Everything You Need to Know Before Moving to Columbus

Shawnie Kelley
March 29, 2021
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Cbus, which you’ll be saying in no time, is, as you probably guessed, a nickname for Columbus, OH. A welcoming city for all ages with a cornucopia of things to do, this gem of the Midwest is a great place for your new home.

Moving to Columbus

When it comes to what part of town to live in, it depends on what kind of vibe you are looking for. Columbus is a city after all, so if it’s the hustle bustle you are after, Downtown is the place to be. For everyone else, Columbus is full of charming neighborhoods. Here are a few:

  • German Village – This quaint neighborhood was originally settled in the 1800s, by Germans of course. Original brick roads and houses will take you back in time. Unfortunately, much of the German heritage left after WWI and later prohibition, but the city did preserve many of the buildings in the 60s and 70s. Very close to German Village is the brewery district, so at least the tradition of drinking beer has returned.
  • Short North  – This neighborhood is the arts district of central Ohio and home to 350 businesses. Short North is a great place for the culture buff when it comes to art, food, and architecture.
  • Franklinton – Named after Benjamin Franklin, bordering the Scioto River, and just west of downtown, Franklinton is part quiet residential and part revitalized industrial area. A major attraction is the COSI science museum, originally opened in 1964.
  • Dublin – Technically a city, but considered a suburb of Columbus, Dublin has everything from history, great food, plenty of parks, bike trails, and the world’s longest single span, single tower S-shaped suspension bridge in the world

Columbus at a Glance

Columbus – the capital of Ohio and the seat of the Buckeye Nation – lives up to its reputation as a vibrant, smart and progressive city. Between state and local government, The Ohio State University, and an abundance of jobs, Ohio’s “Capital City” attracts and retains some of the country’s brightest young minds.

  • Population: 913,921 (worldpopulationreview.com)
  • Cost of living: 7.5% lower than the national average (Salary.com)
  • Median 1-bedroom apartment cost: $838 (Renthop.com)
  • Average salary: $65,000/yr (payscale.com)

20 Things to Know Before Moving to Columbus

The affordable cost of living, flourishing arts community, and diversified economy make Cbus incredibly appealing to young professionals, growing families, and entrepreneurs. No wonder it is among the fastest growing cities.

As the largest city of this midwestern state, Columbus is where you will find most of Ohio’s top rated attractions. Nature lovers will not be disappointed with the many gardens, parks, and trails. Curious minds will be sparked when they visit the Olentangy Indian Caverns, formed naturally millions of years from an underground river.

The Columbus region has over 50 college campuses and an international airport that flies to 47 destinations: New York, Dallas, Seattle, to name a few. The closest big city within driving distance is Cincinnati, only 1.5 hours away. Here is what else you need to know about Columbus.


1. Columbus is No “Cow Town”

Money magazine chose Columbus as one of the country’s Top Six Best Big Cities for its cost of living and cool factor. The only cows you’ll see around here are those at The Ohio State University’s Waterman Agricultural Center, which has the city skyline as a backdrop.

2. City of the Future

Columbus won $40 million in the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. Developing a sustainable public transportation system, corridors for driverless cars, smart sensors, and infrastructure for electric vehicles will transform how people and goods move about the city.

3. We are Well-Read

Columbus denizens are not only smart, but also bookish. The beautifully renovated Columbus Metropolitan Library is consistently recognized as one of the country’s best public library systems.

4. You Can Get There From Here

Despite citywide construction, driving in Columbus is manageable and the road system easily navigated. Aside from rush hour and Buckeye home games, it takes no more than 30 minutes to drive across greater Columbus, including the burbs.

5. North Market

Who doesn’t love a good market or food hall? For 145 years, North Market has been going strong in the city of Columbus. The main downtown location is the perfect place to buy your fresh produce and flowers or get a bite to eat. With counter style service, you and your friends can all eat something different – a taco from Dos Hermanos perhaps? Or maybe traditional Somali food from Hoyo for the more adventurous eater?

6. O-H… I-O

The Buckeye Nation is loud and proud. A call and response of “O-H”… “I-O” resonates throughout Columbus, even on non-game days. If you hear a random “O-H” shouted out somewhere, don’t leave them hanging without an “I-O.”


The Ohio State University marching band a.k.a. “The Best Damn Band in the Land” has performed their signature “Script Ohio” during every game since 1936. High-stepping band members spell out a sinuous Ohio with great spectacle. The finale comes as an honored sousaphone player dramatically “dots the i” with a deep bow and a flash of brass– a moment that brings a tear to every game-goer’s eye.

