Plan a Visit
Whether you’re visiting for a college visit, a game day or coming to visit a student at The Ohio State University, Ohio’s capital city is the ideal place for a getaway. Check out the buzz on all there is to see, do and experience in Columbus from travel experts across the country:
52 Places to Go in 2019
- New York Times
9 Must-See Destinations Worth a Visit in 2019
- Chicago Tribune
20 of the Top Places to Visit in the U.S. in 2019
- Trip Advisor
32 Places to Go (And Eat) in 2019
- Food & Wine
10 Best Big Cities
COLUMBUS ARTS AND CULTURE
You’ll notice arts everywhere you go in Columbus. The city is bursting with creativity, from downtown’s Columbus Museum of Art to our independent fashion brands. National Geographic Traveler proclaims:
“Columbus - home to Ohio state, one of the largest universities in the United States - is in the midst of a cultural renaissance that's drawing visitors and transplants alike."
The heart of Columbus’ creative scene is the Franklinton neighborhood, which houses hundreds of local artists and art spaces. Take a stroll through 400 West Rich, an artist incubator space that is home to art and music studios, event and co-working spaces, and offers public art classes and galleries each month.
In the Short North Arts District, you’ll find artistic encounters ranging from local murals and galleries to the world-renowned The Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art. This eclectic neighborhood is known for Gallery Hop, a tradition on the first Saturday of each month when galleries and shops stay open through the evening to showcase fresh exhibitions, performances, and special events.
With more local fashion designers per capita here than in any other U.S. city outside of New York and Los Angeles, fashion is also an art form to be inspired in Columbus. Can’t-miss fashion events include Fashion Week Columbus and Highball Halloween in the fall.
If shopping is your favorite way to explore a new city, eclectic boutiques line the streets of the Short North, while Easton and Polaris Fashion Place house designer brands found in top fashion cities. Embark on the Made in Cbus Trail to find a wealth of distinctly Columbus products from local businesses. Find more Columbus shopping here.
TAKE IT ALL IN
Fuel your creative spirit with a performance. Nationally acclaimed BalletMet has dazzled audiences for more than four decades. Theater troupes, including Shadowbox Live, the nation’s largest resident theater company, captivate audiences across the city. The Columbus Symphony stirs with classics – as well as innovative, collaborative experiences. Picnic with the Pops, a summertime outdoor concert series features popular artists such as Nelly, Common, and Wyclef Jean alongside the symphony for unique musical fusions.
ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES IN COLUMBUS
It’s not hard to find things to do in Columbus. In fact, with so many top-ranked attractions, one of the hardest parts about any trip is deciding which activity will have to wait until the next visit.
Hang out in the Heart of Africa and hand-feed a giraffe its lunch at “Jungle Jack” Hanna’s home zoo, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Or splash around in the wave pool at the connected Zoombezi Bay during summer months.
Get hands-on for learning and fun at COSI, the Center of Science and Industry, now offering a permanent 22,000 sq.-ft. Dinosaur Gallery thanks to a one-of-a-kind, groundbreaking partnership with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). In addition, the AMNH Special Exhibition Gallery features special exhibits rotating every few months.
Check out Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the only botanical garden in the world with a permanent collection of glass artwork by Dale Chihuly. The Travel Channel agrees that Franklin Park Conservatory is one of the best botanical gardens in the U.S.
The National Veterans Memorial and Museum is the only place where the stories of our veterans, their families, and the Fallen – across all branches of service and all eras of conflict – are told together. Ahead of its highly anticipated opening, Architectural Digest declared it one of “the 15 most noteworthy museums opening this year.”
Columbus’ incredible food scene features top-ranked chefs, a rich farm-to-table movement, one-of-a-kind restaurants, and creative takes on classic dishes. From fast-casual to fine-dining, you won’t have a problem finding something to suit every taste in the city that Food & Wine named one of the 32 Places to Go (and Eat) in 2019.
The hustle and bustle of North Market, located in the Arena District, is a must-see for visitors. A colorful blend of butchers, grocers, bakers, restaurateurs, and more, the North Market is Central Ohio’s oldest public market. You’re sure to feel the diversity, locality, and vibrancy of Columbus.