Most visitors are surprised by the things to see and do in Columbus. It’s an unassuming city – pretty average as things go in the looks and personality, but sometimes that’s what you need to enjoy a relaxed stay. You can go somewhere for a few days, feel totally overwhelmed by what’s on offer and leave feeling like you didn’t see half of what you wanted. In Columbus you’ll find an interesting place influenced by a large student population, a big German enclave and a thriving gay community. So what are the attractions of Columbus you shouldn’t miss?
Saved from demolition in 1968, the “official” theater of the state of Ohio is also one of the most popular attractions of Columbus. Built in 1928, this fully-restored theater is now a National Historic Landmark. The Columbus Association of the Performing Arts (CAPA) formed to help save the theater back in the 1960’s, which is now owned and operated by CAPA. To this day, the Ohio Theatre very closely resembles the original design, unlike other theatre renovations. Today, the theatre is home to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, BalletMet, the Broadway Series, and over 100 CAPA events.
“The Horseshoe,” not surprisingly, is a horseshoe-shaped stadium and is home to the Ohio State University Buckeyes. It’s famous for its seating capacity, holding 104,944 enthusiastic fans, making it the 5th largest stadium in the world and the 3rd largest in the United States. Join in the famous O-H-I-O chant, starting with a big “O” in the south stands. The east stands respond with an “H”, followed by an “I” from the north and an “O” from the west. The chant loops around the stadium, sometimes lasting 5 to 10 minutes. Then, before the kickoff, the entire stadium screams “O” over and over until the ball is kicked, then everyone shouts O-H-I-O in unison. If there’s a game on while you’re there, get a ticket!
Nearly 200 years ago, the Brewery District started when a German Immigrant opened the first brewery in 1836. Over the years, a total of 5 breweries populated the area. At time passed, breweries came and went because of Prohibition, consolidation, and other business factors, and the area declined into a warehouse district. However, more in keeping with the spirit if 1836, a redevelopment has occurred that includes a number of bars, restaurants, and even a grocery store.
This botanical garden was originally built in 1895. Today, it’s a horticultural and educational institution that showcases more than 400 species of plants from around the world. Along with the exotic array of plants, the conservatory also has a seasonal butterfly exhibit and other family friendly fun such as Chihuly at the Conservatory, solving the mystery of the missing orchid, and the multi-colored light display at the John F. Wolfe Palm House.
Over the years, the museum has changed direction from its traditional European and American art focus. The more contemporary focus has brought more modern exhibits, namely works by Picasso, Ingres, Monet, Ingres, Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, and Columbus native George Bellows. An addition, there’s a permanent photography display. While it’s undergoing a major reconstruction at this point, a grand celebration is planned for late 2015.
If you happen to be in Columbus around the end of July to the beginning of August, stop by the Ohio State Fair, one of the largest in the U.S. First held in 1850, this fair has grown to attract over 900 thousand people. Attractions and activities include anything from camel rides to pig races, and include a parade and a Civil War encampment. Attracting top name performers, acts such as the Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin and Boyz II Men have appeared onstage, and each year brings new top notch performers.
Catholic or not, visitors can appreciate how Catholicism has been represented in painting, sculpture, stained glass, fabric, books and photography. Established in 1998, the art focuses on the story of Christ, Mary, the saints and a history of the Catholic Church. The collection isn’t limited to Catholic history, however, and there is a significant collection of Jewish art and history as well. Tours are open to those of any faith.
Interested in paying a visit to the Ohio state capital?
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