Columbus, Ohio, the state capital and a vibrant urban center, offers a plethora of activities and attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie, Columbus has something to offer. Here’s a comprehensive guide to some of the best things to do in this dynamic city. People love the diverse culture of Columbus.

1. Visit the Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. It features an impressive collection of American and European modern art, contemporary art, and folk art. The museum also hosts rotating exhibitions and interactive programs that engage visitors of all ages. The newly renovated Margaret M. Walter Wing showcases stunning works in a bright, airy space. Don’t miss the outdoor sculpture garden and the Schokko Art Café, perfect for a leisurely lunch.

2. Explore the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

A lush oasis in the heart of Columbus, the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a haven for nature lovers. The conservatory boasts an extensive collection of exotic plants and stunning glass artwork by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. Seasonal exhibitions, a butterfly garden, and the outdoor community garden campus offer year-round attractions. The vibrant colors and diverse plant species make it a delightful destination for families and garden enthusiasts.

3. Stroll Through the Scioto Mile

The Scioto Mile is a picturesque urban oasis stretching along the Scioto River. This revitalized riverfront features scenic parks, interactive fountains, and a network of trails perfect for walking, jogging, or biking. Highlights include Bicentennial Park, which hosts outdoor concerts and events, and the interactive Scioto Mile Fountain, a favorite spot for kids during the summer. The area also offers beautiful views of the downtown skyline and the river, making it a popular spot for photography and relaxation.

4. Discover the Short North Arts District

The Short North Arts District is the cultural heart of Columbus, known for its vibrant arts scene, eclectic boutiques, and buzzing nightlife. Stroll along High Street to explore art galleries, unique shops, and trendy restaurants. The district comes alive during Gallery Hop, a monthly event featuring new art exhibitions, street performances, and special events at local businesses. With its murals, street art, and historic architecture, the Short North is a visual feast and a hub of creativity.

5. Experience History at the Ohio Statehouse

A visit to Columbus wouldn’t be complete without exploring the Ohio Statehouse. This grand, Greek Revival-style building is not only the seat of Ohio’s government but also a historic landmark. Take a guided tour to learn about the state’s political history, architecture, and notable events. The surrounding Capitol Square offers beautifully landscaped gardens and monuments, providing a peaceful retreat in the middle of the bustling city.

6. Engage with Science at COSI

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a top-rated science museum that offers hands-on learning experiences for visitors of all ages. Interactive exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from space exploration and oceanography to energy and technology. Highlights include the Planetarium, the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery, and the outdoor Science Park. COSI also hosts special events, live shows, and educational programs that make science fun and accessible.

7. Enjoy Nature at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, one of the best in the country, is home to over 10,000 animals representing more than 600 species. Spanning 580 acres, the zoo offers diverse exhibits such as the African Savanna, Asia Quest, and the Shores & Aquarium. The nearby Zoombezi Bay water park is a great place to cool off in the summer. With its extensive animal habitats, educational programs, and entertaining shows, the zoo provides a fun and informative experience for all ages.

8. Taste the Local Flavors

Columbus’s food scene is diverse and thriving, offering something for every palate. The North Market, a historic public market, is a culinary treasure trove featuring local vendors selling fresh produce, artisanal foods, and international cuisine. For a taste of the local craft beer scene, visit one of the many breweries in the city, such as North High Brewing or Land-Grant Brewing Company. The city’s dining options range from upscale restaurants to food trucks, ensuring a rich culinary experience.

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Columbus, Ohio, is a city brimming with attractions and activities that cater to all interests. From its vibrant arts district and historic landmarks to its beautiful parks and innovative museums, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Columbus offers a rich tapestry of experiences that showcase its cultural diversity, creativity, and community spirit.

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