Going to Columbus -- Need Tips Please

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by James K., Oct 30, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Taking advantage of a Southwest fare sale, my wife and I are heading to our 26th capitol this weekend. We'll be there for pretty much 24 hours, staying at the Hyatt, and I'm having a bit of a hard time finding information about the city.

    So please, any recommendations would be helpful. Particularly things to do, and super particularly any cool Ohio State things to hit up. I went to Michigan, which should mean I hate OSU blah blah blah, but really it means I love a good college town and there's no way to look up "Cool OSU-y type streets to walk down and find a restaurant on" so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank so much
     
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Never been to Columbus but considering the political season and where the election is, my only recommendation is: do not turn on the tee vee...:)
     
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  3. JoeCortez

    JoeCortez Silver Member

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    As a (regretful) Columbus Transplant, I'm happy to give some advice about what to see in our fair city! Though truth be told, its the biggest college town you'll ever visit:

    The Ohio Statehouse: The people's house, as they call it, is a living history of Ohio's past. The Cupola is amazing once you go inside, and I believe tours are still offered at this time of the year. My favorite part is the Vets Memorial on the southeast side of the campus. While you're downtown, I recommend eating at Market 65 (All Ohio-grown meats and produce) or Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace - worth the wait for a great hot dog with lack of ambiance.

    The Ohio Union: The new student union at The Ohio State University. I know its everything unholy to a Michigan grad, but its actually a really neat place to see everything Ohio State at one place. The Quad is right behind, and if its a brisk fall day its actually quite the walk around campus. On the second floor, by the conference rooms, they have one of Archie Griffin's two Heisman Trophies on display - the other is in the Alumni House.

    Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe: Again, a living tribute to the only thing that brings people to Columbus: Ohio State. Its a little out of the way and hard to find in Grandview, but if you're looking for something Buckeye to do, this is it.

    Ohio Stadium (The 'Shoe): But if you want the real experience, try to drive down Lane Avenue, park somewhere for $15, and walk through the tailgating at Ohio State (they play Illinois this weekend). I recommend TBDBITL Skull Session at St. John's Arena at 1:10 PM - where the band, players, and coaches all get pumped up for the game. Its free to attend - and a whole lot of fun to watch!

    As far as cool things to do on campus...Lane Avenue is going to be crazy town, so that should be fun. Otherwise, I would start on Lane Avenue, do the skull session at the arena, and then walk down High Street to the Union during game time. There are plenty of college restaurants and bars on High Street, so you'll have your choices. And for added entertainment value, yell "O-H!" at any time while on campus and wait for a response. But you're from Big Blue, so you know that one already. ;)

    Have fun in Columbus! Let me know what you end up doing while you're here!
     
  4. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    Don't even think about wearing any Wolverine stuff, or a blue or yellow shirt or driving a car with plates from Mi.... you're very much in enemy territory!

    and the game the Sat after Turkey day will be their last for the year so their fans will be hungry.

    If you have a car, there's a great place to eat out by the airport -- it's fixed up like a WWI airfield and it's at the end of a runway.

    Bob H
     
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  5. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Have you tried the Wikitravel article on Columbus? LINK.

    While some of the articles are out of date on some obscure locations, I've found some good tips and info from that website when I have traveled.
     
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  6. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    It is a home football game this weekend, so there will be a lot of activity around campus from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM. They are in the middle of a lot of improvements, so there is a lot of construction but still a lot of great sights to see. However, I would avoid it if you don't want to fight or pay for parking.

    Some things to check out outside of campus (High Street from Lane Ave. to 11th Ave):

    1. Short North - From about 5th Ave until you get to Goodale Blvd. on High Street is considered the Short North. Closer to downtown there are a lot of new and established shops and restaurants. It is the hottest place right now when it comes to new dining establishments.It is the first Saturday of the month, so it is a Gallery Hop weekend. The few galleries in the Short North are open late and there will be a lot of people wandering around the shops, restaurants, and bars. I used to live down there, so it lost its luster for me but might be nice if you are in the new Hilton downtown as it is an easy walk.

    2. Check out Gay Street East of High Street for more restaurants that are good. Tip Top is a good place for cocktails.

    3. Nightlife on Friday should be around Neil Ave. in the Arena District. Lots of restaurants and bars.

    4. Check out the North Market on Vine Street and Neil Ave. downtown. Lots of little food stalls. Shouldn't be too busy on a game day.

    5. If you need some shopping, check out Easton Town Center. It was the prototype "Lifestyle" outdoor shopping plaza. It was the brainchild of one of the builders and Les Wexner, founder of the Limited.

    6. South of downtown is German Village. Check out the Book Loft and Schmidt's. If you want one of the top burgers in the US, check out Thurman's. There can be up to a three hour wait so go early.

