Making the Move to Ohio's "Silicon Valley"? Here's Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Columbus

Columbus is known as the Midwest’s Silicon Valley, but that is not the only benefit this city offers its residents.

An aerial view of downtown Columbus.

Image courtesy of TourScanner

Columbus, Ohio is Ohio’s capital and also known to be a center for arts and culture. There are several museums, historical centers, and thriving businesses in Columbus that make the city what it is. Columbus has long been known for its great contributions to arts, culture, and sports, but for the past several years, this city has been gaining more and more recognition for its up and coming start-up tech scene. 

Columbus is now home to several valuable startup and tech companies, and it's now known to be one of the best cities in the U.S. for tech jobs. It is projected to only keep growing from there. As more people move into the area for opportunities, you might find that you want to enjoy what the city has to offer. 

Columbus is now known as Ohio’s Silicon Valley. That is because of the many similarities that the two regions have with each other. There is a lot that you can gain from a life in Ohio’s Silicon Valley. The city does a lot to support new business growth, which leads to prosperity for the whole state. Columbus’s support of entrepreneurship has made it into an even better place to live than it already was. You already know about Ohio’s booming start up scene, now we will let you in on everything else that great about Columbus! Here is everything you need to know about making the move to Columbus, Ohio’s “Silicon Valley.” 

Affordable Living

Columbus is one of the country’s cheapest cities!

Three Columbus houses standing side by side.
These homes are much cheaper in Columbus than they are elsewhere. Image courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus is one of the U.S.’s most affordable big cities. It was once ranked among the top 25 of America’s most affordable big cities. Compared to most other big cities, Columbus offers affordable housing. It offers low rent and low median house prices. That fact accompanied with the great business opportunities makes Columbus a city that is beyond affordable. Life in Columbus is about 10% cheaper than it is in other similarly sized cities, which means that your paycheck will go a lot further there than it would in many other places. 

The prices of homes in Columbus are much lower than the national average. Whether a person is buying a home or renting one, it will be so much easier to do so than it would be in many other cities. This is one reason that business is booming so much in this region. Businesses are able to pay less for their headquarters, which leaves them more profit to spend on the things that they need to grow. And it is not just the homes that are cheaper, the cost of living is cheaper in general. Because Columbus is an affordable city, the price of retail is also much lower than it is elsewhere. You can go shopping for less rather than more. 

Columbus residents get to spend less to live, which leaves them with more money to spend on all the fun things that the city has to offer. They have extra to spend on shows, museums, and parks. It leads to people having a more fulfilling existence when they can focus their financing on enjoying activities rather than just bills. 

Food Culture

Columbus does not at all lack good restaurants!

A sausage and pepperoni pizza with thin crust cut into small squares.
This style of pizza is unique to Columbus. Image courtesy of Columbus Underground

Columbus has a large array of food and drink options for its residents. There are tons of restaurants around that can suit all different tastes. There are chain restaurants, and there are several small businesses that residents love to support. Columbus is a very food focused city that consistently serves up amazing restaurants. 

Those restaurants represent many different cultures. They have plenty of American restaurants, Italian restaurants, Spanish restaurants, German restaurants, along with Mexican restaurants, and Irish restaurants. You get to choose from several hundred of these Columbus restaurants to enjoy every day. 

While Columbus has restaurants that represent different places, it has certain foods that are representative of the city itself. These foods were created in the city and are extremely popular. One of the most popular foods unique to Columbus is the Columbus-style pizza. 

This pizza is made with thin crust, pepperoni, and crust to crust cheese. It is sliced up into extremely small square pieces rather than into large triangles. Another popular Columbus staple is Buckeye candy. It is made up of peanut butter sugar balls dipped in chocolate. Chocolate and peanut butter is a beloved combination everywhere. 

Columbus also happens to be a beer haven. There are over 50 unique breweries just in this city alone. Exploring the Columbus beer scene is like being part of an adventure. The city even makes it easy to explore its beer scene through something called the Columbus Ale Trail

You have the opportunity to pick up a Brew Book from one of several participating breweries that will guide you through discovering beer in the city. Each time you make a purchase at a brewery, you can get a stamp. Once you earn four stamps, you’ll get a Columbus Ale Trail patch. If you manage to get a stamp from each brewery, you’ll get a limited edition art print!

Arts and Culture

Columbus has an amazing art scene that will keep you entertained. 

An outdoor art gallery in Columbus.
Columbus residents are surrounded by great art. Image courtesy of Experience Columbus

Columbus is a lively city that is full of culture and entertainment. You will not be bored when you’re living in this city. One of the city’s biggest attractions is the Columbus Zoo. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a non-profit zoo that sits on the north end of Columbus. This zoo supports local and global animal conservation, as well as educates the public on the animals it holds in its facilities. 

