The 12 most popular tourist attractions in Columbus
Certain areas of Columbus make visiting Ohio’s capital city an exciting getaway. You can soothe your culinary side with authentic sighs and cream puffs at German Village or experience Columbus in active mode with a tour from Columbus City Adventures. Discover your quirky side in the Short North Arts District or allow for sports and entertainment in the Arena District , Experience the many sides of Columbus in certain attractions that encourage a new adventure or just push back the Scioto Mile downtown and admire the city’s growing skyline with lunch or a concert by the river. Whether you’re looking for a great weekend getaway in Ohio or just heading to Cincinnati or Cleveland, stay in Columbus for some of the city’s best tourist attractions.
See also: Where to stay in Columbus
1 Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium | Photo by Anietra Hamper
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the best things about Columbus because of its extensive animal collection, educational programs and changing exhibits. With six habitats such as Asia Quest, Congo Expedition, Heart of Africa and Shores, a day at the Columbus Zoo takes you to every continent to explore more than 10,000 animals. In addition to visiting the animal exhibits and enjoying the live shows and feedings, be sure to visit the seasonal rides at Jungle Jack Landing and bring your bathing suit to enjoy the wave pool and water slides next to Balbesi Bay.
Address: 4850 Powell Road, Powell, Ohio
Official website: https://columbuszoo.org
2 Franklin Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Franklin Park Conservatory and Franklin Park Botanical Gardens / photo modified
You can explore a paradise of flora and fauna at the Franklin Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The Conservatory features hundreds of plant species from around the world in tall greenhouses. Stroll through the rainforest, desert, orchid collection, and the large palm house where you can see a wedding weekend. Outside, take several walking paths through the Botanical Gardens and Garden. There are regularly changing exhibitions, such as Blooms & Butterflies in the spring, and visitor events such as glassblowing and gardening that you can experience. The Conservatory is a treasure trove of capital with a fascinating history. You can learn more about it and about hidden details about other Columbus landmarks in the Secret Columbus book, which you might want to explore.
The address is 1777 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio
Official website: https://www.fpconservatory.org
3 Center for Science and Industry (COSI)
Center for Science and Industry (COSI) | Photo Copyright: COSI / Robb McCormick
The Center for Science and Industry has been the Columbus Institute for decades, inspiring adults and children alike about the wonders of science in our world. Hands-on exhibits at COSI bring up outer space, energy, cultural progress and even an extensive dinosaur gallery in partnership with the American Museum of Natural History. There are rotating temporary exhibits, regular concerts and lab experiments throughout the year. If you visit COSI, the planetarium is an unparalleled experience that will make you feel like you’re in the dark desert as you learn about the galaxy under a 60-foot dome. COSI has a cafeteria, so you can easily spend the day.
Address: 33 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio
Official website: https://cosi.org
4 North Market.
North Market MeRyan / photo changed
Walking through Columbus North Market in the North Region is an interesting way to immerse yourself in the local culture. The market has dozens of local vendors selling everything from homemade bread and fresh flowers to a variety of small eateries serving Italian, Indian, Vietnamese, pizza, German, sushi, barbecue and Nepali cuisine on two floors. The specialty local market is especially lively on Saturdays, when vendors also set up outside sales of goods such as local honey and agricultural products. If you park in a small section of the North Market, be sure to get your ticket, verified by the vendor, for a discounted discounted rate.
Address: 59 Spruce St., Columbus, Ohio
Official website: http://www.northmarket.com
5 Columbus Museum of Art
Columbus Museum of Art Mike Steele / photo modified
Explore your artistic side at the Columbus Museum of Art, where exhibitions and galleries showcase the best in paintings, photography, glass and sculpture. One of the most enjoyable ways to experience the Columbus Museum of Art is during one of its regular programs or community events that use the galleries as a backdrop. In addition to the galleries, you’ll want to find the JP Morgan Chase Center for Creativity, which has a free art room with hands-on products to help inspire your creative side. Before you leave the museum, grab a small bite at the Chocco Art Café, where the culinary creativity is as artistic as the paintings.
The address is 480 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio
6 Huntington Park.
Huntington Park | Photo by Randall L. Schieber
If you happen to visit Columbus on a night out at Huntington Park, you’ll undoubtedly feel like a local. The Columbus Clippers’ premier baseball team, Huntington Park is an exciting way to enjoy one of the city’s top attractions in the heart of the Arena.With the downtown Columbus skyline overlooking the baseball field for an evening or evening game, there is an unforgettable energy. Night games often end with fireworks that light up the sky and illuminate the growing downtown skyline. There are several dining options on the soccer field, but you may prefer to try one of the many restaurants within walking distance of the stadium before the game.
