Cool Things To Know When Moving to Columbus, Ohio

31 December 2015 by

Columbus, not to be confused with the explorer, the TV detective or the South American country, is a city in Ohio which happens to have a lot of things going for it. For starters, it is the capital of the state, the 15th largest city in the country, and boasts a population of 835,957 (to put that into perspective, San Francisco has 837,442 and Portland has 609,456).

Like all the cool kids, it also has a few nicknames, such as The Discovery City, Arch City, Indie Art Capital, The Biggest Small Town in America, CBUS, and Cowtown (although I wouldn’t go around bragging about this one). Its first nickname, back in the late 1800s, was Buggy Capital of the World, thanks to about two dozen buggy manufacturing factories that set up camp here.

It also has hot, muggy summers and cold, dry winters, blah blah blah—but you don’t want to know all this. If you’re thinking about moving to Columbus Ohio, what you really want to know is:

It’s the Smarty Pants of the Country

The Intelligent Communities Forum put Cowtown (hey, just trying to bring a little dignity to this moniker) on their top seven most intelligent cities in the world. Yeah, you read that right—in the world. And only one of three in the United States. So that pretty much cuts off any insults or mockery aimed at this city.

It Has the Annual Doo Dah Parade and Block Party

This famous parade “celebrates liberty and lunacy” and if that’s not a reason to move to Columbus, I can’t help you. This Doo Dah Parade is a spin-off of the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade and is “a small, disorganized march down the sidewalks of High Street in the Short North district.” One of the best features of this event is the Marching Fidels, a group dressed like Fidel Castro who “take siestas along the parade route and conscript bystanders into the Cuban army, dressing them in camouflage and ‘forcing’ them to march in the parade.”

Geraldine Fredritz Mock Is from Here

If you haven’t heard of this woman, shame on you. In 1964 Geraldine was the first female to fly solo around the entire planet, beginning and ending her 22,860-mile flight in Columbus. It took her 29 days in a single-engine Cessna 180 that was named the Spirit of Columbus. Bit of trivia: Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and would have been the first to circumnavigate the world in 1937, except that she disappeared into the Pacific Ocean.

Columbus Pride!

No, this has nothing to do with ego or the Buckeyes. Apparently, this Midwestern city is pretty progressive: it has one of the most successful Gay Pride Parades in the nation. This year Columbus Pride takes place from June 17-19, 2016, so get out your rainbow-colored paraphernalia and dancing shoes, and get your pride on!

It’s Home to the Oh-My-God Book Loft

If you like books (and if you don’t, then shame on you! Also, this might be a good place to get inspired), check out the 32-room (32 whole rooms!!) Book Loft, which is a “pre-Civil War era block of buildings that once were general stores, a saloon and a nickelodeon cinema.” It’s one of the largest bookstores in the country and is pretty much literally a maze of literary heaven—after entering around the back through a brick-path-lined garden.

It Includes the Historical German Village

Book Loft is situated in German Village, which, bookstore aside, is a pretty groovy historical neighborhood. Back in the mid-19th century a bunch of German immigrants landed here and decided to stay. As of 1974 it’s part of the National Register of Historic Places and in 2007 the White House officially designated it a Preserve America Community, and is among the foremost historic restorations in the world.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for…Ice Cream!

There’s ice cream, and then there’s Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. All I have to say about this is:

  • Lemon Buttermilk
  • Wild Berry Lavender
  • Churro
  • Brown Butter Almond Brittle
  • Whiskey & Pecans
  • Milkiest Chocolate
  • Oh yeah, and aaaggghhh….!