At first glance, Columbus, Ohio, doesn’t appear to be the 15th largest city in the United States. Well, at second glance, it doesn’t either — unless you know where to look. In the 15 years that I have lived here, Columbus has become a very livable city, a mix of small-town and cosmopolitan, where you can be taken in by its sleepy, down-home feel, or energized by its urban corridors.
Don’t be fooled by the airport’s name — Port Columbus International Airport. There’s nothing port-like about the city, even though the local AAA baseball team, a Yankee farm club, is known as the Clippers. There is no big water anywhere near with the exception of a couple of reservoirs, and there’s a real stink brewing about the proposed construction of a big statue honoring Christopher Columbus, the city’s namesake.
There is, however, a scale replica of the Santa Maria, floating downtown in the Scioto River. You can’t make this stuff up.
Columbus is a fairly laid-back, live-and-let-live city, with residents that are friendly — once you get to know them — and a spring that is probably earlier than the one you know, if you’re coming from anywhere in the upper Midwest or the Northeast. Since the weather is supposed to be warm and sunny for the first part of this week, you may get to see actual daffodils in bloom while you’re here.
Do, however, bring an umbrella.
The city has its share of spots, hot or otherwise, and you will have a better time here than you expect.
Oh, that sounded a bit defensive, didn’t it? That’s because Columbus has an enormous chip on its collective shoulder, an inferiority complex that’s hard to shake. It isn’t called Cowlumbus for nothing. Come with an open mind and don’t expect Columbus to be Boston.
Don’t expect it to be Cincinnati, either. For that distinction, we are all grateful.
Columbus exists specifically because it’s the state capital. In 1812, the Ohio legislature decided to move the capital from the southern city of Chillicothe to a more centrally-located place, and Columbus was built from scratch to serve that purpose.
Today, Columbus itself has over 700,000 residents, although the population in the greater Columbus area tops one million. It’s a predominantly white town with very healthy minority and ethnic communities that add to the city’s surprisingly sophisticated palate.
What does this mean for you? You’ll find a variety of things to do in Columbus, from catching live jazz or blues, to sampling Ethiopian or Russian food, to singing Korean karaoke — and, of course, the more mainstream activities of golfing, shopping, and going to the movies.
In addition to being the state capital and seat of Franklin County, Columbus is home to several international corporations, such as Wendy’s, Nationwide Insurance, and The Limited; and Honda of America is just up the road in Marysville. Columbus also houses Chemical Abstracts, the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), and the Battelle Memorial Institute. There’s an Anheuser-Busch brewery on the north side of town, too.
All phone numbers listed here are in the 614 area code, unless otherwise indicated. Enjoy your stay here. We’re certainly going to get a kick out of you.
The bad news is that public transportation has yet to catch up to Columbus’s decade-long growth spurt. The only mass transportation is COTA, the city’s bus service. There are good lines that run north-south and east-west, but if you want anything off main roads, you need a car.
The good news is that if you have a car — if you are driving here, or rent a car when you arrive at Port Columbus International Airport — Columbus is very easy to navigate.
There are two major north-south highways in Columbus, I-71 and Route 315, two major east-west highways, I-70 and I-670, and an outerbelt that encircles the city, I-270. With the exception of the morning and afternoon commutes, these roads will get you nearly anywhere in the city quickly and conveniently.
Most folks coming in for the Frozen Four will be staying in one of Columbus’s suburbs, where the hotel rates are cheaper than downtown and in the OSU campus area. I-270 can connect you to all four of the other major highways, if you’re out at a distance.
The easiest way to get to the Schottenstein Center for the games is by taking Route 315 to the Lane Avenue exit. You can see the Schott from the highway, and there are signs on both the northbound and southbound exit ramps to tell you how to get there.
Both I-70 and I-670 — routes that run south of OSU through downtown — connect to Route 315, which is on the west side of town. I-71 runs parallel to Route 315.
A word of advice: you should be in your best defensive-driver mode in Columbus. Turn signals here seem to be optional, and the drivers are, well, adventurous. Keep your eyes and ears open on the road, whether you’re taking the major highways or driving locally.
