It’s no secret that I love a good road trip, and there are plenty of great spots within driving distance from Indianapolis. Our most recent adventure took us to the city of Columbus, OH, which is only 2.5 hours away! Columbus has been on my weekend getaway bucket list for awhile now, and I had no idea it was so close. Not only is it not too far of a drive, but there is SO much to do there that one weekend hardly covered it. We just got back and we’re already excited to plan a future trip there.
I partnered with Experience Columbus for this weekend getaway, and they crafted the perfect itinerary for us, complete with all the best spots to check out in the Short North area. I put together a guide all about our two night visit covering where we stayed, what we did, and of course, where we ate + drank. Our main goal for this trip was to check out as much as possible, and I would definitely say we achieved that!
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Le Meridian Columbus, The Joseph, and it was the perfect spot! Not only were the rooms amazing, but the onsite bar and art gallery were a fantastic bonus. We really enjoyed getting drinks and breakfast at Soul Bar, and browsing the complimentary art galleries. I highly recommend trying one of their spritz options!
Apart from the great amenities, trendy, upscale interior and spacious rooms, the hotel’s location is just steps away from many of the spots we wanted to visit while in town. They offer complimentary bike rentals, which we definitely took advantage of to go get coffee one morning. This is the first time I’ve seen this, and I absolutely loved this unique feature!
We were also greeted with a glass of rosé at check-in and had a bottle of wine waiting for us in our room. The service here was some of the best we’ve had, and we would definitely stay here again.
What We Did
As a foodie, the best part of any trip to a new city is checking out all the best places to eat and drink. This made the Short North Food Tour we did with Columbus Food Adventures one of my favorite parts of our visit. I’ve Always wanted to do one of these and am so glad that we did. It is such a unique way to try as many different spot as possible in a short amount of time. We were able to try 7 different spots around the Short North area, and they were all within walking distance to each other.
Our tour included visits to Hot Chicken Takeover, various spots in North Market, The Guild House, Hai Poke, Short North Tavern, Union Cafe, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had!). They offer quite a few different types of tour, and I would definitely love to try out another one the next time we are in town.
We also did some shopping around at local shops in the Short North area. There are a ton of different boutiques, and we even found a really cool vintage toy/game/action figure shop called Big Fun that was so fun to look through as a comics fan. This would be a great spot to do holiday shopping for sure!
Checking out local bars + restaurants
This one goes without saying! I’ll cover all the great spots we visited in the next section.
Where We Ate + Drank
Ginger Rabbit is a relatively new speakeasy-style jazz lounge and cocktail bar. This is the first place we went after arriving and it was a fantastic way to kick off the trip! I couldn’t get over how great the atmosphere here was. We enjoyed cocktails and sharable small plates here. Booking a reservation here would probably be my top recommendation when visiting the area because it is unlike anything else!
Lincoln Social Rooftop
Lincoln Social is a rooftop bar in the Short North area. After seeing this place on Instagram, we knew we had to check it out for some of the best views in the city. This place was definitely packed, but that is expected on a Friday night in the summer. We were lucky enough to snag some seats in the corner right by the edge and had a great view of the sun starting to set. We ended up getting a round of drinks here. I got the Frosé, which was definitely the perfect rooftop bar cocktail!
Budd Dairy Food Hall
We stopped at Budd Dairy Food Hall for a late night snack after checking out a few bars, and it was the perfect spot for that! It is essentially a large cafeteria-style food hall with a ton of different options and bars. They even have a few levels including a rooftop bar and patio space. We enjoyed our late night snack from Boni Filipino Street Food. This would be the perfect spot to go when your whole group can’t agree on where to eat!
The Roosevelt Coffeehouse
The Roosevelt Coffeehouse was the perfect spot for a latte, espresso and quick breakfast. They have such a great atmosphere here, the coffee is delicious, and they even have homemade vegan pop-tarts. Definitely try the brown sugar one!
You know I love a good distillery, so I was really excited to see that we would be heading to Watershed Distillery for a tour, tasting and dinner. Watershed is among the first distilleries in the area and is even a stop on the Columbus Distillery Trail.
This place did not disappoint! We really enjoyed our tour and tasting, especially because of how knowledgable and fun our tour guide, Susan, was. We ended up chatting bourbon for a long time-our favorite topic of discussion. We also had dinner at their onsite Kitchen + Bar. The menus are setup like a vintage magazine, and the food and drinks were delicious. I really enjoyed their seasonal gin cocktail, and the Deep Fried Hushpuppies and Braised Short Rib were honestly perfection.
Our very last stop before heading back home was to Goodale Station for brunch-and what a way to end a great weekend! It is a rooftop restaurant with both indoor and outdoor spaces, and I mean it when I say this is one of the most stunning spots I’ve ever been. The interior is designed so well, and allows plenty of natural light in.
They offered a variety of brunch classics, including cocktails. We ended up trying the espresso martinis, pancake fritters, oysters, crab benedict, and brioche french toast. Everything was delicious! I highly recommend getting the pancake fritters or french toast if you are a big fan of sweets.
Overall, we had a fantastic weekend getaway to Columbus, OH! It really is the perfect distance from Indianapolis for a quick trip, and we will definitely be heading back to the area again. Make sure you check out www.experiencecolumbus.com for even more restaurants, hotels, and things to do when planning your trip.