Five Reasons to Visit Columbus, Ohio
We recently took a road trip through Ohio on a journey to pick up trailer toilets for our event facility from the manufacturer in Indiana. (I know, weird story.) I don’t know if we would have ended up there otherwise, but it turned out to be worth the visit! Our beautiful drive through West Virginia came to an abrupt halt when the mountains were replaced with endless corn fields. Not a tree in sight and the only thing breaking the horizon in places were the occasional wind turbine. If you’re from the midwest I’m not sure you’ll ever be able to appreciate how freaky that is for people who aren’t. I’ve been on the ocean with no land in sight before and never felt anything quite like driving through an endless expanse of flat land. There were so few houses on the highway I swear central Ohio is made up of one massive farm.
Needless to say, Columbus was a nice break from my mounting agoraphobia and I felt immediately better as we pulled into an adorable historic neighborhood where our B&B was located on an up-and-coming street. During our stay (and Eric’s previous romp through Columbus) we put together five reasons why you should brave the wide open spaces and make a road trip to Columbus, Ohio. (Or fly.)
What to do in Columbus
1. Franklin Park Conservatory
Franklin Park’s 88 acres houses the beautiful Franklin Park Conservatory. We happily wandered through greenhouse wing after wing admiring the Chihuly glass placed among the plants. The butterfly exhibition made us feel like the young children standing as still as possible waiting for one to land on them. We didn’t get so lucky, but we were treated to a huge blue butterfly that posed for us for a while. Outside there were thousands of tulips in bloom which makes us highly recommend a Spring visit. Don’t miss the Hot House where you can see a glass blowing demonstration and learn about the skill and time that goes into making the gorgeous hand blown glass items in the gift shop. Take some time to stroll through the park afterwards and consider packing a picnic or visit the Conservatory cafe.
2. Hawthorne Park B&B
This beautifully restored historic home is located just around the corner from Franklin Park and minutes from downtown Columbus. The hosts were incredibly kind and welcoming and were happy to help when we realized we booked the wrong date. Oops! They gave us wonderful recommendations for dinner and treated us to a history of the property during breakfast one morning. We stayed two nights and got to try banana and Nutella crepes, pan baked oatmeal and a delicious quiche for breakfast. Our room was comfortable and tastefully decorated as were the dining room and living areas. We appreciated the free parking and wifi as additional amenities, snacks available throughout the day and a private bathroom. Hawthorne Park is in a perfect location to enjoy a few quiet nights while conveniently close to everything we wanted to do.
3. Craft Beer and Cocktails
Eric made his way through a wide selection of craft breweries during his first trip to Columbus. The city is home to 28 craft breweries so if you’re looking for brews, you won’t get bored. This time we made it to Elevator Brewery as well as a couple other bars with decent cocktails including The Walrus where you should definitely stop in for the deep fried deviled eggs. Stick to the Columbus Ale Trail if you’re a beer lover and don’t miss Seventh Son, Eric’s favorite.
4. The Scioto Mile
Along the Scioto River through Columbus runs a green park with biking and pedestrian trails, benches and overlooks. The Scioto Mile interactive fountain, which was sadly off for the Winter, shoots water 75 feet in the air providing entertainment for onlookers of all ages. Our favorite spot was The Promenade which boasts a row of shaded swinging benches where you can watch passersby and catch a glimpse of kayakers paddling down the river.
5. Milestone 229
On the riverfront park you will find Milestone 229 in a modern glass building with a shaded outdoor terrace. The creative architecture is captivating and allows for beautiful panoramic views of the city and river no matter where you’re seated. Milestone 229 serves “elevated comfort food” including classics like pimento cheese. We started with a sampler featuring bacon wrapped dates and pickles. I ordered a delicious crab cake with very little filler and Eric had delicious grilled salmon.
Getting around was easy between walking and taking Uber. Once we were downtown there was plenty to do within walking distance. Other than the above, Columbus has several theatres and museums that are sure to give you plenty of opportunities to fill up your time. We love how Columbus has so many outdoor attractions like the conservatory and the park that make this such a fun Spring or Summer destination.
Have you been to Columbus? What other attractions would you add to the list?