Summer Road Trips: 48 hours in Columbus

Our state capital. Home of the Buckeyes. The Arch City leads our beloved home state in arts, innovation and urban revitalization.

Our state capital. Home of the Buckeyes. The Arch City leads our beloved home state in arts, innovation and urban revitalization.

Case in point: For me, a trip to C-Bus always starts with a venture to Short North, the bustling span of High Street that is dotted with creatively curated boutiques, eateries and gin joints. You’ll know you’ve arrived because a series of 17 steel arches will be there to greet you.

Whether you’re looking for a raucous night out or a relaxing stroll, the “art and soul” of Columbus delivers, with 300 businesses, many locally owned.

Start with breakfast at the Philco Bar & Diner and an order of huevos rancheros and a bloody Mary with housemade mix.

Next up is Rivet Gallery, home of pop art, designer toys and prints from up-and-coming artists, and Roy G Biv Gallery, a nonprofit gallery celebrating emerging artists.

As day turns to dusk, stop off at Mouton, a quintessential hipster haven for glorious artisan cocktails. Highly suggested: Let the suspendered libation aficionados pour you a custom creation. There are many delicious dining options in Short North, but if you head due north out of town and into the neighboring Clintonville, you’ll be in for a treat, such as the wood-fired reuben tartine, at The Crest Gastropub.

If you’ve brought the kids—and actually, even if you haven’t—you can geek-out over science at COSI After Dark, complete with a cash bar. •••


Two hours on I-71 S via 30 W takes you to the heart of the state


Wooster and Mansfield


Due Amici modern Italian food, for lunch or dinner.


The first time I visited The Book Loft of German Village and its 32 rooms of discount books, I explored for over six hours. Afterwards, take your latest page-turner down the street to Pistacia Vera. The titular macarons are some of the very best you’ll ever taste.


A Columbus institution, Katzinger’s Delicatessen is at the top of every sandwich-lover’s list. Each mile high concoction comes with a help-yourself-from the barrel pickle.


A quaintly designed village of designer shops and luxury brands awaits at Easton Town Center. Try lunch at French bistro Bon Vie Bistro.


The world-class Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is always a safe bet for all ages. The Columbus Museum of Art recently added a new modern art wing, complete with sunny galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden. New parks, such as the Scioto Mile, connect the city to nature, and dozens of miles of multiuse trails span Columbus.

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass