Downtown Columbus is primarily dominated by a few distinct neighborhoods, all of which are connected by High Street.
- 1 Downtown. Downtown proper is the core of Columbus. The Ohio Statehouse lies in the center, surrounded by offices and cultural amenities, as well as other major public institutions.
- 2 The Arena District. The arena district is dotted with major sports and entertainment venues.
- 3 The Short North. A trendy neighborhood just south of the University district, and just north of the Arena District. The streets are marked with arches and nightlife hotspots. The short north also contains the historic Italian Village neighborhood.
Downtown Columbus is intersected by High St. (SR 23), running N/S and Broad St., running E/W. Broad St., can be accessed from I-71 downtown.
- 2 John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH IATA), 4600 International Gateway, ☏ . Direct flights to most major American cities. Aside from rental cars, the airport can also be reached by the #92 bus, or by taxi. A taxi ride to downtown is only 10 minutes and will cost approximately $25. Depending on your schedule and where you are connecting to, it may be worthwhile to check flights to Dayton as well, as they are often cheaper.
Downtown Columbus is intersected by High St. (SR 23), running N/S and Broad St., running E/W. Broad St., can be accessed from I-71 downtown. Roads are well maintained and traffic is usually not too bad except during "rush hours" when people are going to or leaving work. Rush hour can be avoided in your tavern of choice where they offer "happy hour" as an alternative to "road rage".
- 3 Columbus Commons Garage. One of the largest parking garages in Downtown Columbus. It's located a block from the Statehouse, and is usually a good option if an event has exhausted other parking options. Adjacent to Greyhound and COTA bus terminals.
- 4 COTA. The COTA bus service, while not by any standard one of the greatest in the nation, can take you to most important places in the city, which should be about 5 blocks away from any conceivable location you need to go to. This service costs $2 for an express bus and $1.50 for a normal bus. Transfers are free; ask for one from the bus driver when you pay your fare.
Downtown Columbus is fairly bike able
- COGO. A docked bike sharing program in Columbus. .
Walking downtown Columbus should be considered safe before mid-night, it is mostly flat, with wide well maintained sidewalks. Bus stops are at regular intervals where you may encounter some homeless in the mix, who may approach you for money or maybe smokes. Usually they present no problem and should be ignored.
- 1 Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Sq, ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the Ohio Capitol building, built before the Civil War. It still houses the state legislature, and is surrounded by a large green with various monuments. Free tours.
- 2 Scioto Mile, Civic Center Dr and W. Rich St.
- 3 COSI (Center of Science and Industry), 333 W Broad St, ☏ . W-Su 10AM-5PM, closed on major holidays. COSI is an expansive museum with cool and interactive science and technology exhibits. Has a theater and planetarium. Adults $19, children 2-12 $14, seniors 60+ $17, Members and children 1 and under free; admission is reduced to $11.50 and includes a movie on the last Friday of every month between 5PM and 9PM; additional admission fees may be required for special exhibitions.
- 4 Columbus Museum of Art (CMOA), 480 E Broad St, email@example.com. Hosts a number of galleries and changing exhibits. Has a good restaurant. Free on Sundays.
- 5 Central Ohio Fire Museum & Learning Center, 260 North Fourth Street, ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. The Central Ohio Fire Museum is in an old restored engine house built in 1908 (N°16 Engine House). They display a collection of hand-drawn, horse-drawn, steam pump, and motorized fire pumps, ladders, and hooks. It proposes also a fire safety education for any age. $8 adult, $6 children.
- 6 National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM), 300 W Broad St, firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Su 10AM-5PM. A national museum dedicated to the experiences of American military veterans. Has artifacts related to daily military life, such as rucksacks, letters, and rations. Video screens display recorded stories given by veterans. Offers a recording booth for veterans or their families to share their stories with the museum. The outdoor section includes a garden for peaceful reflection. Adults $17; free for gold star families, and children under 5. Fee for parking. The outdoor garden is free.
- 7 Kelton House Museum and Garden, 586 East Town St, ☏ .
