It’s officially summertime!
In the four summers that we have lived in Columbus, OH it has turned out to be the prime time for family to visit and I have made it my mission of sorts to turn their southern minds around about this midwestern state.
Before my husband and I moved to Ohio, I had only visited the state less than a handful of times but the summer we visited for a job interview the city of Columbus hooked this southern girl for a change in latitude and attitude. I fell for the constant summer breeze, numerous water activities and feeling of community with festivals and gatherings.
And like a good tour guide-I’ve listed out my fave things to do when someone comes to town!
The American Whistle Company: americanwhistle.com For less than $5 you can take a tour of the only manufacturer of metal whistles in the United States and come out with a freshly minted whistle to call your very own!
The Franklin Conservatory: fpconservatory.org A favorite of mine year-round is a place you can easily spend a day exploring with art collections by Dale Chihuly, Garden and plant collections, taking classes or walking the grounds-a must do for any gardener or outdoor enthusiast!
Thomas Anthony Chocolates: anthony-thomas.com Need to cool down from the heat-head here for a tour of the factory while chocolate bars and the famous Ohio Buckeyes are being made. A sweet treat for any age!
Ohio History Center and Ohio Village: ohiohistory.org This is on my summer list this year, because after close to four years of living in Ohio-I never really knew how much the state had to offer and learn about! Things that have peaked my interest about the state include: Mammoths and Mastodons roamed the state millions of years ago, how the state was shaped by the glaciers, or about how the state leads the country in the number of astronauts from any state.
The Book Loft: bookloft.com 32, Yes 32 rooms of books- a book worm’s dream come true and a true Columbus cool find! I could literally spend hours here and they also have a nice garden area outside which is lovely on a cool summer night or in the fall
Columbus Museum of Art: columbusmuseum.org This was recently renovated and when I visited again I felt like I had stepped into a museum in Europe. This museum has it all including art collections from Ohio artists and others from the United States to collections brought in such as last summer’s Picasso exhibit, a cute café with indoor/outdoor seating, a spacious gift store all while combining new and old architecture seamlessly!
Places to Eat:
NorthStar Café: thenorthstarcafe.com A Columbus based restaurant with 5 locations and a breakfast favorite that is requested every time family visits for their fresh biscuits, Cloud 9 Pancakes (amazing) and neat atmosphere!
Melt Bar & Grilled: meltbarandgrilled.com A Cleveland based restaurant that takes a grilled cheese sandwich up about 5 notches with 16 kinds of cheeses for a total of 29 different kind of grilled cheese sandwiches-there is literally one for even the pickiest eater!
Schmidt’s German Restaurant: schmidthaus.com Schmidt’s and Columbus are almost synonymous and have been since 1886 first as a meat packing plant then a concession stand at the Ohio State Fair and finally the restaurant it is today. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you the sausages rival a trip to Germany without the need for a passport! Oh, and while you’re there-please don’t forget the Cream Puff! The Cream Puffs are half a pound each-yes you read that correctly-each month they have a specialty one in addition to chocolate or vanilla!
Jeni’s Ice-Cream: jenis.com Jeni’s Ice-cream another Columbus favorite has been around since 2002 and Jeni is her name and ice-cream is her game! She creates specialty flavors that you won’t find in your grocer’s freezer (unless you live in Ohio) She now has scoop shop locations in 8 Cities around the country including Los Angeles! Favorite flavors include (but not limited to): Churro, Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, Wild berry Lavender, and lastly Sweet Cream Biscuits and Peach Jam, Brambleberry Crisp.
Places to Shop:
Easton Town Center: eastontowncenter.com Imagine trying to decide between 60 places to eat, almost 300 places to shop, live entertainment, or catch a movie -then you’re at Easton if you’re in Columbus! The city knows shopping and has the headquarters for Victoria Secret and Express here and has even been known to have a Victoria Secret Model to make an appearance too!
Polaris Mall: polarisfashionplace.com If Easton Town Center sounds like too much ground to cover (literally) then check this one out instead-about half the size of Easton with 23 places to eat and over 100 shopping options Polaris Mall will make sure you find what you’re looking for without needing a day to cover it in!