The distinct districts of Columbus make visiting Ohio’s capital city an exciting getaway. You can appease your culinary side with authentic bratwursts and crème puffs in German Village or experience Columbus in an active way with an excursion from Columbus City Adventures. Discover your artsy side in the Short North Arts District or let loose with sports and entertainment in the Arena District. Experience the many sides of Columbus at specific attractions that encourage a new adventure, or just kick back along the Scioto Mile downtown and admire the growing city skyline with a lunch or concert by the river.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Columbus is from September through October or from April to May when the temperatures aren’t freezing cold like in the winter or hot and humid as in the summer.
Top Places to Visit in Columbus
- Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the top things to do in Columbus because of its expansive collection of animals, educational programs, and changing exhibits. With six habitats, like Asia Quest, Congo Expedition, Heart of Africa, and Shores, a day at the Columbus Zoo takes you to every continent to explore more than 10,000 animals. Besides visiting animal exhibits and enjoying live performances and feedings, be sure to enjoy the seasonal rides at Jungle Jack’s Landing and bring your bathing suit to enjoy the wave pool and water slides at Zoombezi Bay next door.
2. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
You can explore a paradise of flora and fauna at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The Conservatory features hundreds of species of plants from around the world in towering glass greenhouses. Walk through the rainforest, desert, orchid collection, and the grand Palm House, where you might spot a wedding in progress on the weekend. Outside, take some of the walking paths through the Botanical Gardens and Garden Campus. There are regular changing exhibitions, like Blooms & Butterflies in the spring, and visitor events like glassblowing and gardening that you can experience.
3. Columbus Museum of Art
Explore your artistic side at the Columbus Museum of Art, where exhibitions and galleries showcase the best in paintings, photography, glass, and sculpture. One of the most enjoyable ways to experience the Columbus Museum of Art is during one of their regular programs or community events that use the galleries as a backdrop. In addition to the galleries, you will want to find the JP Morgan Chase Center for Creativity, which features a free creativity lounge with hands-on products to help inspire your creative side. Before you leave the museum, grab a small bite at the Schokko Art Café, where the culinary creativity is as artistic as the paintings.
4. The Topiary Park
The Topiary Park is a Columbus treasure that even many local residents forget to visit and appreciate. The park features 54 life-size topiary sculptures designed as the impressionist painting by George Seurat A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte. The topiary creation is complete with sculpted boats and figures floating on the pond. The park is a peaceful place for reflection or lunch on a bench in the quiet surroundings behind the Old Ohio Deaf School. The best time to visit the park is in the summer, when the shrubs on the topiary sculptures are in full bloom and manicured.
5. ZipZone Outdoor Adventures
It is hard to imagine an outdoor adventure like ziplining in the heart of a busy city like Columbus, but ZipZone Outdoor Adventures has done it. Billed as a zipline tour, you can zip your way through the treetops just north of downtown. The tours range from canopy tours and moonlight tours to zip-rush tours that include a brief freefall and rappel experience. ZipZone offers kid-friendly outdoor experiences in the Kid Park, with pint-size adventures and an Aerial Park with challenging courses.