    7. The Hollywood Casino just opened on Broad Street west of Downtown. Not the best area, but might be good to get a flavor for the local color.

    Columbus is not a walking or public transportation focused town. Make sure to watch the road signs as a lot of the interstate in Downtown is under construction. Make sure to bring an updated GPS that adapts when you need to bypass an exit.
     
  7. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    If you like ice cream, do not miss Jeni's. There is a location downtown that should be easy walking access, and there are lots of restaurants and pubs in the same area.

    The residence inn is located in an old bank building and is worth checking out while you are there.
     
  8. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    I second High St, German Village and the Short North.

    You could also rent a few years of Family Ties to prep for your visit
     
  9. PSUhorty
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    PSUhorty Silver Member

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    Not exactly sure what you and the missus enjoy doing, so this is kind of a shot in the dark. I enjoy good bars, music, and food. I agree with the other poster above that the area of Short North is teeming with good bars and restaurants (this is the area on High St. from the Hyatt towards OSU campus). My favorite bar in the area is within spitting distance of the Hyatt… Char Bar. It’s not for everyone, but I love it there as it’s kind of a dive bar. On a Friday or Sat night, it won’t get hopping until about 10:30-11PM.

    Also agree with the poster who suggested the North Market for lunch. Great place for all different kinds of ethnic food. The Vietnamese booth is always my favorite. It is also w/in spitting distance of the Hyatt and Short North.

    If you like a younger crowd, there is a hotspot of bars just a couple blocks off of High St. in the Short North area. Long story short, if bar-hopping is your thing, from the Hyatt you are perfectly situated for walking about the Short North/North Market area and not having to hire a taxi.
     
  10. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    This is really great stuff guys, and exactly what I had in mind when I joined the forum. Thanks to all. I will do many of these things
     
  11. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    Ah the Char Bar . . . a location where much debauchery began or ended in my life before I became domesticated. If you do happen to make your way to that hive of hipster villainy, you should go after 10 PM and order at least one Long Island Ice Tea. Make sure you have something in your stomach to absorb the blow, because it might be the last thing you remember to do before you black out.
     
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  12. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    I just remembered, an old friend owns a bar on High St in the Short North (I think - it used to be right near campus). It's named "Skully's" and the owners name is Earl. I have only been back to Columbus twice since my time in grad school there in the early/mid 90's so I can't vouch for what type of place it is anymore (or if it is still there).

    Too bad the High St of old isn't there any more :(. No more Mean Mister Mustards, Papa Joe's (lost to a fire), Bub's (my hangout/part-time employer and where the OSU football team drank) -- the good ole days
     
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  13. JoeCortez

    JoeCortez Silver Member

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    Skully's is still alive and well in the Short North! Its become a scene for local music, and still a great time (if you're into the divey-type places). The Short North is a bar crawl within walking distance of each other! But from the Hyatt, I'd at least catch a cab from the hotel to somewhere in the Short North ("The Cap" at the corner of Goodale and High is a place to start) and start walking.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention: first Saturday of the month is always Gallery Hop - where all the art galleries stay open until the bars close. Get your walking shoes on, because there's plenty to see at Gallery Hop! And plenty of hipster-sightings, too!

    Speaking of the Short North - if you do go walking for Gallery Hop, you need to go to:

    Betty's Fine Food & Spirits: Arguably, the best Mac 'n Cheese in town. Also get the potato pancakes. Simply put, Amazing.

    Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams: marcwint55 also mentioned Jeni's. I am personally not a fan (blasphemy, I know)...but if you like ice cream, you will be! Their Salty Caramel is supposed to be divine.

    Camelot Cellars: The only real wine shop in the Short North. Very knowledgeable about their wines and friendly as can be. I believe they still sell Signature Wines there (barreled and bottled here in Columbus).

    Surly Girl Saloon: I don't think a trip to Columbus is complete without a trip to the Surly Girl. And for being one of the classier places, Surly Girl lives up to its name.

    But I digress. You may have to make another run to come back and see everything in Columbus!
     
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  14. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Had a great time doing many of the things recommended. Here are some pictures of our fun weekend!
     

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  15. PSUhorty
    Original Member

    PSUhorty Silver Member

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    Nice! I see you did hit the North Market and sat upstairs.
    Oh and... post more pics!
     
  16. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    Did you have to punch us in the nut? I know you went to that state up North, but don't disrespect Brutus!
     
  17. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    I started college in 2004. 2003 was the last time Michigan beat Ohio State. In my vaguely-caring-about-college-football lifetime, we've never beaten Ohio State. SO YES, I HAD TO HIT THE NUT!
     
  18. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    If you watched last year, Michigan won. Hopefully we will put them back in the L column where they belong after this season. I was getting used to Michigan losing after years of John Cooper not caring about losing.
     
  19. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    I feel really stupid now for completely forgetting that. :)
     
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