With a number of fun, artsy neighborhoods to choose from and plenty of restaurants, museums, and parks, Columbus, Ohio attracts many young professionals and families. With amazing home prices, a lively college vibe, and a nearby wine region that keeps the varietals flowing, Columbus is an ideal city for living a good life. It even made our list of best cities for outdoor enthusiasts for its rolling greens and expertly-designed golf courses. The job market is booming in a variety of industries. Are you ready to learn more about this beautiful city?
If you’d prefer walking rather than driving your car to run errands, be sure to choose a walkable neighborhood when moving to Columbus. Plenty of neighborhoods score above 80 for walkability such as Short North with a walkability score of 92, German Village with a walkability score of 90, Schumacher Place with a walk score of 82, Italian Village with a walk score of 88, and Northwood Park with a walk score of 87. (For reference, a walk score of 70-89 means an area is very walkable and most errands can be completed on foot!)
The city also has a bike score of 50, meaning that in many neighborhoods you can use your bike instead of your car for your daily commute. The city government has spent more than 20 years making the city more bike-friendly, and the population even celebrates Bike Month in May. On the Scioto Trail, the Alum Creek Trail, and the Olentangy Trail, you’ll be able to exercise on your bike while admiring gorgeous landscapes. In addition, many streets in the city have been rebuilt to ensure safety for cyclists. The CoGo bike-sharing company, which has over 80 bike stations across the city, offers a cheap and convenient way to move around without worrying about bike maintenance or other hassles. With the company’s convenient app, you can see bike availability at each station in real-time. When you’re done with your trip, there’s no need to return the bike to the exact location where you picked it up. Instead, you can drop it off at any station.
The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) offers an efficient public transportation service all across the city. The COTA Connector app makes it easier and faster to pay for your fare. Just add funds to your balance in the app, using a debit or credit card, and choose the pass you need. On the bus, you only need to activate your pass by scanning a QR code. Buses have many accessibility features, like ramps for wheelchairs and reduced fares, to welcome disabled users. In addition, COTA’s Park & Ride locations offer free parking lots where you can leave your car before riding the bus. Park & Ride locations are available downtown and at Ohio State University’s campus.
Columbus has many fun nicknames. For example, residents often call it “Cap City” because it’s the capital of Ohio. Another popular nickname is “The Arch City” because of the metal arches with lights that decorate many of the city’s streets. Sometimes, you’ll hear people call the Ohio capital “The Discovery City,” “Indie Art Capital,” “Cow Town,” “Cbus,” or “The Biggest Small Town in America.”
Real Estate Outlook
The median price of a home in Columbus is over $174,000, and the average price per square foot is $130. These prices may sound daunting, but consider that buying a house in the Ohio capital can actually be a good investment. The demand for houses in the city is very high, and the supply tends to be low. In addition, home prices in Columbus are still pretty affordable in comparison with other major cities in the U.S.
The average rental price in Columbus is $959. The cheapest neighborhoods where you can rent an apartment are South of Main, Old Town East Columbus, Franklin Park, Willow Creek, and Greenleaf, where the average rent is about $650. In the neighborhoods of Dennison Place, Indianola Forest, Indianola Terrace, Iuka Ravine, and many others, the average rent price is over $1,700.
When moving to Columbus, it’s important to choose the right neighborhood for your lifestyle. Here are some of the trendiest and most populous neighborhoods in the Cap City.
This informal neighborhood has a unique atmosphere, with many shops that sell traditional products, handmade jewelry, and baked goods. There are also several trendy pubs, restaurants, and coffee shops. Schiller Park, dedicated to the poet Friedrich von Schiller, is a great place to have a picnic or simply relax with a good book. The Actors’ Theatre of Columbus presents plays by Shakespeare and other classical authors.
Short North Arts District
This neighborhood is definitely rich in culture and art, with renowned galleries and iconic murals. It also has a vibrant nightlife, as well as many coffee shops and restaurants to choose from. If you’re a fashion guru, you’ll certainly find many interesting pieces at affordable prices in the District’s many thrift shops.
This is another great neighborhood for people who love enjoying nightlife without giving up safety and quiet. In the 1800s, German immigrants started several breweries here, so the neighborhood soon became home to all of their workers. Today, the Brewery District hosts the Scioto Audubon Metro Park and the Shadowbox Live, where you can see live performances of many kinds.
Polaris is Columbus’ commercial district, so it’s the ideal destination for people who love shopping. The large mall Polaris Fashion Place hosts over 190 stores and restaurants, including the most famous fashion brands. The neighborhood also has many local-owned restaurants and bars, and the beautiful Polaris Founder’s Park is a relaxing place to spend some time outdoors.
Things To Do
Many families are moving to Columbus because of the variety of kid-friendly recreational opportunities the city offers. For example, the Legoland Discovery Center has several play areas where kids can have fun with the iconic building blocks, rides, and a 4D cinema. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the largest zoos in the U.S. Its founder, Jack Hanna, is a renowned TV personality and educator, and he appeared several times on David Letterman’s Late Show and Good Morning America.
The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) offers several exhibits, as well as an educational play area for little kids and a lab for older kids. The museum also hosts the largest planetarium in Ohio. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum has a huge collection of comics and cartoon-related materials, such as books and original artwork. Take a tour of the Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum in Schumacher Place neighborhood, or the Columbus Museum of Art, which hosts masterpieces from both American and European artists.
Reasons to Move There
Columbus is definitely one of the best places to live in the U.S. The unemployment rate is well below the national rate, and young, talented people have no problems finding jobs at Ohio State University or in the local government. Other major employers in the area are L Brands, i.e., the company behind Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, Honda of America, and Chase & Co. The flourishing food services industry puts a waiter’s average salary in the Ohio capital between $18.69k and $27.67k.
If you plan on raising a family in the Arch City, its school system is highly-ranked. Columbus has 132 excellent public schools, 140 private schools, and 11 colleges. The city has a diverse population, thanks to the colleges that attract students from nearby cities, and a relatively low cost of living in comparison with other cities.
If you’re planning a move to Cap City, our Columbus, OH storage units are a clever solution to save space in your new home. We have several facilities across the city, so you’ll certainly find one near your home. We offer many amenities to make your move easier, like packing supplies, online payment options, and flexible monthly rental options. We also have vehicle storage spaces, so you can keep your backup car, boat, or motorcycle off the street without occupying your garage. We have both indoor and outdoor parking lots to meet everyone’s storage needs.