Columbus’ various districts are an intriguing retreat to Ohio’s capital. You can have real bratwursts and crème puffs in the German village on your gastronomic side or see Columbus actively on a Columbus City Adventure excursion. Enjoy your arts at the Short North Arts district or relax in the Arena District for sport and entertainment. Experience Columbus’ numerous sides at specific places that promote a new adventure or just get back to the city’s central Scioto Mile and observe the city’s increasing skyline through lunch or river concerts. Whether you’re looking for a wonderful weekend trip in Ohio or just going to Cincinnati or Cleveland, stop in Columbus and enjoy some of the city’s top tourist attractions.

1. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

up-close picture of crocodile taken in Columbus Zoo
Because of its enormous collection of animals, educational events, and rotating exhibits, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Columbus. A day at the Columbus Zoo lets you experience more than 10,000 species on every continent. There are many other attractions in the park besides seeing animal exhibits and seeing shows and feedings. Take advantage of the summertime rides at Jungle Jack’s Landing and check out the wave pool and water slides at Zoombezi Bay across the street as well.

2. Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center is a shopping center indoors and outdoors that contains several restaurants, high-quality shops, theaters, the Comedy Club Funny Bone, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and more!

3. Scioto Mile Fountain

The centerpiece of the Bicentennial Park and Scioto Mile is this stunning fountain. The Fountain is an architectural marvel and an interactive space for water recreation, designed by the Toronto Waterworx Company of the Province of Ontario. At night, distinctive lighting and fog effects add to the experience of watching the fountain.

4. German Village

A highway bridge over Freeway 70 divides the German Village Historic District from the city center of Columbus, but the difference between old and new is obvious when one looks east from the interstate. There is a 20-story construction located just north of the Interstate Bridge, while no structure is taller than three floors, immediately to the south in the German Village. The St. Mary Church spiral is located in the south five blocks from the sidewalk in 197’s and overlooks it all. The orange masonry is structures and sidewalks and many (about half) roads are still pavers. German Village is a neighborhood with architecture originating from 1940, the 1890s and conserved to be used as a common residential and commercial neighboring area. It doesn’t have a recreated feeling of history or a kitschy Bavarian flavor. People go to their destinations, park on the streets because of an extreme lack of motorways, and reside on a high level at the foot. Very often only inches separate nearby structures are exceedingly crowded, and several structures have been constructed for multifamily usage. German Village’s appearance has changed so little, it is noticeably different.

5. Otherworld

Otherworld is a Columbus art installation of 32,000 square feet. Find more than 40 sceneries full of large-scale art and playgrounds of mixed reality. It’s a whole new art experience that invites guests to explore and interact with a strange world of fantasy and science fiction.

6. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

At the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, you may discover a wonderland of flora and fauna. Hundreds of varieties of plants from around the world are cultivated in glass greenhouses on the Conservatory’s third floor. Additionally, you might see a wedding being planned while you are doing the Rainforest walk-through, the Desert excursion, or the Orchid Tour. Take advantage of the walking routes in the Botanical Gardens and Garden Campus’s outdoor areas to stroll through the grounds. There are various displays throughout the year, such as flowers and butterflies in the spring, and also special events for visitors, like glassblowing and gardening. This is a historic capital city treasure, and its history is quite remarkable. To learn more about it and other Columbus attractions, you may wish to look into the book Secret Columbus.

7. Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

For many decades, the Center of Science and Industry has brought Columbus residents of all ages a mix of inspiration and education in the world of science. Children learn about outer space, energy, cultural progress, and dinosaurs, along with the American Museum of Natural History, by wandering through hands-on exhibits in COSI. Even while there are regular live presentations and lab activities throughout the year, there are also rotating exhibitions that allow exhibits to change in different ways throughout time. The planetarium at COSI is one of the best experiences available in the city of Columbus. It feels like you are in a dark desert as you learn about the stars that you can see if you were standing beneath the 60-foot dome. COSI’s cafeteria is open to the public, making it easy to use the facilities for the full day.

8. North Market

A walk around the North Market of Columbus’ downtown is a fun opportunity to discover the city’s unique culture. The market has dozens of local food vendors that offer a variety of goods and services, including handmade bread and fresh flowers, as well as restaurants that specialize in all kinds of cuisines, including Italian, Indian, Vietnamese, Pizza, German, Sushi, BBQ, and Nepalese options, located on two floors. On Saturdays, specialty food market vendors set up in the neighboring neighborhood to sell locally produced honey and farm produce. Even if you park in the North Market lot, be sure to validate your parking ticket before going in to receive a lower rate.

