Travelogue: Columbus, OH

Travelogue- Columbus, Ohio | In November 2015, I travelled to Columbus, Ohio for the AASL convention.  I spent about a week in the city and explored during my time off.  Here's the places I went and the things I did.

Photos and stories from my trip to Columbus, OH before and during AASL15.

Whenever I go to a conference, I try to have at least twenty-four hours before or after the conference to explore the city (unless it’s Orlando. The exception being trips to Hogwarts.).  For AASL, I flew in at noon the day before the Treasure Mountain Retreat, which was a preconference event I attended.  I always like to stay at Airbnb and found one really close to the convention center.  I had a little time before I could check in, so I got lunch at Lemongrass, which was super-delicious (I actually came back later in the trip, which I don’t often do.  It was awesome).  After I got settled in, I hopped on the CBUS, which is a free bus that travels from Short North to the Brewery District.  It’s an excellent way to get around downtown Columbus.

The Ohio Statehouse |

The Ohio Statehouse

Ohio Statehouse

My first stop was the Ohio Statehouse.  We always used to visit state capitols on family vacations as a kid, so it’s kind of ingrained in me to visit them when I get the chance.  The architecture inside was gorgeous, and it was fun to explore and see all of the history.  I didn’t opt for the guided tour as my time was limited, and the museum wasn’t really doing it for me.  I headed out and walked a little less than ten blocks over to the Columbus Museum of Art.

Discovery Park - a park dedicated to public school educators |

Discovery Park – a park dedicated to public school educators

Discovery Park

On the walk over to the art museum, I discovered a little gem of a park called Discovery Park.  For some reason, I can’t find it on Google maps or on any official sites, but it was at the corner of Broad and 5th.  It’s a beautiful park dedicated to public school educators.  The sculptures depict teachers working with students, mostly younger age and maybe a bit stereotyped, but still.  The park is lovely and definitely worth a visit.

Columbus Musuem of Art - one of the best art museums I've ever been to |

Columbus Musuem of Art – one of the best art museums I’ve ever been to

Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art just opened up a brand new wing when I got there.  This was one of the best art museums I’ve ever visited.  I plan on doing a whole post later on about their Center for Creativity.  For now, I’ll say that the exhibits were beautiful and the museum strongly encourages patrons to interact with the artwork.  The Center for Creativity takes this a step further by getting a statement from the artist (currently on how play influences their work) alongside their works, with an activity designed to get patrons thinking like an artist.  This whole floor was basically a makerspace meets art gallery.

They also have an excellent gift shop with a carefully edited book selection.  I stopped myself at this book and this book because if I got everything I liked my credit card would not have been too happy.

The Book Loft - I love a good, sprawling bookstore |

The Book Loft – I love a good, sprawling bookstore

The Book Loft

The German Village neighborhood of Columbus has beautiful architecture and lots of character and good food.  But my main purpose for visiting was to check out the Book Loft, and I was not disappointed.  This charming bookstore has 32! rooms of books.  It’s such a maze inside that they give you a map of how the store is laid out.  I probably could have spent hours in here, but only ended up picking up a few things (including this).

Short North has tons of great street art |

Short North has tons of great street art

Short North

Since I was staying in the Short North neighborhood, I spent a lot of time wandering around it.  On my second morning, I followed an audio tour art walk of the High Street and Italian Village area.  It was a great way to see a lot of the street art, but sometimes the tour led me in odd directions, like walking down an alley with no sidewalks.  Still, it was a great way to see all kinds of art and interesting architecture while getting a bit of the history.   While walking back from my art walk, I stopped in at One Line Coffee and learned about the Columbus Coffee Experience.  By visiting at least four of the participating coffee shops and ordering drinks, you can get a free t-shirt at the Experience Columbus store in the convention center. By the end of my trip, I had visited One Line, Boston Stoker, Mission Coffee Co and Stauf’s in North Market.   And my t-shirt is pretty rad 🙂

Other awesome places I visited in Short North were Tasi (amazing breakfast!), Tigertree and Jeni’s Splendid.

Goodale Park - the leaves are stunning this time of year |

Goodale Park – the leaves are stunning this time of year

Goodale Park

My Airbnb was across the street from Goodale Park, so I had a lot of opportunities to take walks through it.  Being a Floridian, I hardly ever get to see the changing of the leaves, so this park was a pretty big deal to me.  The colors were so rich and bright and beautiful that I took dozens of photos.  I’m definitely glad I took some time out of my schedule to hang out here.

North Market - I ate here pretty much every day |

North Market – I ate here pretty much every day

North Market

The North Market is right by the convention center (and only two blocks from my Airbnb) so I ate quite a few of my meals here.  It’s pretty convenient, and there were only a couple of times were it was too crowded for me to get what I wanted.  AASL had their closing celebration here, which was pretty awesome.

Here’s the shops I checked out during my trip:

  • Hubert’s Polish Kitchen
  • Stauf’s Coffee Roasters
  • Pistacia Vera
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (um, yes.  I ate a LOT of ice cream)
  • Bubbles, the Tea and Juice Company
  • Little Eater Produce and Provisions (bought my groceries for the week here)

Want to see more pictures?  Check out my Flickr album.

Have you ever been to Columbus before?  What was your favorite place that you visited?  Tell me in the comments 🙂

Diana Rendina, MLIS, is the media specialist at Tampa Preparatory School, an independent 6-12 in Tampa, FL. Previously, she was the media specialist at Stewart Middle Magnet School for seven years, where she founded their library makerspace. She is the creator of the blog & is also a monthly contributor to AASL Knowledge Quest. Diana is the winner of the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award, the 2015 ISTE Librarians Network Secondary Award, the 2015 AASL Frances Henne Award & the 2015 SLJ Build Something Bold Award. She is an international speaker on the Maker Movement and has presented at conferences including AASL, FETC & ISTE. Diana co-authored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace with Colleen and Aaron Graves and is also the author Reimagining Library Spaces: Transform Your Space on Any Budget.


  1. Great photos! Ohio is “my” state and I’m only about an hour from Columbus. We love the Lemongrass too! If you are ever in that area again, try The Happy Greek. It is my favorite!

  2. technolibrariankate : November 21, 2015 at 9:21 am

    I really like like Ohio as a state is under appreciated… this definitely makes it look like somewhere I’d like to visit!

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