Columbus, Ohio is mentioned everywhere, from tv shows to movies, and even songs talk about Ohio’s state capital. If you know anything about Ohio, you have probably heard of Columbus.
Columbus sits directly in the center of the state, with two main highways intersecting in the center. Interstate 71 runs north and south, while interstate 70 runs east to west.
This makes Columbus easily accessible from anywhere in the state. Take a two-hour drive north to Cleveland and drive two hours west to find Cincinnati.
If you want to know all there is to know about the city of Columbus, then look no further. In this article we will discuss everything from adulting in Columbus, having fun in Columbus, and where to live in Columbus!
Table of Contents
- 1 How Is The Weather?
- 2 Cost Of Living
- 3 Best Places To Live
- 4 Things To Do
- 5 Festivals and Events
- 6 The Local DMV
- 7 Taxes
- 8 My Final Thoughts
How Is The Weather?
If you enjoy the four seasons, summer, fall, winter, and spring, then you will love Columbus, Ohio.
Each season transitions to the next, often having wild patterns until the transition is complete. For example, when winter breaks free into spring, you may have a 60-degree day on Tuesday and wake up the next morning with 3 inches of snow covering the ground!
Overall the weather is typical for the Midwest. A rainy and cool spring season can bring some severe thunderstorms that produce hail and lightning.
A warm and sunny summer can be muggy and sometimes have a pop-up sun shower. A brisk fall comes out of nowhere. And a cold winter that can have either no snow at all or a blizzard, depending on the year.
If you like a little bit of a year-round mix of weather, Columbus, Ohio, is a great place to live.
Cost Of Living
The cost of living in Columbus varies depending on where you live. The closer you are to downtown, the more expensive the houses can become. But, that isn’t always the case, because it can also depend on the street in which you live, and where on that street you are located.
Columbus, Ohio, is made up of small cities within the city. You can live in a “sub-city” or neighborhood that is only three blocks wide, drive one block away and be in a whole different atmosphere. We will discuss a few neighborhoods around Columbus and their cost of living below.
The most expensive street to live on is Broad street in Bexley, the houses are millions of dollars, and the side streets are often just as expensive. Most homes in the Bexley neighborhood are on the north side of Bexley, which is where Broad Street is located.
One block south is Main Street. Main Street in Bexley is where the businesses are located. The people are well dressed, usually wearing designer clothes and handbags, driving expensive cars, and dining on luxurious meals.
Bexley is the cream of the crop when it comes to Columbus living, it is small and expensive, but very beautiful. As you exit Bexley and travel east, you enter Eastmoor. In the blink of an eye, the atmosphere changes drastically.
Surprisingly, this sub-city is the complete opposite of Bexley. There is no more luxury, and all you see is a struggle. People hustling on the sides of the streets, abandoned houses, broken windows, and a lot more crime.
The houses here are cheaper, for less than 200,000 you can find a modest home that has recently been flipped. But, buyer beware these houses are sometimes flipped using the handyman special, and you can end up with a lemon.
Overall, Columbus has many high and low places scattered through it like this. As you drive around, you experience how the city is laid out, and you understand why paying a bit more for housing may be the better idea.
Rent can be as low as $600 for a one-bedroom apartment or as high as $5,000. It all depends on which sub-city or neighborhood you choose.
Best Places To Live
Columbus is a fairly large city that is broken up into the North, South, East, and West sides. Each side is different, having different features, places, and things to do.
As you read above, the cost of living varies, depending on where you live in the city. I will name the top-tier, mid-tier, and low-tier neighborhoods throughout Columbus.
Each of the cities listed here will come at a premium price. You will pay more, but you have access to more amenities and services. The parks will be cleaner, the restaurants will be fancier, and the security will be greater.
- Known for Drexel Theater
- Rubino’s Pizza
- Capital University
- Known for Ohio State University
- German Village
- The Short North
- Known for Hoover Dam
- Uptown Westerville 4th Fridays
- Otterbein University
- Known for The Park of Roses
- Olentangy River
- Condado Tacos
- Known for Jack Nicklaus Park
- Great School District
- Close to Ohio State
Living in these neighborhoods is comfortable and accessible. You have regular people who work their 9-5s and are trying to live out their American dream.
- Known for Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum
- Urban Air Trampoline Park
- Birthplace of the tomato
- Known for CreekSide Park
- Rocky Fork Metro Park
- Gahanna Historical Society
- Known for Scioto Metro Park
- Plum Run Winery
- Birthplace of Greyhound Racing
- Known for The Ohio Railway Museum
- Highbanks Metro Park
- Harrison House Bed and Breakfast
These cities are less safe with higher crime rates and fewer amenities or services. There is still beauty hidden within these cities, but they don’t have the funding to keep them up to par with the higher-tiered neighborhoods.