9. Columbus Museum of Art

At the Columbus Museum of Art, visitors can experience the best in paintings, photography, glass, and sculpture while also discovering their own artistic side. Attending a community event in the museum or program using the galleries as a backdrop is one of the most entertaining ways to visit the Columbus Museum of Art. If you’re interested in the galleries and other facilities as well, be sure to discover the JP Morgan Chase Center for Creativity, which has a free creativity lounge with a wide variety of interactive hands-on products to help encourage your creative side. A stop at the Schokko Art Café is a great way to end your visit to the museum, where the food and artwork are both equally creative.

10. Huntington Park

You will feel like a local if you happen to visit Columbus on the dime-a-dog night in Huntington Park. Huntington Park is the home ballpark of the Columbus Clippers, a AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. It is located in the Arena District, a fun and exciting way to enjoy a well-known attraction in the city’s core. No matter what time of day or night you visit, it will be more exciting when Columbus’ downtown skyline is dominating the baseball field for an afternoon or evening game. While night games are often completed with pyrotechnics, they are usually followed by fireworks that light up the sky and illuminate the expanding city skyline. Depending on the type of game you’re attending, you may decide to dine before the game at one of the many different eateries located around the stadium.

11. Ohio Statehouse

Doing a little research will help you determine exactly what you want to do when you visit the Ohio Statehouse and the Capitol Square area. The state capital is where the state’s official business occurs. Guided tours are offered on a daily basis and offer the greatest tour of the complex’s history and design. Observe the impressive rotunda created with thousands of pieces of marble, and make sure to visit the Museum Education Center as well. This gift shop, which is located on the statehouse grounds, contains unique items and artwork created by Ohio artists. A great way to enjoy the outdoors while discovering a variety of monuments, memorials, and tributes is to explore the outdoor complex around the statehouse.

13. Ohio History Center

Those visiting the Ohio History Connection don’t have to be history buffs to enjoy and appreciate the museum, library, and village on the premises. An impressive array of interactive and instructive exhibits about Ohio’s history can be found at the Ohio History Center, which ranges from traces of America’s first people to Civil War-era antiquities, cities through a gradual change, and other exhibits that document different phases of Ohio history. Ancestry fans should head straight to the third level of the history center, where archives that feature historical records are located, and then ask the researchers about the information about your family tree. The Ohio Village outside the center is a great place to take someone who loves the era in which they grew up. Discover what daily life was like in the 1800s as you stroll through the quaint village, observing period-dressed actors and structures, all set in the appropriate historic architecture.

13. The Topiary Park

For many local people, the Topiary Park is a forgotten jewel in Columbus. A copy of George Seurat’s famous impressionist painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte is featured in the park. The carved boats and figurines floating in the pond are all that remain of the creative topiary design. Reflection in the tranquil settings of the Old Ohio Deaf School Park and lunch on a seat go hand in hand in this beautiful setting. When the plants on the topiary sculptures are in full bloom and manicure, the greatest time to visit the park is in the summer.

14. Thurber House

People who enjoy reading are certain to want to include a visit to the historic Thurber House on their travel itineraries. This is the former home of the author and literary cartoonist James Thurber, who donated it to the Thurber and Literary Museum Foundation so that it may become the Thurber and Literary Museum. Tours of the Thurber House are free and self-guided, and you can take part in other literary programs such as Evening with the Authors. With the end of the summer insight, you may look forward to a lunchtime author talk and demonstration at the picnic during the Summer Picnic Series.

15. ZipZone Outdoor Adventures

Ziplining in the center of a busy metropolis like Columbus is quite difficult to conceive, but ZipZone Outdoor Adventures has proven that it can be done. You can zip yourself through the treetops to the north of downtown as part of a zipline tour. Tours offered include canopy excursions and moonlight tours, while other options include zip-rushing experiences that include a brief freefall and rappel. ZipZone offers pint-sized adventures in the Kid Park and complicated aerial courses in the Aerial Park for children.

16. National Veterans Memorial and Museum

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum, which is expected to open in 2018, is an attractive destination in Columbus. The center will showcase personal accounts, photographs, and artifacts from veterans from every branch of the United States military. The museum is located on the banks of the Scioto River, with views of the city skyline, and provides a haven for introspection as well as exhibits covering every important military event in American history. While at the museum and memorial, take a stroll along the Scioto Mile to see the downtown development.

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