18 Best Things To Do In Columbus Ohio – Attractions, Tours & Sights

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2023)

Columbus is the capital and largest city of Ohio.

The Columbus metro area is the third-largest metropolitan area in terms of population in the United States behind New York City and Los Angeles.

The city was founded in 1812 by American Revolutionary War veteran General Moses Cleaveland as a planned community on the confluence of the Scioto river and Olentangy river.

It was named after Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas.

Columbus is known for its wonderful seasons that see the city landscape continuously changing, meaning lots of outdoor tourist attractions that visitors can enjoy all year round.

Whether you’re coming with your family, spouse, friends, or by yourself, you’re bound to find some great things to do in Columbus Ohio.

Things To Do In Columbus Ohio

1. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are one of the largest publicly funded botanical gardens in the United States.

The park is situated on the city’s Near East Side, just east of downtown Columbus.

The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens was founded in 1895 by Colonel Frank J. Hutchins and opened to the public in 1896.

Visitors can walk around the beautiful gardens and exhibits to see over 400 species of plants and flowers from all over the world.

At the palm house, you will be immersed in the atmosphere of the lovely Victorian-style greenhouse as you discover 43 species of palms.

The butterfly garden is one of the garden’s top attractions as hundreds of colorful butterflies fly freely in a tropical haven filled with bright nectar blooms.

The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden is open year-round and offers a wide variety of programming, including exhibitions, concerts, educational classes, and special events.

This is one of the best places to visit in Columbus, Ohio for families as all ages will appreciate this outdoor haven.

Address: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203

2. Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center

Located just north of John Glenn Columbus International Airport and approximately 15 minutes east of downtown Columbus, Easton Town Center is the premier retail center in Ohio.

Easton Town Center, 1.4 million square-foot complex, opened its doors to shoppers in 1999.

It is the largest shopping mall in Central Ohio and is one of the largest lifestyle centers in the United States.

This premier retail center in Ohio features over 240 best-in-class shops, restaurants and entertainment venues and has won numerous awards.

Easton Town Center also has hotels, office space and a movie theater.

Shoppers can find everything at Easton Town Center from high-end retailers like Nordstrom and Macy’s to local boutiques and chain stores like H&M and Forever 21.

Address: Easton Town Center, 160 E. Stonelick Rd., Columbus, OH 43068

3. COSI Columbus

COSI Columbus

COSI Columbus is a science museum that opened its doors to the public on September 1, 1964.

Since then this Columbus museum has welcomed over 50 million visitors and become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

COSI Columbus is located in Ohio’s Discovery District of downtown Columbus.

The district is home to other attractions like the Center of Science and Industry, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and the Topiary Park.

COSI features more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout themed exhibition areas, in topics like space science, health science, physical science, and Earth science.

The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and camps for kids.

COSI Columbus has been called ‘the ultimate kids science museum.’

Address: COSI Columbus, 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

4. North Market Farmer’s Market

North Market Farmer's Market

North Market Farmer’s Market is a farmers market located in Columbus, Ohio.

The market features fresh produce, meat, dairy, and more from local vendors.

The market is open year-round on Saturdays from 8am to 3pm.

During the winter months, the market is held indoors at the North Market Building.

The North Market Farmer’s Market is a great place to buy fresh, local food.

Vendors offer a variety of products, including fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, dairy, baked goods, and you can also find prepared foods, flowers, and other items.

When you shop at the North Market Farmer’s Market, you’re helping to keep money in the local economy and you’re also getting the freshest food possible.

Address: North Market, 59 Spruce St., Columbus, OH 43215

5. Scioto Mile

Scioto Mile

The Scioto Mile is an urban oasis comprised of more than 175 acres of lush parkland.

Stretching along the waterfront from the vibrant Arena District to the natural beauty of the Whittier Peninsula, Scioto Mileis one of the best outdoor tourist attractions.

The park features walking and biking trails, gardens, fountains, sculptures, and more.

Scioto Mile is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise.

Scioto Audubon Metro Park is part of the Scioto Mile network of parks and trails around Downtown Columbus.

Scioto Audubon Metro Park is home to the largest free outdoor climbing wall in the country.

If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do outside, this lovely park makes a great day trip destination.

Address: Scioto Mile, 233 S. Civic Center Dr., Columbus, OH 43215

6. German Village

German Village columbus

German Village is a historic neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, just south of the city’s downtown.

