If you recently moved to Columbus, you are part of a rapidly growing club; the metro area has a population of over 2 million, which represents a 10% growth compared to 2010. Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission estimates that by 2050, the metro area’s population will have reached 3 million. In other words, Columbus is an attractive, dynamic place that attracts plenty of people.

The average apartment rent in Columbus is around $1,000 per month, according to Yardi Matrix, making the city an affordable destination. The self storage market is also accessible with street rates for a standard 10×10 storage unit in Columbus hovering around $87, way below the national average.

Whether you need a temporary place to keep your belongings until you find the perfect home for your family here, or a long-term storage option to keep your tools, seasonal clothing, camping gear or sports equipment, self storage can come in handy.

As for fun and pastime activities, newcomers have plenty of interesting things and locations to explore in Columbus. Whether you are a young family in search of children-friendly activities or a food-lover always searching for that perfect bite, Columbus has your back. Here are some of the attractions you should not miss as you start exploring your new city.

Top 3 things to do with children                           

1. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Columbus Zoo, first established in 1927, hosts a wide variety of animals, including pandas, manatees, lions, tigers, endangered Mexican wolves, Arctic foxes, elephants, bears and so on. However, the zoo is more than a place where children and adults alike can admire wild animals. It is also where children and teenagers have the opportunity to learn about the natural world and to explore scientific concepts in a hands-on, experienced-based environment.

2. Inniswood Metro Gardens

The gorgeous Inniswood Gardens in Columbus run a variety of programs for children and families, including gardening lessons and interactive exploration of the gardens. In addition to the gardens, there are plenty of easy walking trails accessible for strollers and young children, and the grounds are ideal for spending time with your family.

3. Olentangy Indian Caverns

Olentangy Caverns are a fantastic place to explore with your kids. The cavern tours will teach your family about the area’s history and geology. Other activities include a petting zoo, gem mining and miniature golf. The treasure hunt maze will keep your family engaged and active for hours, while the summer camp program allows parents to reclaim some time for themselves.

Top 3 cultural attractions

1. Otherworld

This avantgarde immersive art installation sprawls over 32,000 square feet and contains 40 rooms featuring large-scale interactive art. It is a dream world where you can experience mixed-reality due to the combination of art and technology. The art project is backed by a team of over 40 creatives of various backgrounds, from animation and programming to sculpting, metalworking and creative writing.

2. Cultural Arts Center

This public art center offers a variety of classes, exhibits and other events. Local artists teach art classes, including ceramics, painting, jewelry, enameling and more. During summers, artists from all over the country are offering workshops and other educational opportunities. The art center’s main gallery features local, regional and national art, while the secondary gallery hosts up-and-coming artists and students’ work.

3. Wexner Center for the Arts

Ohio State’s University Wexner Center for the Arts explores contemporary art through multidisciplinary lenses. You can visit the center for exhibitions that feature the works of established and emerging artists who create in virtually any medium imaginable. There are also frequent screenings, thematic shows and performing arts events.

Top 3 places for food-lovers

1. North Market

The North Market is the perfect place for enjoying authentic, fresh produce. The 144-year-old historic market allows you to purchase foods directly from local farmers and small manufacturers. The market is open every day except Mondays. On top of that, there is an even larger Farmers Market that happens every Saturday during growing season.

2. The Thurman Café

Located in the historical and picturesque German Village, Thurman Café is where you want to go to experience authentic, tasty Midwest dishes plus many other international foods. Do not forget to try their signature burger!

3. Dirty Frank’s Hotdog Palace

Dirty Frank’s Hotdog Palace is not what you would call fine dining, but it is one of the city’s informal institutions and the place to go when you are in the mood for a delicious hotdog. This place serves many types of hotdogs, including vegan and vegetarian ones, combined with a huge variety of toppings.

Top 3 outdoorsy attractions

1. Columbus Park of Roses

The Columbus Park of Roses has 13 acres and is one of the country’s largest rose gardens. Although the park is at its best from early summer through autumn – with more than 12,000 varieties of roses blooming – you can spend some time outdoors year-round.

2. Franklin Park Conservatory

The Franklin Park Conservatory combines nature’s beauty with architecture and arts. The extensive outdoor gardens showcase hundreds of plant species. The spectacular conservatory, a glass structure built in the Victorian style, was opened for the public at the end of the 19th century, and today it hosts exotic plants from all over the world. The park also hosts glass artwork by famed artist Dale Chihuly.

3. Alum Creek State Park

Alum Creek State Park is a short, 30-minute-drive from downtown Columbus and offers the right setting for a nice and relaxing camping trip. There are multiple hiking and biking trails and campsites for tents and RVs on the Alum Creek Lake waterfront.

Do you have any other favorite spots in Columbus, Ohio? Let us know in the comments!


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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