Places to Visit Between the Cities of Westerville and Columbus

A List of History, Parks, and More!

By

Matt Lyons

on

Jan 21, 2021

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The drive between Westerville and Columbus, OH may only be about 20 minutes, but there is so much you can do between these two towns! Westerville, OH is a city in the Franklin and Delaware counties of the state. As of 2020, the population was close to 40,000. The total size of the city is 12.74 sq mi, and the median income of a family household in the city is approximately $82,163. Many people who know of or have been to Westerville are familiar with the city being labeled as “The Dry Capital of the World” once upon a time. This was due to the city’s strict laws regarding alcohol, along with the influence of the Anti-Saloon league. The Anti-Saloon League is also known as the American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems, which helped to lobby for prohibition in the early 20th century United States. 

Columbus, OH is the current capital of the state. Columbus is also the most populated city in the state, with an approximate population of over 900,000. The size of the city is 225.97 sq mi, among the biggest in the entire country. The median income of a family household in the city is approximately $54,683. Columbus originated from Native American tribes that lived near the Scioto River, and Franklinton (a neighborhood in Columbus) was the first European settlement to be established in 1797. The city was founded in 1812 at the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto rivers.

The city was named after Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer. In 1824, it became the county seat and state capital of Ohio. Due to its steady growth, the area has experienced numerous recessions and floods. During the 1950s, it became the largest city in Ohio. By the 1990s, it had also become one of the most populated cities in the state.

If you find yourself traveling through Westerville to Columbus, there are some places you can stop along the way that may be of interest to you. Check out where you can visit between the cities of Westerville and Columbus!

The Frank Museum of Art by Otterbein

39 South Vine Street | Westerville, OH  

The Frank Museum of Art at Otterbein University opened in the winter of 2004, and is named after Lillian Frank, a professor from Otterbein who taught for almost 30 years in areas of art, theology, and philosophy. The museum is located where the “church house” of Lillian Frank once was. In 1956, Lillian Frank converted an Evangelical Church built in 1877 into her home. The home was then given to Otterbein University to create the museum for the university’s collection. 

This museum of art contains collections of art from all across the entire world including Africa, Japan, and New Guinea. The museum currently has a total of 6 google reviews, with an average of a 4 star rating. If you love looking at different pieces of art, make sure you check this museum out on your way from Westerville to Columbus, OH. 

Orange Johnson House

956 High Street | Worthington, OH | 43085

To all those history buffs out there, you will not want to pass this place up on your way to Columbus, OH. The Orange Johnson House is one of the oldest residences in the entire state of Ohio. 

In 1816, a horn smith named Orange Johnson purchased a property. Soon after, he added a Federal-style addition that was set up to provide a grand entrance. The entrance was highlighted by its curved fanlight, sidelights, and reeded pilasters. The four main rooms of the addition had fireplaces with attractive mantels. The front door of the addition faced west toward High St., a road that eventually led to the state capital and even Lake Erie.

Unique structure of the house:

  • Six rooms on thirty-five acres
  • Pioneer architecture: low-ceilinged keeping room with solid walnut wainscoting and a steep dogleg staircase
  • The kitchen has an original open fireplace with an iron crane and bread oven. 
  • Period pieces are furnished throughout the home with special connections to early Worthington families and their daily activities.

Current admission into the house will cost you $5 as an adult, and $3 if you’re in between the ages of 6-16. The admission fee includes a tour of the home which will run for approximately one hour. Group tours can hold anywhere between 5-45 visitors, and can be scheduled anytime throughout the week and even weekends. 

Giammarco’s Italian Restaurant

6030 Chandler Court | Westerville, OH | 43082

You know what makes any roadtrip a little bit better, a bite to eat on the way! While you are on the way from Westerville to Columbus there is a plethora of great dining options to choose from. One of the best restaurants you can pick  is called Giammarco’s in Westerville. Giammarco’s has a pretty wide variety in their menu, from bruch, lunch, dinner, desert and even great options for wine and cocktails. 

Giammarco's menu
Image courtesy of the menu from Giammarco’s website, where you can see a variety of house pasta specialities. 

Giammarco’s also offers a live entertainment experience while you eat. Live music is offered on the patio and or in the grotto on select nights, and you can check the entertainment calendar on the restaurant’s website for more details about select dates. 

Goodale Park

120 W Goodale Street | Columbus, OH | 43215

As you continue the drive through Westerville to Columbus, you will come across a few lovely parks. Goodale Park is a large public park in the Victorian Village area of Columbus. This park has lots of history, dating all the way back to 1851 when it was donated by the city. Located north of downtown Columbus, this park is bordered by Goodale Street on the South, Park Street on the East, Buttles Avenue on the North, and Dennison Avenue on the West.

What are some of the park amenities?:

  • Diamonds
  • Basketball courts
  • Gardens
  • Gazebo
  • Playground
  • Shelter houses 
  • Tennis courts

The park is home to two Champion Trees, a Chinese catalpa, and Smooth leaf elm. The park is also a contributor to the Near Northside Historic District on the National Register of Historic places. If you love all things Victorian style, this park will be an adventure you’ll never forget.

John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons 

160 S High Street | Columbus, OH | 43215

John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons, a 6 acre park and green space in Columbus, OH was created in May of 2011. Similar to Goodale Park, Columbus Commons has lots of gardens. The park is also home to a performance stage, carousel, playground equipment, and a couple foodservice buildings. 

Columbus Commons is also known for their parking and public transit:

  • Columbus Commons is adjacent to two different parking garages. 
  • The Columbus Commons Main Garage is located at 55 E. Rich St and the Columbus Commons Underground garage is located at 191 S Third Street. 
  • Both of these garages provide safe and easy access to the park for events. Check their website to see if an event may be coming up soon that could be of interest to you and maybe other family members!
  • Additionally, revenue from these garages helps support free programming at the park which is then produced by Capitol South.The park is also adjacent to the COTA Transit Terminal, a bus terminal for the Central Ohio Transit Authority. The station, along with bus stops on High and 3rd Streets, give access to almost every single city bus line.
  • The park also has a CoGo bikeshare station nearby.

Let the Trip Begin

Even though the trip from Westerville to Columbus may not be very long, there are still a host of different activities and adventures you have the ability to partake in. Have fun and safe travels as always!

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