Welcome to Columbus, OH!

Look we know. Ohio? Vacation? It doesn’t exactly bring to mind a plethora of picturesque images. But really, that’s just because you haven’t been there yet. Columbus, Ohio’s capital, was once a small city mainly focused on industrial jobs and the big college nearby. But while no one was looking it transformed. This oft overlooked city is in fact an incredibly cool, incredibly weird, incredibly unique little hipster enclave right in the midwest. From the plethora of street art to incredible breweries and distilleries, to world class chefs and a ton of fashion designers, Cbus is a place to see. Get ready to explore nature, eat a LOT of ice cream, and see some of the most cutting edge art in the country. Ohio here we come!

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Here's Whym's top ten things to know about Columbus, OH

Welcome!

Columbus, the capital of Ohio, is in the midst of a cultural renaissance. What was once thought of as a small midwestern city has begun giving major metropolises a run for their money. Feel the unique vibe of this city as you gaze at the strange art around every corner & in the world class museums, as you peruse the plethora of great stores (Columbus has the 3rd highest concentration of fashion designers in the US), as you hike & explore all of the nature that surrounds you, & of course as you eat at all the incredible restaurants, only broken up by cutting edge distilleries & breweries galore. Get ready to be blown away by this midwestern hipster powerhouse.

Finding Your Way

Columbus is incredibly easy to get around. If you’re up for a little exercise, COGO Bike Share or electric scooters like Lime or Bird are everywhere & very popular. There is also the free CBUS shuttle which runs every 10-15 minutes from the Short North Arts District to the Brewery District & German Village. Lyft is also super easy to use to get from one end of town to the other.

Airport Deets

Columbus Airport (CMH) is only 7 miles from downtown & very small. If you’re not renting a car, you can grab a quick Lyft or take the AirConnect bus which connects the airport to downtown & stops at the arrival & departure levels every 30 minutes!

History

Named for Christopher Columbus, European traders were drawn here by the fur trade. After years of war in the region, the city was founded in 1812 but was mostly dense forest used for hunting & rivers for transporting goods. During the Civil War, the town was a major base for the Union Army & made the blue jackets they wore - which is what named the local hockey team! It would go on to reinvent itself into an industrial mecca & then into a design & food capital, bringing new & unique industries to the state & region.

Why Am I Here?

Columbus is often described as the “Biggest Small Town in America.” Where else can you find beautiful arches on key streets, shrubs trimmed into the shape of a Seurat painting, a homecoming queen that’s actually a cow, an homage to the first woman to fly solo around the world, the offbeat spectacle of the Doo Dah Parade, the world’s oldest captive gorilla, a thriving LGBTQ scene, a 13-acre garden of roses, Cornhenge, the largest collection of AR art in the world, & a bronze statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger?! Well, it can only be Cbus!

Weather

Like much of the Midwest, Columbus has hot, muggy summers & cold, dry winters. Snow tends to be light for the region since the city is not in the path of Nor’easters & is too far away for lake-effect snow! In the summer, temperatures are ideal, ranging of 60-85°.

Local Delicacies

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream is a must with unique specialties like cherry lambic sorbet & whiskey & pecan, just to name a few. Other musts include peanut balls dipped in chocolate named after the nut of a buckeye tree, locally brewed beer & spirits (pizza whiskey anyone?), & some truly great beef - one of their nicknames is Cowtown after all.

Souvenirs

Great gifts include stained glass from German Village, a book from Book Loft, or locally made Buckeyes! Of course this city is laden with art, so anything from local artisans or if you’re checking a bag, some really great beer & liquor. Or if you’re up for it, a candle you made yourself at Penn & Beech or even your very own glass you blew at Glass Axis!

Style

Arch City is quite the fashionable city - many clothing behemoths call Columbus their headquarters. The city boasts two highly regarded fashion schools, & the diverse, entrepreneurial feel of the city encourages creativity! Don’t fret though…it’s still a college town with a booming tech start-up culture - you’ll be as welcome in your t-shirt & jeans as you would be in your haute couture gown!

Must Know

Columbus is known as America’s Test City due to its demographic, economic, & geographic diversity - it can represent so much of the rest of the country!

If I were giving advice how to succeed in life, I would say pick out a good father & mother & begin life in Ohio

- Wilbur Wright