Columbus Ohio Tourism
Support our advertisers

Downtown Columbus


Columbus is a mix of urbuan, suburban and cultural differences. I spent more than half of the 20th Century living in Columbus. I took my first airplane ride from a grass airfield just off Morse Road and west of Cleveland Ave. where today stands a Pottery Barn. This area was out in the country and Morse Road was a 2 lane road that stretched across the countryside. In my youth we regularly shopped at Central Market for fresh fruit and vegetables. Our family grew up on the north side of Columbus near Linden Park. At that time this area was the northern edge of Columbus. Beyond Oakland Park nothing much more than corn fields, a few farm houses and small country roads.

Arena DistrictArena District

The Arena District is the premier entertainment district in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The Arena District offers an experience unlike any other. With its exceptional dining, accessible parking, live entertainment and affordable hotels, families, couples and singles alike can enjoy the district.

Short NorthShort North

Offers an eclectic mix of galleries, boutiques, and restaurants! The Short North is a historic, urban neighborhood which is the Art District of Columbus. Located on High Street north of the Convention Center, it is close to all the major downtown attractions and activities. Don't miss the July 4 Doo Dah Parade!

Greater Columbus Convention CenterThe Columbus Convention Center

Greater Columbus Convention Center is located right in the middle of the vibrant downtown that’s alive with cultural activities, arts, sports and entertainment.


German Village and the Brewery DistrictGerman Village and the Brewery District

The area known as German Village today was laid out as South Columbus in 1841. The name German Village is due to the significant German immigrant population that settled in South Columbus, the largest arriving between 1840 - 1860.

Victorian VillageVictorian Village

Victorian Village offers fine examples of Victorian Era architecture. In the late A new interest in the area as homes are being carefully restored to their original character. Victorian Village's history and architecture make it a unique and diversified area accommodating a variety of interests.


Clintonville is named for Clinton Township in which Clintonville is at the approximate center. Clinton township was named for US Vice President George Clinton (VP to both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison). However, when the name was placed on this land, it had no inhabitants.

Upper Arlington: Golden BearsUpper Arlington

Upper Arlington was incorporated in 1918 and has grown into a primarily residential community of approximately 34,000 residents covering 9.67 square miles. The City enjoys a convenient location as a first-ring suburb of Central Ohio.


Bexley is an upscale suburb of Columbus that has its roots tied to Capital University founded by Lincoln Goodale in the mid 19th Century. Urbanization in the area really began in 1876 when Capital University moved from its original location around the Goodale Park area to its present location.

Franklin Park ConservatoryFranklin Park Conservatory

Originally built in 1895, the Franklin Park Conservatory is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it is a premier horticultural and educational institution showcasing exotic plant collections, special exhibitions, and spectacular Chihuly artworks.

Goodale ParkGoodale Park & Lincoln Goodale

Although Goodale Park contains an expansive playground and tennis courts, the park's main attraction is its view of the Columbus skyline and the serenity offered alongside a scenic pond and the charm of the gazebo and of its historic park shelter.

Columbus Museum of Art SculptureColumbus Museum of Art

Highlights of its permanent collection include early Cubist paintings by Picasso and Juan Gris, and works by Degas, Matisse, Edward Hopper, and Norman Rockwell. The Museum also has a substantial collection of paintings by Columbus native, George Bellows.

COSICenter of Science and Industry (COSI)

COSI has been considered one of the most respected science centers in the nation — serving 18 million visitors a year 1964. For more than 40 years, it has been well known for creating programs and experiences that make science fun while empowering and engaging visitors through hands-on discovery.

North MarketNorth Market

More than one-million people a year enjoy the historic market's traditional butcher, baker, fishmonger, and green grocer goods along with its newer ethnic and gourmet specialties, flower stalls and eateries. During the summer there is also the farmers market.

Ohio TheatreOhio Theatre

Ohio Theatre's lush interior, excellent acoustics, and state-of-the-art stage facilities have made it a favorite of leading performers. The Theatre first opened in 1928 and went through a major renovation and re-opened for Theatre fans across the state in 1970.

Red White and BoomRed White & Boom!

Red, White & Boom is the Midwest's premiere fireworks display. Held on July 3 every year in downtown Columbus, the event attracts about 500,000 people. There are festivities all over the area that start around 11:00 am with the fireworks starting right at 10:00pm and concludes at 10:30.

Columbus Factory Tours

Factory tours can be an interesting way to spend an afternoon, especially when they're about products you're familiar with. Here is a list of a few of the popular factory tours in Columbus

Columbus' Major Shopping Centers

A visit to Columbus is never complete without doing some serious shopping. Here are the major shopping centers worth checking out.

Columbus Bike Trails

Columbus already has about 45 miles of bike trails throughout the city. But the plans are for adding about another 120 miles.

Ohio State Capital Building

Columbus: crossroads of Ohio

Early baby boomers growing up in Columbus have witnessed the city go through a remarkable transformation from a small town with big university and state government buildings into a large metropolitan expanse that now fills the entire county and beyond. We have gone from what many once called "cow town" to the largest city in Ohio and the 16th largest city in America.

The most obvious fact about Columbus is that it is the capital of the state. Columbus wasn't the first choice for locating the capital of the state here. In fact, it wasn't even second or third. However, the state legislature finally decided that Columbus was the best place to locate the capital because of its central location. Columbus is indeed at the crossroads of the state and has always been at those crossroads between north/south and east /west.

Columbus 1930s

Columbus History

Columbus was first laid out in 1812 and incorporated in 1816. Much of Columbus's growth can be attributed to its proximity to major transportation routes. Columbus was connected to the Ohio and Erie Canal by way of an 11 mile feeder canal in September 1831. By 1836, the National Road extended from Cumberland, Maryland, to Columbus, and within the next several years eventually extended all the way to Illinois. In the 1840s and 1850s, railroads and telegraph lines connected the capital to other parts of the state as well.

Arches on High Street

Due to lighted arches that spanned over the city's major north-south thoroughfare, High Street, Columbus earned the reputation of being the most "brilliantly illuminated city in the country." The arches disappeared by mid 20th century, but in 2002, the city began to construct new ones to celebrate Columbus's past. Today these arches are again illuminating High Street in an area known for fine restaurants and art galleries. (see Gallery Hop).

Downtown Columbus

Columbus Today

Today greater Columbus is a thriving metropolitan area of 1.6 million people at the heart of the largest concentration of population and economic activity in North America. Already the third fastest growing major metropolitan area in the Midwest, the entire community is seizing new opportunities to propel Greater Columbus into the ranks of the nation's most innovative, attractive and business-friendly communities.

ColumbusColumbus is home to The Ohio State University, Capital University, Franklin University, Columbus College of Art and Design, and Columbus State Community College.

At one time and to a lesser degree today, Columbus was considered a great testing town for many new products and services. This is one reason so many new restaurants and retailers first opened their businesses in Columbus.

Wendy's International is a good example. Starting with just one store on East Broad Street, Dave Thomas started his Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant in 1969. Today there are over 6000 Wendy's in the world today. Dave Thomas named the restaurant after his 8-year-old daughter, Melinda Lou, nicknamed Wendy.

Another fine example of a quality retailer is The Limited. Les Wexner opened his first retail store in the Kingsdale Mall in Upper Arlington (a suburb of Columbus) in 1963. In 2003 Limited Brands was named the world's most admired specialty retailer by FORTUNE magazine in its annual compilation of outstanding companies in the world. Today Limited Brands, through Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, C.O. Bigelow, La Senza, White Barn Candle Co. and Henri Bendel, presently operates some 3,140 specialty stores.