Columbus Hotspots from a Born and Raised Ohioan
As much as us Ohioans are stereotyped for being farmers, the City of Columbus could not be farther from corn fields and tractors. Did you know that Columbus is actually the 14th largest state in the U.S.? Local food, business, art, and urban culture make this city a pretty good one. Follow along for my favorite spots to check out!
The Candle Lab
If you are looking for the perfect first date, GNO, holiday gift or creative outlet- The Candle Lab has got you. With locations in Grandview, the Short North, and Worthington, The Candle Lab is accessible to all of Columbus! Get crafty as you mix your scents and customize a candle jar. Other options include sugar scrub, body sprays, and lotions.
I have been going to the Clay Cafe for yearsssss. Hand-painted pottery is a timeless and perfect activity for any age (they even have adults paint free night on Fridays in Grandview and Wednesdays in Clintonville!). Feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks while messing with fancy patterns and handmade ceramics. The little building is full of color and inspiration to get your paint on.
Red Giraffe Designs
Red Giraffe has blown up! Seriously- you can choose between The Short North, German Village, Grandview or Easton to check out this local and handmade jewelry boutique. What makes Red Giraffe special is that you can personalize any bracelet, ring or necklace by choosing a font or symbol to be engraved. Popular ideas include inspirational quotes, geographic locations, and initials, but the possibilities are endless! They also have beautiful jewelry that is hand-crafted in their studio at an extremely reasonable price!
Shop Happy Go Lucky
My cousin and I recently found Shop Happy Go Lucky during a holiday gift excursion. Year two and it is still our favorite place to go! Shop Happy Go Lucky is one giant Short North boutique divided into “Her” and “Home.” You can find nearly everything at this one of a kind lifestyle shop- art, home decor, unique children's items, handmade jewelry and a beautiful line of clothing. It’s difficult to leave empty handed!
Where my thrifters at??? Rag-O-Rama is a trendy, vintage consignment shop in Clintonville. Not only can you purchase recycled clothes, but Rag-O-Rama also takes a buy/trade approach. The perfect location to hit up other unique shops along N High Street, this retro, sustainable fashion spot is the ideal addition to the Columbus clothing scene.
I used to DREAM of working at this store when I was younger. In fact, it was on my list of “Things I Would Like to Accomplish in High School.” Why? Because this vintage, antique and handmade store is freakin awesome. The owners are local Columbus husband and wife who turned their hobby into a business! (How do I know this? I did end up working there. It was absolutely wonderful). I owe it to DeMars for teaching me the importance of shopping small, supporting local business and using what you already have! If you are ever in Grandview and want to find some quirky, old or upcycled masterpieces, stop in! They also have an Etsy!!
Highbanks Metro Park
Fun fact! I first learned to drive here. Not that Highbanks is for driving, it’s for hiking. But if you need a place to start, that works too.
With a number of trails, playgrounds, and overlooks, Highbanks Metro Park is a go-to hiking spot here in Columbus. You can also go creaking, sledding in the winter, or enjoy the lodge for events and nature exhibits. Highbanks has enough trails to keep the park interesting every time you go back!
The Olentangy Trail
Our very own trail runs from Downtown to the outskirt suburb of Worthington. It’s likely you’ll catch the OSU cross-country team jogging along, as The Olentangy Trail crosses right through Ohio State’s campus! The Olentangy Trail is truthfully one of my absolute favorite spots in the central-Ohio area. I have cycled miles and miles over the years. Beautiful, blooming trees and scenic stops like Antrim Park Lake truly gives life to activity here in Columbus.
Columbus has it’s very own SoulCycle- with a twist. What makes Cycle614 unique is it’s local, small business personality. If you’ve ever been to a high-energy cycle class, you’d know how much of a party the pumping music and fit as heck instructors can be. The motivational atmosphere is rooted in contributing to the community, inviting everyone to join and regularly partnering with local schools + other service-based causes. Book your bike today!
Formerly known as Balanced Yoga, this chic and welcoming studio (or should I say studios- there are two!) offers classes all day, of all styles for all people. Despite your experience or lack thereof, Give’s atmosphere is all about community. If you are looking to experiment with a practice at Give, there is one free class every weekend at each studio known as the “Community Class,” making it easy to give Give a go!
The North Market
My love for The North Market started with a yearly family tradition early one Saturday morning every December to pick out a locally cut Christmas tree. I will always remember getting a Belgium waffle with an ice cream scoop on top for breakfast and drinking hot cocoa while walking through the small business wonderland.
The distinct market smell reminds me of our Christmas tradition, but this public market is not limited to trees and ice cream. The North Market is always hopping, and for good reasons! The market supports local bakers, butchers, farmers, and restaurant owners in one place- a Columbus must!
Third and Hollywood
If you are looking for an elegant, sit-down restaurant, Third and Hollywood never disappoints. If you’ve ever seen La La Land, this tasteful bar and lounge emulates a jazzy, Ryan Gosling vibe. Go for lunch, dinner or weekend brunch to enjoy upscale, locally sourced dishes. Ever tried Northstar? Third and Hollywood is a classier extension of the reputable Columbus cafe.
Alchemy Juice Bar
My girl, Alexis Joseph (aka Hummusapien) has been an inspiration since the beginning. This health and nutrition blogger also runs a juice bar! Ever since Alchemy extended from inner Columbus to Grandview Ave, the wellness cafe has been a crowd-pleaser. Enjoy a fancy, vegan brunch or grab a smoothie bowl to go! The minimalistic interior is the perfect space to sit down with a superfood latte and get some work done. I could not recommend Alchemy enough!
Nurtur The Salon
I LOVE this place! Nurtur has been my hair salon since before I even knew about natural, non-toxic beauty! Powered by plants, Nurtur uses Aveda products for all of their services. I have been getting my hair cut, styled and colored there for six years now (I was 12 when I first went, my mom let me upgrade from Saturdays once I hit middle-school). In more recent time I got my first facial! Oh, man was it amazing- I left a new person.
The best part about Nurtur? All hair services come with a mini back/shoulder massage and your choice of a mini facial or hand/arm massage! I so look forward to my appointments, especially after a busy day. It’s the best way to wind down and take care of yourself.
Elli Nail Spa
Elli is the nail spot to take a friend or make a girls day. Located in Grandview and Worthington, Elli bases their spa on the idea of indulgence. There are three levels of service you can choose- Quick to Indulge, Care to Indulge and Love to Indulge, which allows you to work within a budget or time range. Every nail artist I have gone to has a warm, welcoming smile and makes you feel at home!
It’s no secret that I am a die-hard Columbus Blue Jackets fan and proud daughter of a season-ticket holder circa the second grade, but Columbus’ hockey arena is most definitely known for more than slapshots and hat-tricks (me, hockey geeking).
Cinemark Movies 12
Hands down the most underrated movie theater- this low-key film spot underwent a makeover. Previously known as the Dollar Theater, complete with those cozy reclining chairs everyone is raving about. With prices lower than popular AMC theaters, Cinemark Movies 12 offers the latest cinematic releases to citizens of the Bethel/Henderson/Sawmill area.
All the love,