What to See and Do in Columbus, Ohio
When people think of exciting destinations, Ohio may not come to mind. Most people might think of the beach or a trip to the mountains. But Columbus, the capital of Ohio, is a thriving city with more to do than you might think.
If you’re a new resident in Columbus, make sure you’re covered by an insurance company like Ohio Indemnity Company before driving around to see the sights.
With a booming population of about 2.4 million people, there’s plenty of incredible things to see and do in Columbus. I may be biased, being born and bred a Buckeye, but I think this city has some incredible attractions and restaurants to offer.
So where should you go if you ever find yourself smack dab in the middle of the heart of it all? Here are some places in Columbus that are worth the visit.
Attractions to See in Columbus
Traveling is exciting. When you travel, you experience incredible new things. When visiting somewhere new, the local attractions may be the first thing to catch your eye. There are so many attractions in Columbus that it can be easy to lose count. But some stand out far beyond the rest. If you find yourself in the city, these are the places that should be on your must-see list.
Fairly new to Columbus compared to some attractions, Otherworld has wasted no time making a name for itself. The experience is an immersive art installation with over 40 rooms full of large scale interactive art, mixed reality playgrounds, and secret passageways.
Visitors are encouraged to explore and interact with everything, providing a one of a kind experience.
Locals to the area call Otherworld a must-see attraction in Columbus, and it provides an amazing experience for any age. This is one you won’t want to miss.
Otherworld is located at 5819 Chantry Dr, Columbus, OH 43232.
The Center of Science and Industry, COSI for short, is an incredible learning experience for any age. The center itself is split into different themed rooms, ranging from ocean exploration to the progression of technology. There is something to be found for any interest.
Recently, COSI was named the best science museum in the nation by a Reader’s Choice USA Today poll. It’s not difficult to see why. The attraction has multiple exhibits to explore, an outdoor experience, and even an ever-changing gallery that offers different exhibitions throughout the year. It’s pretty impossible not to be wowed by this science center.
COSI is located at 333 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
With more than 7,000 animals and over 800 different species, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has a lot to offer visitors. The zoo was opened in 1927 and fills 580 acres of land with an incredible experience.
The zoo is divided into different sections based on locations around the world and the animals that are native to it. You will find exhibits such as Polar Frontier, African Forest, Asia Quest, and many more on your adventure.
The Columbus Zoo made history in 1956 when they were the first zoo to have a gorilla born in captivity. In 1978, the zoo made history once again when it hired Jack Hanna as its executive director. Jack Hanna has become the face of the Columbus Zoo, and he has made it his mission to create realistic animal habitats and to educate the public about the incredible animals housed there.
The Columbus Zoo is located at 4850 W Powell Rd, Powell OH, 43065.
The Scioto Mile
Located right in the middle of downtown Columbus, the Scioto Mile is an incredible park. It covers more than 175 acres and has amazing waterfront views.
You can take a break from those hotel room workouts and get some exercise with beautiful views. There are multiple ways to see and explore the outdoor area, including walking and biking. During the summer, you can even rent a canoe or kayak and enjoy the park right from the river itself.
Perhaps the most amazing site to see, however, is the Scioto Mile Fountain. Here you can cool off on a hot day or simply enjoy the view. The fountain is 15,000 square feet and holds 110,000 gallons of water. If you have kids or you’re just a big kid at heart, there’s endless fun to be had splashing around this giant water playground.
You can find the fountain in Bicentennial Park, part of the Scioto Mile, at 233 Civic Center Dr, Columbus, OH 43215.
The Franklin Park Conservatory
If you’re a nature lover, The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is sure to catch your eye. This beautiful building was constructed in 1895 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The gardens showcase beautiful and exotic plants from different ecosystems around the world. There are more than 400 species of plants you can observe throughout your time at the conservatory, along with global climate zones such as the Himalayan Mountains and the Tropical Rainforest.
Outside of the building itself, there are 90 acres of outdoor gardens you can see when the weather is nice. The park also does exciting exhibits and events throughout the year.