Address: 330 Huntington Park Lane, Columbus, Ohio
Official website: http://huntingtonparkcolumbus.com
Ohio State | Photo by Anietra Hamper
There are many things to do in the state of Ohio, inside and outside the Capitol Square complex, that are useful to narrow it down before your visit. The state house has official Ohio business. There are free tours daily that provide the best overview of the history and design of the complex. If you decide to tour on your own, be sure to check out the grand rotunda inside, made with thousands of pieces of marble, and visit the Museum Education Center. The Statehouse gift store has unique gifts and artwork from Ohio artists. You’ll want to stroll the outdoor complex around the statehouse to observe statues, monuments and tributes to high-profile individuals and historical moments in Ohio.
Address: 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, Ohio
Official website: http://www.ohiostatehouse.org
8 Ohio History Center.
You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy and appreciate the museum, library and village on the grounds in connection with Ohio history. The Ohio History Center includes several floors of interactive and educational exhibits ranging from Ohio’s American Indian roots to Civil War relics, neighborhood changes and displays with different stages of Ohio history. If you’re a family tree fanatic, stop by the third floor of the History Center, where historical archives are kept and researchers can help you sort out the details of your genealogical tree. The Ohio Village off-center is a special treat where you are transported back in time. Experience what life was like in the 1800s as you walk through the village with period dressed actors and buildings in 19th century architecture.
The address is 800 E. 17th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio
Official website: https://www.ohiohistory.org/
9 Topiria Park.
Topiri Park is a Columbus treasure that even many locals forget to visit and appreciate. The park features 54 residential sculptures in the Impressionist style of George Seurat’s Sunday afternoon on La Grande Jatte Island. The creation of the topiary is complemented by sculpted boats and figures floating on the pond. The park is a peaceful place for reflection or lunch on a bench in a quiet spot behind the old Ohio Deaf School. The best time to visit the park is in the summer, when the bushes on the overhead sculptures are in bloom and cared for.
The address is 480 E. Town Street, Columbus, Ohio
Official website: http://www.topiarypark.org/
10 Thurber House.
Thurber House anyjazz65 / photo modified
Literary lovers will want to visit the historic Thurber House at the top of their list. The former home of literary cartoonist and author James Thurber has been renovated into the Thurber Museum and Literary Museum. You can take free self-guided tours of the Thurber House any day of the week or attend one of the regular literary programs, such as “An Evening with Authors.” In the summer, you can enjoy a picnic dinner and a presentation by a famous author during the Summer Picnic series.
Address: 77 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus, Ohio
Official website: http://www.thurberhouse.org
11 ZipZone Outdoor Adventures
ZipZone Outdoor Adventures | Photo Copyright: ZipZone
It’s hard to imagine an outdoor adventure like ziplining in the heart of a busy city like Columbus, but ZipZone Outdoor Adventures has done it. Billed as a zipline tour, you can work your way through the treetops north of downtown. Tours range from canopy tours and moonlight tours to zipline trips that include a brief freefall and rappel experience. ZipZone offers kid-friendly outdoor activities at Kid Park, with pint-sized adventures and an aerospace park with challenging courses.
The address is 7925 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio.
Official website: http://zipzonetours.com
12 National Veterans Memorial and Museum
A fascinating attraction in Columbus that will open in 2018 is the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. The center will feature stories, photos and memorabilia from national veterans who have served each branch of the U.S. military. The museum overlooks the Scioto River, overlooking the downtown skyline, providing both a refuge for reflection and exhibits to explore every major military event in U.S. history. While visiting the museum and memorial, take time to walk to the Milan Valley along the waterfront and admire the city’s development.
The address is 300 W. Broad, Street, Columbus, Ohio
Official website: http://www.nationalvmm.org
Where to stay in Columbus for sightseeing
The best place to stay in Columbus is right downtown, where many of the city’s major attractions are located, as well as restaurants and stores. Downtown has a lively entertainment scene centered on short North Street and High Street. Below are some highly rated hotels in convenient locations:
Luxury Hotels: Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph is a new hotel located in the heart of the bustling High Street and Short North Arts District.The nearby Hilton Columbus Downtown with an indoor pool is near the convention center and is connected via skyway. In the Ohio State University campus, just a short walk from downtown, the Blackwell is a well-appointed luxury hotel with a free shuttle to the trendy High Street downtown.
Columbus Attractions – What to see in 2022. A complete guide to iconic places.
