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The ultimate road trip to Columbus

Hit the road and head to Columbus, OH — we’re sharing all the details about what to do and eat, plus where to stay.

An art exhibit with tall red pillars at the Frank Park Conservatory.

Night views at the Franklin Park Conservatory + Botanical Gardens. | Photo courtesy of Franklin Park Conservatory

Table of Contents

Itching to get out of town, Lexingtonians? Skip those pesky airport security lines and jump in your car for a road trip to Columbus, OH instead. From glassblowing demonstrations at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to paneer pinwheels at ROOH — we’re spilling all the details on how to have an unforgettable time in the 614.

📍 Essential info

Drive time: ~3 hours

Year city was established: 1812

Est. population: 905,748

🎟️ Experience

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Check out what Traveler’s Worldwide considers to be one of the best zoos in the country. From conservation efforts to a unique safari experience, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy a day at the Columbus Zoo.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Both kid and adult-friendly, the conservatory features an up-close view of 400+ species of plants, as well as programming including glassblowing demonstrations and culinary experiences.

Viral Selfie Museum
Capture your trip in this art exhibit + Instagrammable oasis, perfect for all ages.

Ohio History Connection
Become a real Columbusite by exploring the city’s historical highlights, such as the Ohio History Center and Ohio Village.

Play: CBUS
The city’s largest indoor adventure park has ropes courses, climbing walls, and ziplining, as well as a full-service restaurant + bar.

A dinner table featuring a variety of foods and drinks.

Comune features an array of wine + seasonal eats. | Photo courtesy of @comune_restaurant

🍔 Eat

Enjoy a glass of wine and shareable, seasonal eats that are sourced from nearby farms.

If small bites and brunch are more your speed, look no further than Understory. Its lounge offers beautiful craft cocktails, as well as an overlook of Olentangy Trail.

Enjoy Indian cuisine with a modern twist. ROOH offers your favorites like butter chicken while putting a spin on classics with dishes like its paneer pinwheel.

If you’re missing that southern fare, Skillet has you covered. Visitors can try their biscuits + gravy skillet made with chorizo, or slow-simmered grits.

Bake Me Happy
After exploring the savory side of Columbus, head over to Bake Me Happy for their one-of-a-kind gluten-free cookie sandwiches.

The outside of Doghouse Hotel + brewery

Bring your pups along for this unique craft beer + stay experience. | Photo courtesy of @doghousecolumbus

🏨 Stay

DogHouse Columbus Hotel
Take Fido on your trip + stay at this craft beer hotel. You can grab drinks at the onsite taproom or enjoy draft beer, a record collection, and mini-bar from the comfort of your room.

Hilton Columbus Downtown
This 28-story tower is the largest hotel in Ohio. This skyscraper offers more than a scenic look of the city + a cozy stay, it boasts three restaurants, a rooftop bar, and 53,000 sqft of meeting space.

Orange You Cozy Apartment Downtown Columbus
Orange you glad you decided to visit Columbus? Get the full downtown experience at this luxury apartment that features easy access to the heart of the city.

Graduate Hotel
This space is engulfed in all things Ohio culture. The colors of Ohio State are splashed across this cozy, yet modern stay.

Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph
Luxury meets comfort at this four-star hotel. Walk around the lobby, grab a cocktail from the Soul bar, and discover over 500 pieces of art on display

Wait a minute, Lexingtonians. Before you head out the door, find the cheapest places to fill up your gas tank and stock up on road trip snacks from Kroger. Also, bookmark this map so you have no trouble finding all of our recommendations while visiting Columbus.

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