Explore the hidden corners of Columbus at these 10 fascinating attractions

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio, is a city brimming with hidden gems and offbeat experiences that await the curious traveller. From quirky museums to secret gardens, the city offers a treasure trove of unusual attractions that provide a delightful escape from the conventional tourist spots, including these 10 unique experiences that will make your trip to Columbus unforgettable.

Explore the secret rooms of Thurber House

The Thurber House, once home to the famous cartoonist and author James Thurber, is now a literary centre and museum. Visitors can explore the secret rooms where Thurber created his iconic works. The house preserves the author’s legacy and sparks inspiration for aspiring writers and artists. The museum also offers a glimpse into Thurber’s life and times, with personal items and exhibits that tell the story of his contributions to American literature and humour.

Wander through the Topiary Park

The Topiary Park is a living recreation of Georges Seurat’s famous painting ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,’ Stroll through this landscape of sculpted shrubbery and enjoy a unique blend of art and horticulture, a serene retreat in the heart of the city. This park is not just a garden but an open-air gallery where nature and art harmoniously intersect. It’s a perfect spot for a peaceful walk or a picnic, surrounded by the greenery of these carefully crafted plant sculptures.

Delve into the Book Loft’s labyrinth

The Book Loft in the German Village is one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, with 32 rooms of books stacked from floor to ceiling. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine aisles and discover rare finds and beloved classics. Each room offers a different genre, creating a bibliophile’s dream. The cozy nooks and crannies are perfect for settling down with a good book, and the charming atmosphere is enhanced by the scent of old pages and the quiet whispers of fellow readers.

Experience the Otherworld

Otherworld is a 32,000-square-foot immersive art installation. Step into a surreal world of interactive exhibits and fantastical environments. It’s an otherworldly adventure that blurs the line between art and experience. This space is a playground for the senses, featuring over 40 scenes filled with large-scale artwork, mixed reality playgrounds and secret passages. Visitors don’t just walk through the exhibit but become active participants in the art itself.

Savour all the flavours at North Market

North Market is a foodie’s paradise, offering a diverse array of cuisines from local artisans and merchants. Sample everything from exotic spices to gourmet chocolates, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this historic public market. The market is a hub of culinary exploration, where visitors can engage with local chefs, learn about the origins of ingredients, and taste dishes that represent the cultural mosaic of Columbus.

Uncover the mysteries of the Kelton House

The Kelton House Museum & Garden tells the story of the Underground Railroad and the Victorian era in Columbus. Tour the house and gardens to uncover the mysteries and learn about the Kelton family’s role in history. The museum not only showcases the elegance of the Victorian period through its architecture and furnishings but also highlights the courage and determination of those who fought against slavery.

Admire the Pizzuti Collection

The Pizzuti Collection is a showcase of contemporary art from around the world which is part of the Columbus Museum of Art. Admire the rotating exhibits and the stunning architecture of the space, which is a work of art in itself. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, film and photographs, and is a testament to the colourful art scene in Columbus. The gallery offers educational programs and artist talks, making it a centre for artistic dialogue and discovery.

Relax at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park

The Scioto Audubon Metro Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With climbing walls, trails and birdwatching spots, it’s a place to relax and reconnect with nature amidst the cityscape. The park also features a large wetland area, which is home to a variety of wildlife, providing an opportunity for visitors to observe and appreciate the natural beauty of Ohio without leaving the city.

Join a ghost tour at the Ohio Statehouse

The Ohio Statehouse offers ghost tours that reveal the building’s haunted history. Hear tales of ghostly sightings and historical lore as you explore this iconic landmark after dark. The tours are not only a thrilling experience but also a unique way to learn about the state’s political history and the architectural significance of the Statehouse.

Bask in the beauty of Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a horticultural haven that is open all year round. It features exotic plant collections, special exhibitions and a signature collection of work by glass artist Dale Chihuly. Visitors can immerse themselves in the lush rainforest, desert and orchid collections. The Conservatory also hosts community events and educational programs, promoting environmental appreciation and horticultural knowledge.

ENS Editors

Learn More →