Another word of advice: be careful where you park. If you park in a spot where you’re not supposed to, you’ll regret it, especially around the OSU campus. Read all the signs. There’s a “tow first, question later” attitude throughout Columbus. And don’t let your meter expire during paying hours, or you will be ticketed immediately.
Shuttle from Downtown
The Columbus Sports Commission in conjunction with OSU is running free shuttles for fans from downtown to the Schottenstein Center on game days. There are several stops downtown, but the one downtown pickup I know for certain is the Hyatt on Capitol Square, 75 E. State St., just steps east of High Street.
On Wednesday, April 6, fans are welcome to watch Frozen Four team skates at the Schott. Colorado College skates at noon, Denver at 1:15, North Dakota at 2:30, and Minnesota at 3:45.
Fans are also invited to an open skate at the Schott on Friday, from 3-7 p.m. It’s free.
High Street: The Main Drag
Although Columbus has a Main Street, the city’s main artery is High Street, which runs north-south all the way through the city. High Street is, in fact, U.S. Route 23, except that the route takes a detour through the city proper in an attempt to avoid clogging the true main drag, which forms the eastern boundary of The Ohio State University main campus, heads south through the city’s trendy gallery district known as the Short North, and makes a straight shot to downtown Columbus, Ohio’s capital city.
From High Street, a glance west of the northernmost part of downtown shows you the Arena District, home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. In the center of downtown sits the state capitol, a magnificent building worthy of a visit, and south of downtown, High Street dissects the Brewery District and forms the western edge of German Village, a 233-acre neighborhood completely restored by its residents in the 1960s.
The No. 2 COTA bus — the E. Main Street/N. High Street route — will take you up and down High Street for $1.25.
Here’s a trip down High Street, from north to south.
Worthington is an old village with a big green square divided by High Street and State Route 161. It has quaint shops and some nice architecture if you’re into that sort of thing, but what really makes it worth a pause is a couple of places to eat.
The Old Bag of Nails is a British-style pub that serves excellent fish and chips and other pub fare, plus great beer on tap, like Double Diamond and Old Speckled Hen. There are a number of other Old Bag of Nails locations throughout Columbus, but this is the original and it has a homey feel.
Diagonally across the street from Old Bag of Nails is Graeter’s, the Cincinnati-based chain that his reinvented the old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Everything this place offers is excellent. Signature flavors include black raspberry chip and Buckeye Blitz — peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter cookie dough and homemade chocolate chips — but everything they offer is rich, delicious, and not for the calorie-careful.
Just south of Worthington is one of Columbus’s best neighborhood restaurants, the Villa Nova. If you’re looking for good Italian at a reasonable price, this is the place. It’s crowded on Friday nights, but it’s worth the wait. Try the lasagna, better than Mama ever made.
• Old Bag of Nails, 663 High St., 436-5552
• Graeter’s, 654 High St., 848-5151
• Villa Nova, 5545 N. High St., 846-5777
About three miles south of Worthington on High Street is Clintonville, a neighborhood lacking Worthington’s village charm but packed with antique and secondhand stores with a couple of good coffee shops and several restaurants.
What makes Clintonville especially worth mentioning is its proximity to the OSU campus. The major intersection of High Street and North Broadway is just three miles from the Schottenstein Center and a very easy drive in terms of traffic. If you’re staying near the Schott or if you are escaping between games Thursday, simply drive north on Olentangy River Road — that’s the road on which the Schott sits, at the intersection with Lane Avenue — to North Broadway, take a right and a mile later you’re at High Street.
North of North Broadway are several antique and boutique shops, but the real deals are to be found south, especially in places like Clintonville Antiques, where every square inch is crammed with something someone considers collectable.
If antiquing makes you hungry, ignore the McDonald’s within view of the shops and opt for Nancy’s Home Cooking — owned by Cindy, not Nancy — a very small lunch counter with huge heaping helpings of comfort food. The place doesn’t seat more than 30, with only four booths in the back in addition to the counter.
