Two Days in Columbus - Experience Columbus Travel Guide
Updated: Aug 1, 2022
Oh Columbus! Just an hour and a half or two from Cincinnati, this is easily one of my favorite cities to bounce around. I have been to Columbus but never with a full agenda, I usually just try to find one fun spot and then head home (great day trip idea). However, Columbus, OH is a wonderful place to spend the weekend or more, I truly could have stayed for the entire week with no complaints! There is SO MUCH TO DO! I'd like to thank Experience Columbus for sponsoring this trip and allowing me to get to know Columbus, and more specifically, The Short North Arts District even more. I am looking forward to traveling here again but in the mean time, here are all the places I went and their details, follow Experience Columbus and me, Kaits Kravings on Instagram for even more food, travel and lifestyle. Alright let's get into it!
Where I stayed:
Le Meridien, The Joseph - Short North
CAN WE GET INTO The Joseph, because I am already thinking about going back, even if it is just for the super comfy bed! But seriously lol, with each new hotel I visit it is easy to find something great and something wrong, this time around I have to say I can't find much wrong. Upon arrival, I was quickly checked in and greeted with a glass of champagne. If you know me, within minutes I was sold. The interior is very minimal, artistic chic, with large installments that are extremely eye catching. The elevators are tucked away and rest right behind the dynamic wine wall. Your eye really bounces around this place, so make sure to look around because the hotel features two art collections, one being the Owner's private collection and over 500 total pieces are on display in the hotel. Additionally, the Pizzuti Collection serves as an Unlock Art Partner.
The Joseph also has an in house bar and eatery known as, SOUL, on their main floor, and it is so cute! Breakfast is served here as well as bites for lunch and dinner and of course libations.
Not to mention outside of their cozy rooms, some with city views, The Joseph offers unique and luxurious Spa Suites, that provide private spa treatments in a personal setting. I didn't have the chance to check this out, but would highly recommend.
You can get most of the details about the room from the photos below but don't sleep on snagging a room with city views and getting cozy in their robes, which is one of my favorite past times in between activities. Also check out their Au Soliel package, which includes breakfast, gelato and sorbet, but most importantly endless summer vibes. Learn more about the Au Soliel, Chasing Endless Summers, hotel package here.
Overall, I am a big fan and it is in a great walkable location to explore all things Short North, you're just steps away from countless eateries, drinkeries and art, plus just a few minute drive from downtown and local activities.
Where I wined & dined:
High Bank Distillery - Grandview
I absolutely loved everything about this spot, so much I went back. This was my second time at High Bank and my love for it has not changed. From the food, to the drinks this place is a foodie wonderland. You can check out the distillery, restaurant and bar all in one day! I really love the menu and of course had a hard time choosing which items to order, everything coming out of the kitchen looked delicious! The plate sizes are also a great bang for your buck! Not to mention, they have options for everyone! For me this was such a unique local foodie experience, from the southern flairs of the seafood boil, to the light and healthy salmon, delicious brussels, flavorful cauliflower and just stunning cocktails, High Bank is bringing all the heat. And yes, I’m staying in this “kitchen” LOL - Feel free to join me and make your reservation soon!
Did I mention they are known for their award-winning whiskey, but they also distill vodka and gin! The quality and taste are great and it shows through their craft cocktails. Every cocktail was flavorful, colorful and garnished beautifully. I plan on taking a distillery tour there next time I'm back.
Adobo Cauliflower - Nachos - Smoked Cheddar Pimento Cheese Platter - Brussel Sprouts - Half Cheese & Half Hot Honey Pepperoni Pizza - Primavera with Salmon - Whiskey War Cheesecake by The Cheesecake Girl
Lincoln Social Rooftop - Short North
I mean it's hard not to love Lincoln Social, it's definitely a fun spot for socializing, catching some city views and enjoying the more sophisticated side of night life. The crowd is grown-ish but trendy, which means they stay busy, be prepared to wait in line for a sip or two and you may even have to wait for a table to open up but people filter in and out, so I'd still check it out. My only wish is that I arrived while the sun was still out but all that means is I have to go back! I would love to experience this spot during the late afternoon as a post work happy hour (Tuesday – Friday: 4 – 6 PM & Sunday 1 – 4PM) or girls outing. Also the drinks are good! My boyfriend enjoyed the old fashion and I of course tried two different cocktails because we love options! You can order food here as well, we just popped over after dinner and were quite full. I can't wait to go back and check out their menu!
