As the capital of Ohio, Columbus has much to offer. There are unique museums, exquisite restaurants, and beautiful gardens to explore. Take a stroll through Franklin Park Botanical Gardens, explore the downtown area, and visit some top Columbus restaurants or adventure through one of the many museums and art exhibits. If you are looking for things to do in Columbus, the possibilities are endless.
Best Parks & Natural Attractions in Columbus
For those wanting some top Columbus attractions, Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens should top the list. This 88-acrea botanical landmark is located near downtown and features a variety of cultural and social events that you can partake in.
Located on 145 acres of parkland that cuts straight through the heart of downtown Columbus, The Scioto Mile serves as a connector of downtown and the riverfront area. This park allows locals and tourists to access the riverfront area from downtown via pathways, bikeways, and parks. The pathway isn’t boring either, as there is a 15,000-foot interactive fountain, outdoor climbing area, and amphitheater among other things to keep you entertained.
Founded in 1992, Topiary Park is known more historically as the Old Deaf School Park. This site is popular with tourists and locals alike due to the attractive topiaries created by the non-profit volunteers. If visitors are interested in learning about the history of the site, there are also educational resources there.
Things to do in Columbus: Best Columbus Museums
Columbus has an intellectual element to it and due to this, there is an abundance of art exhibits and museums throughout the city. Here are two of the top museums and activity centers in Columbus.
Known as COSI, the Center of Science & Industry is one of the top things to do in Columbus. This 320,000 sq. ft. facility is perfect for those of any age, but especially people with children because there are so many exciting exhibits. From a Nerf Blaster Arena to breakfast with superheroes, COSI has it all!
Art lovers can rejoice because the Columbus Museum of Art is one of the best! This art museum makes an interesting connection between art and culture and is one of the top Columbus attractions. You can wander through and view the exhibits or partake in some art-making activities. With a stunning collection of late 19th and early 20th century works, you can view some truly great works.
What to do in Columbus for Local Culture
Columbus has a unique culture that needs to be experienced in person to gain a true understanding. That’s why you should definitely check out these Columbus attractions to get a read on the bustling city.
The best way to get immersed in the culture is to explore downtown Columbus. This vibrant town is unique in that it has an urban feel, while still featuring local markets and exciting live music.
North Market is another good option. This is a farmer’s market located in Columbus that is frequented by over a million people every year. From foodies and artisans to tourists and local residents, everyone that makes their way through Columbus should check this place out and sample some of the city’s delicacies.
If you want to get some Columbus culture, German Village is another one of the top things to see in Columbus. It plays homage to the German immigrants who settled there during the mid-1800s and is the perfect place to check out architecture and unique dining options.
Easton Town Center is your one-stop shop for entertainment, shopping, and dining in Columbus. Situated in 1.7 million square feet, the Easton Town Center is home to over 180 retailers. The collection of restaurants there can also please any pallet, boasting chain restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and exotic cafes.
Columbus Sporting Events & Attractions
Columbus is lacking an NFL football team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch some professional sports action in Ohio’s capital. In fact, there are several professional sports teams and a college football team that might even put the pressure on some of the bottom tier NFL franchises.
For those looking for a bit of hockey action, the Columbus Blue Jackets are one team to check out. This NHL hockey team plays at Nationwide Arena. If you are looking for some rowdy fun and don’t mind throwing a sweater on to stave off the chilly temperatures inside, a Columbus Blue Jackets game at Nationwide Arena is a great option.
Located in the Arena District of downtown Columbus, Huntington Park serves as home base for the Columbus Clippers. This Triple-A baseball team stadium is a state-of-the-art facility with three levels. The park can accommodate over 10,000 spectators at a time and even features a roof top bar for those wanting a scenic drink while watching some baseball action.
If you want a bit of futbol—no, not the American football kind—you can check out Columbus Crew at Mapfre Stadium. The Crew was actually the first Major League Soccer (MLS) team to be awarded back in 1994. Mapfre Stadium was actually the first soccer-specific stadium in the country and when the Crew are in town, the place is packed and rocking!
If American Football is truly what you seek, you can find it at Ohio State University. The Buckeyes are typically ranked in the Top 25 of all college football teams every year and no matter who comes to town, the 100,000 plus seat stadium is always packed. Even if you can’t catch a football game—tickets can be hard to come by and are usually expensive—the Ohio State University Campus is certainly a place to explore on its own.
What’s up first on your list? Are you going to visit the botanical gardens or explore all that downtown has to offer? Whatever top Columbus attractions you choose to visit, you’re in for a great time.