Downtown and Franklinton
 

Downtown Columbus Skyline at Capitol Square

Getting There/Getting Around

Columbus’ downtown is undergoing a decades-long resurgence in both visitor interest and local residents. A hub of hotels, ranging from ritzy to limited-service, make downtown an ideal place to stay and explore Columbus’ neighborhoods. Downtown is a large neighborhood, but the free CBUS downtown circulator and CoGo Bike Share make it easy to get around quickly.

Dining near the Scioto Mile Fountains at Bicentennial Park, Milestone 229Things to Do

You’ll find cultural institutions like the incredible Columbus Museum of Art with its brand new modern wing, the Columbus College of Art and Design and its free galleries, the best-in-the-nation Columbus Public Library and the Topiary Park, a recreation of Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of Grande Jatte in shrubbery. Numerous art galleries, theaters large and small, and parks make downtown an appealing destination. Historic highlights include the Ohio Statehouse, the stunning art-deco Ohio Supreme Court and the Kelton House, where you can relive the experience of the Underground Railroad. The Columbus Commons park hosts concerts, free exercise classes, a cute carousel and special events like an every-Thursday food truck rally during the warmer months. At the southern end of the breathtaking Scioto Mile, Bicentennial Park hosts summer concerts and is home to a huge set of popular play fountains.  

Restaurants

Monthly Moonlight Market on Downtown ColumbusPeppered throughout the neighborhood are stellar places to eat and drink. If you start your day with coffee, look no further than One Line, Cafe Brioso and The Roosevelt Coffeehouse. When the mood strikes, find a downtown-brewed beer at Wolf’s Ridge or The Elevator. Culinary treats range from the causal, like alley-side Venezuelan hot spot El Arepazo, to the upscale, like the modern Italian trattoria Due Amici. Views from Milestone 229 compete with its locally inspired cocktail and beer menu. Monthly events like Moonlight Market on lively Gay Street make for special surprises. 

Independents Day at Land Grant Brewing Company in FranklintonFranklinton

The Scioto River and its 33 new acres of trails and parklands separate downtown from Franklinton to the west. Franklinton, first settled in 1797, is experiencing a renaissance as a new center for the city’s maker culture and independent art scene. Arts collectives like 400 West Rich Street, the Columbus Idea Foundry and Glass Axis are open to visit, and often host late-night events in their industrial spaces. Dining options veer toward the causal, with Strongwater Food and Spirits and Land-Grant Brewing Company leading the way. COSI, one of the nation’s top science museums, graces the west bank of the Scioto, and across Broad Street, work has started on a brand new Ohio Veterans Memorial, set to open in 2017. Events like Independents’ Day and Urban Scrawl bring Columbus' local arts and music scenes to the forefront.

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