Columbus

For other places with the same name, see Columbus (disambiguation).

Columbus is the capital of the American state of Ohio and is located centrally within the state in the Mid-Ohio region. Sited in an area where the Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Appalachia, and the Farm Belt meet, Columbus is a fusion of many different parts of America. It is the home of Ohio State University. The combination of Ohio Government and Ohio State University has fueled amazing growth both financially and physically in Columbus. It has created a business and research environment that has provided substantial employment opportunities to the diverse ethnic and local graduates of Ohio State University, and other academic institutions in Columbus. The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), is projected to be one of the top 50 supercomputers in the world and among the top 10 supercomputing academic centers. It also ranked number 1 on About.com's list of the United States' Most Underrated Gay Cities.

Districts


Understand

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°F) 36 39 50 62 73 82 85 84 77 65 51 40
Nightly lows (°F) 20 22 31 40 50 59 64 62 54 43 34 25
Precipitation (in) 2.8 2.3 3.1 3.4 3.8 3.9 4.6 3.3 2.7 2.1 3 2.7

Named after the Italian explorer who sailed under the Spanish flag, this city is the largest in Ohio in terms of population with 787,033, and the 15th largest city in the United States—though with only 1.7 million people, the metropolitan statistical area is relatively small (the 31st largest in the nation and the 3rd of 4th largest in Ohio). Major area employers are state government (as the state capital), Ohio State University (the largest student population in the nation) and numerous Fortune 500 companies headquartered here (Cardinal Health, Nationwide Insurance, Limited Brands, etc.). It is a day's drive from one half of the U.S. population and is located at the intersection of I-70 and I-71.

Generally arranged in a really big wheel, Columbus is the central hub to many nearby cities including (clockwise from the north):

Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Indianapolis.

Visitor information

Get in

A view of downtown Columbus' skyline from street level

By plane

By car

By bus

Get around

By bus

The COTA bus service can take you to most important places in the city, which should be about 5 blocks away from any conceivable location you need to go to. This service costs $2.75 for an Express bus and $2.00 for a Local/Crosstown bus. Transfers for a Local/Crosstown bus are free, but transfers between bus types, such as from a Local to an Express route, are subject to an upcharge. Inform the bus driver that you need a transfer ("may I have a transfer, please?") when you pay your fare, and you'll be given a transfer pass that you use when boarding the next bus. Please note that you cannot use a transfer pass to board a bus on the same line that travels in the opposite direction (i.e. you cannot get off a bus line and use the transfer pass to board a bus going the other way). This prevents riders from using the pass to return to their destination without paying a second fare, and is a common mistake made by many new riders.

By foot

Most of High St (US Route 23) from Clintonville in the North to Merion Village in the South is pedestrian-friendly, though it does pass through some less-than-scenic areas, particularly the few blocks between campus and the short north. Downtown Columbus is a walkable city with most attractions located within a 20 minute walk of each other. The Columbus Landmarks Foundation conducts walking tours, too.

By car

Columbus is a car-centric city, with usage of a car required outside of the areas directly surrounding downtown. Parking is extensive (and reasonably priced) at almost all major destinations. There are many surface lots and garages around the city. There are only a few areas of the city, like the Short North, where parking can be hard to come by; those locations all feature abundant valet parking at an affordable $5 per vehicle. Keep in mind that U-turns are illegal citywide in Columbus.

Downtown is a short drive ($20-50 taxi fare) from Port Columbus (the airport) via I-670W.

Columbus is notorious for aggressive towing companies, especially downtown, on campus, and in the Short North. Before you park somewhere, make sure that it does not have a "Private Parking" or "Tow Away Zone" sign nearby.

By bike

See

Do

Festivals/Events

These are a few of the larger/major events in Columbus:

Asian Fest

Sports Teams

Factory tours

Mature audiences

Learn

Work

Buy

High St.

Groceries

Eat

The City of Columbus issues approximately 6,000 licenses for a variety of types of food vendors, Franklin County issues about 3,000 for the remainder of the County and the suburban area.

Food Safety – In Columbus, starting late May of 2007, all 6,000 local restaurants must post color coded signs that reflect the results of the most previous inspection by the Columbus Public Health Dept. Green = passing most recent inspection. Red, yellow or white suggests you probably may want to reconsider your options. The law applies to public pools, tattoo parlors, spas, campgrounds as well as food markets. The sign must be obvious, within five foot of an entrance.