Lincoln 75 - Botanist Gin, Lavender, Lychee, Prosecco
Old Fashioned - Woodford Reserve, Orange Liqueur, Cherry Vermouth
It's a (NEW) Vibe - Herradura Reposado, Agave, Pear, Dry Curacao,
Egg White, Tajin Buzz Button
Katalina's Café - Harrison West
What I love about Katalina's Cafe is you truly feel like a local. They are known as the little café with lots of local goodness. Katalina's is tucked just behind North High street in Harrison West on a neighborhood street. It's a great brunch spot to feel like you're somewhere new but also eating some comfort food. Nothings "too fancy" or over done, everyone can find something on the menu here. Their food is sourced organically, locally and ethically. An easy spot to bring your friend whose a vegan/plant-based or meat eater, lots to choose from! I will say it is an order as you come eatery, so just plan on knowing what you want, maybe previewing the menu before, and keeping an eye out for a table after you snag your number. Patio and indoor seating is available! They can get crowded as they are a local fave, but tables open up pretty quickly so hang tight, it's totally worth it, especially for the pancake balls! SO SO GOOD! Did I mention you can color while you’re there, might be one of my favorite parts! A fun way to leave your mark! I would definitely add this to your agenda the next time you visit Columbus!
Half & Half Pancake Balls Nutella & Dulce de Leche, a side of Bacon Award Winning Breakfast Tacos with Chorizo, Huge! Mazatlan Slow-Roasted Pork & Egg Sandwich, Spicy Fried Vegan "Chicken" Sammy**, Rocky Mountain Sodas, Thunder Kiss Local Coffee
The Mandrake Rooftop - Short North
I have literally nothing bad to say about Mandrake's. Everything about my experience there was fabulous and I can't wait to go back. It feels a lot like VASO in Dublin, OH. just some minutes away, but it has more of a tropical feel, you almost feel like you're in LA. Not only is this rooftop great for a girls night, special occasion or date night but even just to treat yourself. All of the food was great but I highly recommend taking yourself on a solo date here for drinks and dessert! The environment is so pretty, very trendy but welcoming, there's no dress code, so no need to get too fancy, come as you are and enjoy. Speaking of it's a great place to snap that Instagram photo you've been dying to take. I would plan on getting the sushi, dumplings and the watermelon salad. Everything was delicious but these stuck out to me. I would plan to spend anywhere between $100 to $200 for two on a full meal (apps, entrée, dessert and drinks), but of course you can always spend less and trust me, it's worth it. From the décor that keeps your eye moving around the room, to dishes with constant flavor pops and the view on a sunny day, add this one to your list next time you're in CBUS.
Watermelon Salad - Crispy Pork Dumplings - Lamb Chops - Land & Sea Sushi Roll - Short North Sushi Roll - Smore's Dessert - Pinkies Up Cocktail - Mylk Punch Cocktail - The Magic Mushroom Cocktail (So CUTE) - Wasabi Cocktail
El Segundo Mexican Kitchen - Short North
If you like Mexican food, you should definitely add El Segundo to your list! I went for brunch and it was a very unique brunch experience. I most enjoyed the French Toast as it completely feels like dessert! It was a little weird to eat chips and salsa at 10AM in the morning for me but all of the food was delicious! The décor is traditional Mexican meets whimsical, very colorful and bright yet still dark and moody. I would have loved to try this spot for dinner, so of course it's on my list to go back! Some of the dinner dishes and margaritas from what I can see look amazing!!! Especially the shrimp tacos! Their overall menu is inspired by Mexican street food, and their chefs offer fresh, responsibly sourced and local ingredients. They even make their own tortillas, sauces, and signature ingredients from scratch. Each bite at El Segundo is all about sharing life and good times with family and friends, which reminds me, some of these portions are huge! Definite bang for your buck, so order a few and share with the table, a great way to snag a taste of a little bit of everything.
Chips & Salsa - Guacamole - Breakfast Burrito - Upside Down French Toast - Quesadilla - Spanish Spritz - Boozy Cold Brew - Breakfast Shot
SOUL at Le Meridien, The Joseph
From dawn to dusk, Soul at The Joseph, offers a unique experience for hotel guest and the Short North community. Soul serves breakfast, lunch and dinner but is also home to artisan cocktails and delicious coffee. Soul is an urbane, curated café bar and lounge experience with a curated list of unique craft spirits, boutique wines and an innovative cocktail menu, you'll want to be sure to stop here. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to experience breakfast here (IT LOOKS DELCIOUS) but the charcuterie and wine was fabulous! Also, at Soul, you can continue to charge food to your room even after check out, which is great for anyone waiting on a late flight or scheduled a few activities before heading home, definitely snag those few extra bites and charge it to the room! (Also note this is quite the social scene some nights, great atmosphere for some cocktails and conversations, intimate but not intimidating)
Where I played:
Columbus Park of Roses
I've been eyeing the Columbus Park of Roses for some time now, everyone's photos look so beautiful here, so it was a must stop for me on this mini vacay. Unfortunately due to the extreme heat, rain and random weather conditions we had the previous week and some of the weekend, the roses where a bit scattered but it was still BEAUTIFUL! I saw multiple varieties of roses and enjoyed a stroll around the park. This would make a great spot for an upscale picnic, photoshoot or just afternoon stroll. The Columbus Park of Roses is one of the largest public rose gardens in the U.S, with more than 12,000 rose specimens!!! The 13-acre garden features five horticultural themes, Formal Rose Garden, Heritage Rose Garden, Perennial Garden, Herb Garden, Backyard Garden and Arboretum, so needless to say there's ton to see! Learn more about the gardens here.
