Our favourite ways to spend summer in Columbus, OH

Columbus, Ohio. A growing city and state capital, Columbus is both a great destination on its own and a solid addition to any road trip plans, due to its central location. Columbus offers the calm and greenery of a smaller town with over 370 parks and notable historic architecture, and the excitement of a larger city with professional sports teams and major events. Read on for some of our favourite things to do in Columbus.

The Ohio Statehouse by the Scioto River

A visit to the Ohio Statehouse includes a free tour of state government, local artwork, and Ohio history, all within the grandiose interior of the Capitol building. If not for a behind-the-scenes look at the government, we highly recommend the wealth of Greek Revival as a reason to tour the Statehouse. Its rising marble interior, broad rotunda and intricate decoration bring visitors from all over and has earned the distinction of a National Historic Landmark. After the tour, check into the city’s extensive bike share system just across the street and bike down the Scioto River, a quiet path in the heart of Columbus. 

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Travelling in the summer can mean encountering summer heat. Thankfully, Columbus has a very interactive and memorable way to escape the heat- The Columbus Zoo! The Columbus Zoo offers a variety of experiences, from viewing over seven thousand species, giving an Elephant a bath, feeding a Giraffe, browsing artwork made by animal artists, a selfie with a Sloth or an after-hours nighttime trek. Other attractions include mini-golf and the Zoombezi Bay, with a variety of rides including a relaxing lazy river, to adventurous single and group slides. For zoology and animal science enthusiasts, there are also plenty of opportunities to get a closer look at how the teams at the zoo care for their residents.  

Ohio State Fair

The Ohio State Fair is a great way to experience the State Fair atmosphere, but also to sample many ( delicious! ) aspects of Ohio culture, including Scrapple and Apple Fries. The Ohio State Fair is one of the largest in the nation and runs from late July to early August. Aside from Fair amusements, games and the food, major names stop by Columbus during the fair, including Gabriel Iglesias, or giants such as Toby Keith and Hank Williams Jr. 

Jazz & Rib Fest

It is exactly what it sounds like. Every July, downtown Columbus fills with the aroma of ribs and the sound of Jazz, open to the public to enjoy. Food Trucks and restaurants from around Columbus and beyond set up shop to compete for the hearts of nearly a million attendees. Small bands and professional Ohio groups take the stage, all in the heart of town! This means stepping away for a moment to walk off the ribs or checking back into a hotel is just around the corner. The Jazz & Rib Fest is a great way to get to know Ohio’s love of public music, food and community. 

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