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Columbus Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Columbus

Columbus is home to a number of significant historic landmarks, including a beautiful replica of Christopher Columbus’ ship the Santa Maria, stunning skyscrapers, museums and galleries, parks and gardens which deserve attention. Take the following tour to check out some of Columbus’ most fascinating attractions.
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Columbus Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Columbus Introduction Walk
Guide Location: USA » Columbus (See other walking tours in Columbus)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Author: Caroline
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Columbus Commons
  • Ohio Theatre
  • Ohio Statehouse
  • William McKinley Monument
  • Rhodes State Office Tower
  • LeVeque Tower
  • COSI-Ohio Center of Science and Industry
  • Central Ohio Fire Museum
  • One Nationwide Plaza
  • North Market
  • Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Columbus
  • The Short North
Columbus Commons

1) Columbus Commons

Columbus Commons is a 6-acre (24,000 m2) park and green space in downtown Columbus, Ohio, located on the site of the former Columbus City Center mall. The park features gardens, a performance stage, carousel, reading room, a NEOS play system and two cafes. This open air space is surrounded by many downtown buildings. It is a really great place for resting.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ohio Theatre

2) Ohio Theatre (must see)

The Ohio Theatre is a performing arts center located at 39 E. State Street in Columbus. Known as the "Official Theatre of the State of Ohio", the historic 1928 movie palace was saved from demolition in 1969 and completely restored. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

The Ohio Theatre is owned and operated by the non-profit arts management organization CAPA (The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts), which was originally formed to save the theater in 1969. The executive director is Bill Connor.

The Ohio Theatre was one of the earliest restorations of a movie palace for use as a performing arts center and served as a model for many later historic renovation projects in the United States. Unlike many remaining 1920s theaters designed by Lamb and others, the Ohio still very closely resembles its original appearance with only a few modern additions. Today it is the home of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, BalletMet, the Broadway Series, Opera Columbus, and the CAPA Summer Movie Series.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ohio Statehouse

3) Ohio Statehouse (must see)

The Ohio Statehouse, located in Columbus is the house of government. The Greek Revival building houses the Ohio General Assembly and the ceremonial offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, and Auditor. The Statehouse features a central recessed porch with a colonnade of a forthright and primitive Greek Doric mode, built of Columbus limestone that was quarried on the west banks of the Scioto River. A broad and low central pediment supports the windowed astylar drum, referred to as a Cupola, which contains an occulus that lights the interior rotunda.

The Statehouse contains many large scale art works both within the walls and on the grounds of the building. There are a great number of portraits of Governors and Lt. Governors contained in hearing rooms and offices throughout the building, and in public spaces there are several large scale artworks that memorialize individuals or events significant to the state or the nation. The Ohio Statehouse functions both as a working government building that contains the activities of a legislature and governor's office, and as a museum.
Sight description based on wikipedia
William McKinley Monument

4) William McKinley Monument

The McKinley Memorial is dedicated to the 25th President William McKinley. Known for helping to rebuild the Republican Party at the end of the 19th century, this statue of McKinley designed by sculptor Hermon Atkins MacNeil was installed at the entrance of the Ohio Statehouse in 1906, five years after his death.
Rhodes State Office Tower

5) Rhodes State Office Tower

The James A. Rhodes State Office Tower is a 629-foot (192 m) skyscraper located in Columbus, Ohio. The Rhodes Tower was completed and occupied in 1974, and is currently the tallest building in Columbus and the fifth tallest in Ohio. Currently, approximately 4000 state employees work in the building. Construction costs totaled approximately $66 million. It is named after Ohio's longest serving governor, James A. Rhodes.

The building's odd shape is attributed to a last-minute decision to cap the buildings height; originally, the building was supposed to be nearly 150 feet (46 m) taller. The building, located across Broad Street from the Ohio Statehouse, contains several state offices. The Rhodes Tower contains 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2) of office space. The offices and courtroom for the Ohio Supreme Court were at one time located in the Rhodes Office Tower, having moved from the Judiciary Annex of the Statehouse. The court left the building for its own facility, the Ohio Judicial Center, in 2004. The Rhodes State Office Tower is located right behind the LeVeque Tower when viewing downtown Columbus from the west. Additionally, The Board of Trade Building was demolished to make way for this building.
Sight description based on wikipedia
LeVeque Tower

6) LeVeque Tower (must see)

LeVeque Tower is a 47-story Art Deco-style building in Columbus. Located at 50 West Broad Street, it was the tallest building in Columbus from 1927 until 1974 when the Rhodes State Office Tower was completed. The LeVeque Tower is 555 feet 6 inches (169.32 m) tall, which at the time of its completion made it the tallest building between New York City and Chicago and the fifth tallest building in the world. It was meant to be built exactly one half foot taller than the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.

Originally the two wings of the building were used as a 600-room addition for the Deshler-Wallick Hotel, the city's leading hotel at the time and one of the world’s largest. Throughout its history the building has been noted for the bright and elaborate lighting of its tower. The original design placed the signal lights on the four turrets of the tower. Since the 1980s the tower has had the capability of being lit in a variety of colors. It is normally lit in white, but color is added frequently for special occasions. LeVeque Tower complex continues to be home to a variety of businesses and offices, including, at its base, the Palace Theatre.
Sight description based on wikipedia
COSI-Ohio Center of Science and Industry

7) COSI-Ohio Center of Science and Industry (must see)

COSI, formerly known as the Center of Science and Industry, is a science museum in Columbus. It features more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout themed exhibition areas – Ocean, Space, Gadgets, Life, Little Kidspace, Progress, the outdoor Big Science Park, and the newly opened Lily Pad, a watershed division of Ocean. WOSU@COSI, began in 2006 and is the first public broadcasting and science center partnership.

