Columbus, Ohio has been my home 7 years now and I will admit that narrowing this down to my top 3 favorite places in Columbus, Ohio but I managed to do it. I hope this list is helpful if you are visiting the town and want some fun places to check out. So keep reading for my recommendations for where to visit in Columbus, Ohio.
I moved to Columbus to attend college at Ohio State University (like so many others in Columbus!). And I absolutely adore OSUs campus but you won’t find it on this list because unless you are touring it or attending a football game I won’t say it’s the most fun place to visit in Columbus. However, if you have the chance to attend an Ohio State football game and visit campus a bit I definitely recommend doing so!
Also, with the pandemic having so many of us excited to travel again I am thrilled to say that this post is in collaboration with some blogging friends from all over the world! At the end of the article there is links to posts with their recommendations of where to visit in the places that they live. So you can find ideas and inspiration for lots of different locations and travel plans.
I love hearing about peoples favorite places to spend time and visit in their own towns so hopefully you will as well. But for now let’s jump into my top 3 favorite places in Columbus Ohio to visit.
My Top 3 Favorite Places In Columbus, Ohio: Where To Visit!
What to do when visiting Columbus Ohio:
1: Short North Arts District
This is probably the first place most people from Columbus will recommend you check out and for good reasons!
The Short North has seriously a bit of everything. From restaurants, to art galleries, shops, events, and so much more. Making it a total must see when you are visiting Columbus. Honestly if you are only here for a short weekend I would recommend staying at one of the hotels in the Short North and just checking out everything it has to offer.
Since the Short North Arts District has so much to offer I want to help with some of the overwhelm and suggest some of my favorite places within it!
My favorite restaurants:
- Forno– Definitely a favorite to a lot of locals! The food is fantastic and there is a lot of options for different diet restrictions and preferences.
- The Eagle– this is one I haven’t been to since going to vegetarian due to limited options but if you eat meat I highly recommend checking it out. It never disappointed!
- Marcellas- part of the Cameron Mitchell restaurants (you will see that name a lot in Columbus) and it is wonderful Italian food.
- Happy Greek- our favorite Greek food in Columbus, it’s a great lunch option.
My favorite activities:
- Gallery Hop– this happens on the first Saturday evening of every month and is a favorite to so many! Local galleries and shops pull displays onto the streets, restaurants often have specials, and street performers are all over. Once this is covid safe again I highly recommend planning your visit to ensure you can check out a gallery hop Saturday.
- Brothers Drake Meadery– a local meadery with a tasting and tour of the facility that is such a fun afternoon in the short north arts district.
- Columbus Dessert Tour– this is what it sounds like and 100x better than you can imagine. The tour involves tasty treats all over the short north, a cocktail with each, and a tour guide to show you the sites along the way. Also, for anyone not 21+ or who doesn’t choose to drink it can be made alcohol free!
My favorite bars:
- Wine on high– a great option for any wine lovers out there!
- Zaftig Brew Pub– and this is a great option if you are a beer lover. I think this is technically in Italian village but it is walkable from the Short North.
- Oddfellows– the alcoholic slushies here are totally necessary to try for the 21+ crowd.
- Lincoln Social– this rooftop bar is newer but is so much fun and has amazing Instagram spots too!
My favorite shops:
- Rocket Fizz– this is a super fun candy store with lots of old fashion candies, nostalgic candy, and candy imported from other countries. Definitely a fun thing to do in Columbus if you are with children! But it is equally as fun as adults- we go all the time!
- The Candle Lab– might be technically an activity but this is a candle shop where you can create and customize your own candles. Such a fun experience and a really cute date night.
- On Paper- if you are obsessed with stationery and paper like me then this stationery shop is a totally necessity to stop by when you’re visiting the short north arts district.
Want to stay in the loop with what is going on in the Short North Arts District? Then make sure to check out their official website here!
2: German Village
German village is another district in Columbus that is absolutely fantastic. There is incredible food, outdoor scenery, and shops to checkout.
Walking around German Village is one of my absolute favorite weekend activities and you can spend all day there with plenty to check out and lot’s of tasty food and drink to try. If you are committing one day to visiting German Village this is the itinerary I would totally recommend doing:
Morning: breakfast and coffee at Pistacia Vera (picture below!). I love their cold brew coffee and any of the pastries- I have honestly never had a pastry from them that I didn’t love. After breakfast I would recommend just walking around the area. There are gorgeous historic buildings and parks all over the district.
Afternoon: For lunch I would recommend heading over to Katzinger deli for some quick and delicious food. If you are up to it you could grab some dessert at Jeni’s after for some yummy ice cream. Then once you are stuffed I recommend blocking off a few hours to stroll around the Book Loft. Which is the most incredible book store you can imagine! Room after room of books with somethings for seriously everyone.
Evening: There are so many wonderful dinner options in German village but I would recommend narrowing it down to Lindey’s or Schmidts for a more German inspired dinner or keep it casual at Thrumans cafe for some amazing burgers.
3: Bridge Park Dublin
This final district in Columbus, Ohio is really in the suburb of Dublin but it is about 15 minutes away from downtown and a really cool new area that I completely love.
The Scioto River runs through Dublin and on the west side of the river is Historic Dublin which I also recommend checking out if you are in the area and want some fun Irish inspired food, drinks, and entertainment. And then on the east side of the river there is the new district of Bridge Park.
Bridge Park is a wonderful little community with new restaurants popping up constantly, a weekly summer market that takes over the whole district, and unique bars and attractions.
Some of my favorite places to check out in Bridge Park Dublin are:
- Pins Mechanical– booze and games! There are a couple Pins Mechanicals in Columbus now but this is my favorite location because it is the roomiest. The one downtown is the originals but ginal but they are all equally fun (they are created by the same people who made 16 bit arcade!).
- North Market- this is a market filled with different vendors including coffee, bubble tea, a bar, sushi, a creamery, tacos, seafood, and so much more! A perfect stop if you have family with a lot of different tastes.
- Vaso– a super fun rooftop bar with yummy small dishes. During the winter they do the heated igloos that are so cute and fun.
- Dublin Market at bridge park– this is an outdoor weekly market with so many fun vendors and activities. Highly recommend checking it out if you are around on Saturday mornings.
I hope that this guide on my favorite places to visit in Columbus Ohio was helpful!
If you have visited Columbus or live here make sure to leave a comment with your favorite things to do and places to visit here so we can all inspire each other.
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My other Columbus Ohio content:
- Guide to Arena District in Columbus
- Columbus Bucket List Summer ’19: Drink Edition
- Columbus Food- Anniversary Dinner Edition
- Lynd’s Fruit Farm Columbus Guide
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