BLOG ARTICLE

What To Do In Columbus (And Why We Love it)

Why We Love Columbus

At RevLocal, we know the importance of local businesses. They are the heart of their communities and together, they make up the DNA of a city. We're proud of our city, which is why we've decided to spotlight some of the great businesses, festivals, organizations and neighborhoods that Columbus has to offer. Columbus may be little known to some, but it's one of the best cities in the United States.

Columbus is a special place because of its people – the leaders, organizers and especially the small business owners. We've had the opportunity to work with some of these people and businesses firsthand, so we know the immense pride they take in making this community a better place

Whether you're a lifelong resident of Columbus or just visiting for a weekend, we recommend checking out our guide to this great city. We bet you can even find a few ways to entertain yourself.

It's a great place for business.

Recently voted as a top 10 city to start a business, Columbus is home to some big names in the food, technology and fashion industry. Companies like Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Honda, L Brands, Huntington Bancshares Inc., Cardinal Health and dozens more are all headquartered in Columbus.

Ohio State
The Ohio State University has grown a lot since opening its doors in 1870. It's now the third largest university campus in the U.S. 

Part of the reason why Columbus is so attractive to businesses and entrepreneurs is because of the talent and resources here. 

Home to The Ohio State University, one of largest universities in the country, Columbus is also surrounded by dozens of excellent colleges and universities. Ohio University, Denison University, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, University of Dayton, Wittenberg University, and many more are all located within an hour of downtown Columbus. With all these well-educated and driven local graduates, the city has seen continued growth since being founded in 1812.

The large number of young professionals paired with the growing industries around town helped Columbus get voted number 13 by Glassdoor in the top 25 cities to get a job this year. Surpassing cities like Dallas, Boston, Atlanta and Chicago, Columbus continues to draw thousands each year. 

The amount of opportunity within the city limits allows businesses to continue to set the standard for the rest of the county. The technological advances allows the creative class to break out on their own and is helping to create a growing number of young, ambitious, and sophisticated entrepreneurs.

We love our craft beer and food trucks!

It is true that happy people are more productive, and here in Columbus that could not be more evident. Ohio is home to some of the most welcoming and easy going people in the county. (Midwestern hospitality at it's finest!) Columbus is booming with a population of creative individuals dedicated to make this great city even greater.

Breweries:

Central Ohio is home to over 25 craft breweries and was named by Forbes in 2014 as the number one city in America to make your mark. Ohioans love to have a great time, and these craft breweries are making their mark. Not only at home in Columbus, but across the country as well. 

Boasting a long list of delicious local beers, some of the most popular include: Columbus Brewing Company, Seventh Son Brewing Co., North High Brewing Co., Land-Grant Brewing Company and Elevator Brewery. To taste them all, we recommend checking out the Craft Beer Festival this September.

Foodies:

With a city filled with beer enthusiasts, it’s only natural to have a city of foodies, too. From food trucks to fine dining, you can find just about everything here. Join a tour to discover the untasted treasures of the city with, explore food truck events. For the adventure seeking type, try finding your own favorite like Taco Sherpa (who made an appearance at RevLocal last year), En Place, Schmidt’s and Kinetic. And down the street from the food truck scene you'll likely find one of the many fine dining restaurants of Cameron Mitchel.

15-7-22-north-market.png
Established in 1876, the North Market is home to more than 30 merchants that offer a wide variety of fresh, local and authentic food.

All of these culinary explosions of creativity are supported by companies like The Commissary, that offers cooking classes and events for those looking to start their own culinary business. You can learn more about new adventures in food and cocktails through Edible Columbus or dive into the grass roots program from The Seasoned Farmhouse, who partners with local farmers and offers a variety of cooking and culinary classes. 

Just looking to pick something up for dinner? The beloved North Market and The Hills Market Downtown have the freshest produce and meat around. It's fresh, local and authentic.

The endless restaurants, cafés, bars, galleries and shops are sure to entertain and excite. Columbus is home to many communities from around the world who now call Ohio home. Because of this, you’ll find lots of Indian, Chinese, South American, Cuban and Middle Eastern cuisine all over the city.

Some foodie festivals not to miss out on are the Festival Latino, the India Festival, the Asian Festival, the Italian Festival and Grandview’s popular Digfest. All promise to introduce you to new and delicious cuisine around Columbus.

The neighborhoods of Columbus.

You can tell a lot about a city by walking through its neighborhoods, and Columbus has some of the best. 

A walk down the Short North will award you with trendy boutiques, coffee shops, patio bars, fine dining and some of the city's most popular art galleries.

Step back in time by visiting German Village, with it's enchanting brick streets and historic charm. The neighborhood is home to classic deli’s, welcoming cafés and the beautiful Schiller Park.

For the taste of Italy, check out Italian Village. It is home to some of the best authentic Italian food in the city. Want proof? We recommend visiting The Market, for lunch, dinner or brunch.

If you want that small city feel while still being close to downtown, Grandview is the perfect neighborhood for you. It's a blended community of young professionals and families, Grandview is home to high end restaurants, dive bars, breweries and everything in between.

If you want to be in the heart of downtown, the Gay Street District is for you. Sample food from around the world, enjoy a drink or shop at area's local businesses. We also highly recommend checking out The Moonlight Market if you get the chance!

The Short North Neighborhood
The Short North's Gallery Hop is a popular event that occurs the first Saturday of every month.

To see the city's ongoing revitalization, check out the up-and-coming the Franklinton neighborhood. The area is under development with help from local supporters like Strong Water, Land-Grant Brewing Co. and the Columbus Idea Foundry.