And Clintonville has become coffee central, with two local shops topping the list. Yes, there’s a Starbucks — there are two, actually, if you count the one inside the Giant Eagle grocery store — and a Caribou Coffee, but sample the local heroes, Cup o’ Joe and Mozart’s, for something unique.
Cup o’ Joe has several locations throughout the city and is owned by the same folks who own Stauf’s, a local beanery that roasts its own. Every store is similar in design and muted color scheme, with booths, tables, a fireplace and general funkiness, but the Clintonville location has a great staff and west-facing windows to let in plenty of sunshine. Like any good coffee shop, Joe’s has specialty coffees as well as regular old java, and while most of the food is overpriced, the bagels and muffins are cheap and delicious.
For pastries, you can’t beat Mozart’s, an Austrian-style bakery with a self-playing baby grand piano and reasonably good coffee.
A little further south on High Street in an area that is really between Clintonville and the OSU campus, you’ll find the Blue Danube, or Dube, a local institution. In continuous operation since 1940, the Dube has great blue plate specials and comfort food fare for cheap, a good beer list, and one of the most eclectic juke boxes in the city.
A few doors down is Dick’s Den, another institution, where a $3.00 cover charge after 9 p.m. will get you into see great local and national jazz and blues Thursday through Sunday. The bottled beer is cheap — nothing more expensive than $3.00, and you can get a bottle of Molson or Bud for $2.00.
• Clintonville Antiques, 3244 N. High St., 262-0676
• Nancy’s Home Cooking, 3133 N. High St., 265-9012
• Cup o’ Joe, 2990 N. High St., 261-1563
• Mozart’s Bakery and Café, 2931 N. High St., 262-2414
• Blue Danube, 2439 N. High St., 261-9308
• Dick’s Den, 2417 N. High St., 268-9573
Have you seen a college or university campus area? Then you’ve seen the strip of High Street adjacent to The Ohio State University. A mile’s hike from the Schott, High Street at OSU offers plenty of places to eat between games Thursday and before Saturday’s title match, and some of the best people watching in Columbus.
All you have to do is walk east on Lane Avenue from the Schott, and you’ll get to High Street. On the way, you might want to stop at the Varsity Club at 278 W. Lane Avenue. The beer selection is good, the atmosphere is good, the food is so-so.
Turn right (south) at the intersection of High and Lane and you’ll find lots of franchised food, the best of which is arguably Chipotle Mexican Grill, a subsidiary of McDonald’s.
If you’re into the arts scene, do stop by the Wexner Center for the Arts at 1871 N. High St. (292-3535). The bookshop is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and Saturdays noon-6 p.m. The café, open weekdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m., offers a good alternative to fast food.
The current exhibition at the Wexner is entitled, “Landscape Confection,” a dreamy collection of landscapes by 13 contemporary artists. Admission is free.
You’ll also see the standard variety of boutique shops in this area, a couple of good record stores — check out Used Kids at 1980 N. High St. — and if you’re strapped for cash, there are ATMs everywhere.
As cities go, Columbus is fairly vanilla — there is a church in my neighborhood with a marquee that proclaims, “Woman healed of cysts and tumors!” — but like any large metropolitan area, has its share of readily available vice.
For a walk on the wildish side, check out the Garden District, a little slice of Amsterdam along a two-block strip of High Street between the OSU campus and downtown. The area, named for the former Garden Theatre, houses two adult stores, The Garden — in the windows of which women sit, Amsterdam-style — and The Chamber, plus the city’s best piercing parlor, Piercology, a Wiccan store called Salem West, a funky book/comic store called the Monkey’s Retreat, and for balance the Columbus Worship Center.
• The Garden, 1174 N. High St., 294-2869
• Piercology, 872 N. High St., 297-4743
• Monkey’s Retreat, 1190 N. High St., 294-9511
The Short North
This is one of Columbus’ funkiest neighborhoods, bordered to the north by the Garden District, to the south by downtown proper, and to the west by the blossoming Arena District.
