When I tell people I meet during my travels, that I am from Columbus, Ohio, I usually get two reactions.
1. If the person is from or has lived in the US, they assume my home is in the middle of a corn field and that cow-tipping is the main form of entertainment.
2. If the person has never been to the US, they have no clue where Ohio is geographically located within the US. (In all fairness, I am horrible at geography and most likely have no clue where their home is located).
When I found out about the WorldNomads.com Blog Your Backyard project, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight my home city.
Did you know that Columbus is the 15th largest city in the US? Of course, you don’t have to drive too far outside the city limits to find corn fields, but that does not mean you won’t find plenty to see and do in Columbus.
5 Things To Do in Columbus
Visit Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
Here you can see exotic plants and flowers, a collection of work by glass artist Chihuly, and special exhibitions. I lived in Columbus for over 6 years before I visited the Conservatory, and now it is one of my favorite places to explore on my own during the day or with friends for the Thursday night Cocktails @ the Conservatory weekly event.
Franklin Park Conservatory is located at 1777 East Broad Street just a few miles from the center of downtown.
Admission is $11 for adults, and there are discounts for students, seniors, and children.
Spend a Saturday or Sunday eating and shopping at The North Market.
The North Market is a large public market that brings together dozens of independent farmers and merchants. You can enjoy a meal from a variety of vendors. This is also a great place to do your grocery shopping for fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, desserts, and ethnic food specialties.
One vendor you MUST visit is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. This is the best ice cream I have had in the US. Their ice creams are made with fresh ingredients, and they offer the most creatively delicious ice cream flavors such as Goat Cheese w/ Red Cherries, Bangkok Peanut, and Wildberry Lavender.
Although it is open during the week, my favorite time to enjoy The North Market is on the weekend because it is bustling with people, and they usually have special events such as cooking classes or live music. I am still unhappy about missing the Bacon Camp last month.
Centrally located downtown on High Street between Vine and Spruce, it is impossible to miss, and you can take advantage of the paid parking right in front of the market building.
Attend a baseball game.
The Columbus Clippers are a Triple-A baseball team affiliated with the Cleveland Indians. In 2009, the team moved to the newly built Huntington Park downtown. With tickets starting at $6 for adults and $3 for children and seniors, this is an affordable activity for all.
I am not even a baseball fan, and I still enjoy attending the games. The ballpark is set up to make socializing with friends easy, and there is a gorgeous view of downtown Columbus. Conveniently located downtown at the corner of Nationwide Boulevard and Neil Avenue, you are steps away from the Arena District and Short North restaurants and bars for pre-game or post-game fun.
Explore the Short North galleries, boutique shops, restaurants, and bars.
The Short North is a small neighborhood just north of downtown along High Street. It is heavily populated with art galleries, trendy boutique clothing shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
The best time to explore the neighborhood is the first Saturday of the month when all of the galleries and shops stay open late for Gallery Hop. The event officially starts at 4pm and ends at 10pm, but you will find bars and restaurants open later of course.
The Short North neighborhood is also the site of my favorite festivals. If you happen to be in Columbus the second half of June, check out ComFest (hippies, live music, and lots of dogs) and the Pride Festival. If you are in Columbus for July 4th weekend, check out the Doo Dah Parade (a quirky expression of freedom of speech through humor).
Sample a great selection of beers at Bodega.
The clientele of this Short North bar and restaurant is diverse, but they all have one thing in common. They like good beer and a fun atmosphere.
Bodega is located at 1044 N. High Street at the northern end of the Short North. (A lot of “norths” in that sentence.) Get there early for great deals at happy hour (4-8pm) and to get a spot on the small patio.
Have I missed your favorite thing to do in Columbus? Please share in the comments.
The ‘Blog your Backyard’ Project
Share your local expertise and join the Blog your Backyard project! Become an ambassador for your country (home or adopted) by sharing your experiences and tips with other travelers. Submit your entries starting August 8th on WorldNomads.com for a chance to win one of 20 awesome excursions with Urban Adventures. Plus, if you want to share more of your local expertise or get answers to all of your travel questions, download the FREE ‘Ask A Nomad’ iPad app.