Fall Break in Columbus

Fall break will be here in less than a week, and we can unwind and relax from the hectic semester this has been so far–it is much needed! While many students are going home for the first time to reconnect with family and friends, some of you might be staying on campus for break. This is a perfect time to explore the amazing city that surrounds us. Whether you are from out-of-state or outside of the U.S., here are some fun things to do during fall break in Columbus.

Explore the city

From the time you first visited Ohio State (or maybe at orientation), you have heard incredible things about the city of Columbus. Get out the campus bubble and dive into the fun activities, amazing restaurants, and sights that are conveniently right down the street from us. With just a short ride on the COTA bus, you can discover some cool parts of Columbus. Not only will you have fun, but you’ll feel even more connected to the city, making Ohio State feel more like home.

As a first-year student, I was pretty intimidated to take a bus downtown, but I can assure you that it is a really simple process and well worth your time. The easiest way for me to explore downtown Columbus and the Short North is to take COTA route #2, which runs up and down High Street–I promise you won’t get lost. A convenient place to hop on the bus is the stop outside of the Ohio Union. All you need is your BuckID and you are on your way! The COTA website includes routes frequently used by Ohio State students.

For the outdoor lover…

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Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Special fall exhibit, “Scary Plants“, where you can explore creepy pumpkin carvings and strange plants like you’ve never seen before!

  • Oct. 5- Nov. 15 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost is only $10 with a student ID.

Goodale Park. A beautiful park located in the Short North district, decorated with fountains, park benches, and paths.

Olentangy Trails. Head outside to take a walk with a friend, a fitness run, or even a bike ride on this 13.75 mile stretch of paved trails.

For the shopaholic…

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Explore the shops of the Short North District: Take the COTA bus #2 right down High Street until you get to the arches that say “Short North”. Here you will find many shops that specialize in clothing, stationery, Columbus gear, antiques, and even chocolate!

For the foodie…

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North Market. A classic favorite! If you love food (who doesn’t?) then you will love North Market. Explore different vendors and flavors from around the world such as Asian, Indian, and Polish cuisine. They also have this awesome vendor where you can get fresh homemade donuts…seriously the best donut I have ever had.

  • Open Sun-Mon, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tue-Sat 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Explore their fall Farmer’s market in the parking lot of the venue. Stock up on some fresh vegetables and fruits and you could cook a meal or create a fresh salad in your residence hall kitchen.

One Line Coffee. Are you a coffee fanatic? Cozy up to a cup of your favorite coffee and dessert on a cool fall day, located in the Short North district. Check out their website for more information!

Jeni’s Ice Cream. We all scream for ice cream! Jeni’s ice cream made its founding roots in Columbus, and is now a huge sensation! A quick bus ride down High Street and you can try a delicious treat such as the crowd-favorite, Salty Caramel.

Final thoughts…

Just have fun! The more time you put into getting to know Columbus, the more you will get out of it. If you have further questions or need more suggestions, contact a Peer Leader and we would love to share some of our favorite places. In addition you can check out Experience Columbus for an extensive list of places to go. I hope you have a wonderful fall break–be sure to take the time to refresh in order to finish the second part of the semester strong.

Happy exploring!

Columbus: The place to be in the summer

We are so close to summer I can almost taste the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and hear the crack of a bat at a Columbus Clippers game. Whether you find yourself in Columbus for the summer or just here for the end of the school year, there are countless opportunities to quench your boredom and explore the city. Here are some of my favorites:

The Short North:

For those of you who have not visited the Short North on High Street south of campus, I implore you to pull out your BuckID, hop on a COTA bus, and get on down there. Some of my favorite memories at Ohio State have been on the first Saturday of every month when all the art galleries and stores in the area open up their doors for Gallery Hop.

A store called Flower Child is my personal favorite in the Short North. Often described as an up-scale thrift shop, Flower Child has an outfit for any occasion and it has the best vintage selection around. Paired with a scoop of Columbus’s very own Jeni’s ice cream, your Saturday night just got a whole lot cooler.

Free Concerts:

The best part about staying in Columbus over the summer is the weekly concert on the Columbus Commons, which puts a local band on the big stage. Food trucks, including Mikey’s Late Night Slice, and Jeni’s all show up for the concert each Wednesday from 7-11 p.m. Frisbees, blankets, and a date are encouraged.

There are also free fitness classes offered at the Columbus Commons!

Easton:

Easton is the shopping mall where boredom goes to die. There are stores for every kind of shopper, from Nordstrom to See’s Candy and Jeni’s Ice Cream (it’s everywhere…). There are plenty of restaurants around and a movie theater.

Food:

I love to eat, and Columbus is known as the test market of the United States. If you love food as much of me, you will try Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace downtown and Hot Chicken Takeover in the North Market, which are two of the city’s pride and joys. Or if you are looking for a more upscale restaurant, be sure to check out one of Cameron Mitchell’s restaurants.

Zoo:

I have always loved sea turtles, and to get my fill I have always gone to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which was ranked the best zoo in the nation in 2009. Although this will require a car, the zoo is definitely worth the trip. With 10,000 animals all in one place you are sure to see your favorite and discover new animals. Like this one:

The Franklin Park Conservatory is also a great place to get your butterfly fix!

 

From the Blue Jackets to German Village there is always something new in the 614. Don’t like any of my ideas? Find your own hidden gems in the area and let me know what I have to try!

Dining in the Short North

Hey first year students!

Missing your mom’s cooking? Tired of always eating at Traditions? Try going to the Short North! COTA buses can take you there in minutes and it’s a fun, easy, and appetizing weekend activity.

There are also awesome affordable options. Some cheap and casual choices include Mikey’s Late Night Slice and Melt Bar and Grilled. If you are a huge fan of grilled cheese, like me, Melt is the place to go. Late Night Slice — which is somewhat of a dive — offers cheap, delicious, and quick pizza.

If you’re willing to spend a little extra money for delicious dinning Northstar Cafe and North Market are fantastic prospects. North Star, a spunky organic restaurant, has great brunch and offers vegetarian options. North Market, my favorite, is like a food festival! Individual cafes, butchers, grocers, ice-creameries, and bakers are set up in a retro warehouse. Although it can be a bit pricy, there are so many yummy options. Some include crepes, Thai food, Indian, German styled sandwiches, etc. If you go to North Market, be sure to factor in money to park if you don’t take the bus.

If you’re craving authentic food, a few selections include Marcella’s, Haiku Poetic Food and Art and La Fogata Grill. La Fogata delivers mouthwatering Mexican food — the restaurant offers fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, and other authentic cuisine. Marcella’s, an Italian restaurant, has great high-end pizza and pasta. Haiku Poetic Food and Art offers Asian Pacific style food, like appetizing sushi, noodles, salads, and more. Poets, musicians, and artists come in to perform as part of a fine dining experience — the atmosphere is amazing!

If you’re looking for desert options or if you love coffee, there are a number of selections in the Short North. Some include famous, locally owned Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Le Chocoholique, Tasi Café, and ZenCha Tea Salon. If you have not already tasted some of Jeni’s ice cream, it’s a fantastic place to bring your family if they are visiting. Le Chocoholique has fondues, coffees and gelato. They also have delicious crème brûlée. Tasi Café has enjoyable coffee in addition to freshly baked breads, and they also offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Finally ZenCha Tea Salon is a fun place to drink lots of tea or experience the ambient atmosphere.

If you’re looking for something fun, want to experience delicious foods, or want to adventure through Columbus, check out the Short North!!