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Five parks to visit when Oval beach is just too crowded

With warmer weather finally making its way to Ohio it’s always a good idea to get out of the library and hang out outside. Unfortunately, The Oval can only fit so many hammocks, dogs and students — especially since a decent slice of it is closed due to construction — so sometimes it’s a good idea to get away from campus and breathe some fresh air.

Here are five of my favorite places to go when the sun’s out.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

1777 E. Broad Street

The park offers 88 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens, so it’s a good option in any weather. It offers a huge variety of flowers, offering an escape from the city and photo-ready scenery.  Throughout the spring and summer, Franklin park also offers various events including Blooms and Butterflies, Columbus Blooms and Spring Dreams.

Highbanks Metro Park

1069 West Main Street, Westerville

The 1,200-acre park features multiple trails along the Olentangy River and is the perfect destination for a picnic or a morning hike. Highbanks is equipped with a nature center, 10 different trails to explore –– ranging from 0.4 miles to 3.5 miles –– and three biking trails. When the weather allows, visitors also can go fishing or canoeing along the river.

Inniswood Metro Gardens

1069 West Main Street, Westerville

Even though it’s a 25-minute drive from campus, this park offers beautiful scenery that pairs greatly with the warmer weather. With a 2,000 species of plants and flowers in bloom and themed gardens, the space is a great backdrop for the perfect artsy photo. Inniswood also is home to several walking trails, streams and a large grassland perfect for a picnic with friends.  


Schiller Park

1069 Jaeger St.

German Village is easily my favorite destination in Columbus, and Schiller Park is one of its highlights during the warmer seasons. The second-oldest park in the city –– following Goodale Park –– it’s a hub for festivals and neighborhood activities throughout the year. During the summer, Schiller is also home to the Actors’ Theatre, a group that offers free, outdoor performances Thursday through Sunday. The park also features playgrounds, a fountain and a newly renovated recreation center, so it’s a great destination whether you want to relax or be active outdoors.

Antrim Park

5811 Olentangy River Rd.

This park offers 120 acres of landscape surrounded by a quarried lake and the Olentangy River. With one trail that goes around the entire lake, it’s a great spot for a run, walking the dog or just a walk with friends. The benches directly facing the lake even offer a really peaceful atmosphere for reading or studying. Antrim Park also has a path connected to the Olentangy Trail, so you’re able to take it all the way to campus or downtown. This park also features picnic tables, tennis courts and soccer fields, which can suit the needs of anyone you bring along.

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