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3 days in Ohio

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posts: 33
reviews: 35
3 days in Ohio

I am travelling to Columbus, from Toronto, in the first week of August. I have 5 days. 2 for travel and 3 in Ohio - I will have a car, the Canadian dollar is pretty strong and your gas is so much cheaper! My main priority is to see the Zoo, but people have also recommended the Cleveland Zoo so I'll probably pop by that on the way home. Anyone been to the Cincinnati Zoo?

I LOVE picture taking. Gardens, animals, you name it. What areas should I be visiting while in Columbus (2 solid days there). Is there any attraction that I simply should not miss in and around Columbus?

What about shopping? Any outlet malls people can recommend?

Any and all recommendations are appreciated!

thanks :)

Edited: 12:54 pm, July 17, 2013
posts: 914
reviews: 7
1. Re: 3 days in Ohio

Check out the Conservatory, lovely place, lots to see.


posts: 33
reviews: 35
2. Re: 3 days in Ohio

That looks lovely! Thank you!

Destination Expert
for Ohio, Cleveland
posts: 9,283
reviews: 25
3. Re: 3 days in Ohio

Check out The Wilds near Zanesville. Animals there, as at zoos, are much more active in the mornings on hot days. It's actually best visited on a cool day. The Wilds also offers sunset safaris, but these often are booked far ahead. It's easy to imagine that you're in Africa while at The Wilds.

I will be interested to see how you compare the Cleveland and Columbus zoos. The Cincinnati Zoo also is excellent, and the Toledo Zoo is very good, although smaller than Cleveland and Columbus. Re: the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, here is a travel article that still is a work-in-progress.


The Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland's University Circle is excellent, as is the Holden Arborteum in Kirtland, Ohio. You likely would enjoy greatly Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland. It was ranked as one of the best farm parks in North America by USA Today, and it's a great place to see endangered species such as the 4- to 6-horned Jacobs sheep. You can get within feet of many of the animals and so would be a great place for photography. See Kirtland discussion in the "Cleveland Day Trips" travel article linked below.

Two major tourist attractions in Ohio are Ohio Amish Country, most popular around Walnut Creek southwest of Canton, and the aviation attractions of Dayton.



The best art museum in Ohio is the Cleveland Museum of Art. It's one of the nation's best admission is free to its general galleries. It's a short walk from the Cleveland Botanical Garden. The CMA also has the most advanced digitial technology of any U.S. art museum, including the nation's largest multi-touch screen, fascinating interactive kiosks, and a superb iPad app that interfaces with the multi-touch screen.

Will you be here during the Ohio State Fair at the Ohio Expo Grounds in Columbus? It's one of the best in the U.S. and would offer many photography opportunities, especially of animals.

Columbus, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Columbus
posts: 562
reviews: 31
4. Re: 3 days in Ohio

I actually worked at the Cincinnati Zoo in high school, but haven't been in over 20 years (since I quit that job, actually). It was always reputed to be a good zoo when I was growing up, but my sense it has been surpassed by Columbus. If you do go, don't yell at the gate cashiers about high ticket prices. They have a tough job ;)

In Columbus, you should check out Franklin Park Conservatory, Topiary Park downtown, Park of Roses in Clintonville, Inniswood Metro Gardens on the NE side. Battelle-Darby Creek Metro Park on the west side has buffalo, but I've never seen them out when I've been there. Same for the bald eagles at Highbanks.

There is a large outlet mall in Jeffersonville, OH, off 71 between Columbus and Cincinnati (US 35 exit, not the near-dead outlet mall one exit north). Closer to Cincy there is a newer one that I think is bigger. But it's off 75 in Monroe, so kind of out of the way unless you make a trip to Dayton. There's also an outlet mall closer to Cleveland off 71 in Lodi, although my sense is that one may be struggling a little and not as full?

In the city, Easton Town Center on the NE side is the big shopping destination. It has a mix of indoor and outdoor sections, and many stores have their only local branch there. They also have some local businesses mixed in (Homage, Jeni's, etc). I'm not a big mall person, but if I need to go to the mall in Columbus, this is the one I go to.

Short North is the dominant shopping/entertainment district in the central city, and worth a visit, even if you just window shop.

Westerville, Ohio
posts: 651
5. Re: 3 days in Ohio

Consider a day trip to the Hocking Hills State Park about 75 minutes south of Columbus. I recommend Old Man's Cave and Ash Cave. Very scenic and photogenic.

posts: 5
6. Re: 3 days in Ohio

The Cincinnati zoo is downtown and not as nice as the Columbus zoo. The best zoo is Columbus and has a water park. Check out the Easton mall area and catch the state fair!

posts: 5
7. Re: 3 days in Ohio

The Cincinnati zoo is downtown and not as nice as the Columbus zoo. The best zoo is Columbus and has a water park. Check out the Easton mall area and catch the state fair! The jeffersonville outlet mall is now called tanger outlets and can be previewed online and you get there from 71 south... It's a drive outside the city about 35 minutes so check out Easton for beautiful shopping and good food options

8. Re: 3 days in Ohio

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