- Known for Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin
- Historically Recognized Neighborhood
- Jazz musician Michael Feinstein
- Known for Columbus Country Club
- Town and Country Shopping Center
- Whitehall Community Park
- Known for Ena’s Caribbean Kitchen
- Recognized as a historical neighborhood
- Cultural Diversity
Things To Do
The best thing about Columbus, Ohio, is that there is always something to do! No matter which side of the city you live on, you have something accessible within a 15-minute drive.
Here we will discuss the top things to do in Columbus, Ohio.
COSI is a magical place for kids and adults. It offers cultural exhibits and hands-on programs that help you immerse yourself in the world of science.
Easton Mall is an indoor and outdoor mall that was built in 1999 and expands every year. It was designed to look like its own little city.
Shop at high-end stores, eat at wonderful restaurants, enjoy a movie, or go to the comedy club inside called Columbus Funny Bone. This mall has a bit of everything for everyone.
Polaris mall is another great mall that Columbus has to offer. This mall has two levels and also has a movie theater. Recently they added an IKEA and Top Golf, and it expands yearly as well.
The Drexel Theater was built in the early 1900s and was transformed into a theater a few decades later. It is a historical building with a lot of character and charm.
It currently plays big screen and independent movies, and offers a unique social experience to discuss the films. They offer theme nights and really offer a one of a kind cinematic viewing.
German Village is not just a neighborhood within Columbus, it is a whole vibe. This sub-city offers so much to be explored. It was once a charming village of brick houses and locals, now full of pubs, boutiques, bistros, and vendors of all sorts.
Columbus Museum of Art
The Columbus Museum of Art is worth the trip. If you are local or a little bit out of the city, setting aside a day to explore this wonderful museum won’t be regretted. Enjoy art exhibits and programs that are regularly updated.
If you are a gambling man (or woman, or person) you will love the Hollywood Casino. Not only do they have plenty of slot machines, a delicious assortment of restaurants, but they have a top notch poker room for all your table gaming needs!
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the largest zoos in the United States.
It sits on over 500 acres of land, with over 10,000 animals to see! The polar bear exhibit features an underground viewing station where you can watch the polar bears deep dive for food, or you can head over to stingray bay to pet real live stingrays!
Festivals and Events
If the above list isn’t enough to keep you busy, then the one below definitely will! Columbus, Ohio, has multiple festivals and events that go on throughout the year.
Read along with me as I discuss the best festivals and events that Columbus has to offer!
ComFest is a large event held each summer in Columbus, Ohio. Formally known as the community festival, ComFest is a free music and art event run by volunteers in Goodale Park.
Gay Pride Festival
Columbus is a very LGBTQIA+ friendly city. Each summer they participate in the annual Stonewall Gay Parade and Festival. Thousands of people line the streets and celebrate.
Ohio State Fair
The Ohio State Fair has been a gathering place for locals for many years. Professional musicians play at the expo center, while the outside hosts restaurants, food trucks, rides, and plenty of games. This weeklong event brings in crowds of people from far and wide.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional hockey team that plays out of Columbus. They play at Nationwide Arena and have very loyal fans who cheer them on in the crowd and from home!
The Ohio State Buckeyes Football
Out of everything in this whole list, even the whole article, there is nothing that says Columbus more than the Ohio State Buckeye Football team.
The Buckeyes are so well known in Columbus, that people will argue in the streets if you even say their rivals name! Sometimes you can’t even use the letter!
Game days are events across the city. Whether or not you are at the Shoe watching live or tuning in from a local bar, or even your living room, college football season is a whole event enjoyed by everyone.
I could talk all day about the scarlet and gray, and if you are a Buckeye fan so could you!
The Local DMV
In Columbus, there are many locations to renew your license and registration. The process is simple, you choose one of the many locations that are scattered around the city and check their website to make sure they offer the services you need.
Not all locations offer the same services, so always double-check before you go! You can even skip the line, by checking in online before you leave to help with waiting times.
Yes, the lines can be long, so visit this website to find everything you need to know before going to the local BMV to apply for or renew your license or registration.
Taxes are the American way, right? You can’t escape them, so you better be knowledgeable about them! Here we will discuss property taxes as well as local and state taxes.
Property taxes in Columbus differ widely depending on which neighborhood you live in.
As a good rule of thumb, the higher the home values, the higher the property taxes will be. Some neighborhoods have property taxes that will set you back over $12,000 per year and other areas will cost half or even a tenth of that number.
Columbus, like everywhere in America, requires you to pay local and state taxes. If you need more information about Columbus and their taxation system you can find all you need to know here.
My Final Thoughts
Columbus, Ohio, is a great place to live that offers many places to go and things to see and experience.
From downtown to the many neighborhoods throughout the city, there is always something going on in Columbus. The busy atmosphere is perfect for someone who wants to get out and experience all it has to offer.
Columbus is a multicultural city that offers cuisine from all over the world, the experience you get when living there is one of a kind and you won’t be disappointed.