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Seriously Cool Things to See in Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio, isn’t your typical top-of-the-bucket-list city, but most people don’t know that Columbus is a surprisingly cool place with tons of things to do and see. You’ll find some classic spots, such as the German Village or North Market, that give Columbus its historic reputation. At the same time, you’ll also find young and vibrant neighborhoods that make Columbus famous for art, cuisine, and beautiful parks.

Columbus is a big city and definitely deserves your time! But it can be hard to pick and choose what to see on your trip, especially if you’re short on time. If you’re visiting the city for a day, you’ll want to optimize your Columbus itinerary to experience the best of the best. Here are some seriously cool things to see on your next trip to Columbus.


Columbus Zoo and Aquarium


Image via Flickr by Becker1999


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is known as one of the best zoos in the country. One of the coolest parts is the Polar Frontier, an underwater viewing spot where you can stand in awe as polar bears swim and dance above you. If you’re in town during the holidays, be sure to check out the light show.


The Topiary Park

This 7-acre park is unlike any other. Here, topiaries turn into works of art! Spend a morning wandering the park with a cup of coffee while admiring a greener version of Georges Seurat’s painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte.”


The Palm House

Image via Flickr by VasenkaPhotography


The Palm House is a beautiful glass greenhouse in the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The greenhouse dates back to 1895, and its distinctive Victorian style makes it one of the most gorgeous structures in the city. It’s popular for events and weddings, and you can also explore the 43 different types of palms on display. While you’re here, spend time exploring Franklin Park and the lush botanical gardens.


German Village


Image via Flickr by VasenkaPhotography


This historic district dates back to the 1840s, when nearly one-third of Columbus’ population was German. Spend an afternoon wandering the streets and enjoying the charm and the adorable shops, bakeries, and cafés that fill the streets of German Village. Also check out one of the country’s coolest bookstores, the Book Loft. Head to the Meeting Haus to learn more about the neighborhood and pick up your guide.


The North Market

Get lost in the classic North Market and visit local vendors offering fresh produce, meats, flowers, coffees, and pastries. This is a great place to grab lunch or pick up some unique gifts.


Short North Arts District


Image via Flickr by h20series


Visit this artsy part of town to find the best street art, art galleries, artisan shops, and vintage stores. Check out this guide to make the best out of your shopping adventure in the Short North Arts District!


Whether you’re in town for the arts, the food, the gardens, or the classic city landmarks, you’re sure to have a fabulous time in Columbus.

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