We’ve put together the top things you must see, must do and must eat in Columbus, and this is just a start! Whatever you do, don’t miss out on these Columbus favorites.
Kickstart your first morning along the Columbus Coffee Trail, which includes 17 shops around the city. Grab a coffee trail card to explore one of the best coffee scenes in the Midwest, and taste what happens when quality and collaboration come first.
Find the beauty of any season at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The glasshouse includes plant life biomes from around the world, and the outdoor gardens feature the Scott’s Miracle Gro Children’s Garden, a two-acre landscape of discovery.
For lunch, take your pick from the vendors at North Market, including the popular Momo Ghar for Tibetan dumplings or Hot Chicken Takeover for a seriously spicy meal. Make sure to leave room for dessert at the original location of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
Spend some time at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, where the animals tend to be more active in the evening. Make sure to explore the Heart of Africa, where you can watch cheetahs run and feed romaine lettuce to the zoo’s gentle giraffes.
Back downtown, book a table at Service Bar, a small but unforgettable restaurant attached to Middle West Spirits. Chef Avishar Barua mixes haute cuisine with fast food classics, for example, the cheesy brisket crunch is inspired by Taco Bell’s menu.
This is a day for exploring some of the city’s premier neighborhoods, all close to downtown. So leave the car and take advantage of the city’s free downtown circulator, the CBUS, which runs every 15 minutes between the Short North Arts District and German Village.
Photo credit: Wendy Pramik
For breakfast, head to Pistacia Vera, a modern French patisserie that also has incredible coffee service. Pick up a box of pastel-colored macarons for the trip home (if they make it that far!).
German Village is a historic neighborhood just south of downtown. Explore the brick streets, boutiques and great restaurants, and make sure you spend some time getting lost in the Book Loft, which features a warren of 32 rooms full of books.
Hop over to Rockmill Tavern in the Brewery District for lunch. This urban outpost of one of the region’s favorite breweries features elevated pub fare (don’t miss that chicken sandwich,) and outstanding Belgian-style beers.
Downtown, the Scioto Mile is an oasis right in the middle of the city. Multi-use trails along both sides of the Scioto River pair incredible views of downtown with natural beauty and on-water activities like kayaking and paddle boarding. Hop on a CoGo bike for a ride in this urban oasis.
Enjoying a slice at Mikey’s Late Night Slice
Treat yourself to some shopping in the Short North Arts District, an eclectic mix of art galleries, fashion boutiques and nightlife hot spots. The Pizzuti Collection is a modern art museum where rotating exhibits always delight. Dinner can be anything from the causal, healthy Mediterranean Brassica to the brand new rooftop patio at Lincoln Social. You’ll find countless spots for a nightcap before your Columbus adventure comes to an end.