A major test market for most major chain restaurants (though this is not as true as it once was), Columbus has a large density of national chain restaurants, some even having multiple venues in a single neighborhood. That being said, Columbus has a growing ethnic and upper class dining scene thanks in part to continued immigration (from Africa {especially Somalia and Ghana}, Southeast Asia, & more recently Latin America) and the continued gentrification of the downtown area.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Dives

For the mid-west, Columbus has its share of ethnic and domestic eateries that shelter culinary artists throughout the city and offer outstanding meals at sometimes bargain prices, in locations that may be carry-out only, limited seating or maybe small bars that offer outstanding food. Places that are well worth the effort to find, which is part of the adventure.

Drink

`

Music

Sleep

Columbus is a convention city, with a large well established business and manufacturing base, as well as an education foundation that attracts many visitors. Downtown accommodations tend to be a little more expensive than those scattered near the interstate exits. But, there usually is lodging available in most price ranges.

Cope

Newspapers

Religious services

Broad Street in Downtown Columbus is home to a number of Christian churches of considerable historic and architectural interest, including First Congregational United Church of Christ , where Washington Gladden , a pioneer in the Social Gospel movement, preached from 1882-1918. Both First Congregational and the nearby Catholic cathedral, St. Joseph's , offer a range of special services and concerts throughout the year.

Jews can attend services at Congregation Beth Tikvah , while Muslims can attend the Islamic Society .

Stay safe

Dial 911 to get emergency (police/medical/fire) help.

Although down somewhat in recent years, crime is still a problem in certain areas of the city. Most violent crime occurs in areas that would not be frequented by tourists. Visitors to the area should be aware that the theft of laptop computers, phones, and other items from automobiles is a common occurrence. Always store valuables in the cargo compartment of one’s car and make sure it is locked.

Motorists who drink and drive will face stiff penalties if one’s blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit (0.08). Police routinely set up checkpoints along major roads where all drivers must pass through and show their license and registration to check for intoxicated people.

Vehicles are required by law to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. However, the law is not universally followed. Take care to watch for turning traffic when crossing streets.

Areas on the east side of the city along the streets of Livingston Avenue, Main Street, and Mount Vernon between Parsons and Alum Creek sometimes see violent crime. These areas should be avoided at night. Additional areas to avoid at night include Cleveland Avenue between I-670 and SR-161 and the area east of High Street near the OSU campus.

On the West side of town, a sliver of neighborhoods around Broad St. and east of I-270 South are relatively safe during the day, but not at night. Generally, areas outside of the I-270 loop (the Outerbelt) are safer and more peaceful than areas inside, although the area around Brice Road and I-70 is not safe. Safe areas inside I-270 include the Arena District, the Short North District, Clintonville, Northwest Columbus, Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, Worthington, Dublin, much of German Village and Bexley.

Hospitals

Though not as significant as its neighbor to the North (Cleveland), Columbus does have medical tourism business that attracts domestic visitors and visitors from all over the USA. Those who accompany patients can expect assistance from the facilities (if you are insistent and have a little patience) in the form of long term discount lodging and local transportation to and from the facility to see the patient.

Law Enforcement

In the Columbus area, you will find a variety of Law Enforcement that includes Ohio State Patrol, Columbus Police, Franklin County Sheriff, local Police depts., in Dublin, Westerville and other local municipalities to name a few. Usually, they are what one would expect from law enforcement as far as being professional, polite and helpful. They are well trained and compensated, very good at crowd control and traffic control. Be polite, respectful and you will have few problems with them. Most have cameras in cars, do not offer any bribes of anything and keep in mind you are likely being video recorded.

Smoking

Ohioans passed "SmokeFree Ohio" ballot measure in 2006 banning smoking in most public areas with very few exceptions. Some hotels, motels, or other lodging facilities may have special smoking rooms that are permitted under the new law. The law forbids restaurants and bars from allowing smoking on premises, unless they have an outdoor patio. Some private clubs, such as AmVets, Eagles, Moose, and similar establishments have been slower to enforce the smoking ban, especially in the outskirts of the city.

Connect

Visitor Information

WIFI Access

Go next

Longaberger Basket Headquarters Building - Newark
Routes through Columbus

Dayton London  W  E  Reynoldsburg Wheeling
Cleveland Worthington  N  S  Wilmington Cincinnati
Toledo Worthington  N  S  Circleville Catlettsburg
Fort Wayne Dublin  W  E  Canal Winchester Weston


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 22, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.