German Village– Your guide to Columbus, Ohio, should start with this unique find that is special to the area. This 233 acre historic residential neighborhood will make your visit worthwhile. Obtain a walking map from the visitor’s center, or take an organized tour (such as walking, pub crawl, or food tour) and explore this interesting and educational gem. Lined with cobblestone streets, German Village features some of Columbus’s greatest restaurants. Two great choices are: 1974 Brown Bag Deli or the famous Schmidt’s Sausage House. At Schmidt’s, try the alphine schnitzel on spatial noodles or the Bavarian cabbage rolls, or their popular Autobahn Buffet. My personal favorite is Katzinger Delicatessan, open since 1984, great for a huge sandwich, side of noodle kugel, and rugalech to take home for a late night snack. The sandwich choice for me will always be #11, smoked turkey breast, muenster cheese, Honeycup mustard, on challah bread. For your first visit, you may want to look at the menu online because the choices are overwhelming. Next up, The Book Loft, located at 631 South Third Street, is one of the nation’s largest independent book stores, with 32 rooms of books. If you are a booklover, be prepared to spend hours browsing. They also offer a frequent user rewards card. Mary B’s is a fun store in the village featuring unique wines and beers, plus neat gifts.
Worthington– Home to a Columbus, Ohio, institution, Graeter’s Ice Cream, was created in 1870 and uses the french pot process to make their ice cream. What that means, I have no idea, but their ice cream is no joke. Sheer deliciousness. My favorite flavors are classic Butter Pecan and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean, with Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip being my favorite specialty flavor. Graeter’s offers a factory tour at their Bethel Road location.
Easton Town Center– Not only a shoppers dream, but the entertainment options at this complex will keep you coming back time after time. Options include the Funny Bone Comedy Club, a 30 screen movie dine-in AMC theatre, and the fantastic unique beer choices at World of Beer. Grab a margarita and watch games on the tv screen at Adobe Gila’s, or have a delicious dinner with live piano entertainment at Mitchell’s Ocean Club. Other great dining choices include Cheesecake Factory, McCormick & Schmick’s, or the classic steakhouse menu of Smith & Wollensky.
Concerts– Located in the arena district, the Nationwide Arena is the home for all the big draws in Columbus, such as Katy Perry and Maroon Five. The Columbus Crew Stadium is the place for artists such as Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line. I love the Palace Theater for artists such as Nick Swardson and Manheim Steamroller. The Ohio Theater offers the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Southern Theatre, for jazz and special events. Visit Newport Music Hall for the Gaelic Storm and Johnny Marr or the Mershon Auditorium for special concerts, such as John Mellencamp.
Sports– Come support the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena; games run September through April. Try canoeing and kayaking, available at multiple locations. The Columbus Crew, a professional Major League Soccer Club, play at the US first soccer specific arena, the Columbus Crew Stadium.For a different event, come to the Arnold Sports Festival, held annually in March, where nearly 20,000 athletes compete in about 50 sports and events, some even Olympic sporting events. The Arnold Fitness Expo is a three day event with 700 exhibit booths featuring information on health and wellness, nutrition, training tools, and apparel.
Museums– Your guide to Columbus features an abundance of museums in this culturally diverse city. COSI, one of the nation’s greatest and highest ranked science centers, is perfect for a single day visit, yearly membership, birthday parties, and scouting events. COSI exhibits include: Space, Ocean, Gadgets, Life, Progress, and Innovation Showcase and has over 300 exhibits, a large science park, the Atomic Cafe, and the only high wire unicycle in the state of Ohio. Some other museums are the Columbus Museum of Art, Wexner Center for the Arts, Thurber House, National Cartoon Museum, and Kelton House Museum and Garden.
Shopping: Shop till you drop in this city’s megapolis of stores. The famous shopping/restaurant/entertainment complex, and my personal favorite on the entire East Coast, is the Easton Town Center, where you can surely find everything you are looking for, and then some. Offering 240 stores and tremendous shopping choices, such as American Girl, west elm, Burberry, Lacoste, and Apple, there is always something new to see. Anchor stores are Macy’s and the most wonderful Nordstrom Department store. Stock up your pantry at Trader Joe’s and buy all those storage solutions you want, but will not ever truly need, at The Container Store. Polaris Fashion Place is the premier indoor mall with stores such as J. Jill, a very small Sak’s Fifth Avenue, and Barnes and Noble. This is a very average mall in my opinion, but it does have a great restaurant, Molly Woo’s, with delicious Asian cuisine.
Entertainment: Gambling: Columbus has moved into the casino business over the past couple of years with their addition of the Hollywood Casino near downtown. Zoo: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, in Powell, OH, is a great choice for family fun and education. Featuring over 9,000 animals including polar bears, elephants, gorillas, and koala bears, they also offer behind the scenes VIP tours. Art: Dozens of aspiring and note-worthy artists offer their galleries and paintings throughout the city, but the most concentrated area for art is the Short North district.
Tip: Try a Cameron Mitchell restaurant. You will not be disappointed. A few are: Molly Woo’s, Mitchell’s Ocean Club (my personal favorite), Cameron’s American Bistro, and Marcella’s. Mitchell is native to Columbus and now owns over twenty restaurants in nine states.
Tip: If you have children and/or scouts, contact COSI for their Camp-In Program information. I took my girl scouts there years ago and we loved the camp-in. After checkin, we were free to peruse the museum exhibits, and simulators, all the while completing badge requirements and earning special patches. Late night we had a pizza and dance party, complete with DJ and disco lights, then were given designated areas for our group to sleep at. We saw the seven story extreme screen theater movie, as well.
FYI: Being a native West Virginia girl, I am so proud that our own Pies & Pints Pizzeria has landed a place in cool & chic Worthington. Their pizza’s are unique and a must try. My recommendations are the pork & pepper nachos (black beans, pulled pork, salsa, cheddar cheese, jalapeños, scallions, and chipotle crema) and the steak & mushroom pizza pie (grilled steak, caramelized onions, mushrooms, gorgonzola, scallions, and horseradish crema) NOM! Pies will even let you have half your pizza with two speciality choices.
If you are interested in Ohio travel, see my other posts: