Columbus is one of those gems in the Midwest that had me at Hello. My sister actually got married here at the Franklin Park Conservatory and the groom (my now brother in law!) was born and raised in Columbus. Therefore, I lucked out on getting a local’s recommendations on what to do, see, and eat. I also had an opportunity to meet up with my Blogger friend Heather from Ohio Girl Travels who gave me a personalized tour all around the city (thanks again, Heather)! Based on recommendations from locals and my own experiences, this post is filled with travel tips on what to do, see, eat, and where to stay!
WHAT TO DO & SEE IN COLUMBUS
- Short North & German Village – My favorite neighborhoods in town, you really haven’t visited Columbus unless you explore these areas. They’re jammed with things to do and see.
- Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens – This is where my sister got married, so needless to say it’s a gorgeous space that any Instagrammer would love.
- The Art Scene – For any and all art lovers, you must check out the murals in Short North, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the numerous art galleries that fill the city.
- Scioto Mile Park – Totally walkable and filled with good views of downtown Columbus up and down the Scioto River. Also, you can find the famous “Deer on a Bridge” Bronze statue here (along with the other two nearby) and a kid friendly water park.
- The Book Loft – With 32 rooms of books in German Village, it’s one of the coolest libraries I’ve been to – and I’ve been to the Lello Bookstore in Porto, Portugal!
- The Columbus Coffee Trail – With over 20 participating locations, if you’re a coffee lover it’s definitely worth checking out some of these shops on the trail.
- The Columbus Ale Trail – CBus is known for its breweries and has over 37 of them. Be sure to check out at least one or two of their local breweries while in town.
- Ohio State University – If you’re from Michigan, then maybe avoid it 😉
- Sports – Columbus is home to NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew Soccer Club, OSU Buckeyes, and a minor league baseball team, the Columbus Clippers.
- Ohio Theater – With a 21 foot high chandelier, here’s your opportunity to get a little fancy!
WHERE TO EAT IN COLUMBUS
What blew me away the MOST about Columbus is the unbelievably delicious food scene. Every single meal I had was worth writing about in its own right. Below are just a FEW recommendations but honestly you could probably go just about anywhere in Short North or German Village and have an amazing meal and experience.
- Brassica – Oh. My. God. Brassica has it going ON. My entire family and friends went here and one of my friend’s actually went back two more times. She ate here for lunch three days in a row – ha! I ordered the Brisket salad bowl and it was to die for. It’s set up in Short North and has a casual feel so you can add your own toppings as you go through the line for lunch.
- Condado Tacos – With three locations in Columbus, Condado Tacos has made a name for itself! I went to the one around the corner from Hotel LeVeque and my entire family loved it. You can build your own taco or order from the menu. I used to live in Mexico, I know what good Mexican food tastes like and this place nails it. Be sure to order the queso blanco. Check out happy hour Monday – Friday from 4-7 PM!
- Lindey’s Restaurant & Bar – Lindey’s is located in the historic German Village and funny enough, I created a live story on IG here and I actually got a few people asking if I was IN Germany! If you’re here in summer, you must go here for evening drinks in their court yard. It is beautifully decorated with brightly colored flowers and water fountains.
- Hoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen – I couldn’t go to Columbus and not hit up a brewery, I tried their “Oh She Does!” Saison from Marengo, Ohio and would recommend it to anyone else who loved a lighter tasting beer. I also enjoyed their Nachos which totally hit the spot. This place has fun vibes and I’d recommend it for groups.
- The Guild House – A Cameron Mitchell restaurant and a must visit! We had breakfast here daily during my sister’s wedding weekend. An absolute MUST ORDER is the Truffled Eggs for breakfast – it’s no joke. Overall, I imagine this place being good for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Be sure to check out more of Cameron Mitchell’s restaurants in the area as well.
- North Market – The North Market has more than 30 food vendors and while I didn’t try them all, I’ve heard great things from locals on pretty much every shop. Note: The original Jeni’s ice cream is here! Check out their site for more info on Farmer’s Markets and events.
WHERE TO STAY IN COLUMBUS
My recommendations for hotels are in Short North and Downtown! Both of these are luxury boutique hotels with fabulous amenities and design:
- Hotel LeVeque, Autograph Collection, Downtown Columbus
- Located in the most recognized tower in Columbus, Hotel LeVeque shows off its Art Deco design to the fullest. Since 1927, the historic LeVeque Tower has been an iconic building in the Columbus downtown skyline. This is a brand new hotel, created in January 2017, and has 149 guest rooms and six suites. My favorite part about my stay here was their dedication to a star gazing theme. Each room has a star projector where you can create your own light show! Overall, if you appreciate Art Deco, you would greatly admire this hotel’s lobby and design details.
- Le Méredien, The Joseph, Short North
- Located in the heart of Short North, this hotel is brightly lit and all around colorful. This might sound totally random and weird, but I actually really appreciated their bathrooms! From comfy robes to natural spa products, they clearly put time into designing the bathroom space to ensure your experience is pleasant. My family stayed here for my sister’s wedding and we all really enjoyed the location and how close it was to tons of action – restaurants, bars, shops, you name it! Check out their site for more pictures.
Please note this post was made possible by Experience Columbus and I was welcomed as a guest by Hotel LeVeque. As always, all opinions are my own.