Cultivate is Just the Beginning...
The Columbus region is one of the fastest growing areas in the Midwest, home to one of the country's largest universities, the nation's foremost research organization, 15 Fortune 1000 companies, the No. 1 zoo, No. 1 science center, and even the No. 1 ice cream.
Our creative scene ranks in the top 10 in the country, with performing arts, music, theatres, museums, more park land per capita than any other U.S. city, and a gorgeous conservatory and botanical gardens.
So much to do. So much to see. (So much to eat and drink!) Columbus has lots of exciting attractions to offer.
Discover what Ohio's largest city has to offer; visit ExperienceColumbus.com.
Within Walking Distance
Just a few steps from the Convention Center you'll find these great Columbus treasures.
THE SHORT NORTH ARTS DISTRICT
Discover the area The Chicago Tribune has heralded as an "artsy and edgy destination." One-of-a-kind shops, dining, art galleries, boutiques, pubs, live theatre, and nightlife make The Short North the unofficial cultural center of the city.
THE ARENA DISTRICT
An easy walk from the Convention Center, the Arena District offers casual eateries, friendly pubs, trendy nightlife, and "the country's best new ballpark," Huntington Park, where the Triple-A Baseball, back-to-back National Champion Columbus Clippers play.
JENI'S SPLENDID ICE CREAMS
Made with the finest local ingredients, and featuring flavors like Salty Caramel, Queen City Cayenne, and Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, it's no wonder Jeni's has been named "America's Best" by Time magazine.
Discover micro-distilleries that take their cues from the Old World traditions of master distillers, using locally sourced ingredients and small-batch creation. Middle West Spirits has been named one of the "World's 5 Most High-Tech Distilleries" and Watershed Distillery is getting quite a reputation for their world-class Vodka, Gin, and Bourbon.
Beer more your style? Then don't miss the Columbus Brewing Company, where you can enjoy dinner and a microbrew just a short drive away.
If you have a car, and want to explore a little farther away, you won't want to miss these Central Ohio favorites:
THE COLUMBUS ZOO & AQUARIUM
Home to more than 9,000 animals from around the globe, America's number one zoo is a world of adventure that shouldn't be missed. Animals live in natural habitats including Asia Quest, Australia and the Islands, North America, Expedition Congo, and the new Heart of Africa opening in this spring. See what's in store at ColsZoo.org.
Want even more wildlife? Head east to The Wilds, a non-profit wildlife conservation center located on nearly 10,000 acres in Muskingum County. Home to over 25 non-native and 100s of native species, it allows you to take safaris to see zebras, rhinos, cheetahs, camels, and more roaming freely in natural, open-range habitats. The Wilds is approximately 45 minutes east of Columbus and well worth the drive. Visit TheWilds.org for schedules and tours.
Where Plant Geeks Geek Out
Can't get enough plant life? We've got you covered. Columbus (which, incidentally, has more park land per capita than any other American city) has a host of horticultural attractions for you to take in:
THE TOPIARY PARK
Located in downtown Columbus on the grounds of the former School for the Deaf, the Topiary Park is a 7-acre landscape of a painting of George Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte, to be exact. The park is a quick walk from the Convention Center, and admission is free. See a map at TopiaryGarden.org.
FRANKLIN PARK CONSERVATORY
Columbus' premier horticulture institution showcases artfully designed gardens, exotic plant collections, and lush floral displays. The Conservatory's trials program evaluates the performance of new annual, perennial, and vegetable varieties, with breeders from around the world sending their newest varieties to see which grow best in central Ohio. Read more and view trial results at FPconservatory.org.
COLUMBUS PARK OF ROSES
One of the largest and most celebrated municipal rose gardens in the U.S., the 13-acre Park of Roses located in the Clintonville neighborhood just north of downtown features more than 11,500 roses with more than 400 varieties. Visit ParkOfRoses.org for hours and directions.
OSU ANNUALS TRIAL
Located at OSU's Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens, the Cultivar Trials are conducted each year in order to evaluate ornamental bedding and container plants. Learn more at OhioFloriculture.osu.edu/cultivar-trials.
INNISWOODDS METRO GARDENS
A shade garden, rock garden, conifer garden, herb garden, and rose garden are the highlights of this lovely metropark located in Westerville. Inniswood.org will give you a sneak peak of the gardens.
Bring the Family
Drive a Mars Rover in Space. See real-time research. Lift a car in the Big Science Park. There's no limit to the things you can do and learn at Columbus' Center of Science & Industry, including a special international Sherlock Holmes exhibit. Cosi.org for a virtual tour and special events.
Seventeen exhilarating, state-of-the-art water slides, a wave pool, an action river, a lazy river, and a kiddie play pool make this 22-acre park a splash for the whole family. Dip your toes in at ZoombeziBay.com.
COLUMBUS MUSEUM OF ART
Along with its stellar permanent collection, the museum offers a Center for Creativity where families can enjoy hands-on activities, concerts, lectures, and interactive experiences. Watch art come to life at ColumbusMuseum.org.
A good, old-fashioned baseball stadium. Columbus' Triple-A minor league Clippers put on a great game, complete with hot dogs, Cracker Jacks, seventh-inning stretch, T-shirt flings, and a bon-a-fide water dog. Visit HuntingtonParkColumbus.com for schedules and tickets.
The Food Scene
Columbus has something for everyone of every age. If you're planning to bring your family along for some summer fun at this year's Cultivate, you won't want to miss these: Columbus' culinary scene has been garnering national attention and critical acclaim. From Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, named "America's best" by Time Magazine, to the member restaurants of Dine Originals Columbus that offer unique experiences by the forkful and the bustling food truck craze, we've been called "a certified food-lover's town."