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Discovering Columbus - Ohio's Vibrant Capital City

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Along the banks of the Scioto River in central Ohio, Columbus is the state's capital and a vibrant city with much to see and do. Big Ten sports, a world-class zoo, and a thriving music scene are among the top draws, and that's just for starters. Also not to be missed is its diverse culinary offerings, including German, Mediterranean, Asian, and all-American fare.

Fun for all ages


Spend an afternoon with the kids at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), a hands-on science museum with more than 300 interactive exhibits. Another must is the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, where you can see more than 9,000 animals from around the world. There's even a golf course and a water park, Zoombezi Bay, next door. For grown-up diversions, head over to the Columbus Museum of Art to view its collection of late 18th- and early 20th-century American and European art. Visitors of all ages appreciate a stroll though picture-perfect Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.


Sporting events


If you're a football, hockey, or baseball fan, Columbus is for you. The city is home to Ohio State University and its Big Ten football team, the OSU Buckeyes. During the fall months, you can join the crowds at Ohio Stadium when the team is in town. Other times of the year, the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets play on their home ice at Nationwide Arena in the Arena District. The Columbus Clippers baseball team, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, takes the field at Huntington Park - also in the Arena District.


  • Ohio Stadium, 411 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus 43210; Tel: +1 614 292 6330; Website: Ohio Stadium

  • Huntington Park, 330 Huntington Park Lane, Columbus 43215; Tel: +1 614 462 5250; Website: Huntington Park


Live music


After sunset, music-lovers head out to hear their favorite bands, whether up-and-coming or superstars. The Arena District is home to the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, an indoor/outdoor venue hosting acts such as Walk the Moon, Mumford & Sons, and Third Eye Blind. Just a short walk away, Nationwide Arena is the city's premier venue for big-name acts like Taylor Swift and Shania Twain. Elsewhere, there's Newport Music Hall, known as the oldest continually operating rock hall in the country. Legendary artists such as Neil Young, B.B. King, and James Brown have performed here.


  • Nationwide Arena, 200 W Nationwide Boulevard, Columbus 43215; Tel: +1 614 246 2000; Website: Nationwide Arena

  • Newport Music Hall, 1722 N High Street, Columbus 43201; Tel: +1 614 461 5483; Website: Newport Music Hall


Dining and nightlife


The city's dining scene is extraordinarily diverse, with offerings ranging from traditional European fare in German Village (don't miss the New York-style sandwiches at Katzinger's Deli, too) to upscale steakhouses downtown. When you want to grab a drink, head to one of the city's stylish cocktail bars or to the Brewery District if beer is your beverage of choice. For a fun evening out, you can even catch the dueling piano show at The Big Bang.


  • Katzinger's Delicatessen, 475 S Third Street, Columbus 43215; Tel: +1 614 228 3354; Website: Katzinger's Delicatessen

  • The Big Bang, 401 N Front Street, Columbus 43215; Tel: +1 614 233 9999; Website: The Big Bang


Retail therapy


Columbus offers plenty of shopping options, including big-name retailers and locally owned, independent shops. A must-see on any shopping trip is Easton Town Center. This open-air mall is home to high-end shops like Burberry and Nordstrom, plus popular stores such as Bath & Body Works and Ann Taylor. If you're in German Village, you can shop for European ceramics and glassware, as well as American crafts. The Short North Arts District has a variety of browse-worthy boutiques and shops selling everything from clothing to antiques.


  • Easton Town Center, 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus 43219; Tel: +1 614 337 2200; Website: Easton Town Center

  • Short North Arts District, 21 E Fifth Avenue, Columbus 43201; Tel: +1 614 299 8050; Website: Short North Arts District