Moving to Columbus, OH? Here’s Everything You Need to Know...and More!

We’ve got everything you need to know if you’re moving to Columbus, OH, so keep reading!

columbus skyline

By

Bridget Houlihan

on

Jan 21, 2021

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Image courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch.

There are many reasons why a move to Columbus is a great idea. Not only is it a fun, vibrant city with lots to do and see, it also makes sense economically! Where else do you get all the cultural attractions and job opportunities of a large city combined with the welcoming and neighborly feel of a small town? In Columbus, that’s where! Whether you’re moving to Columbus for a job or to further your education, you probably want to know what makes this metropolis one of the most popular cities in not only in the midwest, but in the entire country. Make sure to take notes because we’re going to let you in on everything you need to know about Columbus, and more!

Columbus has attracted attention lately due to its low cost of living, vibrant job market, and housing below the national average.

Columbus Ranks High in Housing, Jobs, & Cost of Living

Moving to Columbus really is a smart decision!

As the 14th largest city in the U.S., Columbus boasts a population of 892,533 as of 2018. But don’t let the size of this city fool you, it has all the friendly appeal of much smaller midwest cities, which is always nice to know if you’re moving to a place where you’d like to make friends. You can also expect to find Columbus a safe and clean city if you're relocating, earning an A- grade from Niche. It’s a well planned out mix of urban and suburban neighborhoods, and despite its size, is relatively easy to navigate and go to where you need to go (except at rush hour and home OSU games!).

Moving can be expensive, but it’s good to know that once you get to Columbus, you’re really getting a lot of bang for your buck--it’s one of the most affordable cities you can live in. The cost of living in Columbus is 10% more affordable than in the rest of the country, which means your salary goes further. This is great news if you’re interested in buying a home in Columbus as well, because home prices are below the national average--which might be especially enticing for first-time homebuyers. Not ready to purchase real estate? That’s not an issue in Columbus either, because no matter where you decide to live, rent is also below the national average, and there are plenty of lively neighborhoods where you’re sure to find the perfect apartment.

If a job is bringing you to Columbus then you already know that the job market in this city is not only ideal for young professionals just out of college, but also for people moving laterally or embarking on a totally different career. With a diverse range of opportunities in finance, healthcare, education, and insurance (and a variety of other fields) you’ll encounter many people who have moved to Columbus because of a great job offer.

But not to worry, it’s not just all work and no play in CBus! Most citizens find a nice balance of both work and other activities, which gives Columbus its consistently high marks in livability.

Take Your Pick of Fun Activities in Columbus!

There’s no shortage of things to do in this city

We know that it’s a smart decision to move to Columbus, where the cost of living is low and there are some great job opportunities--but what exactly is there to do when you’re not at work? Well, the answer is, almost anything you might imagine!

Arts, Fun, and Culture

When you’re new to Columbus there are a few must-sees you’ll want to get under your belt. You’d expect a city the size of Columbus to have a variety of interesting places to check out, and you would be 100% right! If you’re in the mood to check out the latest exhibits in science, technology, and natural history, then a visit to the Center for Science and Industry is a must. Here you can gaze at the stars in the planetarium, view the bones of ancient dinosaurs, or do some hands-on learning at the Big Science Park.

Taking more than a couple visits to the zoo is definitely recommended! Image courtesy of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Another must-see in Columbus is the world-renowned zoo, put on the map by former director Jack Hanna. Where else can you view and learn about animals from all over the world, and see the amazing efforts in conservation that this zoo is a part of? You’re going to love participating in the special experiences offered only by this zoo such as giraffe feedings, a kangaroo walkabout, stingray bay, or cheetah run. You don’t need to venture far in Columbus to take a walk on the wild side!

If viewing beautiful works of art is more your style, it’s good to know that the Columbus Museum of Art is available with many permanent exhibits, as well as a selection of rotating exhibits throughout the year. This museum is full of American and European art, photography, folk art, and a variety of special collections and featured artists. The art isn’t limited to the indoors either, make sure to take a look outside at the rotating installation pieces designed to spark creativity and thought in the community.

A world-class arts scene awaits you in Columbus. Image courtesy of the Columbus Symphony.

In Columbus you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to take in the melodious sounds of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra or marvel at the beautiful dance productions of the BalletMet. There’s even more ways to get your fill of culture in Columbus with a play, modern dance, or an opera at the Palace Theatre, the Ohio Theatre, the Lincoln Theatre, or the Southern Theatre. If you’re like us, you might find yourself having a hard time deciding what to do first.

If it’s festivals you want, Columbus has you covered, with festivals going on year round. In the summer join in the fun of the Arnold Sports Festival (yes it is named after co-founder Arnold Schwarzenegger!) which brings in bodybuilding athletes and companies from all over to compete in activities and try out the latest gear and equipment. The Columbus Arts Festival, the Jazz and Ribs Fest, the Ohio State Fair, and the Columbus Food Truck Festival are the perfect way to spend your summer weekends. But don’t forget about Oktoberfest and HighBall Halloween in the fall, the Village Lights and Conservatory Aglow in the winter, and in the spring, the beautiful Blooms and Butterflies. There’s many more festivals to attend throughout the year, ensuring you’ll always have something new and exciting to check out in Columbus.