The metropolitan center of Ohio is Columbus. In this state, this settlement is the largest. It is currently among the top fifty cities in the Americas. Tourists enjoy strolling through the old city districts or taking in the views from the waterfront. The first introduction to the city confuses visitors because it seems as if the dilapidated town has stagnated in the past tense or forgotten to be completed. In fact, however, Columbus is well developed in the areas of industry, commerce, and culture.
It is no coincidence that Columbus is popular with tourists with children; the selection of activities for children and places for family vacations here is enormous. Be sure to visit the city’s … Open
The history of Columbus began after the United States gained its long-awaited independence. A small village was formed on the site of today’s American city. Its founder was a Virginian settler, Lucas Sullivan. The new settlement was named Fracklington. In the twelfth year of the nineteenth century, the village was chosen as the capital and renamed Columbus, after the famous navigator Columbus. From that point on, the development of the area as the state’s metropolitan center began. In 1833, however, trouble struck the city with a cholera epidemic that left many residents dead.
By the end of the nineteenth century, Columbus had achieved the stature of a major industrial American center, and the population had grown to 125,000. The trials for the city did not end there. In late March 1913, a terrible flood hit Columbus, claiming nearly 100 lives and leaving many residents without homes. After this disaster, the city had to be rebuilt while simultaneously dealing with the problems associated with the deindustrialization of the city. The first results of reconstruction were not seen until the mid-nineties of the twentieth century. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Many people associate Ohio cuisine exclusively with fast food and traditional American desserts. Restaurants in Columbus are able to prove that regional gastronomy is much more … Open
Prefer to experience natural beauty first? Visit Columbus’s Kayahora Valley National Park. The protected area covers eight hectares. It is the only area in the state that is protected by the government. Tourists began to develop the park about a hundred years ago. To see the local beauty, visitors traveled several kilometers by boat on the flowing canal. The name of the park was given by Hayward Kendall, who first donated his money for its opening and proper maintenance. In this way, he immortalized his mother’s name.
Here you will get to know the local flora and fauna, which is very diverse and interesting. In the reserve there are more than nine hundred species of varieties of plants, there are a lot of birds, in the ponds splashing fish of forty varieties. The animal world is represented by beavers, coyotes, squirrels, wolves and foxes. In addition to all of the above, the park grows amazingly beautiful flowers: beautiful orchids, delicate violets and proud hyacinths. Venus slipper and blue phloxes deserve special attention. But the main attraction of the reserve is the amazing Blue Falls.
The largest city in Ohio attracts tourists not only with historical monuments, cultural and entertainment centers. Columbus has a vibrant cultural scene, throughout … Discover
For younger visitors to Columbus, a visit to the zoo will be interesting. It is a rather large “animal park” that impresses visitors with its look and layout. What distinguishes the zoo from similar places in other countries is its division into zones that have their own name. The first zone is North American, the second is Asian, the third is a coastal area, the fourth belongs to the African forest, and the fifth is represented by animals from the Australian area. Little kids love the fact that many of the animals are located quite close. For example, cute red pandas, amazing koalas, adult kangaroos, Amur tigers and Humboldt penguins.
Do you like painting? In Columbus, in the thirtieth year of the twentieth century, an art museum opened. When you visit it, you’ll notice that there are masterpieces in the Art Nouveau style by European and American masters. In addition, a significant part of the exposition are the works of Impressionists, Expressionists and the adherents of Cubism. There are great works by famous artists such as Monet and Picasso.
A significant portion of Columbus’ historic landmarks are located in the Downtown district. The Downtown area was developed during the second half of the 19th century and today continues to be a … Discover
Many festivals are held in Columbus each year. For example, the Asian Festival, held in Franklin Park in May, introduces you to oriental food and Asian-inspired products. In June, you can go to the Art Festival, where you can see a variety of exhibitions that are accompanied by loud music and interesting entertainment.
To get to Columbus directly from Russia is not yet possible. The city has an airport, Port Columbus, which serves international flights and also receives planes from many major cities in the Americas. When you arrive in the capital of Ohio, you can take buses that will take you to the central part of the city. You can also get here by bus from Cincinnati, Indianapolis, or Chicago.
Cultural Attractions in Columbus
Many of Columbus’ historic landmarks are located in the Downtown area. This area received a lot of development in the second half of the 19th century and now continues to be the center of the city’s business life. Here is the stately Ohio Statehouse, which was built over twenty years and was fully completed in 1861. Since its construction and up to the present time, the building has been used for its intended purpose – as a government residence.
