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Mini-vaction in Columbus

Radcliff, OH
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Mini-vaction in Columbus

We (Husband, myself and 16 year old daughter) are traveling to Columbus for a mini-vacation (3 days) in April. We are staying at the Red Roof Inn downtown. What attractions/sites do we not want to miss seeing while we are in town? We are from a rural area so will enjoy just being in a “city” and seeing “city” sights. What moderate/low cost restaurants do you recommend? Are their any reasonably priced (and good) restaurants within walking distance of our Hotel? Regarding safety - can we freely walk around at night? Thanks for any help you can provide.

WV
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1. Re: Mini-vaction in Columbus

Don't miss COSI-the science museum. We really enjoyed it last year!

Columbus Ohio
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2. Re: Mini-vaction in Columbus

I have lived in Columbus all my life, and I wouldn't feel uncomfortable walking around at night in the area where you are. I frequently take my younger kids there at night to see shows at the Children's Theatre and we walk around in the North Market area where we park. There are definitely areas of Columbus that you would want to avoid at night, but your area is fine.

I agree with the previous poster about COSI. It's a great place and lots of fun, although I would wonder if your daughter is too old for that kind of thing. But they frequently have special exhibits going on. Currently there is a Reptiles Go WILD exhibit, an Everest movie, and Wild Safari 3-D in their Extreme Screen theatre. Check out their website at www.cosi.org.

A great place to shop and eat for reasonable amount of money within walking distance is North Market. Go on Saturday morning when it's busier--some restaurants and shops aren't open during the week or have limited hours. There's a pretty decent and reasonably priced restaurant upstairs--look carefully--it's easy to miss the upstairs. There are also many places to eat from all different cultures downstairs in the main area.

If you are willing to splurge a bit, Martini's in the Arena District has great food, but it is a bit pricey. Can't remember the prices at the Japanese Steakhouse, but it's a fun place! You kneel at a table where the chef cooks your food in front of you. If you have a birthday on your group, there's a funny old guy who sings to you. You have to hear him--he's very entertaining! It's within walking distance of your hotel.

You might want to check out some of the shows in the downtown theatres. Here's a list: http://www.capa.com/columbus/events/. The Ohio Theatre is beautiful inside.

Just south of downtown is German Village. Check out its restaurants, shopping, and the charm of brick streets and quaint little shops. It's a little too far to walk, but the drive is short.

If your daughter is into shopping, it's would be worth the drive to go to the Easton Town Center, at the north side of the city. Every store you could possibly imagine is there.

The Franklin Park Conservatory is nice. Here's the website: http://www.fpconservatory.org/.

As far as what to avoid, I would be careful about going to the City Center Mall. It has gone downhill and seedy and the best stores have moved out. I don't feel safe there. And watch venturing into the Short North with your daughter. It's an interesting and fun part of town with some cool shops and art galleries, but I wouldn't take a child there as some of the artwork is rather, um, explicit.

Columbus, Ohio
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3. Re: Mini-vaction in Columbus

Clw,

I also agree on the safe part, although this question always makes me a little uneasy, because I've told people that downtown is very safe and they've come back a little spooked. Then again, it seeemed to be the audience I was speaking of. During the Gay/Lesbian weekend, one conventioneer said our town was the worst in the world because some girls had their shirts off during the Gay Pride parade...

Possibly lucky for you, this is April...

I agree on recommending COSI - it's a unique Columbus experience that is a fun sight-seeing event.

Also, try the COlumbus Museum of Art, or Frankin Park Conservatory for the esthetically inclined.

For SPorts, both BlueJackets Hockey and Destroyers Arena Football offer good diversions. I'd choose Arena football because it's a more unique experience.

Easton Town Place in northeast Columbus offers a great combination of shopping and dining experiences.

As far as dining, you're in a good spot for food choices. You're right next door to the Crown Plaza, which owns a part of the Max and Erma's Restaurant there, which has a stable, but moderately average breakfast buffet. Still, it does the job at filling all tastes.

If you go towards the Arena and hang a left at High Street, "The Elevator" restaurant and Draught Haus offers a good moderately priced meal.

There is also a Chipotle next to the Arena as well as a Quizno's Sub shop at "the Cap" near the Short North. The Short North also has several art galleries and many places to dine at around $8.00 per person, from Happy Greek, to Press Grill, to Phillip's Coney Island.

Also, be sure to check out German Village. Your front desk personnel should have a tiny yellow flyer entitled "Your guide to German Village" behind the front desk.

Hope you enjoy your stay,

C.C.

Columbus, Ohio
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4. Re: Mini-vaction in Columbus

Hi! I have three kids - 19, 16 and 14. They all love Cosi, so much that they have volunteered over 1500 hours there. Something else your daughter might like to do is visit OSU. It's only a few miles north on High Street. OSU on a spring day is not to be missed. Plus there's plenty of college shops around. They do offer tours. You could also tour a replica of the Santa Maria - it's close to Cosi. I'm not sure if it will be open when you will be here. But I'm sure there's information on line. If you like Wendy's - the very first Wendy's opened in Columbus. You can eat at the restaurant on 257 E. Broad Street. They have lots of memorabilla there. My kids love Easton, but be prepared for the weather most of it is outside. Other good malls are Polaris on the north side and Tuttle by Dublin and Hilliard.

Columbus, Oh
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5. Re: Mini-vaction in Columbus

You should check out this restaurant! Due Amici. http://www.due-amici.com/

It is downtown and priced very well. You can dress nice too and you will not be breaking the bank taking 3 people there. It is very good.

I second the North Market. Due Amici is a new restaurant venture by 2 people in the North Market. Also, if you go to NM, make sure to get some Jeni's Ice Cream. She has very good, exotic flavors and has been getting national acclaim.

check out www.columbusunderground.com for some other info and things that are happening around the city.

Downtown will be pretty empty at night. The Arena District and the Short North are busy spots and they are safe to walk.

When you get into town, you can pick up an Alive or The Other Paper. They are all over the place and are free and full of happenings.

Columbus, Oh
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6. Re: Mini-vaction in Columbus

Buca di Beppo in the Arena District is also a fun place, but it is family style so you get a lot of food.

If you go to COSI, I would recommend the Spaghetti Warehouse, they are very close together.