Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Columbus

by  Darren Murph | May 20, 2013
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio / Sean Pavone/iStock

Despite a lengthy winter, Ohio is finally diving headfirst into spring. And with that  begins conference season in Columbus. One of America's most varied and vibrant cities is also one of the most welcoming, which means you shouldn't spend all of your time tucked within a concourse. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into the heart of Cowtown (yes, that is one of it's nicknames), we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

DeepWood has so many menu options, you should honestly plan a second visit. Even vegetarians, vegans, and those in search of gluten-free options are taken care of here. I recommend the fish. It's an upscale eatery, which makes it perfect for client dinners. That said, it's also open for lunch on certain days.

Those looking for a serious seafood dinner need look no further than 89 Fish. This place has fresh fare from the sea, flown in daily (keep in mind: the prices reflect that). The atmosphere is classy but casual, and there's also a larger-than-usual bar area for those who need to take the edge off during happy hour.

Particularly in spring, Columbus is one of the most gorgeous cities to explore. Generally, I recommend a nearby urban park to unwind with little-to-no damage to one's wallet, but here, I'd recommend hiring a bicycle. Columbus Bike Tours & Bike Rentals will rent you a set of wheels to explore the nearby surroundings, and it's worth heading to Battelle Riverfront Park for a ride along the Scioto River. In fact, those with ample time can peddle on down to Scioto Mile Park for even more outstanding views.

The Columbus Zoo; I know what you're probably thinking, but hear me out – Columbus has one of the most pristine (and largest) zoos in the nation, and if you haven't been to a zoo since grade school, now's the time to change that. Even if you only have a morning or afternoon to visit, the exhibits here are really awe-inspiring. It'll also get you out of the downtown core a bit, forcing you to explore beyond eyesight.

Typically, I'll recommend a single spot to unwind after a long workweek. But in Columbus, you owe it to yourself to head to the Arena District. Bar hopping in this area is a well-known event, and even if you aren't looking to sip too much, there's plenty of live music and local talents to keep you interested. When in doubt, head to where the locals are flocking.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

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