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Ohio’s capital gives guests the Buckeye treatment

As the capital city of Ohio, Columbus carries a lot of responsibility on its shoulders. However, when it’s time to wind down, visitors can see why the city named after the world-famus explorer is a great place for families to do some exploration of their own.



Location, Location, Location…

Columbus was in competition with other Ohio cities when the State Legislature chose it to become Ohio’s capital in 1812. The city’s central Ohio location was as important then as it is now. As it happens, Columbus was created exclusively to serve as the capital, since it didn’t even exist before the legislators’ move. From the first groundbreaking, growth in Columbus was steady. The Ohio Statehouse was built in 1814, along with the first church and school.

By 1836, Columbus was accessible to other parts of the country by way of the National Road, which was the first U.S. government-funded road built exclusively to link East to West. Known today as U.S. Route 40, the route is rich in historic attractions.

Illuminated arches on High Street lit the Columbus skyline in the first half of the 20th century. And, while the lights went dark for decades afterward, they have recently been re-lit on this major north to the south thoroughfare, shining light on the preservation of the city’s past while celebrating its present—and future.

Parks Galore

There are 36 Ohio State Parks within 100 miles of Columbus. Sixteen of those parks are within an hour’s drive or less. One of them is Buckeye Lake State Park, which is Ohio’s oldest state park, established in 1826. Originally designed to use its lake as a canal feeder, the park has welcomed generations of visitors looking for a vacation spot to enjoy activities that include water skiing, swimming, boating and fishing. Deer Creek State Park is a 2,337-acre resort park whose features include a lodge, cottages, camping areas, 18-hole golf course, swimming beach, picnic sites, hiking and horseback riding trails. Meadows and woodlands are the backdrops for this scenic reservoir.



Lions and Tigers and “Buckeyes”

A visit to Columbus is perhaps not complete without a stop at The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, home to more than 9,000 animals representing 650 species from around the world. Polar bears, gorillas, elephants and manatees are just a small snapshot of the exhilarating exhibits there. The zoo has received a number of top honors and annually raises money to support global-wide conservation projects. Visitors there can also enjoy the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and the 18-hole Safari Golf Club.

Cultural pursuits may include visits to the Columbus Museum of Art, the Columbus Historical Society, and the Center for Ohio Science and Industry. Tourism experts say this trio is considered among the most important of the city’s museums.

Events in Columbus seem to pop up like mushrooms, particularly in the summer months. Intriguing happenings like JazZoo, Picnic with the Pops, Rhythm on the River, Jazz and Rib Fest and Dublin Irish Festival all hint at the fun in store. Be sure to check for dates, times and schedules.

Can’t Beat the Buckeyes

Looking for sports? Think Columbus. The Ohio State Buckeyes draw thousands of fans to the city each year to Ohio Stadium to cheer Big 10 collegiate action. Columbus is also home to the Blue Jackets, a member of the National Hockey League. The city also boasts a professional soccer team, the Columbus Crew. Looking for a place to spend nine innings? There’s also a minor league baseball team, the Columbus Clippers.

Calling All Shoppers…

It is all a matter of style when it comes to shopping in Columbus. The city offers malls that include Polaris Fashion Place and Easton Center. Also, Short North is a unique spot with a collection of boutiques, jewelry stores, floral shops and more.

Looking for great brand names? There are also nearby outlet stores for the bargain shopper. Don’t forget the gift shops featuring all things “Buckeye.”

What’s for Dinner?

It’s the question that everyone wants answered at the end of a vacation day. Columbus has the answer not only to dinner options but also lunch and breakfast, too. Whether it’s Chinese or chowder, it will not be hard to find. Plenty of family restaurants are all around for the fussiest of eaters. Enjoy!

For More Information

Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau




Tourism Ohio