The state capital, Columbus is the largest city in Ohio and the 15th largest city in the U.S. Located in Central Ohio at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 71, the city is within a one-day drive or a one-hour flight of 60 percent of the population of the U.S.
It’s easy to get to, so it’s no wonder that many travelers head to Columbus for a vacation or weekend getaway. One of the newer attractions of the city is the Arena District, a 95-acre planned development surrounding Nationwide Arena, the home of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets. The district features restaurants and nightclubs as well as the Arena Grand Theatre, an upscale movie theater, and the LC, an indoor/outdoor music hall styled after the House of Blues.
A National Historic Landmark and a masterpiece of 19th century Greek Revival architecture, the Ohio Statehouse was completed in 1861 and restored in 1996. The new, interactive Ohio Statehouse Museum encourage visitors to participate in the government process, challenges their knowledge of Ohio history and government and even allows them to give a State of the State address. Tours of the Statehouse are given daily.
The Columbus Museum of Art features works by Impressionists, German Expressionists, Cubists, American Modernists and contemporary artists, including works by Degas, Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Bellows, Hopper, Marin and O’Keeffe. The museum remains open throughout extensive renovation and expansion, which is scheduled to be completed in 2012.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which attracts more than 2.5 million visitors each year, has received national recognition for its success in breeding cheetahs and lowland gorillas. TV host Jack Hanna is director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. Located along the banks of the Scioto River, the zoo features an endangered manatee exhibit, gardens, picnic areas, recreational facilities and a golf course. The newest exhibit, Asia Quest, features some of the most endangered and magnificent animals in the world. The zoo opened the new 22.7-acre water park Zoombezi Bay in May 2008 and a Polar Frontier exhibit in 2010.
COSI -- the Center of Science and Industry -- features more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout its discovery-based exhibition areas, including Ocean, Space, Gadgets, Life, little kidspace, Progress and the outdoor Big Science Park.
The Franklin Park Conservatory features horticulture from a variety of climate zones, as well as large bonsai and orchid collections. Its signature 1895 Victorian glass Palm House and 73,000 square feet of greenhouse is located in a 90-acre park just east of downtown. As part of its focus on combining fine arts with horticulture, the conservatory boasts a signature collection from internationally acclaimed glass artist Dale Chihuly. Special exhibits include an annual living butterfly display.
Just south of downtown, German Village is a 233-acre restored neighborhood originally settled in the mid-1800s by German immigrants, and today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Along its tree-lined, brick-paved streets are restored red-brick homes, wrought iron fences, urban gardens and fine restaurants and specialty retailers.
The Jack Nicklaus Museum includes interactive exhibits and memorabilia documenting Nicklaus’ career as a golfer, golf course designer, businessman and family man. Highlights include a series of exhibits that chronicle Nicklaus’ playing career through his performance in the sport’s five major championships.
Located adjacent to the world headquarters of the American Motorcycle Association, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum features displays of historic motorcycles and plaques dedicated to those inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
The Ohio Historical Center is both the headquarters of the Ohio Historical Society and a museum showcasing Ohio’s history from the Ice Age to 1970. The Ohio Historical Center also hosts a number of temporary exhibits throughout the year, and the adjacent Ohio Village is open to the public.
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Hampton Inn and Suites Columbus Polaris
The Hampton Inn and Suites Columbus Polaris sits in close proximity to the Polaris Fashion Place where many upscale stores and boutiques reside. There are 117 comfortable rooms, an exercise room, an indoor pool and a business center. Guests will enjoy the complimentary beverage and breakfast areas, the laundry and valet services, the onsite convenience store and the local area transportation service.(more)
Fairfield Inn and Suites Columbus OSU
Free high speed internet access is available throughout the hotel. All 40 suites at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Columbus OSU feature 32” flat screen LCD TV’s, mini refrigerators and microwaves, a well lit work desk and thoughtful amenities. If you’re in the mood for a romantic getaway try one of the deluxe Jacuzzi rooms. Guests can relax in the indoor pool and spa, or burn of some calories in the onsite exercise room. There is an early eats complimentary breakfast served daily featuring hot Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches.(more)
Hilton Garden Inn Columbus/Polaris
There are 118 beautifully designed rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn Columbus/Polaris including double queen rooms, whirlpool suites and king rooms with pull out sofa beds and sitting areas. Whirlpool suites include a huge Jacuzzi tub, an additional flat screen TV and two Hilton Garden Inn bath robes. There are three state of the art meeting rooms on the premises. A microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker and high speed internet access can be found in all the suites.(more)
The Blackwell is the only on campus hotel at the Ohio State University. There are 151 guestrooms including 16 suites all individually designed and equipped with the best amenities. There are spacious, bright and professional meeting spaces. Fine dining is available on the premises at the hotel’s restaurant, Bistro 2110. Guests will enjoy an evening turn down service, a complimentary morning newspaper, valet parking and a complimentary transportation service.(more)
Comfort Suites Airport
There are 37 guestrooms at the Comfort Suites Airport hotel. The hotel is in close proximity to the Easton Town Center, the Ohio State University campus, the German Village Neighborhood and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Guests will enjoy a complimentary deluxe continental breakfast served daily, complimentary high speed internet that can be accessed from anywhere in the hotel, free local calls and a free USA Today newspaper. This hotel offers a 100 percent money back guarantee.(more)
Developed by artist James T. Mason, this park re-creates Georges Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" painting using sculpted evergreen shrubbery shaped over wire framing. This truly impressive garden contains 50 topiary humans as tall as 12 feet, eight boats, three dogs, a cat, a monkey and a real pond and trees. Though the Topiary Garden is a work in progress, it's still a great place to picnic and enjoy the chateau-style museum store catering to French Victorian tastes.(more)
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden
Franklin Park Conservatory features foliage and agricultural displays in a beautiful open air setting. Visitors can tour from one world habitat to another, exploring flora from Brazil, Indonesia, Mongolia, Northern Europe and the United States.(more)
Columbus Santa Maria
More than 500 years after Christopher Columbus set sail for the America’s, visitors can tour the world's most authentic, museum-quality replica of Columbus' flagship. Guided tours dramatize the courage and determination it took for these explorers to conquer their mission. Fascinating demonstrations show the far-ranging impact the infamous discovery voyage of 1492 had on civilization.(more)
Ohio Craft Museum
Exhibits at the museum range from art quilts to figurative clay sculpture to Romanian crafts. The museum has several hands-on and interactive events such as Hand-in-Hand, a creative art experience during which all ages can learn how to make clay tiles, ceramic candle holders, baskets, kites and glass beads. Adult mini-workshops are offered where refreshments and a cash bar are combined with crash courses in raku pottery, cast silver jewelry, found-object masks and stained glass sun catchers. The Ohio Craft museum is a wonderful interactive art experience and a good place to meet other interesting people.(more)
Jubiliee Museum at Holy Family Drainage Hall of Fame
The Jubiliee Museum resides as part of the former Holy Family High School. Many exquisite religious artifacts including paintings, statues, vestments, altars, as well as items found in the home for personal devotion are on display. The inventory was acquired from churches and schools that closed or from private personal donations.(more)