This area houses the largest collection of local art galleries and boutique shops in Columbus, as well as a couple of very good bars and restaurants — and the North Market, Columbus’s upscale version of a farmer’s market.
All you’ve got to do is go. Take the bus or drive and park, and walk around. Don’t miss the Yankee Trader, a store that sells everything from full-size cutouts of George W. Bush to feather boas — in bulk, if you like.
Need a body waxing? Okay, so maybe just a manicure? Then it’s Stephen Colatruglio for you.
For continental cuisine on a carryout budget and a good selection of cigars, try Europia Gourmet Foods, and for artery-clogging Scottish pub fare, head to Mac’s, where the scotch menu can provide a meal in itself.
• Yankee Trader, 463 N. High St., 228-1322
• Stephen Colatruglio, 640 N. High St., 221-1181
• Europia, 672 N. High St., 460-3000
• Mac’s, 693 N. High St., 221-6227
If you want locally made beer, head to Barley’s Brew Pub at 467 N. High St. (228-ALES). Currently available are Barley’s pilsner, pale ale, Scottish ale, Russian stout, Irish rogue, Oatmeal stout, and an E.S.B. (extra special bitter).
You can order a pint, a sample round, or a growler to go, a half-gallon jug to take for the road, so to speak.
Food specialties of the house include the turkey-nut burger, which is ground turkey encrusted in pecans, deep-fried sauerkraut balls, and some of the best chicken wings you can get in Columbus, given that it’s not Buffalo.
In the North Market — just west of High Street at 59 Spruce Street — another Columbus gem awaits in the form of Firdous Express, the best Middle Eastern food in the city. Try the falafal, of course, but the soups, lamb, pastries, and coffee are divine. This won’t break the bank, either.
Other good eats in the North Market include Bob the Fish Guy and Jeni’s Fresh Ice Creams. The North Market closes by 7 p.m. weekdays, 5 p.m. on the weekends.
Two of Columbus’s best restaurants sit unpretentiously in the Short North: Rigsby’s Cuisine Volatile, and Martini Italian Bistro.
Kent Rigsby and Cameron Mitchell — who owns Martini’s — are the two men who revolutionized fine dining in Columbus in the 1990s.
Rigsby’s is pricey, but considered the best restaurant in town. Located at 698 N. High St., Rigsby’s is an airy, open restaurant that was renovated in January, moving its bar close to the front for a great view of High Street. With the renovation came new dishes, including Venetian-style small plates called cicchetti, ranging from little pizzas to spicy shrimp bruschetta and baked oysters. Call ahead for reservations for Friday evening dining (461-7888).
Martini is Mitchell’s Italian restaurant, with three locations in Columbus. This one, at 445 N. High St. (224-8259), is the original.
Upscale but unassuming, Martini’s menu includes everything from wood-fired pizzas to veal scallopine. The lunch menu is significantly less expensive than the dinner menu and includes panini. The homemade soups and desserts are excellent.
Both Rigsby’s and Martini have excellent wine lists, and Martini has — you guessed it — a martini menu.
Downtown/The Arena District
The Arena District was born when ground broke for Nationwide Arena, home to the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. This jewel of an arena, two blocks west of High Street, was built on the site of the old Ohio Penitentiary, and is home to the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League as well as the Jackets.
On Friday, April 8, Nationwide Arena will host the USCHO Town Hall Meeting at 1 p.m., the Hockey Humanitarian Award at 2 p.m., and the Hobey Baker presentation at 2:30.
If you like ice-based entertainment that does not involve sticks and pucks, you can come back to Nationwide later in the day for the 2005 John Hancock Champions on Ice Tour, with big-name figure skaters like Michelle Kwan and Timothy Goebel. Tickets are $31, $46, and $66.
Parking is plentiful and not overly expensive for city lots and garages.
