25 Places to Visit in Central Ohio Before You Die
By Katie Schultz
The Central Ohio region is home to many fascinating places and attractions. Anything from a small town vibe to the hustle of the city life, Central Ohio has something for everyone.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens:
Located at 1777 E. Broad St. in Columbus, this botanical garden and conservatory is a beautiful learning experience for all ages. Exhibitions are held often, ranging from butterflies to scary plants. For more information, visit www.fpconservatory.org, or call 614-715-8000.
Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park Resort:
This western-themed water park is located at 4560 Hilton Corporate Drive in Columbus. No matter the season outside, the climate-controlled indoor water park stays at a warm 84 degrees. Make it a weekend affair by staying in the resort, choosing from 11 room styles. For more information, visit www.fortrapids.com, or call 614-868-1380.
South of Downtown Columbus is a historic town that was settled mostly by German immigrants in the 1800's. Events, such as art exhibitions, garden party gala benefit, and concerts. German Village has many places to dine, shop, and beautiful things to see- like the brick sidewalks! Visit germanvillage.com for more information and access a digital copy of the town's brochure.
The Book Loft:
Nestled in the streets of German Village at 631 South Third St. in Columbus, is every book lovers dream. One of the nation's largest independent book stores, The Book Loft has 32 rooms of bargain books, in pre- Civil War era buildings. They frequently have events with authors and even showcase local authors as well. For more information, visit www.bookloft.com.
Olentangy Indian Caverns:
The Olentangy Indian Caverns were formed million of years ago by rivers cutting through limestone rock. Along with the tours of the caves, visitors can enjoy the nature trail, museum, miniature golf, and gem mining. Located at 1779 Home Rd. in Delaware, Oh the caverns are not too far from Columbus. For more information, visit www.olentangyindiancaverns.com, or call 740-548-7917.
Old Man's Cave:
Located in the Hocking Hills State Forest, Old Man's Cave is a part of a series of recessed caves and rock formations. This rock formations have many waterfalls and visitors can enjoy a day of hiking on the 25 miles of hiking trails. Visitors can also rent a cabin in the Hocking Hills area. For more information about the park and lodging, visit www.hockinghills.com.
Center of Science and Industry (COSI):
Located in Downtown Columbus at 333 W. Broad St., the COSI is a center devoted to science and learning. Experience first hand how lab research is conducted (in real-time!), live shows, The Science Park, and so much more. For more information, visit www.cosi.org, or call 614-228-2674.
Appreciate the arts with a trip to the Ballet Met at 322 Mt. Vernon Ave in Columbus. They also perform at The Ohio Theater and the Capitol Theater. For information about the 2015/16 season shows, visit www.balletmet.org, or call 614-229-4860.
Columbus Museum of Art (CMA):
The CMA is artistically diverse, showcasing work from the 19th and 20th centuries from American and European modern art, and local art work such as folk artist Elijah Pierce. Exhibitions are held frequently- check the website, www.columbusmuseum.org for more information and what you can see when you plan to visit. The museum is located at 480 East Broad Street in Columbus.
The Topiary Park:
Visitors to this unique park will be able to experience a real life sculptural interpretation of, A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte,a post-impressionist painting by Georges Seurat. Along with that, visitors can enjoy a walk around the park to see the diverse type of trees and flower beds, along with the remains of the Old Deaf School. Events are held at the park as well, like concerts and movie nights. For more information, visit www.topiarypark.org.
Cloak & Dagger:
The Cloak & Dagger is a dinner theater that uses audience participation, located at Shane's Dinner Theater, 447 East Livingston in Columbus. Shows are comedy, murder-mysteries with musical parodies. Enjoy the show all while trying to figure out who is the murderer. For more information, visit www.cloakdagger.com.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium:
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is ranked as the number one zoo destination in America by USA Travel Guide. Located at 4850 Powell Road in Powell, visitors can enjoy several different exhibits throughout the year. They have over 10,000 animals to see that come from different parts of the world. It's a place for the whole family to enjoy and learn new things. For more information, visit columbuszoo.org, or call 614-645-3400.
