I’m sure when you Google “best Columbus, Ohio attractions” lots of lists will pop up. So what makes this one better? Well, for starters, I live in Columbus and have lived here most of my life. As a local, I know the parts of the city that you’ll definitely want to see when you’re here.
I’ve written about all of the fun things to do in Columbus, and these 19 attractions are some of the most popular spots to add to your visit.
I hope you enjoy exploring everything Columbus has to offer!
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The 19 Best Columbus, Ohio Attractions
1. Franklin Park Conservatory
Situated right outside of downtown Columbus, Franklin Park Conservatory is one of the top Columbus tourist attractions. Visitors will enjoy various exhibits, lush gardens, special events, a children’s garden, and a huge collection of Dale Chihuly glass art sculptures.
2. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
It’s easy to see why the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is often cited as one of the country’s best. Visitors can enjoy incredible animal exhibits and kid’s play areas as well as special events and shows.
>>Read More: The INCREDIBLE Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
3. Dublin Link Bridge
One of the newest Columbus attractions is located in the nearby suburb of Dublin. The Dublin Link Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Scioto River, connecting historic downtown Dublin to Bridge Park. Visitors will enjoy the area’s restaurants, shopping, and green spaces.
>>Read More: Fun Things To Do In Dublin, Ohio
4. North Market
The North Market is a Columbus gem. This public market has been open for 140+ years and features independent merchants, restaurants, and artisans. The original location is downtown, but there’s a smaller location that recently opened in Dublin.
5. German Village
If you’re looking for fun places to go in Columbus, Ohio, then spend the afternoon strolling around the picturesque 19th-century buildings and cobblestone streets in the German Village neighborhood. Don’t miss my personal favorite stops, Pistacia Vera and The Book Loft.
If you’re visiting Columbus with kids, COSI is a must. The Center of Science and Industry is a hands-on museum that has been entertaining Columbus families and tourists since 1964.
>>Want to try a unique activity? Explore Columbus in an Amazing Race style walking adventure. This app-based game takes you through fun challenges while exploring downtown Columbus landmarks and attractions.
7. Short North Arts District
The Short North Arts District is an eclectic neighborhood featuring galleries, restaurants, shops, bars, and more. If you’re visiting Columbus on the first Saturday of each month, be sure to catch the Gallery Hop, a well-known Columbus tradition.
8. Columbus Commons
Columbus Commons is a green space in the middle of downtown that features concerts, festivals, family events, food trucks, fitness events, and more. The best part is that many of these events are free. Be sure to check the calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.
9. Easton Town Center
If you’re looking for cool places in Columbus, you should stop by Easton Town Center. More than a mall, this outdoor shopping facility has tons of restaurants, special events, a movie theatre, a comedy club, and LEGOLAND. If you’d like to pick up some Ohio-made souvenirs before you go, check out Celebrate Local.
10. Zoombezi Bay
11. Bicentennial Park
Bicentennial Park is a downtown park and gathering space featuring a performance venue, a restaurant, and the Scioto Mile Fountain, a huge, interactive fountain that’s a great spot for the kids to cool off in the summer.
12. Columbus Museum of Art
13. The King Arts Complex
The King Arts Complex celebrates the history and contributions of the African-American community through educational programs, cultural activities, and special events.
14. Topiary Garden Park
Art lovers will want to stop by the Topiary Park, located at the Old Deaf School. As a recreation of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte by Georges Seurat, it’s one of the most unique things to do in Columbus. Explore the Topiary Park and other Columbus attractions during this app-based scavenger hunt.
15. The Wexner Center for the Arts
The Wexner Center For The Arts, aka The Wex, is all about promoting creativity and contemporary art through exhibitions and special events.
16. Jack Nicklaus Museum
Golf fans will love touring the Jack Nicklaus Museum, located on the campus of The Ohio State University. It showcases the history of golf and the career of Columbus’ hometown golf legend, Jack Nicklaus.
17. Columbus Park of Roses
18. Ohio History Center
If you’d like to learn more about the history of The Buckeye State, head to the Ohio History Center. Kids will enjoy exploring Ohio Village, a living history exhibit set up to resemble an Ohio town in the 1890s.
19. Anthony-Thomas Candy Company
Anthony Thomas is a local candy company that has been in business since 1952. You can take a guided tour of the 152,000-square-foot working candy factory that ends in the gift shop with a free sample.
Columbus is perhaps the most underrated city in the Midwest. Every time I talk to someone after their first visit I always hear, “wow, I didn’t realize Columbus is so cool!”
I hope you enjoy exploring these Columbus attractions. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @zenlifeandtravel for lots of adventures in Columbus and beyond.