Columbus, Ohio, often overlooked in favor of larger cities like New York or Chicago, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This vibrant city, nestled in the heart of the Buckeye State, offers a wealth of cultural, culinary, and outdoor experiences that can rival any major metropolis. Here, we’ll uncover five hidden gems that make Columbus a city worth discovering.
The Hidden Gems of Columbus
1. The Scioto Mile: An Urban Oasis
One of Columbus’ best-kept secrets is the Scioto Mile, a stunning riverfront park that stretches along the Scioto River. This urban oasis is a haven for nature enthusiasts and city dwellers alike. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful place for a leisurely walk or a lively spot for outdoor festivals and concerts, the Scioto Mile has it all. The park’s stunning fountains, gardens, and public art installations create an enchanting atmosphere, while the promenade offers breathtaking views of the city skyline. It’s a serene escape that brings a touch of nature to the heart of the city.
2. The Book Loft: A Literary Wonderland
The Book Loft, located in Columbus’ German Village, is a book lover’s heaven and a hidden gem for those looking for literary treasures. This independent bookstore is set in a collection of attractive pre-Civil War vintage houses and is known for its 32 book rooms. Each chamber is dedicated to a different genre or theme, creating a fascinating maze to explore. The Book Loft is likely to feature rare collectibles, contemporary bestsellers, or specialty items that you’re looking for. You’ll find why it’s a locals’ favorite secret as you walk around its charming nooks and crannies.
3. The Topiary Park: Living Art in Columbus
The Topiary Park in downtown Columbus is a true hidden gem that offers a unique blend of art and nature. Inspired by Georges Seurat’s famous painting “A Sunday on La Grande Jette,” the park’s topiaries meticulously recreate the characters and scenes from the painting. Strolling through the park is like walking through a living work of art. While the park may be small in size, its creativity and beauty are immense. It’s a peaceful place for reflection and a delightful surprise in the heart of the city.
4. Thurman Café: Home of the Thurmanator
The Thurman Café, located in Columbus, is one of the city’s culinary hidden gems. This inconspicuous diner in German Village is famous for offering enormous burgers, the Thurmanator being the star of the show. This monster burger comes with two 12-ounce patties, a slew of toppings, and a bun so big it needs a knife to hold it together. Thurman Café attracts both locals and guests looking to take on this culinary challenge. While the Thurmanator is the main attraction, the café’s menu offers a variety of scrumptious options to satiate any appetite.
5. Kelton House Museum and Garden: A Glimpse of the Past
The Kelton House Museum and Garden, hidden in the heart of downtown Columbus, is a historic gem that transports visitors to the 19th century. The museum is housed in a beautifully preserved Victorian-era home, and its exhibits offer a glimpse into the lives of the Kelton family and their role in the Underground Railroad. The well-tended garden, complete with charming gazebos and vibrant flowers, provides a serene retreat from the urban bustle. The Kelton House Museum is an educational and cultural treasure that offers a unique perspective on Columbus’ history and the fight for freedom.
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To summarize, Columbus, Ohio, may not be on everyone’s travel radar, but it’s a city full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. The Scioto Mile offers a calm getaway in the center of the city, while the Book Loft entices bookworms with its labyrinthine beauty. Topiary Park’s live art and Thurman Café’s gastronomic experience showcase the city’s artistic and culinary aspects. Finally, the Kelton House Museum and Garden provides an insight into Columbus’ rich historical past. So, the next time you plan a trip, consider Columbus for a unique and gratifying adventure of discovery.