It is one of the most beautiful architectural monuments in the city, built in the Greek Revival style. On certain days the Capitol is open for tours and about half a million people visit it every year. You can see the most luxurious rooms, lavishly furnished and decorated with antique works of art. Many of the rooms retain unique elements of 19th century decoration.
A very important cultural center for Columbus is the Greater Columbus Convention Center. It was founded relatively recently, in 1993, and for the first 20 years of its existence the center has been continually expanding. Now it has a total area of about 170,000 square feet, with dozens of rooms dedicated to exhibits, conferences and gala programs. Visitors to the city will find contemporary art exhibitions held here interesting, as well as thematic programs held on the occasion of major festivals.
The LeVeque Tower, which began construction in 1927, is worth noting among the architectural sights. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest building in the city, standing more than 169 meters high. The spectacular Art Nouveau skyscraper became the main residence of a major insurance company, and the investment in its construction totaled almost 9 million dollars. For a project in the first half of the 20th century, such a cost was incredible, and the skyscraper now continues to attract the attention of tourists with its spectacular view. Now the skyscraper is a mixed-use complex that includes offices, an upscale hotel, luxury apartments, and restaurants. More cultural attractions
Entertainment in Columbus
Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to Columbus by the abundance of scenic parks and nature preserves. Many interesting trails run through the Cuyahoga Valley Nature Preserve. The main decoration of the park is the river of the same name, the area of the park is very large and is more than 132 square kilometers. Reserve has a variety of landscapes, and its territory is impenetrable forests and ravines, and hilly terrain, and even a lot of wetlands and waterfalls. Here you can find the highest waterfall in Ohio – Brandywine, its height is 20 meters. There are many trails for hiking and biking through the park, and you can also take a sightseeing train ride through the scenic areas.
There are dozens of beautiful parks and gardens throughout the city, and Columbus Park of Roses is considered one of the most beautiful and romantic. This luxurious garden, which has an area of about 5 hectares, is drowned in abundance of rose bushes, all planted on its territory about 12,000 shrubs. During the blossoming period, it is possible to observe dozens of varieties of roses, this park is considered one of the most romantic places in the city. The huge area of the park is divided into zones, the oldest and most interesting part of the park is considered to be the Heritage Rose Garden. Here you can see the varieties of roses that were bred and planted back in the 19th century.
During the summer, one of the favorite places for Columbus visitors is the Scioto Mile Promenade, a green space that was formed along the riverfront. In addition to ornamental plants and flowers, the promenade is decorated with magnificent fountains, and festivals and music concerts are often held along the waterfront during the summer. You can ride the river on a boat or canoe, in the warm season the choice of entertainment on the waterfront is huge.
Among the most beautiful city parks should definitely be noted and Schiller Park, this park is a historical one. During a walk through it you can see many huge old trees, the park has interesting sculptures, and in the summer are always working fountains. There is a small outdoor theater that puts on interesting performances in the summer, and visitors with children are attracted to the park by miniature replicas of famous city landmarks and neighborhoods. More Entertainment
Columbus attractions for families with kids
It’s no coincidence that Columbus is very popular with tourists with kids; the selection of activities for kids and places for families to enjoy is overwhelming. Be sure to visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, considered one of the largest and most beautiful zoos in the country. There are more than 10,000 animals in total, and you can see animals from every continent.
For the convenience of visitors, the huge area of the zoo is divided into several thematic areas. Here you can see common representatives of African fauna and animals of the northern latitudes, as well as rare tropical inhabitants. The zoo is covered with greenery and has many beautiful ponds with pink flamingos, turtles and other aquatic creatures. During the summer, the zoo opens a small water park, and also has many attractions for children of all ages.
Columbus also has a great botanical garden, the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which is also fun to visit with kids of all ages. The garden occupies a relatively small area, much of its plants are presented in covered pavilions, so it will be interesting to visit at any time of the year. There is a real tropical forest, a “desert” pavilion with a collection of cacti and a very interesting garden banzai. In addition to a huge collection of plants, the garden is famous for an equally interesting collection of butterflies. They live freely in the pavilions, among them are very rare species of insects, which are found only in pristine tropical forests. Children will love the picturesque ponds with goldfish and turtles, and there’s also a miniature railroad in the garden.
Columbus has many interesting museums that are also worth visiting with children. The COSI Museum takes visitors on the latest in science and industry, and in spite of its serious subject matter, it offers very interesting and informative tours for children of all ages. The museum is divided into several sections, each of which has a specific theme. One of the most popular ones among kids is the gallery with models of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, and also there are very interesting exhibitions devoted to the history of exploration. The museum’s pride and joy is its Planetarium, which hosts very effective interactive shows and thematic tours. More about children’s attractions