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Things To Do In Columbus

All photos by OHventures

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

13. The Santa Maria – A replica of Christopher Columbus’ ship to America
14. Segway Tours of Columbus – A futuristic way to take a tour of the city
15. Vern Riffe Center for Government & Arts – Art galleries + civics
Discovery District
16. Topiary Park – An artsy park with impressive hedge sculptures
17. Columbus Museum of Art – Cool exhibits that captivate 

18. The Bluestone – An old church transformed into a music hall 
19. Columbus Metropolitan Library – One of the most used libraries in the US
20. Grass Skirt Tiki Room – Polynesian themed bar & restaurant – with Spam!Old Towne East
21. Yellow Brick Pizza – Hand tossed pizzas with fun signature creations
22. The Angry Baker – Gourmet bakery with high quality ingredients

23. The Governor’s Residence – Tours of the mansion & gardens on Tuesdays
24. Franklin Park Conservatory – Indoor exotic gardens with Chihuly glasswork

German Village
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

31. Club 185 – An after-work favorite with great cocktails & a photo booth

Brewery District
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

Victorian Village/Harrison West
36. Wheeler Park – A centrally located dog park that’s great for socializing
37. Goodale Park – A hub of community activities, including ComFest


Short North 
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

50. Hubbard Grille – On the corner of High & Hubbard – perfect atmosphere
51. Short North Tavern – A divey bar with dart boards and cheap brews
52. Surly Girl Saloon – Taste the cupcake of the day & creative concoctions
53. Kingmakers Board Game Parlour – Play any board game you can think of
54. North High Brewing – Drink or make your own craft beer!


Arena District
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
68. Grandview Theater – Old-school 1-screen movie theatre w/ indie filmsClintonville
69. Rag-O-Rama – Consignment store w/ very eclectic & designer clothes

70. Crimson Cup Coffee – Cozy coffee cafe with locally roasted bold coffee
71. Whetstone Park of Roses – Picturesque park with hundreds of rosesGahanna
72. Creekside Gahanna Paddleboating – Paddleboat on a lovely creek
73. Pooch Playground – Everyone’s favorite playground especially for dogs


University District
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

80. Newport Music Hall – Decades-old campus concert hall w/ popular bands
81. O Patio & Pub – Hotspot for fraternity & sorority students 
82. South Campus Gateway – An inviting alley w/ shops, restaurants & movies
83. Wexner Center for the Arts – Modern art, cool events & interesting design


Various Locations
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

91. Columbus Food Adventures – Guided tour of Columbus restaurants 
92. Columbus Brew Adventures – Guided tour of Columbus breweries


93. Powell Village Winery – Quaint winery definitely worth a visit
94. Columbus Zoo & Aquarium – Approved by Jack Hanna himself


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!

98. Celebrate Local (Easton) – A shop with nothing but Ohio-made goods
99. Hoover Reservoir Park (Westerville) – For sailing & other watercraft
100. Summit Vision (Westerville) – High ropes obstacle course!
101. Ohio State Fair (Fairgrounds) – Animals, fried food, & people watching

Things To Do in Columbus

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