It was settled in the early-to-mid-19th century by a large number of German immigrants and has an Ohio history connection.

With many of the buildings in German Village dating back to the 19th century, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

German Village is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and businesses.

The area draws an abundance of visitors who relish the taste of something ‘European’ from one of the area’s many coffee shops, confectionaries, groceries and restaurants.

Visitors can enjoy this quaint neighborhood, with it’s amazing architecture and charming shops giving the perfect atmosphere for an afternoon stroll.

Address: German Village, 588 S. Third St., Columbus, OH 43215

7. Ohio Stadium

Ohio Stadium

Ohio Stadium, also known as The Horseshoe, is the football stadium of The Ohio State University.

The Ohio Stadium is one of the most recognizable landmarks in sports history.

It opened its doors in 1922 and has a capacity of over 100,000 people.

Ohio Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in the United States and is home to the Ohio State Buckeyes football team.

The stadium features a variety of amenities, including suites, club seats, and a museum.

Tours are offered Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 4:30pm.

Address: Ohio Stadium, 411 Woody Hayes Dr., Columbus, OH 43210

8. Ohio Theater

Ohio Theater

The Ohio Theatre is a performing arts center and former movie palace located on Capitol Square in Downtown Columbus.

The theater opened its doors in 1928 and is home to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.

The Ohio Theater is also home to the BalletMet Columbus dance company and the CATCO theater company.

The theater hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including musicals, plays, and concerts.

One of the best things to do in Columbus Ohio for a spectacular evening of entertainment.

Address: Ohio Theater, 39 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215

9. Otherworld


Otherworld is located nine miles east of downtown, and plenty of free parking is available onsite.

Otherworld is a 32,000 square foot immersive art installation that features a variety of rooms with different themes and experiences.

Visitors can explore over 40 scenes filled with large-scale art and mixed reality playgrounds.

Some of the rooms include a mirror maze, a blacklight forest, and an infinity room.

If you’re looking for some fun things to do when visiting Columbus then Otherworld is for you.

Otherworld is open Thursday through Sunday.

Address: Otherworld, 247 King Ave., Columbus, OH 43201

10. Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art is one of the world’s leading art museums.

The museum houses a collection of more than 30,000 works of art, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in the United States.

The museum’s holdings include paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, textiles, and other decorative arts from around the world.

The Columbus Museum of Art also has a significant collection of African American art, and national and international artists.

A must see for art lovers.

Situated in downtown Columbus, the Columbus Museum of Art is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 9 p.m.

Address: Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

11. Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum

Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum

The Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum is a museum that is dedicated to the history of the automobile.

The museum was founded in 2006 by Bob Wagner and Bill Hagans.

The museum features a collection of over 100 cars, trucks, and motorcycles from a variety of manufacturers.

The museum also has a library and research center.

Address: 5640 Fulton Dr., Columbus, OH 43054

12. Nationwide Arena

Nationwide Arena

Nationwide Arena is a multi-purpose arena located in downtown Columbus.

The arena opened its doors in 2000 and is home to the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League.

The Columbus Blue Jackets compete in the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference and have called Nationwide Arena home since the club’s inaugural 2000-01 season.

Nationwide Arena has a capacity of over 18,000 people.

The arena also hosts a variety of other events, including concerts, basketball games, and ice shows.

A behind the scenes look at the arena with a guided tour is available.

Address: 200 W. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus, Ohio 43215

13. Billy Ireland Cartoon Library

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library is the largest public research collection of cartoons and comics in the world.

It is located on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

The library was founded in 1977 with a gift of 3,000 original artworks by Charles Schulz.

It has since grown to house over 45,000 books and 2 million pieces of original art, making it an essential resource for scholars, historians, and fans alike.

The library’s holdings cover the history of cartooning from its beginnings in the late 18th century to the present day.

The collection includes comic strips, editorial cartoons, political cartoons, gag cartoons, animation cels, and more.

This is one of the most interesting and unusual tourist attractions, and one of the fun things to see and do in Columbus, Ohio.

Address: Billy Ireland Cartoon Library, 1813 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio 43210

14. Ohio Expo Center

Ohio Expo Center

The Ohio Expo Center is a fairground and exposition center.

