Columbus is a great place to live — a clean, modern community imbued with Midwest hospitality and an inspiring optimism for what lies ahead. Of course, some neighborhoods will be more suited to your unique lifestyle, hobbies, and values than others. And many people are moving to Columbus from out of town.
This guide will give you the low down on a diverse group of five Columbus neighborhoods, highlighting some of the most popular neighborhood haunts and must-see attractions. Get a feel for the vibe before you make a decision on where to move.
Short North: “Hustle and Bustle”
Columbus has its share of great urban neighborhoods, but none offers quite the same style of “big city” living as the Short North Arts District.
The 1.5-mile stretch of High Street from the Greater Columbus Convention Center to King Avenue is marked by iconic lighted arches and always buzzing with visitors to art galleries, local boutiques, and popular bars and restaurants. There is never a dull moment down here and you’ll be hard-pressed to run out of restaurants and entertaining venues to visit.
Art lovers should stop in the Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, among the district’s other fantastic galleries. Foodies have a plethora of dining options, including a handful of restaurants by the city’s renowned restaurateur Cameron Mitchell.
Can’t-miss destinations include Goodale Park, a 33-acre green space with views of the downtown skyline, and the North Market, a 143-year-old public market hosting dozens of unique, independent merchants. Adding to the eclectic mix of local retailers on High Street, national brands such as Shake Shack, Lululemon, and Bonobos have recently set up shop along the busy corridor.
The Short North is known not just for its vibrancy but for its convenience. Situated between downtown Columbus and Ohio State University, the neighborhood puts the entire city at your doorstep and much of it within walking or biking distance.
If you’re interested in calling the Short North home, there are a ton of great options. If you’re looking for a place where you can make money on rent, there are a bunch of properties offering Rhove in the neighborhood too.
Franklinton: “Creative Enclave”
Columbus’ oldest settlement, established in 1797, Franklinton struggled for decades with flooding that curtailed investment. But since fixing the issue with a new Scioto River floodwall in 2004, the neighborhood has been undergoing a revival that’s garnered national attention.
Kickstarting a creative energy in the neighborhood, a former industrial property at 400 West Rich was renovated in 2011 into a creative space for artists. Nearby, the Idea Foundry has the tools and technology for makers of all types, including welders, furniture makers, and drone builders.
Adding to the arts and culture of the neighborhood are the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), a family-friendly destination, and the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum, renowned as a tribute to veterans and an architectural masterpiece.
Add in the fact that neighborhood is walkable and close to the heart of downtown, and it’s clear why Franklinton is such an appealing place for artists and creatives of all types.
The best time to visit the neighborhood is during a Franklinton Friday, a celebration of art, science, and community that’s sponsored by the Franklinton Arts District and held on the second Friday of every month.
Or, if you’re interested in living in Franklinton, there’s an exciting new option. At the forefront of community trendsetting, Gravity is a merging of people, place, and passions into something entirely new. Anchored on the edge of Franklinton, this residential community contributes to the unique entrepreneurial vibe of the historic and transforming Franklinton neighborhood — a force that is independent yet close to everything. On top of all that, Gravity has the distinction of being the first community to offer Rhove. Residents at Gravity are making money on rent with Rhove, earning up to 2.5% cash back.
Clintonville: “Fiercely Independent, Local”
This Columbus neighborhood has more of a suburban feel, with a variety of housing types and excellent public schools, but is still close to the energy of downtown, the Short North, and Ohio State University.
One of Columbus’ more bike-friendly areas, Clintonville boasts access to outdoor amenities like the Olentangy Trail, Whetstone Park, and the popular Park of Roses.
An eccentric and “fiercely independent” community, Clintonville is home to coffee shops, bakeries, and vintage stores, and the area around High Street and North Broadway is home to a number of antique stores.
The neighborhood boasts many unique restaurants and bars. Be sure to check out Ray Ray’s Hog Pit food truck, parked outside Ace of Cups, which is a great place to stop in for a drink or an intimate concert.
If you appreciate a tight-knit community that supports hyper-local merchants, Clintonville might just be the spot for you.
German Village: “Charming Oasis”
This quaint, historic neighborhood bordering downtown is perfect for strolls down brick-paved streets, picnicking on the grass (Schiller Park), and gawking at beautiful architecture.
Settled largely by German immigrants in the mid-1800s, German Village is a picturesque, mostly residential neighborhood with excellent restaurants and shops intermingled with beautifully manicured homes. Popular haunts include The Sycamore, Barcelona and Lindey’s, which continually ranks as Columbus’ best restaurant patio.
Be sure to check out the one-of-a-kind shops and art galleries scattered throughout the neighborhood, and get lost in the 32-room Book Loft, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores. Stauf’s Coffee is ideal for a tasty drink and cozy indoor or outdoor seating.
The 23-acre Schiller Park stands as one of the city’s most beautiful outdoor spaces, and the homes along it are breathtaking.
German Village is truly a sanctuary in the heart of Ohio’s capital city.
Downtown: “Business and Pleasure”
Long a one-dimensional business district, downtown has blossomed into a busy area with thousands of new residents in sleek high-rise apartments, stunning parks, and trendy bars and restaurants. In fact, between 2008 and 2018, downtown’s population grew by nearly 70% to 9,000 residents.
Be sure to grab a cocktail at The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar, inside the historic LeVeque Tower, or at The Citizens Trust, a stunning layout in an old bank. And for a delicious craft beer in a cozy setting, there’s Wolf’s Ridge Brewing.
Today, there are endless ways to be entertained downtown, whether strolling the gorgeous Scioto Mile riverfront path or the Topiary Park, enjoying a concert at the Columbus Commons or Palace Theatre, or hitting a game at Nationwide Arena or Huntington Park.
One of the latest and greatest residential options Downtown is 303 South Front, which offers boutique-style residential living in the heart of the River South district. 303 Front provides a lifestyle in the heart of downtown that is unlike any other, and features a rooftop deck with spectacular skyline views. Also, the property offers Rhove, which we’re always a fan of.