The museum also features exhibit areas that provide experiences for all age levels to combine science facts and learning through play. In addition to its exhibits, COSI has several live shows such as the Electrostatic Generator Show. There is also a seven-story Extreme Screen theater, the Science2GO! retail store, and the Atomicafe restaurant. COSI also hosts traveling exhibitions from other museums throughout the year.

More than five million teachers and students have experienced COSI’s education programs. These outreach education programs are tailored to support national and statewide science curriculum and standards. Programs such as Electronic Education and COSI On Wheels bring science learning to students throughout Ohio and across the country. Camp-In is an overnight program for Girl Scouts that began in 1972 at COSI. The program has since expanded to Boy Scouts, and is now duplicated nationwide at other science centers and museums.

Operation Hours: Daily: 10 am - 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Central Ohio Fire Museum

8) Central Ohio Fire Museum (must see)

Central Ohio Fire Museum, located in a building included in the National Register of Historic Places, was opened in 2002, exhibiting a collection of firefighting equipment from past to present, including hand-drawn, horse-drawn and motorized vehicles. You will also find a variety of uniforms, fire safety manuals and other literature, photographs and other equipment. Featuring unique classes and interactive displays concerning fire safety.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm
One Nationwide Plaza

9) One Nationwide Plaza

One Nationwide Plaza is a 40-story skyscraper in Columbus, Ohio that is the headquarters of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. It is part of the complex of buildings known as Nationwide Plaza. Nationwide outgrew its famous 246 Building by the 1970s and work began on a new headquarters for the company. In 1977, the 146 m (485 ft) building was completed. The building is located at the corner of N. High Street and what is now Nationwide Blvd. on the northern edge of downtown Columbus, Ohio. The name reflects its street address, since the building's front entrance is off its own Nationwide Plaza drive.

The building was designed by Brubaker/Brandt (which also designed Rhodes State Office Tower, the tallest building in Columbus) and Harrison & Abramovitz. The facade is dark vertical steel ribs bordered by white limestone ends. At night, it is lighted with blue spotlights, mimicking the blue box logo of Nationwide Mutual Insurance. A restaurant on the top floor of the building called One Nation lasted many years, but closed in the mid 1990s.
Sight description based on wikipedia
North Market

10) North Market

Since 1990 North Market, Columbus’ only public street market, has been a place where farmers and merchants come to sell their products, including meat, seafood, poultry, fruit, vegetables, flowers and other local specialties. Included on the grounds you will find a restaurant serving dishes made from local products and classes to learn how to make regional specialties. It is open Monday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Columbus

11) Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Columbus

The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Columbus, designed in a 6th century Byzantine style, includes a separate candle room where members place candles and pray. The four pillars supporting the dome are dedicated to the evangelists Mark, Mathew, Luke and John. Its stunning interior includes Venetian glass with ornate gold embellishments, and its altar is decorated an icon of the Virgin Mary and other saints.
The Short North

12) The Short North

The Short North is a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, United States, entered on the main strip of High Street immediately north of downtown and extending until just south of the Ohio State University campus area. It is an easy walk from the convention center or Nationwide Arena district to the north. The Short North is often crowded on weekends, particularly during the monthly "Gallery Hop" and other local and downtown events. The Short North has been described as "colorful", "offbeat", and "trendy". The district is heavily populated with art galleries, specialty shops, pubs, nightclubs, and coffee houses. The area is also known to be a very gay and lesbian friendly neighborhood which contains numerous gay nightclubs and bars and hosts the annual Columbus gay pride parade.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Columbus, Ohio

Create Your Own Walk in Columbus

Create Your Own Walk in Columbus

Creating your own self-guided walk in Columbus is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Top Religious Buildings

Top Religious Buildings

Columbus is rich in religious buildings which have an important historical, cultural and architectural significance to the city. Including Catholic, Protestant and Jewish places of worship, take the following tour to discover some of Columbus’ best religious architecture.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 Km or 3.8 Miles
Columbus Museums and Art Galleries Tour 2

Columbus Museums and Art Galleries Tour 2

Columbus is home to a number of fascinating museums and galleries which deserve attention, including old and contemporary art on display, as well as fascinating scientific and cultural ones. Take the following tour to discover the city’s best museums and galleries.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.6 Km or 6 Miles
Columbus Museums and Art Galleries Tour 1

Columbus Museums and Art Galleries Tour 1

Columbus offers several unique and beautiful museums dedicated to the city's history, culture, traditions and art, including a wonderful modern art museum, and one devoted to science and industry. Take the following tour to discover the best museums Columbus has to offer.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Things to Do in Columbus, Ohio USA

Things to Do in Columbus, Ohio USA

Columbus, Ohio is home to the NHL Hockey team The Columbus Bluejackets and the famous Ohio State Buckeyes. Columbus isn't just the Buckeyes, snow, and farmland, though! There are year-round and seasonal attractions for families that are worth visiting. Mix some fun and educational activities...