The Arena District is home to several restaurants and bars, including the national chains Buca di Beppo (Italian) and BD’s Mongolian Barbecue (create your own stirfry), local franchise Max & Erma’s (American, German), the privately owned O’Shaughnessy’s Public House (pub fare), and Cotter’s Restaurant (Pan-American), a privately owned restaurant inside Nationwide Arena, open even when there’s no hockey.
You can even see a movie downtown, at the Arena Grand Theatre, owned and operated the local Drexel Theatres, cool venues that show indy, art, and foreign films. The offerings at the Arena Grand are mainstream. Parking in the adjacent garage is just $1 if you validate your parking ticket inside.
• Nationwide Arena, 200 W. Nationwide Blvd., 358-0932 for parking and accessibility questions, 246-2000 for ticket information
• Buca di Beppo, 343 N. Front St., 621-EATS
• BD’s Mongolian Barbecue, 295 Marconi Blvd., 586-0077
• Max & Erma’s, 55 E. Nationwide Blvd., 228-5555
• O’Shaughnessy’s Public House, 401 N. Front St., 224-6767
• Cotter’s Restaurant, 200 W. Nationwide Blvd., 221-9060
• Arena Grand Theatre, 175 W. Nationwide Blvd., 470-9900
In downtown proper, the Columbus City Center is an urban mall that is, sadly, dying a slow death, but remains home to national chains like American Eagle Outfitters, Brookstone, Express, Godiva Chocolatier, Kaufmann’s, and Victoria’s Secret, as well as a number of places to grab a quick lunch or dinner.
The most impressive building downtown is the Ohio Statehouse, located on High Street at Broad Street. Built between 1839-1861, the Statehouse went through an extensive restoration beginning in 1993. There are free guided tours at the top of ever hour between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, and between noon and 3 p.m. on weekends. All tours begin near the information desk at the Third Street Entrance — the “back” side of the building, if you’re looking at the front from High Street — to the Statehouse Complex.
About a mile west of downtown, at 914 W. Broad St., is Tommy’s Diner (224-2422), the best cheap eats in the whole city. Open for breakfast and lunch only. Try the Greek burger or any of the daily specials on the menu board, and definitely have the strawberry shortcake.
Brewery District/German Village
South of downtown, High Street separates the Brewery District (west) from German Village (east).
The Brewery District is more promising in its name than in reality; it is an area being rebuilt where there used to be a major brewery district in Columbus, and it really comes alive in the summer. Two exceptions are Handke’s Cuisine and the Columbus Brewing Company.
Handke’s, considered one of Columbus’s finest restaurants, is upscale European food with an old-world charm. The Columbus Brewing Company is another fine Cameron Mitchell restaurant, with American grub and good suds. On tap this week are the pale ale, nut brown ale, golden ale, wheat beer, porter, kolsch, Scottish ale, and an apricot ale, all brewed on sight.
German Village, on the other hand, is a renovation project pretty to behold, and home to several good restaurants. The Olde Mohawk serves genuine turtle soup and has the only original deli sandwich on its menu, the Mother Mohawk, a combination of sliced roast beef and chicken salad, served grilled or cold.
The Thurman Café has hamburgers too big to finish and affordable bar food, Barcelona offers a Mediterranean mix, and the original Max & Erma’s has a great barback as well as the American menu.
Lindey’s is an upscale, destination restaurant, with Saturday and Sunday brunches, and fine dining specialties that include the couscous crusted lemon sole, and spiced rubbed pork tenderloin. Pricey but worth it.
After you’ve had your fill at any of these restaurants, head to the Book Loft, which provides 32 rooms of discount and bargain books to explore. Open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, the Book Loft is conveniently located next to another Cup o’ Joe.
