I take pride in knowing about little gems and attractions. That’s why I was floored to learn that I was unaware of a whole entire city that was only 1.5 hours away from me that is known for modern architecture.
I found out about Columbus, Indiana at a Travel Media Showcase and I became obsessed with going there ever since.
Why you ask?
Here are 10 reasons why you should add Columbus to your day trip or road trip list
1. You can take an Architectural Tour to get an overview of the architecture in the area
The American Institue of Architects ranked Columbus, Indiana 6th in the nation for architectural innovation. What’s even more amazing is that Columbus is a city of around 46,000 ranking among major cities for architecture. International artists and architecture are featured in over 90 buildings and public art. I’m a huge fan of architecture and Columbus is truly a gem for the magnitude of what it offers in such a small city.
The architectural tour starts with a film in the Center that gives an overview of the city and its history. Make sure that you appreciate the Dale Chihuly chandelier inside the Visitor Center before you start your tour.
Next, you step outside and will learn about a few nearby structures. The 2-hour tour will drive you by 40 significant structures and works of art and inside two structures availability permitting.
The architectural tour takes you inside two churches that are architectural works of art. The First Christian Church pictured above was completed in 1942 and is believed to be the first modern church in the United States.
North Christian Church is a U.S. National Historic landmark, hexagonal in shape and was built in 1964.
2. You can get flushed away. Literally at the Kids Commons.
Kids and adults have plenty of opportunities to interact and explore at this hands-on Children’s museum.
3. The free indoor fun at The Commons Playground combines art with play
Art meets function at this free playground that is located across the street from Kids Commons.
The perfect spot to burn off some energy all year round.
4. Great meals with downtown charm
I enjoyed a great burger at 4th Street Bar and also received great service and insider local intel for what makes Columbus special from our server, Dewayne.
5. You can walk to a large amount of art within a few block radius downtown.
A majority of the art and architecture is located within a few blocks which means that you can easily cover a lot of ground and see a lot.
You can also download a free audio tour on your smartphone.
6. Get inspired by design from the past that feels like the present at The Miller House and Garden Tour
If you love architecture or Mad Men, you will LOVE this tour! This private residence was ahead of the times and is extremely interesting. Designed by architects and designers Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard, and Dan Kiley, you will definitely enjoy learning more about the style and function on the inside.
You can take pictures outside but you are not allowed to take pictures inside unless you are on the photo tour.
7. Sample Sweet Treats and Nostalgia at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum
Try a “Green River” fountain soda or enjoy an ice cream sundae that comes with your own gravy boat for your topping.
The perfect spot to enjoy a sweet treat surrounded by the remnants of another era.
The history of this building dates back to the 1900s and there is an incredible collection of fountain sodas and memorabilia to view. You can also listen to a restored 1870s orchestrion.
8. Take in gorgeous views The Inn at Irwin Gardens Bed and Breakfast
Unfortunately, there was a private event going on during our visit but the views from the sidewalk made me want to come back. This bed and breakfast looks like a beautiful place to stay which is also in the heart of the downtown.
9. Lots of recreational options
We made a quick trip to climb the observation tower at Mill Race Park before leaving town. Columbus offers miles of bike trails and a variety of recreational parks.
10 Columbus, Indiana is centrally located to major cities.
Columbus is centrally located between Indianapolis, Louisville, and Cincinnati which made Columbus a great day trip.
You can find out more about Columbus, Indiana from their website.
Disclosure: I was provided complimentary tours for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
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