- 8 Studios on High Gallery, 686 North High Street, ☏ , email@example.com. M-Sa noon-6PM, Su 1-5PM.
- 1 Express Live!, 405 Neil Ave (Arena District, Adjacent to the Nationwide Arena), ☏ , fax: . Popular concert venue that draws national acts, this venue has both an indoor music hall and an outdoor amphitheater.
- 2 The Ohio Theatre, 55 E State St, ☏ . The state’s busiest performing arts facility. The theater was built in the 1920s, and is very ornate.
- 3 Palace Theatre. It's at the base of the LeVeque Tower on Broad St.; the theatre rarely has a dark night.
- 4 Cultural Arts Center, 139 W Main St, ☏ . M 1-4PM, 7PM-10PM; Tu-Th 9AM-4PM, 7-10PM; F Sa 9AM-4PM. Hosts art galleries, events, and classes. The building itself was built in the civil war as an armory. Galleries are free, classes have fees.
- 5 Columbus Blue Jackets (Arena District, Nationwide Arena). The Ice Hockey team of Columbus. A civil war era cannon is fired if the Blue Jackets win.
- 6 Columbus Clippers (Huntington Park). The minor league baseball team of Columbus, and Cleveland Guardians affiliate.
- 7 Columbus Crew (Arena District, Lower.com Field). One of the original 12 teams of Major League Soccer, the Crew opened the new Lower.com Field in 2021 after nearly being moved to Austin a couple of years earlier.
- 8 Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N High St, ☏ . Attached to Hyatt Regency. Parking for Convention Center is adjacent to Hyatt. Food court and shopping. More shopping and restaurants across High Street. Most amenities for convention visitors are to the North on High Street. North atrium holds a 14 foot "sculpture" that projects visitors' faces, called "The Giant Head.".
- 9 Columbus Commons (John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons). Large outdoor events venue and public space. Concerts and other gatherings are often held here. Functions as a open green space when there are no ongoing events.
- 10 Ohayocon. January. One of the largest anime conventions in Ohio.
- 11 Matsuricon. August. Another large annual anime convention.
- 12 ComFest (Goodale Park. Just north of I-670, west of High St). June. Annual arts and music convention, with a distinct hippie vibe.
- 13 Doo Dah Parade. A costume parade that occurs on the 4th of July. Free.
Parks and activities
- 14 Idea Foundry, 421 W. State St, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Free open tours Saturday at 1PM, and Mondays at 6PM. Members 24/7. One of the largest makerspaces in the state. Fees vary by class or event. $65 for a monthlong membership.
- 15 Goodale Park, 120 W Goodale St (Just north of I-670, west of High St). Hosts Jazz in the park on Sundays in the summer.
- Topiary Park (Topiary Garden (Deaf School Park)), 480 E. Town St. Dawn until dusk. A living recreation of Georges Seurat's famous post-Impressionist painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte. Free.
Because Downtown Columbus is much more dense then the rest of the city, the strip malls and shopping malls that are common in Columbus begin to drop off as you get closer to the city core. Most shops in Downtown Columbus are boutiques and niche shops focusing on specific needs.
- 1 Franklinton Cycle Works (FCW), 897 West Broad St, ☏ , email@example.com. Tu-Th 10:30AM-5PM, Sa 1PM-5PM. A nonprofit bike shop that specializes in bicycle repair and servicing.
- 1 North Market, 59 Spruce St. One block north of Nationwide Arena one block west of Greater Columbus Convention Center. Shop for meats, cheeses, fish, baked goods, produce, ethnic foods, gourmet products, flowers and unique gifts, while enjoying some of the best people watching in the city. Inside dining 2nd floor as well as outside tables. Great food choices at reasonable cost. Caution, if parking in their lot, make sure you get parking ticket stamped by merchant or pay $10 surcharge to get out of parking lot.
- 2 Spaghetti Warehouse, 397 W. Broad St, ☏ . Downtown. Italian cuisine, homemade Italian specialties, spaghetti, lasagna, soups, salads. Lunch and dinner: daily. Children's menu. Cocktails. Entrees: $4.99-14.99.