• Handke’s Cuisine, 520 S. Front St., 621-2500
• Columbus Brewing Company, 525 Short St., 464-2739
• Olde Mohawk, 821 Mohawk St., 444-7204
• Thurman Café, 183 Thurman Ave., 443-1570
• Barcelona, 263 E. Whittier St., 443-3699
• Max & Erma’s, 739 S. Third St., 444-0917
• Lindey’s, 169 E. Beck St., 228-4343
• The Book Loft, 631 S. Third St., 464-1774
• Cup o’ Joe, 627 S. Third St., 221-1JOE
• Arena Grand Theatre, 175 W. Nationwide Blvd., 470-9900
Other Areas for Your Amusement
If you want to get off the High Street path, you may want to check out either of these areas. The first, Grandview, is a self-contained neighborhood about 2.5 miles southwest of the Schott. The other is Easton Town Center, approximately 11 miles northeast of campus.
One of the nicest things about Grandview is how much you can do within such a contained space. On Grandview Avenue, you can eat a fine meal, hang out at the best java joint in town, and catch a movie, all without walking more than three city blocks.
Restaurants in this part of town are very low-key, although people sometimes dress to visit Spagio or Figlio. Spagio has an eclectic Euro-Pacific menu with Mediterranean touches, and Chef Hubert Seifert is very hands-on and interesting in person. The décor is fun, and the wine and beer lists extensive, with Spagio Cellars — a retail store — right next door. Try the smoked duck pizza, or any half order of pasta with fresh soup. Moderately priced.
Figlio also has wood-fired pizzas — they’ve become a staple in Columbus — and if you create your own pizza, you’ll start at $7.50 with additional toppings going for between $1.50 to $2.00.
If basic, unpretentious, old-fashioned Italian pizza is what you crave, then Panzera is a good choice, or Rotolo’s on Fifth Avenue, which intersects with Grandview Ave. These no-frills eateries offer the best Italian pizza in town.
Tired of pizza? Try sushi at Shoku. You can also get noodles, greens, broths, and shoku pork or beef. The sushi can run into money, but again this is moderately priced.
After a meal, a stroll, and a perusal of Grandview Avenue’s specialty stores, a good cup of coffee is what’s in order, and the best cup in town can be found at Stauf’s. They roast their own beans and sell a variety of sweet things to accompany that coffee, and you can also purchase just about any coffee paraphernalia imaginable here.
The restored Drexel Theatre mere steps south of Stauf’s is showing two documentaries this week, Born into Brothels and Gunner Palace.
• Spagio, 1295 Grandview Ave., 486-1114
• Figlio, 1369 Grandview Ave., 481-8850
• Panzara’s Pizza, 1354 Grandview Ave., 486-5951
• Rotolo’s Pizza, 1749 W. Fifth Ave., 488-7934
• Shoku, 1312 Grandview Ave., 485-9490
• Stauf’s, 1277 Grandview Ave., 486-4861
• Drexel Grandview, 1247 Grandview Ave., 486-6114
Easton Town Center
For the ultimate in conspicuous consumption, head to the Easton Town Center on the northeast side of the city. An indoor-outdoor mall with plenty of parking, Easton has its share of restaurants and retail stores, but is most notable for the distractions it offers.
Children and adults alike can build their own teddy bears and other stuffed animals at the Build-a-Bear Workshop (473-8888), or play for hours at GameWorks (428-7529), where you can get three hours of all-you-can-play arcade excitement for $20 Monday through Friday.
For the grownups alone, there’s the Shadowbox Cabaret (265-7625) and the Funny Bone Comedy Club (471-5653). Both are very affordable, and each offers lots of laughs. Shadowbox is currently performing the live show “Dirty Little Secrets,” and tickets run $20-$25. Daniel Tosh headlines this weekend at the Funny Bone, and Friday and Saturday shows are $15.
To get to Easton, take I-270 and exit at Easton (Exit 33). That takes you to Easton Way, and Easton Town Center is on the right after the traffic light.
Go. Park. Walk around. Shop. Eat. Play.
Around the Schott
You’ve probably heard that there isn’t much around the Schottenstein Center itself. That is both true and false.
If you like baseball, you can go to a game — or three — at Bill Davis Stadium, right across the street from the Schottenstein Center. The baseball Buckeyes host Purdue Friday through Sunday. The first pitch is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s single game each start at 1:05 p.m. Bill Davis Stadium is beautiful, and tickets are cheap: $5 for adults, $3 for students and people seven to 18, and free for kids under six years old.
