There’s a magical point sometime between 4 and 6 p.m. when, all of a sudden, downtown Columbus just goes dead. It’s a commuter city. People go downtown to work, not play. Sure, there’s the Ohio theatre and COSI, but not much else except for a creepy YMCA and a lot of closed-for-the-weekend buildings.
Here’s the thing though: there’s plenty to do and see in Columbus, but you have to know where to go. Now, I can go on and on about great places around the Greater Columbus area, but most natives would agree with me in recommending these two districts to visit: The Short North neighborhood and the Ohio State University campus (“campus” for short).
If you want to know where the locals go (and they usually know the best spots to have fun), this is it.
So, what’s in these areas? Basically the very life-blood of central Ohio’s arts & entertainment scene as well as the home of the state’s favorite college sports teams.
We’ve got the Newport Music Hall, Skully’s Music-Diner, the Bluestone, the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion (the LC) and other lounges for the music lovers. For those who like larger venues, there’s the Schottenstein Center (the Schott), Nationwide Arena, and Ohio Stadium.
On campus, there’s a plethora of bars, clubs, and hookah lounges (my personal favorite being Mangos Café), but at the end of the night make sure to check out Mikey’s Late Night Slice to satisfy any hunger pangs.
The Short North, “Flytown,” is the best of the three districts in my opinion. It’s got everything for everybody. If you want the best food in Columbus, then try the North Market but make sure to get there before dinner as it normally closes at 5 p.m.
If you want the best in art, then go there for the Gallery Hop that’s held the first Saturday of each month.
Shops and other places are opened up to display the latest work of mostly Columbus area artists, artisans, and designers. If you want to walk and go out, it’s also right for you as the area is always alive with sights and people.
There are the multiple clubs towards the south of the Short North such as Park Street Cantina, Long Street District for the party.
Then there are also coffee lounges and cafes for those who would prefer a more relaxed setting like Kafe Kerouac.