Top Attractions for Families

If you’re visiting Columbus with little ones in tow, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly activities to keep the kids entertained. Start your day off right at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, home to over 10,000 animals. Let the kids burn off some energy at the 43-acre Zoombezi Bay water park, complete with wave pools, water slides, and a lazy river. For indoor fun, head to the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) where kids can explore hands-on science exhibits and watch science shows at the Planetarium. End your day with a ride on the Carousel at Columbus Commons, a beautiful hand-carved merry-go-round dating back to the early 1900s. With kids, you may want to plan your visit during one of Columbus’ many exciting festivals like the Columbus Arts Festival, Red, White & BOOM!, or the Jazz & Rib Fest. Your kids will love the lively music, entertainment, food, and activities.


If it’s your first time visiting Columbus, you’ll want to hit up some of the classic attractions around town. Start with the Ohio Statehouse, where you can take a free tour of the historic capitol building. Snap a photo out front with the statue of the city founder Christopher Columbus. Next, head to the Short North Arts District, known for its vibrant art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Stop for a bite to eat at one of the chic eateries like Barcelona or Forno Kitchen + Bar. After, take a stroll through the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to take in exotic plants from around the world. As evening approaches, grab drinks on one of the many rooftop patios in the Arena District before catching a show at the historic Ohio Theatre. End your night in the trendy downtown area, checking out the Scioto Mile riverfront park, with its dancing fountains and skyline views.

Wine & Beer Connoisseurs

Calling all wine and beer lovers! Columbus has a booming craft brewery and urban winery scene you won’t want to miss out on. In the Brewery District, popular spots like Seventh Son Brewing and Wolfs Ridge Brewing serve up delicious house brews and tasty pub fare. Or head to Land-Grant Brewing Company near downtown to sip your pint while watching the latest game. For fans of the grape, check out wineries along the Columbus Wine Trail like Plum Run, Wyandotte Winery, and Cameleon Cellars right in the city center. Many urban wineries like these offer tours and tastings daily. Be sure to sample vintages like Traminette, Chambourcin, and Vidal Blanc – grape varieties that thrive in Ohio’s climate. Most wineries and breweries offer live music nights where you can relax with a glass of your favorite after a long day of exploring Columbus.

Sports Fans

Columbus is a major hub for college sports fans, as home to The Ohio State University Buckeyes. Catch a Buckeyes game at one of OSU’s massive stadiums like Ohio Stadium (“The Horseshoe”), Value City Arena, or Bill Davis Stadium. Be sure to visit the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on campus to see trophies and memorabilia from the team’s rich history. Pro sports fans can watch the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets take the ice at Nationwide Arena downtown. If it’s football you love, don’t miss a Columbus Destroyers arena football game for fast-paced excitement. Soccer enthusiasts can catch the Columbus Crew SC at their new Field. With so many stadiums and arenas in Columbus, you’re sure to find a sporting event to cheer on during your visit. Ask your charter bus driver to tune the satellite radio to the game so you can listen in en route!


From mouthwatering BBQ to international cuisines, Columbus has a dining scene that will leave your taste buds happy. In the North Market downtown, stroll through over 35 merchants selling fresh produce, baked goods, flowers, and gourmet foods – the perfect place to grab lunch or pick up artisan ingredients for a meal. For all-you-can-eat comfort food, Schmidt’s Sausage Haus in German Village serves up authentic German fare and Bahama Mama’s has been dishing up their famous Red Velvet Waffles for over 20 years. If you’re craving BBQ, hit up Ray Ray’s Hog Pit for smoked wings and brisket with homemade sauces. For a trendy dinner, check out waterside dining at Milestone 229, the city’s only revolving restaurant. From food trucks to James Beard nominated chefs, your inner foodie will have a field day in Columbus.


Whether you’re looking for big brands or local boutiques, Columbus has shopping for days. Easton Town Center is a massive open-air shopping mecca with over 240 stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. For luxury retail, The Mall at Tuttle Crossing houses brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Kate Spade, and Michael Kors. If you’re into vintage wares and antiques, be sure to browse The Olde Towne East neighborhood, home to unique shops like Flower Child Vintage, Old World Antiques, and Design on High Gallery. German Village is also great for specialty shops selling home goods, clothing, and accessories you won’t find anywhere else. Need to pick up some Ohio State Buckeyes gear? Visit College Traditions or Buckeye Corner on High Street near campus. With so many shopping districts scattered around the city, you’re sure to find some gems during your Columbus visit.

How to Get Around Columbus

Now that you know the best things to do during your Columbus visit, let’s talk transportation. Getting your group around the city efficiently is key to maximizing your time exploring. Here are some of the most popular options for navigating Columbus:

Light Rail

Columbus doesn’t have an extensive rail system, but the CBUS Circulator is a free light rail service that hits many of the major areas downtown. Its route includes Bicentennial Park, Columbus Commons, the Brewery District, the North Market, and more. Rides are free and trains arrive every 10-15 minutes, making it an affordable option if you plan to stick to downtown.

Taxis and Rideshares

You can certainly grab a taxi or request an Uber around Columbus, which is handy for quick trips across town. But keep in mind surge pricing comes into play during peak times and you may end up waiting if demand is high. For large groups, you’ll also have to call multiple cars which can get complicated.

Charter Bus

For ultimate convenience, many visiting groups opt for a charter bus or minibus rental for their stay. You’ll have a professional driver to handle navigation so you can sit back and relax. A charter bus keeps your entire group together in a comfortable, climate-controlled cabin so no one gets left behind. Plus, amenities like WiFi, power outlets, and entertainment systems will keep everyone happy en route. With Charter Bus Company Columbus, you simply tell us where you need to go, and we’ll take care of the rest! No waiting around for rideshares or public transit schedules. Our drivers know Columbus like the back of their hand and will get your group directly where you need to be, when you need to be there. Whether it’s a museum, restaurant, stadium, or venue, we’ll be your transportation solution throughout your Columbus visit.

Ready to Get Started?

We hope this beginner’s guide gets you excited to visit Columbus for the first time! Our team at Charter Bus Company Columbus can make transportation around the city a breeze, so you can focus on enjoying all the great attractions. Give us a call today at 234-900-0344 and we’ll help customize an itinerary, recommend the perfect bus rental for your group, and answer any other questions you may have. Columbus awaits – let’s get your next adventure started off right!