- 3 Tommy's Diner, 914 W Broad St, ☏ . Home-style and Greek cuisines, pot roast, chicken and dumplings, roast turkey and dressing. Breakfast and lunch: daily. No children's menu; no alcohol. Entrees: $2.75-7.95. A bit hard to find, but well worth the effort.
- 4 Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace, 248 S 4th St, ☏ . A hot dog restaurant with a full bar. Has over several dozen hot dog toppings.
- 5 Basi Italia, 811 Highland Avenue, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 6 Flatiron Bar and Diner, 129 E Nationwide Blvd, ☏ . No reservations. Cajun and Creole cuisines, gumbo, pulled pork. Lunch: Monday-Friday; dinner: Monday-Saturday. No children's menu; patio smoking; cocktails. Entrees: $10-24.
- 7 Martini Modern Italian, 445 North High Street, ☏ , fax: .
- 8 North Star Cafe - Short North, 951 N High St, ☏ . 9AM-10PM. Has a number of vegetarian friendly items. They are known for their beet and bean veggie burger, Asian fusion burritos, their own house sodas, and bowls. ~$10-20.
- 9 Confluence Park, 679 W Spring St, ☏ . Built directly at the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers. Stunning views of the rivers and skyline. American cuisine, steaks, seafood. $16.95-42.95.
- 10 Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, 569 North High Street, ☏ . Fine aged steaks and chops, fresh seafood and creative chef specialties.
- 1 Bodega Cafe, 1044 N High Street, ☏ . Located in the Short North district, they have 50 beers on draft with a killer happy hour (4-8PM weekdays) which is half off all their beers on tap.
- 2 St. James Tavern, 1057 N 4th St, ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 4PM-2:30AM, Sa Su 7PM-2:30AM.
- 3 Little Palace, 240 South 4th Street, ☏ . This 1960s style bar and restaurant has a large selection of locally produced spirits.
- 4 Land Grant Brewing Company, 424 W Town Street. A brewery with a taproom. Free tours available on Saturdays at 3AM
- 1 Comfort Suites, ☏ , fax: .
- 2 Residence Inn Columbus Downtown, 36 E. Gay Street, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. A restored historic all-suite hotel. Guestrooms include kitchens. Free breakfast, Free Wi-Fi.
- 3 Courtyard by Marriott Columbus Downtown, 35 West Spring Street, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. A comfortable downtown Columbus hotel in walking distance to Nationwide Arena District. Free Wi-Fi.
- 4 Drury Inn & Suites Columbus Convention Center.
- 5 Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, 50 North 3rd Street, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. A comfortable hotel in the downtown area. Rooms are spacious and the beds are very comfortable. The hotel has an outside pool that is despite being heated open seasonally.
- 6 Sheraton Capitol Square, 75 E. State St, ☏ , fax: . across fromt the state capitol building.
- 7 The Lofts Hotel, 55 East Nationwide Blvd, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. The Lofts is a renovated urban apartment building tuned exclusive hotel. Beware that anyone under 21 cannot stay at the hotel or the sister Crowne Plaza hotel with out an accompanying 21+ year old adult.
- 8 Crowne Plaza, 33 East Nationwide Blvd, ☏ , fax: .
- 9 Arena District Hyatt Regency, 350 North High Street, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- 10 The Westin Columbus, 310 South High Street, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- 11 Hilton Columbus Downtown.
Bed & Breakfast
- 9 The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 555 North High Street (Border between Arena District and Shorth North district), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Greek Orthodox services.
- 10 Broad Street United Methodist Church, 501 East Broad Street, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. United Methodist services.
- 11 First Church of Christ, Scientist, Columbus, 457 E Broad St, ☏ . Sunday service and Sunday school are at 10:30AM, testimony meetings are at 7:30PM on Wednesdays. Christian Science services.
- 12 St. Joseph Cathedral, 212 E Broad St, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Roman Catholic services.