Whether you’re new to the Columbus area or just visiting, the culture and history in our neighborhoods isn’t always immediately apparent. However, it’s there in full force — and the list of things to do is endless.
There are more than 75 neighborhoods and districts in and around the Columbus area, but we’ve drummed up a brief guide for you to get started.
This district is at the heart of the city, and experienced a serious revival in the mid-1990s. The Arena District is where you’ll find the Lifestyles Community Pavilion, Dispatch Ice Haus, and the Nationwide Arena that gave the district its name. It features amazing restaurants, office venues, entertainment, and nightlife — a little something for everyone.
The Brewery District exists as a small downtown neighborhood south of I-70, and was founded in the 1800s, when the first brewery opened there in 1836. After Prohibition, breweries that had joined the area were closed, and the area remained inert until the 1980s when the buildings were resurrected or repurposed.
Home of the Columbus Rose Festival, Clintonville is positioned right between Worthington and Ohio State University, making it an easy commute for OSU students and workers. It has a diverse population of families and individuals, and places like Whetstone Park and The Ravines add natural attraction.
With the slogan “Irish is an attitude,” Dublin is not only one of Columbus’ oldest communities, but it’s one of the most up-to-the-minute places to live, work and play. Located in northwest Columbus, the European-flavored suburb is home to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Dublin Irish Festival, and the renowned PGA Memorial Tournament.
Hilliard has the 9th largest school system in the state, a diverse resident population, and a never-ending list of facilities that are good for active indoor and outdoor recreation. Homestead Park and the Heritage Rail Trail are great places to get your nature fix, and for all you water signs, Aquatic Adventures offers swimming lessons, scuba diving instruction and more.
Olde Town East
One of the oldest suburbs in the state, Olde Town East is home to some of the oldest architecture in the area, and has both prospered and struggled throughout the last century. (Read a great description of the area’s history here. Currently, the neighborhood is home to a diverse array of cultures, races and socioeconomic backgrounds, making it one of the most unique places to visit in the Columbus area.
Boasting the title of the “official arts district of Columbus,” the Short North has developed from low socioeconomic status in the 1980s into a vibrant and up-to-the-minute neighborhood, housing several coffee shops, art galleries, restored architecture, green spaces and restaurants that range in offerings from fine dining to casual pub fare. (More info on the Short North neighborhood.)
This suburb is centrally located, making it a great place for professionals, families, and singles alike. Homes in Upper Arlington date back to the 1920s and 30s, and the area boasts no less than 33 city parks.
Historical Westerville is a community that’s known for its family-friendly vibe — it boasts a commitment to being “pretty, safe and fun.” Home to Otterbein University, the district has been recognized for excellence in education for more than 200 years.
Small-town charm with the benefits of big-city living is how would best describe Worthington. One of the first planned communities in the country, Worthington is home to several cultural and recreational attractions, including the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center, Worthington Community Center and a nationally recognized library system.