Short North Arts District
The Short North Arts District is full of personality! From gorgeous murals, sculptures and dynamic scenery to the shopping, restaurants and eateries, it's hard not to fall in love with this community. Although there are galleries and shops with displayed art work (that you should totally check out) be sure to just look around as your hopping from one place to the next, there are so many murals and public art right in front of you. Some unexpected, some hidden, others wildly popular and bright, just keep looking around. Learn more about all the beauty the Short North Arts District has to offer here.
This was my first time visiting COSI and SHOCKER - I loved it! I have always loved institutions of science and industry as well as exploration, so naturally I felt right at home here! PLUS! I am a huge Marvel fan, and while I have sporadically checked out the comics, when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ya girl is all in, so this exhibit was super cool. If you plan on checking out the Marvel exhibit (open until Labor Day), it does cost extra on top of the general admission ticket but it's super easy to purchase those two tickets together on the COSI app or website. I'd go ahead and download the app as it makes it super easy to check in! Also there is a parking garage right at the entrance making it super easy to navigate parking and getting into COSI. You'll see in this photo stream mostly Marvel photos however at the end, I slipped in some Dinosaur photos, art around the museum and a few more, there is so much to explore! From novelty exhibits, to ancient animals, cultural learning opportunities, all things space and more this is a great addition to anyone's list. Not just for kids either! Makes for a great day date or solo stroll too.
Shopping & Retail:
SAMSON - Short North
Known as "A Men's Emporium" Samson's is a great place for gifts for dad, boyfriend, brother etc. I absolutely loved almost everything in there! From snazzy glassware and cocktail mixes, to masculine candle scents, clothing, accessories and men's upscale hygiene care I'd add this spot to your list and would keep in mind for upcoming birthday's and father's day.
Happy Go Lucky - Home & Her - Short North
Now that we've shopped for him, let's go shopping for her and for her I mean me, LOL. Short North has a collection of boutiques for her, but what stood out about Happy Go Lucky was their unique artsy feels, hand crafted goods, colorful options and overall fun feel! This is a great spot for gifts for her and finds that you may not find anywhere else. There's two floors so don't forget to go upstairs and explore!
Wine on High - Short North
You know what goes great with a good gift, a bottle of wine, and Wine on High has got you covered. With a huge selection of wines, with pairings noted as well as a diverse selection you can find some great options even for the pickiest wine drinker. Plus, you can grab a bottle and head home or enjoy a sip in house as they are both a bar & retailer. They also host events like Bubbles & Bites, Lights & Flights, and Luxe Tasting. Check them out here to see what event you may want to attend on your next visit.
North Market - Historic District
This time around North Market is falling under "where I played" because if you haven't noticed I ate a ton LOL. However, North Market is home to TONS, of Ohio's best independent merchants, farmers and makers. This public market is 145 years old and still serving the Columbus community with everything from delicious eats to wine shops, flowers and produce! This is one of the best ways to shop local in the area and enjoy fresh authentic foods from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, 10o percent worth your time, whether your shopping or grabbing a bite to eat! Learn more about the history and all North Market has to offer here.
I mean, if you're not starting to plan your trip to Columbus yet, what are we even doing LOL. But, seriously, I hope the one thing you take away from this blog is HOW MUCH THERE IS TO DO IN CBUS. I literally only scratched the surface. From amazing places to stay to countless eateries and activities all year long, I am already finding time to go back! Some of my other favorites that I would recommend is, The Lox (for breakfast bites), Chapman's (for sips and delicious dinner bites), Town Hall (great outdoor dining for casual feels with delicious food) and of course JENI's Ice cream, because what is a trip to Columbus without it. Please make your way to Experience Columbus to check out even more fantastic Columbus stops, this is just the beginning and remember you still have plenty of time to experience #SummerinCbus.
xo Kait xo