Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Columbus, Indiana, is a charming city that boasts a rich architectural heritage, vibrant arts scene, and a welcoming community. If you’re planning a visit, you’re in for a treat! From stunning architectural wonders to delightful outdoor activities, Columbus has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the top things to do in Columbus, Indiana.
- Architectural Marvels:Columbus is renowned for its exceptional architecture, and a stroll through the city is like exploring an open-air museum. Start your architectural adventure with a visit to the Miller House and Garden. Designed by Eero Saarinen, this mid-century modern masterpiece is a must-see for design enthusiasts. Don’t forget to explore other iconic structures like the North Christian Church and the First Christian Church, both designed by the legendary architect Eliel Saarinen.
- Art and Culture:For art lovers, the Columbus Museum of Art and Design is a treasure trove. It showcases a diverse collection of contemporary and classical art. The nearby Henry Moore sculpture, “Large Arch,” is a popular spot for art enthusiasts and a great photo opportunity. Additionally, don’t miss the Inn at Irwin Gardens, a historic mansion with beautiful gardens that often hosts cultural events and performances.
- Exploration of Cummins Corporate Office:Cummins, a global leader in power solutions, has its global headquarters in Columbus. The Cummins Corporate Office Building, designed by Kevin Roche, is an architectural gem that reflects the company’s commitment to innovation. Guided tours are available, providing a fascinating insight into the design philosophy and sustainable practices incorporated into the building.
- Outdoor Escapades:Nature lovers will find solace in the picturesque Mill Race Park. This beautifully landscaped park offers walking trails, scenic views, and a chance to unwind. For a more active adventure, consider a canoe trip along the Driftwood River or explore the trails at Brown County State Park, known for its stunning fall foliage.
- Local Cuisine and Shopping:Columbus boasts a burgeoning culinary scene. Head to downtown Columbus, where you’ll find a variety of restaurants offering diverse cuisines. From cozy cafes to upscale dining, there’s something to satisfy every palate. After indulging your taste buds, explore the unique boutiques and galleries for locally crafted goods and souvenirs.
- Events and Festivals:Plan your visit to coincide with one of Columbus’s many events and festivals. The Ethnic Expo celebrates cultural diversity with music, dance, and delicious international cuisine. The Columbus Scottish Festival is another highlight, featuring bagpipe performances, traditional games, and a lively atmosphere.
- Exquisite Public Art Installations:Columbus takes public art to another level with its extensive collection of outdoor sculptures and installations. Take a self-guided tour to discover works by renowned artists like Jean Tinguely, Henry Moore, and Dale Chihuly. The public art program is a testament to the city’s commitment to making art accessible to everyone.
- Kids Commons – A Playground for Creativity:If you’re traveling with children, don’t miss Kids Commons, a hands-on children’s museum in downtown Columbus. With interactive exhibits covering science, art, and culture, it’s a perfect spot for young minds to explore, learn, and play.
- Historic Districts and Walking Tours:Immerse yourself in Columbus’s rich history by exploring its historic districts. Take a leisurely stroll through the Irwin Gardens Historic District, lined with charming homes and well-preserved architecture. Guided walking tours are available, providing fascinating insights into the city’s past.
- Treat Yourself to Local Brews:For beer enthusiasts, a visit to one of Columbus’s craft breweries is a must. Sample a variety of locally brewed beers, enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, and perhaps take a brewery tour to learn about the brewing process. It’s a great way to unwind and experience the local flavor.
- Live Performances at The Commons:The Commons, a community gathering space in downtown Columbus, hosts a variety of events, including live performances, concerts, and community gatherings. Check the event schedule to see if there’s a performance or festival happening during your visit.
- Visit Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor:Step back in time at Zaharakos, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that has been serving sweet treats since 1900. Marvel at the vintage decor, enjoy a delicious ice cream sundae, and soak in the nostalgic ambiance of this beloved local establishment.
- Explore the People Trails:Columbus is home to an extensive network of People Trails, offering scenic routes for walking, jogging, and biking. Enjoy the beauty of the outdoors as you traverse these well-maintained trails, connecting various parts of the city and providing a healthy and enjoyable way to explore.
- Discover Local History at the Bartholomew County Historical Society:Gain insights into the region’s history at the Bartholomew County Historical Society. The society operates a museum that showcases artifacts, exhibits, and stories from Columbus and its surroundings, providing a deeper understanding of the area’s cultural and historical heritage.
- Attend a Workshop or Class at Ivy Tech Columbus:Check out the offerings at Ivy Tech Community College’s Columbus campus. They often host workshops, classes, and events that are open to the public. It’s an excellent opportunity to engage in learning experiences and meet locals.
Columbus, Indiana, may not be the first city that comes to mind for a getaway, but it is undoubtedly a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re drawn to architecture, arts, outdoor activities, or culinary delights, Columbus has a lot to offer. So, pack your bags and explore the unique charm of this Midwest treasure.