Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey
Nationwide Arena is the home of the Blue Jackets, an NHL franchise. This is a great place to watch hockey. I was very impressed with the arena and how well the seating area was structured in relation to the ice. I also liked the hallways and the open spaces outside of the seating area. If you have a chance to see a game here, definitely do it.
The fans are great, and the product on the ice is getting better every year. Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev are future stars, and things will get better for the BJs.
A unique feature of Nationwide Arena is that it is the only facility in the NHL that has the team's practice rink attached to the stadium. This is also open to the public. Tickets are available through ticketmaster. You should be able to find pretty good seats for most games. Prices range from $17 - $138.
Bonjour Strawberry Tart!
The restaurant has two ambiances, which change from lunchtime to dinner time. Lunch is a little more casual and dinner is a white table cloth affair. I prefer to go a lunchtime, but hey, you want something romantic or a little more swanky then dinnertime would be the time to go.
Not the best place for young kids Spaghetti a la Gigi, not a very exciting dish, but yummy all the same....
and then a Tart! The tarts are really amazing, with pieces of large pieces of fresh fruit and topped with a glaze, you'll want to get extra to take home.
Short North: Gallery Hop
Time: First Saturday of the month, in the evening
Problem: Nothing to do
Solution: Hop on down to the Short North for Gallery Hop!
During this time every month, galleries open their door free of charge, and let visitors browse. It doesn't matter how old you are or what type of art you like, there is probably something there for you.
Some galleries even have refreshments. Restaurants, bars, cafes and not to mention the shops are all open for your enjoyment. You never know what you might walk right into, and things change through the year.
Franklin Park Conservatory
This small greenhouse botanical center features displays of plants from Mountain, desert and tropical regions of the earth. It also has a nice Bonsai exhibit. It's a nice place to visit but at $7.50 admission is kind of steep for the size of the place.
It's strange to write ideas for 'vacationers' about the town in which you live. For me, these have become things that don't always draw me as much as they should, but are still interesting. Most people talk about the North Market, just off North High Street, which used to be in an old Quonset hut but has lost a little of it's draw for me now that it's moved to a larger space. Still, it has some exceptional "flavor" in the unique foods available there, from the more mundane (but tasty) french breads and Isigny butters to Indian curries.
The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a great place for children, especially, to enjoy, experiment, and learn.
The State Capitol is a must for history buffs, and offers regular tours. Also near the downtown is a replica of the Santa Maria.
My personal two favorite restaurants to take visitors are Schmidts and Lindy's in German Village. Naturally, the city has dozens of exceptional restaurants, but these two have distinct personalities that let you know you're not in San Francisco, Denver, or Miami.
If you're in the Columbus area for an extended period, you might want to consider a side trip to the horse farms of Lexington, Kentucky, possibly with a stop at the Newport Aquarium (in Newport, Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati) along the way.
Those with children will definitely want to consider a short trip to Dearborn, Michigan, for visits to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.