8. Columbus Decides What America Eats

Diverse demographics have long defined Columbus as a ‘microcosm of America’ making it the perfect test market for fast food and countless other products. White Castle and Wendy’s are headquartered here, so they along with other foodie businesses test menu items on the Cbus guinea pigs before rolling concepts out nationally. As Columbus goes, so goes the nation. Like politics, but sometimes easier to stomach.

9. Full of Pride

With 6.7% of its population being lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender Columbus ranks in the top 15 cities for gay population. The accepting, welcoming, and gay-friendly atmosphere of Columbus reinforces the diversity and openness of Ohio’s capital city.

10. Fountain of Youth

Columbus’ youthful vibe and reputation as a forward thinking and modern city can be attributed to a built-in population of young people from The Ohio State University and dozens of nearby colleges. The culturally rich and affordable city woos millennials to stay and young entrepreneurs to start businesses.

11. Is it time for a Cocktail?

There is no shortage of bars, brewery or cocktail lounges in Columbus. Head to Short North or the brewery district and enjoy some classic or experimental beverages. Whether you like to have a drink during the day, listen to live music, or fully engage in city nightlife, there is something for everyone.

12. History Lesson

Columbus was designed to be the state’s capital. The city’s founding father, Lucas Sullivant, established a settlement in 1797 on the west banks of the Scioto River, which he named Franklinton in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Perpetual flooding caused Ohio’s State Legislature to choose the east side of the river for its new capital. In 1812, a new city was laid out and named for Christopher Columbus.

13. Never An Off-Season

The Buckeyes aren’t the only game in town! Columbus has three professional sport teams: The NHL Bluejackets hockey team calls Nationwide Arena home. Soccer lovers cheer on the MLS Columbus Crew at MAPFRE (pronounced MAW-free) Stadium. The ladies of the Columbus Comets play full-contact tackle football at Huffaker Sports Complex as part of the professional Women’s Football Alliance. Huntington Park is a gem of a venue for the city’s Minor League Baseball team, Columbus Clippers – the farm team for the Cleveland Indians.

14. The Golden Bear

How did legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus get his nickname? He grew up and attended high school in the Columbus community of Upper Arlington whose mascot is the Golden Bear. Jack plays host to the annual PGA Memorial Tournament at his prestigious Muirfield Village Golf Club in the Columbus suburb of Dublin. The Jack Nicklaus Museum, located on Ohio State’s campus, is a worthwhile pilgrimage for golf-lovers.

15. Wild Times

Animal expert and television personality, “Jungle Jack” Hanna put the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on the map during his forty-year reign as Director/ Emeritus. The zoo with its aquarium and huge waterpark is ranked among the best in the country. Additional bragging rights: Colo, the first Gorilla bred in captivity, who recently passed away in 2017, was born at the zoo in 1956, making her the oldest captive-born gorilla in the world.

16. Ahhhhhnold

Columbus has a beach. It’s called “Muscle Beach,” and it appears each March as the buffest people from around the country descend upon the city. The Arnold Sports Festival, co-founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger is a four-day revelry in all things bodybuilding, strength, and fitness. Power lifters, gymnasts, boxers, and amateur athletes compete in Arnold Classic competitions.

17. Home of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

This ice cream has become so well known, you can order it online from anywhere in the country. Save on shipping though if you plan on relocating to Columbus, the original home of Jeni’s. What makes this ice cream so special? It’s made with local high quality, direct trade ingredients, including milk from grass fed cows. They are very community driven and employ a diverse group of people. Also, the ice cream tastes amazing.

18. The State Up North

Michigan is a lovely state, but never, ever say this to an Ohio State fan given the intense rivalry with the University of Michigan. The Buckeye Nation bleeds scarlet and gray and can not bring itself to utter the M word. It is referred to as “the state up north.” Grilled Wolverine might even turn up on the tailgate menu.

19. Scioto Mile

Downtown’s Scioto Mile (pronounced “sigh-OH-toe”) is an urban parkland integrating green spaces, bike paths, and pedestrianized boulevards along the river. Features include a dancing fountain and splash pad, an oasis of wildlife at the Scioto Audubon Center, and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI).

20. Landscape Within A Landscape

Tucked behind the Columbus Metropolitan Library is a whimsical garden in which 54 life-sized topiaries cleverly recreate Georges Seurat’s post-Impressionist painting of “A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle de la Grande Jatte.” Greenery has been trained into three-dimensional figures from the painting as picnickers, strolling ladies, dogs, and a curly-tailed monkey lounge around a pond. Topiary Park goers are serenaded with free summer concerts and movies in the park.

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