Like every big city, Columbus is made up of a variety of neighborhoods –– each with its own character and charm –– and you haven’t truly explored the city until you’ve paid a visit to these spots. Here’s a breakdown of Columbus’ most famous districts, and some of the best ways to spend your time during your adventure.

Victorian Village –– Short North

Beginning in the 1980s, the Short North has been the hub of the Columbus arts scene. With more shopping, restaurants and local art than could ever be explored in one day, there’s enough to do in the Short North to keep any visitor from ever getting bored.

Gallery Hop: One of Columbus’ biggest monthly attractions, Gallery Hop features an entire evening full of art exhibitions, street performances, vendors and special events on the first Saturday of each month.

Goodale Park: Surrounded by a bevy of Victorian-era homes, the park is the oldest in Columbus and one of the oldest in the U.S. With more than 32 acres of area, Goodale Park is a popular spot for dog-lovers, active locals and festivals like Comfest –– an annual free music and arts festival that takes places every June.


Spanning from just north of campus to Worthington, Clintonville is home to some of the best food, drink and attractions in Columbus. The neighborhood is walkable from campus, but can be accessed using the COTA bus system.

Park of Roses: Open since 1953, the Park of Roses is a 13-acre plot in Whetstone Park that has over 11,000 roses on display throughout the year. It’s a great spot for a date night or just a casual outing, with lots of space for picnicking.

Clintonville Farmers’ Market: Every Saturday from April 29 to Nov. 18, an outdoor market is held on High Street from Orchard Lane to West Dunedin Road. Visitors can find locally produced foods and goods while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the market.

Art Venues: Some of the most creative people in Columbus reside in Clintonville, which is reflected in its art houses and venues. Wild Goose Creative, a nonprofit community arts association that provides space, education and resources to Ohio artists, is just one of many.

Studio 35 Movie Theatre: Columbus’ oldest independent theater is located in the heart of this vibrant neighborhood. With a single screen and a full bar, the theater often features cinema classics and holds special events throughout the year, as well as current Hollywood hits.  

German Village –– Brewery District

The historic neighborhood is a Columbus tourist destination and  home to some of the best coffee and chocolate in the city. German Village offers a cozy vibe to visitors, but Third Street brings a slew of entertaining restaurants, bars, galleries and boutiques to the area.

The Book Loft: This pre-Civil War building is now a bookstore featuring 32 rooms filled with books and includes anything from New York Times best-sellers to obscure philosophy text to books from local authors. It’s not hard to get lost, but book lovers might never want to leave anyway.

Schmidt’s: The iconic sausage house is known for its authentic German food and launched its sausage truck back in 2012, which can be found at a variety of events and festivals around the area.

Shadowbox Live: Located nearby German Village in the Brewery District, the nonprofit performance group puts on a wide range of self-produced shows, ranging from original rock operas and and traditional musicals to fine art exhibits and contemporary dance performances.

Arena District

Express Live: This indoor-outdoor venue offers concerts almost every day of the week, year-round. Rain or shine, catching a show here is a must for any live-music fan.

North Market: Home to dozens of vendors, artists and merchants, North Market is an incredible place to get a taste of some of the most interesting eats and goods Columbus has to offer.

Park Street: This lively portion of the Arena District is known for its nightlife. Some of the most popular bars found here are Brothers and Callahan’s, while spots like Park Street Cantina and Park Street Saloon host local and national musical acts throughout the year.


Located immediately west of downtown, Franklinton is the oldest settlement of the Columbus area. Over the past few years, the neighborhood has grown into one of Columbus’ most lively arts and industry hubs, with spaces such as 400 West Rich and the Idea Factory offering places for artists and developers to work and create.

COSI: Short for the Center of Science and Industry, COSI offers fun and unusual science exhibits that can be informative at any age. Don’t forget to step outside for an incredible view of Columbus from the Scioto Mile.

Franklinton Fridays: On the second Friday of every month, galleries and businesses in Franklinton open their doors for an art crawl showcasing everything from art shows and theatre to workshops and science exhibits.