Sherman House Museum:
Many Americans enjoy learning and seeing things from the Civil War Era. Located at 137 East Main Street in Lancaster, The Sherman House was built 1811 and owned by Sherman Family: General William Tecumseh Sherman, U.S Senator John Sherman, Judge Charles Sherman, and more. Visitors can see Sherman family memorabilia, Civil War artifacts, and more throughout the museum. Don't forget to also see the Georgian Museum not too far away on 105 East Wheeling Street, a historic building built in 1832. For more information, visit www.shermanhouse.org.
The Dawes Arboretum:
The Dawes Arboretum, located at 7770 Jacksontown Rd. SE in Newark, is home to thousands of different types of plants and many different trees. A tranquil place, the Dawes Arboretum offers visitors with a unique landscape to visit with the Glacier Ridge- where a glacier was 10,000 years ago, Woodlands, Dutch Fork Wetlands, Garden Getaway, and more. For more information, visit www.dawesarb.org.
Ohio's Amish Country:
Central Ohio has the largest Amish community in the world, which is a popular tourist attraction. Enjoy the landscape as well as authentic Amish meals, horseback riding, buggy rides, and much more. It can be as educational as it is fun. For more information, visit www.visitamishcountry.com.
Slate Run Farm:
Learn what daily life was like on an Ohio farm in the late 1800's. Restored by Metro Parks, The Slate Run Living Historical Farm allows visitors to experience and get involved in working on the farm and see everything that was involved in going about daily work and routines. For more information, visit www.metroparks.net, or call 614-833-1880.
Indian Lake State Park:
Indian Lake State Park is filled with lots of history concerning Indian Tribes inhabiting the region. Enjoy a day or weekend boating (boat rentals available), skiing, fishing, licensed hunting, swimming, picnicking, and hiking on the 800-acre park. Cabins are available for rent for camping. For more information, visit www.parks.ohiodnr.gov.
Inniswood Metro Gardens:
Located at 940 S. Hempstead Rd. in Westerville, the Inniswood Metro Gardens has 121-acres filled with streams, woodlands, flowers, wildlife, rock gardens, and more. There is a rose garden where weddings can be held, herb garden, and storybook maze for children. The home that belonged to the two sisters that started the gardens, Grace and Mary Innis, is a site for educational programs, and horticultural references. For more information, visit www.inniswood.org.
45 minutes is all you have to escape a locked room at 1415 E. Dublin Granville Rd. in Columbus. The room is equipped with puzzles that you and a team of up to 12 people must solve in order to escape in time. Put your thinking skills to the test in this real life game. For more information, visit www.thechamberescaperoom.com, or call 614-781-1632
Columbus Brew Adventures:
Tourists and even locals have fun participating in a tour of the finest beers and spirits that Downtown Columbus and Grandview have to offer. Private tours are also available. For more information, visit www.columbusbrewadventures.com.
Shows are put on by non-profit performance troupe that can be seen year long at ShadowBox Live in Columbus at 503 S. Front St. Suite 260. Shows range from original rock operas to contemporary dance. For more information, visit www.shadowboxlive.org, or call 614-265-7625.
The North Market has more than 30 merchants that sell fresh, local food at 59 Spruce Street in Columbus. There is an international selection as well of fresh, authentic ethnic food. On the outdoor market plaza, a farmers market is held and anything from jewelry to furniture can be purchased. For more information, visit www.northmarket.com.
Short North Arts District:
Home to over 300 different businesses, the Short North is a cultivating point for urban revitalization. Come here to shop, eat, drink, discover art, see live music, and more. For more information, visit www.shortnorth.org.
Columbus Children's Theater (CCT):
Go see a show at the CCT, located at 512 Park St. CCT performances are put on through a large diversity of children. Enroll your child into a class to promote self-esteem and creativity. For more information, visit www.columbuschildrenstheatre.org, or call 614-224-6673.
Velvet Ice Cream:
Located in Utica at 11324 Mount Vernon Rd., Velvet Ice Cream is a family owned business. A free 30-minute walking tour will take you around the grounds and you will learn about the Historic Ye Olde Mill, and a lot about the 100 year old company. For more information, visit www.velveticecream.com.
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