Having lived in Columbus for an entire decade of my adult life (ages 18-28), I have a strong bond with this city – one that can never be broken. It’s a city of excitement, culture, adventure, and history. In my opinion, it’s one of the best cities in the world. But I am surely biased.
It’s hard not to be a huge supporter of all things Columbus: Ohio State University (my alma mater), the hustle and bustle of Cap Square (where I worked for many years), the character and charm of neighborhoods like German Village, Short North, and Grandview (where I lived). Every corner of the city is packed with things to do: eclectic watering holes, tantalizing dining spots, breathtaking parks, and one-of-a-kind experiences.
Here is my personal comprehensive and diverse list of 101 THINGS TO DO IN COLUMBUS that will be just the start of a beautiful friendship between you and Ohio’s capital city. You can thank me later.
The items on this list are categorized by NEIGHBORHOOD. For the same 101 items categorized by ACTIVITY TYPE, visit: 101 Things To Do In Columbus (By Activity Type).
1. The Ohio Statehouse – Where state laws are made – take a guided tour
2. World’s Largest Gavel – A giant silver gavel by the Ohio Supreme Court
3. Columbus Commons – Green space with festivals & a carousel
4. Scioto Mile – Hike, bike, run, play chess, or enjoy riverside views
5. Café Brioso – Expertly poured coffee with an aroma that lures you in
6. 16-Bit Arcade – Dozens of classic video arcade games to play for free
7. Market 65 – Made-to-order salads with ingredients chopped in front of you
8. Bicentennial Park – Home of some of the best fountains in the nation
9. Spoonful Records – New records & unique gifts made out of old records
10. Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace – Wild and crazy hot dog creations
11. The Ohio Theatre – Go see professional musicals & Broadway plays
12. Center Of Science & Industry (COSI) – Ride the tight rope unicycle
16. Topiary Park – An artsy park with impressive hedge sculptures
17. Columbus Museum of Art – Cool exhibits that captivate
21. Yellow Brick Pizza – Hand tossed pizzas with fun signature creations
22. The Angry Baker – Gourmet bakery with high quality ingredients
25. Schiller Park – Outdoor live theatre, a dog park, fishing pond, & more
26. Thurman’s Cafe – Home of the famous & ginormous Thurmanator burger
27. Book Loft – A labyrinth of 32 rooms of floor-to-ceiling books
28. Schmidt’s Sausage Haus Und Restaurant – Autobahn buffet and cream puffs
29. Pistachia Vera – Top notch macarons made in every color of the rainbow
30. Katzinger’s Delicatessen – A traditional deli with enormous sandwiches
32. Shadowbox Theater – Live musical comedies with dinner served up
33. Scioto Audubon Metro Park – Hiking trails, a rock wall, and a dog park
34. Columbus Brewing Company – The 1 remaining brewery in Brewery District
35. World Of Beer – Literally hundreds of beer choices from around the world
38. Marcella’s Ristorante – Fantastic Italian eatery with massive veal meatballs
39, Arnold Sports Festival – World renowned fitness and sporting convention
40. Homage – Apparel store dedicated to all things vintage & nostalgic Ohio
41. North Market – Collection of various shops, restaurants & specialty stores
42. Greek Orthodox Cathedral – Gorgeous architecture & host of Greek Festival
43. Skully’s Music Diner – Put on your dancing pants, especially on Thursdays
44. Camelot Cellars – Drink, buy, or even handcraft your very own wine
45. North Star Cafe – Organic diner known for its breakfasts & veggie burgers
46. One Line Coffee – Sip on some superior coffee & learn how its made
47. Brother’s Drake Meadery – Honey-based “wine” and spirits made on site
48. Middle West Spirits – The makers of top-notch Ohio whiskey and vodka
49. Yoga On High – This yoga studio is great for beginners or expert yogi
54. North High Brewing – Drink or make your own craft beer!
55. Huntington Park – Take me out to the Columbus Clippers baseball game
56. Nationwide Arena – Catch a Blue Jackets hockey game or a concert
57. Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar – Huge crowds cheer on these talented pianists
58. LC Pavilion – An indoor/outdoor music venue with huge national acts
59. Arch Park – Historic park with arch salvaged from Union Train Station
60. Aab India Restaurant – Indian buffet with off-the-charts spiciness
61. The Oilerie – Sample from dozens of flavor-infused olive oils & vinegars
62. Clay Cafe – Paint and create your very own pottery pieces
63. Stauf’s Coffee Roasters – A great meeting spot with even greater java!
64. Ohio Taproom – Get a growler filled to-go from a selection of Ohio beers
65. DK Diner – Donuts! Including a bacon cheeseburger w/ glazed donut bun
66. Go Fitness Center – Colorful fitness center w/ great classes & instructors
67. Local Cantina – Mustaches, tasty tacos, and all-you-can-eat nachos
69. Rag-O-Rama – Consignment store w/ very eclectic & designer clothes
72. Creekside Gahanna Paddleboating – Paddleboat on a lovely creek
73. Pooch Playground – Everyone’s favorite playground especially for dogs
74. The Oval – Central courtyard on OSU’s campus – frisbee, studying, etc.
75. Mirror Lake – Iconic pond on OSU’s campus – great for picnics & strolls
76. Adriatico’s Pizza – Greasy goodness that tastes just like college
77. The Ohio Stadium – AKA “The ‘Shoe” – where the OSU Buckeyes play
78. Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park – Educational and serene spot
79. Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) Rock Wall – Gym & indoor rock wall
84. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams – Literally the nation’s BEST ice cream
85. Candle Lab – Make candles by mixing wax w/ any scent imaginable
86. Cap City Half Marathon – Signature half & quarter marathon event
87. Columbus Pedal Wagon – Pedal a contraption from bar to bar to bar
88. Project 908 Paddleboarding – Stand up paddleboarding rental service
89. Olentangy River Trail – Multi-use trail that runs along the Olentangy
90. Pure Barre – New workout craze centered around isometric movements
Around The Loop
95. Hollywood Casino Columbus (Hilltop) – Feels like the Vegas strip!
96. SkyZone Indoor Trampoline Park (Lewis Center) – Bounce your heart out
97. Trapper John’s Canoe Livery (Grove City) – Rent kayaks & canoes!
99. Hoover Reservoir Park (Westerville) – For sailing & other watercraft
100. Summit Vision (Westerville) – High ropes obstacle course!
Things To Do in Columbus