You'll be part of the action for free, while also meeting and bonding with plenty of other volunteers! Volunteers often receive free admission to the event before or after their shifts and sometimes are provided with other goodies like drink tickets or T-shirts. 


Kayakers float on the Scioto River with the Columbus skyline in the background


Get rewarded for exploring Columbus

We at Experience Columbus truly believe you’re going to love living here. Check out our Relocation Guide for tools and economic resources to make our city your home or explore the Columbus Visitor Guide. Don’t forget to try our free experiential trails, which include tons of amazing prizes upon completion, or download the CBUS Rewards app for even more ways to earn points.