Food and Drink

With so many eclectic neighborhoods such as Short North, German Village, Italian Village, Downtown, and Franklinton you’re sure to find a wide variety of amazing food and beverage options. Columbus is also home to some great small business shopping opportunities in each of these neighborhoods, and supporting the community is extremely important to residents. So when you’re done shopping, stop by any of the many restaurants, coffee shops, or breweries in the area--you’re sure to have an amazing time!

This is just a sampling of Columbus’ neighborhoods and the restaurants they offer, but here are some of our recommendations if you’re interested in experiencing Columbus through its robust culinary scene.

Plenty of great dining options are at your disposal in Columbus, with everything from pub food to continental Italian. Image courtesy of Barley’s Brew Co.

Short North

In this popular district there are plenty of options for food and drink after you do some shopping or take in an art exhibit.

German Village

Enjoy the rustic German appeal of this quaint area of Columbus.

Italian Village

Stop by this Columbus neighborhood for some excellent pizza and brews.

The retro vibes at the 16 Bit Bar and Arcade might just make it your new favorite CBus spot. Image courtesy of 16 Bit Bar and Arcade.

Downtown

Be at the bustling heart of the city and check out these amazing spots to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Arena District

It’s game on at these fun spots to grab a bite.

Franklinton

Enjoy the view of Columbus from the west side of Scioto River in this fun district.

Whether you’re into hockey, football, baseball, or soccer, you’ll find a team to root for here. Image courtesy of Columbus Blue Jackets.

Sports

Can’t get enough sports? Well, good thing you’ll be moving to Columbus because there is no shortage of sports in the Arch City! Their NHL team the Columbus Blue Jackets have been thrilling fans since 2000, and are showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. They play in the beautiful Nationwide Arena located in the vibrant Arena District, which is home to many fun sports bars. You can also get your soccer fix by supporting the Columbus Crew SC, or enjoy some first-class minor league baseball by attending a Columbus Clippers game.

You might have noticed while there isn’t an NFL team in Columbus, there is a football team that instills the same kind of passion--The Ohio State football team. Each Saturday residents either attend home games or watch at home or at their favorite bar. It’s almost like the entire town slows down for a couple of hours, but make sure you avoid the traffic sure to come afterwards!

Columbus is Educated & Active

The Ohio State University and surrounding schools

Not only is Columbus home to The Ohio State University, which is one of the largest employers in the city and home to over 66,000 students, but also many other schools in the surrounding area. Otterbein University, Franklin University, Ohio Dominican University, Columbus State Community College, Ohio Wesleyan, and Denison University--among others--are all located around Columbus. Many of the graduates of these universities go on to further education or start to work in Columbus, and contribute to the city’s high level of education.

Columbus has many colleges and universities within a close distance. Image courtesy Otterbein University.

Columbus can also boast of a well organized library system in the Columbus Metropolitan Library branches. This system is further enhanced by a partnership with libraries in the immediate area, as well as the OSU Thompson Library, giving patrons access to even more materials. Columbus libraries are conveniently located all over the city ready to serve the research, tutoring, social services, and career needs for Columbus residents. Don’t forget about all the information available via their online portal as well!

Outdoor lifestyle

If you’re into getting outdoors each chance you can get, then living in Columbus is going to be perfect for you! It seems that no matter where you choose to settle down in this city you’ll have easy access to parks, trails, and biking options to keep the outdoors-person in you satisfied. Any of the 23 MetroParks of Columbus are the perfect place to start--depending on the park you can enjoy a relaxing walk, take a picnic lunch, bird watch, fish, and even rock climb.

Into doing something on the water? The Scioto River offers ample opportunities to kayak or canoe with some amazing views of the city. Once you're done on the river, take some time to explore the famous Scioto Mile that connects the Arena District with the Whittier Peninsula and is a thriving riverfront oasis with green spaces, restaurants, and some must-see art and landmarks.

Stop and smell the roses at this beautiful (and free) Columbus attraction. Image courtesy of Columbus Park of Roses.

The Columbus Park of Roses and the Topiary Park of Columbus are two other outdoor spots that deserve visits. The Park of Roses has five separate gardens as well as an arboretum and contains over 12,000 rose specimens. Residents flock to the park when the roses bloom and are always in for a treat. The Topiary Garden of Columbus is the only park of its kind in the world--and is a recreation of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Did we also mention both of these parks are absolutely free and open year round?

Your New Columbus Home Awaits!

There’s a lot to love about this cultural, but cozy, city

Moving is exciting--although at times a little stressful--but once you get settled, Columbus will be waiting for you with open arms. Columbus has all the excitement and bustle of a large city, but it also is an inclusive and warm city that’s ready to welcome you. Whether you like art, learning, the outdoors, trying new foods, or sports, Columbus can offer you a little bit of everything! What’s your favorite thing about Columbus? Let us know in the comments!

September 1, 2020
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