You can find the Franklin Park Conservatory at 1777 E Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43203.
The Book Loft
Book lovers rejoice, this book store is unlike any other. The store itself is located in the historic German Village District of downtown Columbus and boasts 32 rooms of books for sale for your reading pleasure.
You will be charmed instantly by this adorable brick building filled with character. The building itself dates back to the pre-civil war era, and the combined buildings that make up the current book store were general stores, a saloon, and a Nickelodeon cinema at one point.
There is plenty of history to be found here. You can find the Book Loft at 631 S 3rd Street, Columbus, OH 43206.
Restaurants to Explore in Columbus
Columbus is home to many unique and interesting places to eat. Here are some places you should definitely check out if you find yourself in the heart of the Buckeye State.
The Spaghetti Warehouse
Pulling up to this large, brick building doesn’t exactly make you think “Wow, this place looks amazing,” but trust me when I say when you walk inside, you’ll be impressed. Inside is an incredible atmosphere with beautiful decorations filling every wall and even an entire trolley car sitting inside.
You heard that right. The restaurant has a full-sized trolley car where you can sit inside and enjoy your meal. The experience is like no other!
Whether you sit in the trolley car or at another table in the restaurant, you will be sure to enjoy the made-from-scratch Italian food. The Spaghetti Warehouse is best known for its delicious 15-layer lasagna, which takes three days to prepare. They also serve amazing sourdough bread with garlic butter to every table.
You can find The Spaghetti Warehouse at 397 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215.
Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace
With over 30 delicious hot dog combinations on their menu, along with a build-your-own dog option, Dirty Frank’s doesn’t leave much to be desired. Their default hot dog is an all-beef dog, but they have multiple options as substitutes. They offer veggie dogs, jumbo dogs, all-beef wrapped in bacon, polish sausage, or bratwurst.
With interesting combinations such as “Puff the Magic Popper,” a hot dog topped with cheddar cream cheese, jalapeno, and real bacon bits or “The Nicola” a hot dog topped with tzatziki sauce, fresh cucumber, tomato, and onion, there is something for every taste bud at Dirty Frank’s.
They also have incredible sides such as onion rings, hand-cut fries, or tater tots. If you have a sweet tooth, they’ve got you covered there, too. Funnel fries, baklava, sweet pretzels, and ice cream are all on the menu.
Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace is located at 248 S 4th Street, Columbus, OH 43215.
If you’re looking for the coolest breakfast place you’ve ever experienced, look no further than Super Chef’s Breakfast & More. This eatery offers indulgent breakfast options that are sure to excite your taste buds.
With menu items like pineapple upside-down pancakes and cinnamon toast crunch waffles, your sweet tooth will surely be satisfied.
There are also plenty of savory options such as the smoked salmon and cheese omelet, breakfast pizza, and a lunch menu complete with burgers, sandwiches, and wings.
Super Chef’s is located at 199 E Broad St, Columbus OH 43215.
The Thurman Cafe
Burger fanatics, The Thurman Cafe is the place you can’t miss in Columbus. With 21 different kinds of burger options ranging from The Western Burger to The Macedonian Burger, there’s something for everyone here.
If you’re up for a challenge, The Thurmanator is a local legend. This burger is 24 oz of meat piled so high with toppings that it’s sure to make your eyes widen as it’s delivered. Anyone who can finish this gigantic burger gets their photo placed on the restaurant’s wall of fame.
If you’re not a burger person, never fear! The Thurman Cafe also offers specialty pizzas, wings, salads, sandwiches, and subs.
You can find the Thurman Cafe at 183 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206.
Columbus is Worth the Visit
Many people may tend to overlook the great state of Ohio. Though we don’t offer mountain hikes or beachfront views, we have an incredible community and amazing places to see and eat.
We take great pride in our beloved Buckeye State. Give it a chance and see for yourself why Ohio is the heart of it all.
About the Author:
Alexandra Arcand writes for the auto insurance site, AutoInsurance.org, and has lived in Ohio her entire life. She loves the city of Columbus and is a huge fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes.