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Columbus, Ohio is the capital of the U.S. state of Ohio. Columbus is the largest city in Ohio and the 15th largest in the United States.
Columbus is bisected by two major Interstate highways, Interstate 70 running east-west, and Interstate 71 running north to roughly southwest. The two Interstates combine downtown for about 1.5 miles in an area locally known as "The Split".
Columbus is the largest
city in the world named after the great explorer. It is fitting, therefore,
that one of the city’s most popular attractions is a full-size replica of
Columbus’s three-masted flagship, The Santa Maria, which is permanently
moored downtown on the Scioto River and open to visitors.
This Ohio State capital
city continues to lead the way to the future. State of the art is synonymous
with Columbus, which ranks with Washington, D.C., as a center for scientific and
technological information. More than 150 high-tech companies have a presence
These businesses made
Columbus one of the first areas offering citywide cable television and
introduced such technology as the 24-hour banking machine, interactive cable
television and the electronic newspaper. The city is also a center for retail
banking, insurance and real estate, and has emerged as a leading convention
It all began with the
opening in 1873 of Ohio Agriculture and Mechanical College, (later renamed Ohio
State University), which established a new outlook for the city. Education moved
to the forefront, and the intellectual atmosphere helped contribute to the
invention of the forerunner of the computer, the development of the xerography
process, and numerous advancements in the medical treatment of physical
disabilities. Current enrollment at Ohio State University is 48,500.
Ohio State University's
Wexner Center for the Visual Arts is housed in a castle like structure that is
itself considered a work of art. Architect Peter Eisenman juxtaposed a
red-brick armory with a modern glass-and-steel building, creating a stunning
visual effect. The Center houses an extensive art collection, offering various
collections and shows of interest to the serious art lover as well as the
browser. There is also a film and video center and a performance theater. Tour
guides acquaint visitors with the highlights of Ohio State, one of the largest
and most significant university campuses in the country.
Columbus offers a perfect
cross section of consumers for the testing of new products. Because so many
fast-food chains develop their menus in Columbus, the city is often referred to
as “Test Market, U.S.A”. However, the cuisine of Columbus is by no means
limited to fast food. Dining choices include Asian, Irish, French, Italian,
Cajun, German, Mediterranean, Mexican, Greek, Japanese, Indian, and vegetarian,
to name a few! Many of the city’s restaurants have enjoyed success and have
served fine food for decades.
A privately funded historic
district, German Village, is made up of restaurants, shops and beer gardens that
are housed in buildings from the 1800s. The nearby Brewery District has several
old beer-making factories that have been converted into restaurants,
microbreweries and specialty shops. German Village and the Brewery District are
pleasant places to spend an afternoon or evening.
In nearby Westerville a
replica of a German village from the 1800s can be seen. North of Columbus, in
Marion, Ohio are the home and tomb of U.S. President Warren G. Harding. The
Harding homestead is carefully appointed with its original furnishings.
Southeast of Columbus, in Cumberland, visitors take a drive on the wild side at
The Wilds, a conservation center that is home to roaming herds of rhinos,
giraffes and zebras, among other species, all of whom can be observed from your
Greater Columbus is an arts
and cultural mecca with a symphony orchestra, grand and light opera companies,
one of the top 12 ballet companies in the U.S., and several noteworthy museums.
A thriving theater scene is centered upon three historic theaters. Live music
clubs offer everything from alternative rock and jazz to blues and country.
The Arena District
surrounds Nationwide Arena, while the Short North Arts District houses what has
been described as the best collection of art galleries between New York and
The Short North, north of
downtown Columbus, a strip of bars and restaurants, art galleries, clothing and
antique stores is home to the funky, exotic and trendy. It offers up a
once-a-month “Gallery Hop”, a combination sale and party that brings out
artists, patrons, and revelers in force.
COSI, Ohio's Center of
Science and Industry, is a favorite with children of all ages, with four floors
of interactive exhibits. Over 2.5 million visitors visit the Columbus Zoo
annually. The Zoo has received national recognition for its success in breeding
cheetahs, polar bears and lowland gorillas. Adjacent to the zoo, a favorite spot
to spend a warm, summer day is Wyandot Lake, a water amusement park with water
slides, rapids, and canyons.
The renovated and expanded
Franklin Park Conservatory is a beautiful and serene showcase. Inspired by
London's Crystal Palace, the conservatory contains tropical gardens and exhibits
of four of the Earth's ecosystems. Also, plan a visit to the Ohio Historical
Center, with its Ohio Village, a small Ohio town replication from the 1800s,
with costumed interpreters.
Well worth seeing is
Discovery Reef, a 100,000-gallon tank containing artificial coral and more than
1,000 species. Other “must sees” are the gracefully proportioned Statehouse,
the beauty of the changing leaves in the fall, and the famous Ohio State Fair.
Sporting events are another
major draw. Columbus is home to three major-league sports teams. The National
Hockey League's Blue Jackets and the Arena Football League's Columbus Destroyers
play downtown in Nationwide Arena, while Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew
plays in the first stadium in the U.S. designed specifically for soccer. The
Columbus Clippers is a minor-league affiliate of the New York Yankees. Columbus
also hosts the National Champion Ohio State University Buckeyes.
When is the best time to
visit Columbus and Franklin County? Anytime! Every season offers a host of
recreational and cultural opportunities for individuals and families in this
friendly city at the center of Ohio.