Beyond the Ball
Breaking: OSU sports are not the only events in Columbus, OH
This post is specifically geared to the non-sports-fan audience. So, if you ceremoniously watch ESPN's SportsCenter, you may want to stop reading this now. Furthermore, if your idyllic weekend involves countless hours of watching sports with a beer in hand, please stop here . . . the remaining content won't likely appeal to you.
One thing that might be factoring into your b-school decision is where you'll be living for the next two years. Knowing that, I'll try to give you a brief synopsis of Columbus and the options available to you from an food & culture standpoint.
ART & CULTURE Frankly, sports have never interested me from any aspect other than a social outing. My favorite places to visit are art museums and galleries. I could spend countless hours visiting them (but not every weekend). There is a rather strong arts community in Columbus which I believe is fostered by the amount of colleges & universities within the city. On campus, we have the Wexner Center for the Arts. Just down High Street is The Short North district which houses multiple galleries, restaurants, and shops. Further down the road, downtown, you'll find the Columbus Art Museum, the Riffe Gallery, and CCAD's Canzani Center Gallery. Also downtown, my favorite space is Hawk Galleries... if glass is your passion, you'll be in heaven. Additionally, you can find more spaces in surrounding areas: German Village, Bexley, Grandview Heights, Dublin, and Delaware. Admire from a distance or try your hand at creation... there's a long list available. I can't possibly include them all here.
Beyond art, there are many other places to see and visit in Columbus. For illustrative purposes, here's a few: the Topiary Park, The Franklin Park Conservatory, The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, COSI, the Santa Maria, The Ohio Historical Center, The Ohio Statehouse, and the Ohio Expo Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Columbus is truly a great place for singles, couples, and families. Art Festivals, Oktoberfest, the State Fair, Home & Garden Show, ComFest, and just about every cultural festival imaginable are all apart of this city's calendar of events. Want to enjoy the outdoors? We have the Metroparks and additional options within a couple hours driving distance (Hocking Hills, Lake Erie, etc.).
FOODIES Also worth mentioning is the food culture in Columbus. Home of White Castle, Donato's, Wendy's, Max & Erma's, and Bob Evan's, Columbus could be viewed as nothing more than fast food and strip malls. Yes - Columbus has fast food and vast amounts of shopping which many people enjoy. (Note: something for everyone.) If you are familiar with terms like edamame, sous vide, tapenade, and aoli, read on. Columbus' destinations for foodies are gaining national recognition lately. Recent articles have been published in The Washington Post and Columbus was featured on Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" when Anthony and Michael Ruhlman visited a few bright culinary spots in the city. We also have our share of Farmer's Markets that offer fresh fare late-Spring through Fall.
So, if you're an international student (like my roommate Edouard) and not attached to American football, have no fear. We are a diverse city that has many international influences (thanks to the amount of professionals entering and exiting the city working in government, higher education, retail, insurance, and banking). Without a doubt, Columbus has something for everyone. Rest assured - you will enjoy living here and, if you ever find yourself with some extra time on your hands (which is rare), there's plenty to do right outside your door.
Want more? Also visit Insider Ohio for additional information on the area.