You’re sitting on a riverfront patio, sipping a fine wine. Your ear detects a rumble in the distance – one that could only be the unanimous cheer of a gaggle of boisterous Buckeyes fans. Then, suddenly, a monarch butterfly dances through the air, landing on the edge of your table. He must have escaped from the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and decided to flutter through the fresh evening air. Welcome to Columbus, Ohio's thriving capital, a destination booming with optimism.
Ohio State University is the pulse of Columbus, imbuing the heart of the community with an energy you'll feel as soon as you arrive. Go ahead, ride that wave during your vacation in the heartland. By day, you’ll investigate the ever-growing food scene, sinking your teeth into sultry bites of gooey cheese and fusion fare. By night, you’ll lay your head on a perfectly plump pillow and dream of a Buckeyes win in cozy Columbus lodging.
Your plane touches down and you make a beeline for your hotel. When you’re booked at one of the top places to stay in Columbus, getting checked in is a breeze. After getting your bags unpacked in one of the family friendly hotels in Columbus, a sense of excitement fills you. You ponder where to begin your journey through the state capital. Then you remember the sage words of novelist William S. Burroughs: “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” After a deep, enriching breath and a few moments of clarity you decide to ask a seasoned local to help you navigate their bustling city.
Encountering proud Ohioans on the sidewalk, something will become immediately clear. The eclectic answers you receive are a testament to the diverse array of things to do in Columbus. Emphatic athletes encourage you to procure tickets to a Columbus Crew soccer match at Mapfre Stadium. And lo, if you attend, the frenetic buzz of the local fans will awaken in you a deep love of the gold and black. Cheering in the stands, you’re reminded of high school games spent in the stands among your oldest friends. Bliss.
An artistic local will suggest you pay a visit to the German Village, an invitation you can’t turn down. As you slowly meander down charming cobblestone streets and past enchanting brick buildings, a sense of whimsy seems to chase you down every thoroughfare. You’ll pick up a unique treasure at a quaint neighborhood shop, and then hear Frank Fetch Park whispering to you. Frolic through its green space and past old world iron fences. Have you traveled through time to the 1800s? If it weren’t for the modern amenities calling you back to hotels in Columbus, you might choose to believe it and stay forever.
Eating and Drinking
To become familiar with any new city is to devour its regional delicacies with fervor. Can you really know cities like Chicago or Brooklyn without feeling the grease of fresh pizza run down your fingers as you bite into a mountain of cheese protecting a smooth layer of savory marinara? The food in Columbus is no different; it not only feeds your appetite, but also your soul and your desire to become one with the cherished local traditions here. At the North Market, an institution for local flavor, regional ingredients combine to create just the kind of melt-in-your-mouth dishes you seek. Let an Indian dish tickle your tongue, or get a plate or barbecue so smothered in special sauce that you’re lulled into an otherworldly satisfaction.
You seek a deeper understanding of what’s feeding Buckeyes, so your quest to taste the best dishes in Columbus continues. Try out the food trucks that dot the city’s streets like lily pads across Heron Pond. Next, you might just hear a rumor that Grandview Avenue and Easton Street are hotbeds of fine Italian food and fresh seafood cuisine. Like a caped foodie crusader, you’ll endeavor to track down these divine dishes—and you’re sure to succeed.
With a full belly, the city’s nightlife sends out a siren song. Many Columbus hotels put you within walking distance of the best bars and clubs. Spend your nights dancing with abandon in the Arena District, Short North, or Clintonville. Your free spirit will awaken and your worries will float away with the notes of the DJ’s latest spin.
Some of the finest things to do in Columbus don’t take place within museum or theater walls. Yes, while you’re spellbound by the awe-inspiring masterpieces at the Columbus Museum of Art and Ohio Theatre, nature has its own creative displays to be enjoyed. In the summer, you’ll find yourself bewitched by emerald tree tops and crisp breezes that gently waft through your hair as if to say, “It’s OK, you’re finally in your happy place.” During the winter, ivory blankets of snow create a frozen patchwork. Before you know it, your inner child will tap you on the shoulder and beg to make a snow angel in the park, and you’ll be all too eager to oblige.
Spend a day at the Dawes Arboretum, where woodlands, wetlands, and Dawes Lake invite a sense of serenity. As you linger in the Japanese Garden, you’re reminded to pursue moments of solitude and pure relaxation. Meanwhile, once you return to urban Columbus, the Scioto Mile offers a unique oasis of its own. You’ll cherish your time in the acres of lush riverfront space, where the delights of downtown and luxurious five-star accommodation are never far from reach, but reminders of Mother Nature’s are also all around.
You rejoiced when you realized hotel rooms in Columbus weren’t going to spoil your budget for adventure in the city. So you decide to become enmeshed in local fashion and entertainment, spending some of that well-earned savings at Easton Town Center. Watch as locals engage in the storied tradition of purchasing designer duds, and sift through the racks like a fashion anthropologist until you find pieces that will endear you to the tribe. In the summer, unwind from your epic spending spree with some yoga on the square and a colorful trip through the on-site farmers market.
Ohio’s capital will lure you in with its renovated riverfront and innovative food scene, and affordable hotels in Columbus allow you to linger for a while. Let Travelocity connect you with luxury, family-friendly, and cheap hotels in Columbus, then it’s up to you to tap into your best Buckeye spirit and have the time of your life.