It has been said that the world is not found in books and maps, it is out there. Home is behind and the world ahead. In the words of Anthony Bourdain, “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
In traveling, we are emboldened to seek out new adventures to create new stories to share. We journey far and wide to the other side of the world to feel the warmth of the sun on our faces. And we come back home yearning for another taste of adventure.
So what is it about home that is missing? The roads, buildings, and greenery we see on our commutes all play a familiar tune in our minds: comfort, routine, home. But home can take on a new meaning.
This guide will serve as a stepping stone to reinvigorate the soul to explore the city that we call home. Behind every stone wall, every stained glass, and every bricked corner is a story that was written before our time but continues to be shared today. And it is time to see those stories come to life.
Lumin Sky Bar at The AC Hotel Columbus
There is a particular effect that feels undeniably European in the AC. The modern Scandinavian-inspired design of the guest rooms combines functionality with beauty and is perfect for the minimalist looking for a staycation. Head up to the 8th floor for rooftop panoramic views of the city skyline and visit Lumin Sky Bar to be magically transported to the sights and sounds of Barcelona. Order a classic G&T to lounge by the fireplace and pair your libations with some Spanish eats like the meatballs catalonias, calamari, or the curated chef’s board. Be sure to stay for sunset and watch as the light fades from the city as you lounge on the chaise and bite into a fresh warm Nutella churro.
The Keep at Hotel Leveque
Listen as your steps echo across the marbled floors and down the great halls of the historical Hotel LeVeque. As you venture beyond the large brass revolving doors, you find yourself whisked away to the center of the Roaring 20s featuring Gatsby-esque designs and smooth jazz. As an Autograph Collection of Marriott, Hotel LeVeque stays true to the theme of sleeping under the stars with astronomical ornaments lining the walls and ceilings that effortlessly fabricate a timeless and elegant experience. Hotel LeVeque also features a selection of artwork from a private collection: the paintings change regularly so be sure to visit to catch a glimpse of the rotating gallery. Beyond the gilded halls lies The Keep, the modern brasserie and bar that embodies art deco sophistication with a sultry ambiance. The soft glow from the glass lamps and inviting leather effects seek your presence to dine and imbibe on the short ribs and pork chop and the wide selection of finely curated wines. If you are lucky, you may be able to grab a ticket to attend the Rare Magic show for an evening of mind-bending deception and intrigue featuring the magician Drew Murray.
Vine + Forge at The Sonesta
History remains alive behind the bricked walls of the lofts of The Sonesta. The black and white tiles lining the bathroom floor transport you back to the 20th century where quirky meets classic. Follow the tile up the steps that lead to the great porcelain garden tub fit for any tired traveler looking to relax and bathe in serenity. For dining, visit the main floor and stop inside Vine + Forge for a taste of Ohio’s history made true through local-inspired food and drinks. The fish sandwich featuring wild-caught North Atlantic cod is a chef's favorite. But the true secrets to the menu lie in the Cajun shrimp pasta and the pretzel cheesecake. The spice of the Cajun pasta paired with the large juicy shrimp is reminiscent of an elevated mac and cheese that pairs perfectly with the Bacon + Anything cocktail. Ending the meal with the sweet and creamy pretzel cheesecake brings the whole experience to a perfect finale.
Soul at the Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph
The Joseph redefines the meaning of boutique hotel through the elegance found in every crafted detail of the decor, to the artwork, and to the experience. The mornings hum with the busyness of travelers heading to catch meetings and the evenings slow down with the quiet steadiness of soft chatter and relaxation. Within the guest suites, themselves is an open view of the city that stretches far beyond the lights of the downtown skyline. The large standalone porcelain tub is a beacon to all weary travelers looking for respite and a personal spa experience. After relaxation, visit Soul for an urbane lounge experience featuring thoughtfully designed libations and eats. The pork pompon is a hidden secret that few experience, but is highly recommended. For a true craft experience that has been tried, true, and tested, the Synthesis is a cocktail unlike any other. For those who aspire to more classic experiences, order the Espresso Martini black.
Goodale Station at The Canopy by Hilton
The ultimate wine, dine and unwind experience is found at Canopy. Located in the heart of downtown Columbus, Canopy is a haven from the hustle and bustle of the workday rush and a luxury that is extended to the quiet comforts of the guest rooms. The colorful ambiance is perfect for the traveler looking for a getaway that combines fine dining with a craft experience. Located on the rooftop is Goodale Station, a restaurant that is influenced by global flavors with a Midwest twist. Whether you grab a seat at the bar under the skylight or sit at one of the patios overlooking the city proper, the food and service you experience will be impeccable. To be bold, the coconut wine mussels and the charcuterie board are irresistible dishes to stimulate the palate. The main course with the halibut with sweet corn curry and tea smoked duck breast are adventurous and memorable. A cold glass of the Buried Treasure or the Fancy Nancy come highly recommended. Lest we forget, dessert is an absolute. In the morning, a visit to Central Market House for an order of espresso and the huevos rancheros brings the trip to a close. As you finish your stay, watch as the sun glides over the city we call home and look to the next journey ahead.
Whether you are looking for a quick weekend getaway, an inclusive romantic weekend, or a tour of the city, may this guide serve as a source of inspiration to explore the sights and sounds of the city we call home.
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