Two-Day Getaway to Columbus, Ohio
Ohio's biggest city boasts plenty of top-tier attractions, but lesser-known neighborhoods truly reveal the town's charm.
Start your Columbus exploration either at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, one of the nation's top-ranked zoos, or at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, with both indoor and outdoor gardens as well as special exhibits and events.
Then venture downtown to The Topiary Park, where sculpted evergreens re-create the scene from George Seurat's painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte.
Get both lunch and a walking tour with Columbus Food Adventures. Or if you're eating on your own, the chef-driven Budd Dairy Food Hall in the Italian Village neighborhood offers eight unique kitchens plus a revolving popup.
For the rest of the afternoon, experience funky fun in the bohemian studios, galleries and high-end boutiques of the Short North Arts District.
Your hotel for the night? Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph, in the heart of Short North, featuring 135 rooms and suites with sleek wooden accents crafted in Ohio.
After, head to Ginger Rabbit Lounge for nightly live music and craft cocktails from the team behind Chapman's Eat Market.
Related: Top Things to Do in Columbus, Ohio
Bakeries, bookshops and delis line the narrow brick streets of the European-style, 19th-century German Village. There, The Book Loft's discounted books fill a 32-room maze that takes up an entire city block.
Lunchtime comfort food gets a sophisticated makeover at Skillet; we loved our béchamel and cheddar mac and cheese topped with smoked Ohio-raised pork.
In the afternoon, scale one of the nation's largest outdoor climbing walls at Scioto Audubon Metro Park, or take in views of the city skyline as you stroll the Scioto Mile. Across the river, let the kids explore the Center of Science and Industry's playground and 300 hands-on exhibits.
Relax in nearby Franklinton Arts District, home to emerging artists, breweries and galleries. Land-Grant Brewing Co. is both family-friendly and pet-friendly; it has one of the city's most popular beer gardens with lawn games and regular live music.
More information: experiencecolumbus.com