The animals come from all corners of the globe. Some of them include zebra sharks, koalas, cheetahs, and manatees. Getting a membership will grant you free admission all year round. There are also several other perks that come with that. 

The Columbus Museum of Art is one of the city’s largest and most creative institutions. The building itself is unique, and it holds a large collection of different types of art. It aims to be the kind of place where they intersect community with everyday life. You’ll find contemporary art, folk art, glass work, and artistic photography. 

The museum showcases rotating exhibitions, workshops, and special events. Their collection includes American and European art from the late nineteenth to the earlier twentieth century. The museum even has a museum store and a café. People get to relax and enjoy treats and drinks after they take in all kinds of amazing art. 

The Short North Arts District is an area of Columbus that encompasses multiple arts galleries. Different gallery owners in the 80s banded together to reinvigorate the area they dwell in. The public can explore these galleries on a regular basis, but once a month, these galleries allow patrons to explore for free. This happens during the monthly gallery hop. 

Thousands of artists are displayed throughout the arts district. These are displays by local artists, local businesses, and traditional galleries. Nested within Central Ohio, The Short North Arts District is known as the “art and soul” of Columbus. 

Theater is also a big part of Columbus’s culture. There is the Ohio Theater, the Palace Theater, the Southern Theater, and the Shadowbox Live along with several others. At different times during the year, each of these theaters showcases different productions. They put on both popular and not well known plays. Some of the past productions have included ‘Sister Act,’ ‘A Christmas Story: The Musical,’ and ‘The Nutcracker.’ Theater fans definitely don’t miss out on good productions when they move into Columbus. 


Columbus is a center for good education prospects. 

A red sign that says "Ohio State University."
This University is churning out success stories. Image courtesy of NBC News

Columbus is home to Ohio State University. It is the home of over 66,000 students and one of the biggest employers in the Columbus area. This university has a connection to different businesses in the area and helps connect promising students with businesses that need helpful new employees. This is one big reason that Ohio’s Silicon Valley is growing at such a high rate.

Local firms aim to help both college students and startup companies by connecting them with each other. They offer programs that find students in relevant fields and pair them with the right companies that fit their skill sets. They will connect startup companies with the types of students they need to grow and prosper, which provides a benefit for everyone in the community. 

Aside from Ohio State University, Columbus is also surrounded by several other educational institutions. Some of the institutes of higher education that exist in the area include Otterbein University, Ohio Dominican University, Franklin University, Wesleyan University, and Columbus State Community College. Graduates of all these schools often start their careers right inside Columbus. It is the city with some of the biggest opportunities available to graduating students. 

Established Columbus businesses are pouring resources into promising new businesses and people with great ideas. This city allows for students to connect with companies that are eager to progress the city, which then leads to even more opportunities in the future. 

Columbus also offers education in the form of the Columbus Metropolitan Library system. Several libraries are located all over the city, making sure that people in all areas can have access to them. They are open for books and research, and also provide the public with unique opportunities to gain education. They offer tutoring, social services, and career counseling. 

Systems outside of the library and colleges also provide different types of education to the Columbus metro area. Columbus business leaders and officials have established ways to train people to do jobs they didn’t previously have the skills for. They create skilled workers when they don’t find enough to recruit. 

There is something called the Office of Talent Strategy, which is a partnership between a few high level companies and Ohio State University. It trains people to practice certain careers whether or not they are already a college student. It is backed by several large and powerful companies and leads people into earning the types of careers they wouldn’t have had access to before. 

Columbus Parks

Columbus may be a large city, but there are plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy!

A bridge in the middle  of a forest.
This space is right in the midst of a large city! Image courtesy of MetroParks

Columbus is a city that prioritizes outdoor spaces. It makes sure that its residents get to enjoy nature, despite dwelling in a metropolitan area. There are outdoor spaces to enjoy all over the city. Some of the most prominent outdoor spaces are part of the Columbus MetroPark system. There are 23 MetroParks in total, and they provide access to a host of outdoor activities. These parks offer access to hiking trails, bike trails, restored wetlands and prairies, swamp ponds, golf courses, and nature preserves. 

Ohio’s public parks are home to over 2,200 species of animals. They are also home to thousands of plant species as well. These parks also work to promote clean air and good water quality. They provide recreation and alternate travel passageways. These MetroParks have several different agencies that maintain these public places for the people of Columbus. 

Along these parks, you’ll find different bodies of water, the largest being the Scioto River. This allows for people to engage in many activities in the water as well as on land. People use these park spaces to hike, bird watch, have picnics, and even go fishing. Living in a city does not have to limit your time in nature, especially when you’re in Columbus!

Columbus is Ohio’s Silicon Valley, which is something that makes it a great place to move to gain job prospects. But that is not all that Columbus is good for. It is a city filled with culture, education, great food, and nature. Columbus has just about everything a person can want in a large sized city.

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March 3, 2022
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