What are the best things to do in Columbus?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Erin Norris

There is no shortage of things to see and do in Columbus — even longtime residents have yet to discover the hidden gems in their own backyards. Parks, markets, and festivals come and go with the seasons, but there are a sacred few monuments of Columbus culture that stand the test of time. Here are five that we recommend:
 
1. Ohio Stadium. Commonly referred to as “The Shoe,” the monumental stadium at Ohio State University is the fourth-largest football stadium in the country and the seventh-largest non-racing stadium in the world. It is guaranteed to impress football enthusiasts, but even non-fans can appreciate the striking architecture and sheer magnitude.
 
2. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is often ranked among the best in the world. Most exhibits are free of bars and cages, so the animals can roam around in areas that resemble natural habitats. While it is best to visit during the warmer months, the stunning light show that runs from November through January makes it a favorite holiday destination, too.
 
3. The Ohio Statehouse and Capitol Square. For history lovers and politically savvy travelers, a visit to the capitol building is essential. Located in downtown Columbus, the 19th-century building is an integral part of the state’s long and fascinating narrative.  Free tours are offered year-round.
 
4. Columbus Park of Roses. Although it is a bit off the beaten path, the Park of Roses is the city’s most striking park. The garden hits its aesthetic peak during the summer, when its 13 acres abound with 11,500 roses in more than 400 varieties. During the spring and fall, it is home to a number of blooming trees and other seasonal plants.
 
5. The Book Loft of German Village. Of all the fun to be had in historic German Village, The Book Loft is an especially unique experience. One of the nation’s largest bookstores, it spans an entire block and features a labyrinth of 32 rooms. Pre-Civil War, the building was once occupied by saloons, cinemas and general stores.

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