When I told friends that I was travelling to Columbus, Ohio, they looked at me puzzled and said, “That’s not the first place I would choose to vacation to.” At the time, I had to agree with them. I really didn’t know what to expect from Columbus, but after spending four wonderful days in this American city, I would tell those friends to reconsider.
After four jam-packed days of exploring Columbus, I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t really anything this city doesn’t offer.
Experiencing Columbus, Ohio
Just saying the name ‘Columbus’ makes my mouth water! When it comes to food, Columbus knows best and when it comes to travelers, there’s a foodie in each and every one of us. Columbus has a thriving food scene that is sure to satisfy all. Many of the restaurants strive to use as many local ingredients as possible. Not only does this make the food tastier, but it also shows how tight knit the community is since they rely on each other’s resources. While every dish I ate in Columbus was scrumptious, there are a few specific places that top my foodgasm list that I couldn’t possibly just mention one:
This small, cozy restaurant made me feel like I was eating at the house of a family member. The Chef/Owner John Dornback and staff, make you feel at home and know how to take care of their guests. Not to mention that the food is out of this world. My whole dining experience here was very delightful and will be one of the first stop’s I make when I return to Columbus.
First I must tell you that I am an ice-cream fiend! When people ask me, “If you could live off one of food for the rest of you life, what would it be?” my answer is always ice cream! If your answer to this question isn’t ice cream, it will be once you experience Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. When you take your first bite of Jeni’s Ice cream, you can tell right away that a lot of love and passion went into making it. Each batch of Jeni’s ice creams is carefully tended to; each flavor artfully achieved with fresh ingredients found in the Ohio countryside as well as responsibly-raised exotics from around the world. All of Jeni’s ice creams, sauces, pralines and marshmallows are handcrafted in Jeni’s production kitchen in Columbus.
Dinin’ Hall is a cross between street food and casual dining experience. With a rotating roster of food trucks and carts dishing out a variety of cuisine, Columbus has a whole mobile food movement going on that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Dinin’ Hall also provides a cool dining area of industrial charm with community tables and bar seating.
By far, the coolest place I visited during my trip to Columbus was Brother’s Drake. This local hangout is a bar and mead production house. Mead is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with yeast and is in its own class of alcohol. Dating back to nearly 8,000, mead has held a pivotal place in many cultures throughout the world. I became a big fan of mead ever since my roommate made it in our kitchen at the beginning of the year. Since then, I’ve been hooked. Not only does Brother’s Drake make delicious mead but also provides a super friendly and funky environment. If I lived in Columbus, you’d know where to find me.
If you’re looking for a place to spend a Friday or Saturday night, Double Happiness is the place to be. Although, I think they should rename the place to Quadruple Happiness since not only is there a bar and dance floor, but a food bar and chilling lounge. What else do you need? The food isn’t your typical bar food either. Double Happiness fries up a mix of Japanese, Korean and Chinese that will have your taste buds exploding with delight.
Columbus is a shopper’s paradise. The streets are lined with independent shops selling unique clothing and gifts. As much as I love clothing shopping, it was the North Market that gave me pure happiness. Everything about the experience brought me joy. Just walking around the market and speaking with the storeowners was a great experience. However, I couldn’t resist splurging a little when I got to North Market Spices. Anyone who enjoys cooking will be overwhelmed with the types of spices you can get here. After spending nearly an hour at this one stand, I ended up walking away with some Himalayan Sea-Salt and Chipotle Apple.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden is a great place to spend the morning or afternoon. Within its 88 acres, the Conservatory houses 400 species of plants from a variety of global climate zones and features a Victorian Palm House with more than 40 species of palms. It is surrounded by botanical gardens and floral displays that made me feel calm and blissful. I don’t know about you, but after all of the eating, drinking, shopping and partying, there’s nothing like spending some time relaxing in a garden.
There are many great things to see and do in Columbus, Ohio, and I’ve just skimmed the service of it. However, from what I did experience, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this American city to any traveler looking to visit a friendly, unique and diverse city that has just about everything.
My name is Kristen, and I am an actress as well as a risk-taking, adventure seeking, travel junkie who owns an adventure travel vlog/blog called Hopscotch the Globe. Traveling is my addiction and adventure is my middle name (it really isn’t, but I’m seriously considering changing it to that). I want to see the world, meet interesting people, try new things, take chances, explore, learn and share my experiences. You can follow my adventures and learn how to prepare for your own on my website or on my YouTube channel