Embrace your cultural side with arts and theater.

Columbus is also home to some of the best local theater and dance companies in America. The Columbus Theater hosts the best of Broadway, with upcoming shows including The Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, The Sound of Music and Beauty and the Beast. 

Want a non-traditional take on local theater? Check out Shadow Box Live, a group of local performers who push the limit to entertain with original and eye-brow-raising shows. Also take the time to look up your favorite comedians at The Funny Bone, a great escape with the best medicine.

If you’re looking to explore the dynamic world of dance, Columbus is home to BalletMet, a world-class ballet company transforming the perception of traditional ballet. For a more post-modern take on dance, go to the Columbus Moving Company. It's new age form of dance pushes the limit of movement and is making waves on a national scale. For all general love of art and theater, go to Columbus Arts or Wild Goose Creative, a network of professionals and artists who promote all things creative around Columbus.

For the music and festival lovers.

Being in the heart of Ohio, Columbus is home to an outstanding music scene. From country and blues, to rock and rap, Columbus is a major hub for aspiring and established artists.

Some top spots to check out are Brother’s Drake, Skully’s, the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, A&R Music BarRumba Café and Newport Music Hall. All locations offer top artists from around the country or up-and-coming artists waiting to make their mark.

For the festival crowd, there are plenty to choose from. Two of Columbus's most popular annual festivals are ComFest and the Jazz &Rib Fest. Both festivals draw big crowds and provide local bands with the opportunity to showcase their talent.

Any and all other local performances not to be missed, can be found on the very extensive list by the Columbus Underground. With new artists every weekend and driving distance to some of this summers’ hottest festivals, Columbus is a must-visit for any music lover.

Columbus is a true sports junkies' town.

In 2015, Columbus hosted some big events in the sporting world. Last year, Columbus welcomed the NHL All-Star Game and the NCAA Men's Tournament. The surrounding arena district was packed with sports lovers from across the nation. Besides these special events, Columbus is also home to year round sports, all of which deliver action and excitement.

The Columbus Clippers play in the beautiful Huntington Park in the heart of downtown. It's a great place to relax and enjoy a baseball game (we highly recommend attending on a Dime-A-Dog Night). 

The Harold Cooper statue honors the late Franklin County commissioner, who helped bring the Clippers to Columbus in 1977.

Our professional hockey team is a guaranteed good time. The Blue Jackets are formidable foes to rivals like the Penguins, Black Hawks and Predators. Just grab a drink from a local tavern (the R Bar is always a good choice) near Nationwide Arena and go to a game! The Jackets were one of the hottest teams at the end of last year, so expectations are high for the 2015-2016 season.

Another team not to miss is our professional soccer team, the Columbus Crew SC, who’s loyal fan base continues to support this fantastic organization. Built in 1999, Mapfre Stadium (formally Columbus Crew Stadium) was the first major league soccer-specific stadium in the United States. Currently, The Crew is in second place in the Eastern Conference and in great position to make the playoffs this year.

And last but certainly not least, is The Ohio State Buckeyes, who won last year’s National Championship. This powerhouse team plays at iconic Ohio Stadium, one of the largest college stadiums in the country. It's a must see for anyone living or visiting Columbus. The tailgate experience is enough to impress and thousands are eagerly awaiting Urban Meyer’s 2015-2016 season.

A good place to break a sweat.

Being a city full of young people, Columbus has many fitness events to choose from. For those looking to get a great work out in, check out Thank Yoga, TITLE Boxing Club or TGM. These  are just a few fitness classes guaranteed to make you sweat. 

For all the racing enthusiasts, there are too many events to choose from, but to help narrow the search visit Columbus Running Company.

Looking for a relaxed view on physical fitness? Columbus offers plenty of laid back style activities. If you’re looking for an enjoyable round of golf, Columbus is home to some of best golf courses in the entire United States. To let gravity do most of the work in a fun team environment, go to ZipZone or SkyZone

And if you can’t decide between drinking and dieting, join the Ultimate Beer Run. Explore the outdoors, visit the many metro parks, hiking trails, and lakes located all over the greater Columbus area. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong when it comes to staying active. 

Become a history buff with our many museums.

For all of the history lovers out there, Columbus is a major hub of museums and institutions. The Columbus Museum of Art has beautiful collections and traveling exhibits from around the world. 

Another must see is the Center of Science and Industry, where the planetarium, exciting exhibits and live shows attract thousands each year. Rat basketball anyone? 

The Wexner Center for the Arts is another popular attraction. It supports filmmakers, photographers, performing artists and public programs. The endless events they offer will keep you updated on all of the amazing works by talented Ohioans. 

The Wexner Center for the Arts is located on the campus of The Ohio State University.

To dive into the off-beat history of Columbus, visit some museums like the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, The Ohio Railway Museum, The Central Ohio Fire Museum or The Motorcycle Museum. Of course, for a more extensive look into Columbus history, visit the Ohio History Connection. Take a bus tour and learn the story behind some of the most iconic buildings and neighborhoods of Columbus. There are plenty of events and exhibits throughout the year to keep you up to date on Ohio’s rich past. 

Check it out for yourself.

Columbus is great for so many reasons. From the people to the countless community activities, there is always something to do. So for those people who haven’t experienced all that Columbus has to offer, do yourself a favor and come visit. The city continues to grow and expand its culture of creativity, technology and fun. We're glad to be a part of it and can’t wait to see what happens next. 

Content Writer: Anne Skuse Anne Skuse Former RevLocal Employee

Learn More

Want to find out more? Sign up now to join our weekly mailing list.