This expansive complex includes over 20 exhibition buildings including an outdoor amphitheater and a wide open-aired fairground

The site has been home to the Ohio State Fair since 1886.

The center also hosts a variety of other events throughout the year, including trade shows, conventions, and concerts.

The Ohio Expo Center has a total area of over 1 million square feet.

Address: Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211

15. Huntington Park

Huntington Park

Located in the magnificent Arena District in downtown Columbus, Ohio, Huntington Park is home the Columbus Clippers baseball team, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

Huntington Park has a capacity of 10,500 people.

Visit the park and enjoy an American pastime by relaxing for a few hours and watching a leisurely game of baseball.

This is a great activity for all ages.

You’ll also find plenty of concessions in the park, including classic ballpark food.

Address: Huntington Park, 330 Huntington Park Ln., Columbus, OH 43215

16. Columbus Zoo

Columbus Zoo

Columbus Zoo is located just north of downtown Columbus, Ohio, and is easily accessible by car, bus, or train.

It currently features over 10,000 animals.

The zoo is also home to the Columbus Zoo Aquarium and the Zoombezi Bay water park.

The Aquarium is full of exotic fish and engaging exhibits which is great fun for kids.

There’s also a touch-pool area where they can pet a sea urchin’s spine or feel a sea star.

The reptile house in this area is filled with interesting creepy crawly critters.

Columbus Zoo makes a fun day out for all the family.

Address: Columbus Zoo, 4850 W. Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065

17. Short North Arts District

Short North Arts District

The Short North Arts District is a neighborhood, that includes a number of art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars.

The district was first established in the early 1990s, when a group of local artists and business owners began to promote the area as an arts district

The Short North Arts District is one of the city’s most vibrant and creative neighborhoods.

It is home to the Wexner Center for the Arts, which houses a collection of contemporary art and is very popular with art lovers.

The district is also home to a number of events throughout the year, including the popular Gallery Hop, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month.

The Short North Arts District is a great place to find unique gifts, enjoy a meal or just explore the many different shops and galleries.

Address: Short North Arts District, Short North, Columbus, OH 43201

18. Ohio Statehouse

Ohio Statehouse

The Ohio Statehouse is the state capitol building and seat of government for the U.S. state of Ohio.

The Greek Revival building is located on Capitol Square in Downtown Columbus.

The statehouse’s prominent architecture has earned it several landmark designations, including as a National Historic Landmark.

There are 2 different options for touring the Ohio Statehouse. Free guided tours are offered on the hour by professional tour guides that have great knowledge of the building.

The self-guided tour gives you a tour brochure that will give you a map of each floor and a basic explanation of each of the major rooms as well as the Capitol Gardens.

Guided and self-guided tours are available every day, except on state holidays.

There is so much history within the Ohio Statehouse, and the grounds at Capital Square, that it’s a great experience for the whole family, especially the kids.

Address: Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215


Does Columbus Ohio have good weather?

In Columbus, Ohio, the summers are long, warm, and humid; the winters are short, very cold, snowy, and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round.

Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 22°F to 84°F and is rarely below 5°F or above 92°F.

Where is the Arena District Columbus Ohio?

Arena District is directly south of the North Market and Park Street Districts, north of Downtown Columbus and west of the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

The Arena District is a walkable neighborhood and once here you can easily get to event venues, hotels and restaurants.

What shops are in Easton Town Center?

Visit Easton Town Center and find everything from Nordstrom and Macy’s to Kate Spade, Apple, Victoria’s Secret, Crate and Barrel and more.

Plus, Easton Town Center offers a diverse retail mix in an open-air pedestrian-friendly setting, with both indoor and outdoor shopping options.

When should I go to the Columbus Park of Roses?

The peak viewing time for the rose beds is around mid June and again in mid September.

There are more than 11,000 rose bushes in the Columbus Park of Roses and over 350 different varieties of roses.

What is the Ohio History Center?

The Ohio History Center is the headquarters of the Ohio History Connection and a museum showcasing Ohio’s history from the ice age to today.

What is considered central Ohio?

The area, also known as Central Ohio or Greater Columbus, is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Midwestern United States.

It is part of the Great Lakes Megalopolis, containing an estimated 59 million people.

What is special about Bicentennial Park, Columbus Ohio?

Bicentennial Park features a one-of-a-kind fountain.


  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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