This is my first travel blog post! Like most members of my generation I have an incredible itch to always be on the move. Believe me, I love Nashville but there are so many places I want to see close to home and in the far reaches of the world. Traveling is something that opens you up to new experiences, new people and adds a layer of depth to your life. I do not believe that you need to spend exorbitant amounts of money to get a great experience. I also do not believe that you have to go very far to find the gems that are scattered around the US.
I grew up in Michigan and would have never considered Ohio to be a tourist destination (other than Cedar Point but that’s different). Ohio was a state that you drove through to get to your real destination or home. But let me tell you, Columbus OH, is a true midwestern gem! I spent the weekend there visiting a good friend from grad school and we did all of her favorite spots around town. If you can experience a city with someone who lives there, I highly encourage you to do so. They know the ins and outs of the city better than any travel website or yelp review. We spent the weekend seeing the best sites, eating the best meals and going to her favorite night life hangs. Here are the highlights
Okay! Anyone who knows me well knows that Foxes are kind of my thing. I collect them. This little cafe was amazing! Their menu was mostly pastries and coffees, and I am not sure how we did not just get one of each pastry. Everything looked and tasted delicious. I went with a blueberry scone and an Ethiopian pour over. Probably one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had. But I also have a tendency to drink shit coffee so maybe I’m not an expert. The best part about this place was their open bakery. We watched all of the bakers creating the beautiful confections and breakfast sandwiches. Their breakfast sandwich is the most popular item on the menu and they were literally cranking them out by the sheet load.
The coffee mugs were absolutely gorgeous and had their fox logo printed on the side. So of course I bought one to take home. I think it was the only souvenir I got from the entire trip but seriously I love it so much!.
Another place we went to brunch was Katalina’s Cafe. My friend warned me that the restaurants was tiny and boy did she not exaggerate. We got there and the line was out the door. Luckily the sun was shining and there was outdoor seating, because the total number of tables inside was about four. That being said, there was a reason the line was so long! The food was so good!
Katalina’s is famous for their Pancake Balls. Balls of pancake batter filled like a donut and served with bourbon maple syrup on the side. There were three flavor options including, Nutella, pumpkin-apple butter and dulce de leche. We opted for the pumpkin-apple butter, and they were so so delicious. Besides the pancake balls I also got the veggie biscuits and gravy. I love biscuits and gravy and since giving up meat I rarely find them as an option for me. Any restaurant willing to make them veggie has a thumbs up in my book!
We sat outside in the sun and it was very pleasant with our jackets on. Who knew my first patio brunch of the season would be in Ohio during February.
German Village was absolutely my favorite neighborhood of Columbus. It had tiny historic red brick residences and the streets that matched with alternating red brick roads, it was so beautiful. I am a sucker for a historic neighborhood! The area had sweet little cafes and stores, and the best gem of all was the Book Loft. Inside a quaint historic building was a maze of rooms crammed with books on every subject. Each room was a new theme and a new chance to peruse books of every kind. When I say it was crammed I mean it was jammed packed with books and people. There was not a single moment in there where I did not feel like I was in someone’s way. But once you get past the slight claustrophobic feeling of the place you can see how truly great it is. The Book Loft was a spectacular example of a thriving independent book store, and Columbus should be proud to continuing supporting it.
As we were leaving it began to snow! Living in Nashville I get far fewer snows than I grew up with. While my friend apologized for the weather I just saw magic! The quaint little German Village turned into a beautiful snow globe city out of Dickens.
If you have the privilege to stay in Columbus past Sunday, I highly recommend going to the Columbus Museum of Art. They have free admission on Sunday’s for their permanent collection galleries. The benefit of CMA being a smaller art museum is that you can see the whole thing in one day. Really you only need a few hours. As someone who works in the field of Museums I can say that Columbus is doing so many things right! They have beautiful galleries to house their collections and their education engagement activities are top quality. In their lower galleries they have a massive creative space for families to interact with the art and use their hands to get better sense of the art. It was a fantastic experience!
So the largest aspect of Columbus is that it is home to Ohio State University. And while they may not my favorite of sports teams, they are still a Big Ten School and I would not pass up an opportunity to see it. The campus is really nice! It reminded me a lot of where I went to school at Michigan State University, but even bigger. There are so many similarities and differences between Big Ten Schools but I think what makes MSU and OSU so much alike is the fact they are both land grant agricultural schools founded in the mid 1800s. Their design and architectures are very much alike. Kind of like if someone decided that this is what an agricultural university was should like and then it was never questioned.
We went to the Library and to the Football Stadium. First of all, yes, I am a huge nerd who loves libraries, remember I work in one. Second of all, OSU’s library is stunning. When you walk in and look up you can see all the way to the top of the stacks as the floors have open glass walls. Once you ride the elevator all the way to the top floor you can get a 360 degree view of the entire campus. Which again is massive! OSU’s football stadium is another stunner! It was originally built in the 1920s and some of the art deco architecture still survives. I was confused why the floral facade was painted navy and yellow as those are the colors of that other school in Michigan. It was explained to me that they remained those colors as a reminder to the students of who they needed to always beat. Such an interesting little quirk!
So Columbus is fun! Going out we mainly stayed in this area called Short North. Its basically a street lined with boutiques, restaurants and bars. My friend took me to her usual haunts and we had a blast. Columbus loves its craft beer and every where we went had an amazing tap selection. We spent the most time at this quirky little bar called Oddfellows. The walls were covered in the most random paraphernalia. Taxidermy, dolls, a bath tub, the eyes from the Great Gatsby, you name it. What surprised me the most about Columbus is how many places had patios. So many spots had outdoor spaces for when the weather was better but as you know Ohio is not famous for its warm weather. At Oddfellows their patio included a pizza window! You could just go up to the window and order a slice a pizza at all hours! It was fantastic! Now I know a pizza window is not a new thing, we have them here in Nashville, but the fact that it was part of the bar was just a very smart business move on their part.
So I am here to tell you guys that yes, Columbus is fun! I had such a great weekend and I can not wait to visit again during some warmer weather! I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know what your thoughts are in the comments. When I travel I will post a lot more content to my Instagram stories, so follow me there for more adventures!