If you like golf, make your way over to the Jack Nicklaus museum, within steps of both the Schott and Bill Davis. Learn everything you need to know about this favorite homeboy, Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students with valid ID.
By all means, walk across the street to take a gander at three incredible buildings, the famed OSU Horseshoe, home of the football Buckeyes, St. John Arena, which used to house men’s and women’s basketball and still houses an impressive array of Buckeye memorabilia, and the OSU Ice Arena, which is the current home of the women’s ice hockey team and was the original home of the men’s ice hockey team until 1999.
When you visit the rink, remember that the sheet was at least 10 feet shorter before the building was renovated, and that the Buckeyes actually went to the Frozen Four in 1998 after playing their last complete season there.
There are number of restaurants both north and south of the Schott on Olentangy River Road — which runs north-south, roughly parallel to High Street. North, you’ll find franchised food like Applebee’s (268-1220), Damon’s Grill (262-6208) and Bob Evans (263-5000), and a local eatery, El Vaquero (261-0900), serving very good Tex-Mex food.
South, you’ll run into the Lennox Town Center, home to the multi-screen AMC Lennox Theatre (429-4262), a Barnes & Noble Booksellers (298-9516), another Cup o’ Joe coffee shop, a few franchise restaurants, and a Target store.
If you go west from the Schott on Lane Avenue, you’ll find Half-Price Books (486-87-65) — an outstanding place in which to waste a couple of hours — before hitting the Shops at Lane Avenue, which features the Rusty Bucket (485-2303), a pub with a good beer selection, China Dynasty (486-7126), a Columbus staple, and Wolfgang Puck’s Express (481-9653), plus any number of clothing and boutique retail stores.
Across the street from the mall is another Graeter’s Ice Cream.
Other Points of Interest
As you can see, Columbus has a lot to offer, and I know that I’ve omitted many things that deserve to be mentioned.
Here are a few more places you should consider visiting while in the area.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Located on the northwest side of town, this facility is world-class, and will take a whole day if done right. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., the zoo is located at 9990 Riverside Drive, north of I-270. Call 645-3550 for directions.
Admission for adults is $9, children two-11 is $5, senior citizens is $7, and kids younger than two get in free.
Located downtown on the west side of the Scioto River at 333 W. Broad St., COSI is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and Sundays noon-6 p.m.
Currently, COSI has Hubble Telescope photos and a traveling exhibit of Titanic artifacts. General admission to COSI is $12 for adults, $7 for kids seven-12 years old. There is an additional $5 charge for the movies Force of Nature and Volcanoes of the Deep Sea.
Call 1-888-819-COSI for more information.
Columbus Museum of Art
The Columbus Museum of Art at 480 E. Broad St. downtown is currently hosting a highly acclaimed traveling exhibit, “Monet to Matisse: The Triumph of Impressionism and the Avant Garde.” Other current exhibits include a retrospective on photographer Art Sinsabaugh and the work of contemporary artist Dodo Jin Ming.
Adults can get in for just $6, students and senior citizens for $5, and children five and under are free. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and stays open until 8:30 p.m. Thursdays.
For more info, call 221-6801.
The American Whistle Corporation. It’s the only place in the country where metal whistles are made. 6540 Huntley Rd., Columbus, 1-800-876-2918. Tours by appointment.
Barber’s Museum, 2 ½ South High St., Canal Winchester, 837-1556. Open by appointment.
Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, 856-2222. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Ohio Historical Center, 1982 Velma Ave., Columbus, 297-2357.
National Aviation Hall of Fame, Springfield Pike, Dayton, 1-937-255-3286. About 1.5 hours from Columbus and worth the trip, open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame, 2121 George Halas Dr. NW, Canton, 1-330-456-8207. Northeast of Columbus, about 1.5 hours.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, One Key Plaza, 751 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, 1-800-493-ROLL. Another worthy day trip, about two hours northeast of Columbus up I-71.