We’ve asked a couple of local ACES members to let us know where to go and how to get there when we take breaks from the conference. We’ve also created a Google Map of the ACES conference area to help you see what’s where.
Welcome to Columbus! Enjoy the ACES Conference, but take some time to explore this great city. This list is primarily focused on restaurants, bookstores, and attractions near the Hyatt Regency, which thankfully is right in the middle of everything.
Near the Hyatt:
North Market: This 147-year-old public market has a variety of food stalls to satisfy almost any craving, including many ethnic cuisines like Flavors of India, Hubert’s Polish Kitchen, Momo Ghar, and Lan Viet Market. Be sure to grab a scoop or two of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams—a local favorite—while you’re there. Free Wi-Fi is available, and there is seating upstairs. Please note that construction is going on at the market, which affects parking and, unfortunately, walking. Just watch your step and enter on the west side of the building on Park Street. You can find more information here.
59 Spruce St.
The oldest brewpub in Columbus, Barley’s Brewing Company serves up craft beers and American pub fare.
467 N. High St.
Mikey’s Late Night Slice: Mikey’s is often listed as one of the top pizza spots in Columbus.
457 N. High St.
Local Cantina is a fast-casual spot for tacos, burrito bowls, nachos, and craft beers and spirits.
600 N. High St.
The Guild House is an artisan American eatery serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner using locally sourced ingredients. Reservations are recommended.
624 N. High St.
Head to One Line Coffee for your caffeine fix. This coffee bar uses house-roasted beans; you can also order tea and pastries.
745 N. High St.
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing: Enjoy premium Ohio beers, American food, and brewery tours. Reservations recommended for The Dining Room. The Tap Room is first-come, first-served.
215 N. 4th Street
Tasi Cafe: A spot for casual breakfast and lunch options, such as breakfast sandwiches, soups, and salads.
680 N. Pearl St. #1518
Pins Mechanical Co. is a popular spot for craft cocktails, duckpin bowling, foosball, pinball, and table tennis.
141 N. 4th St.
The Greater Columbus Convention Center food court, beyond the conference area, offers several options for a quick meal.
400 N. High St.
The Arena District offers several dining options. (Note: Due to events at Nationwide Arena March 23-25, these restaurants will be crowded in the evening.)
These bookstores are very popular and easy to get to from the Hyatt Regency.
Prologue Bookshop: Located in the Short North Arts District, this bookstore is the closest to the Hyatt Regency and popular with the locals. Prologue also will have a table at the conference to satisfy your word-related book needs.
841 N. High St.
The Book Loft: Explore 32 rooms of books in this beloved German Village bookstore. On-street parking is available (free but limited), or just take an Uber/Lyft. It’s well worth the visit.
631 S. Third St.
Two Dollar Radio Headquarters: This isn’t just an indie bookstore, it’s also a performance/event space and fully vegan cafe, coffeehouse, and bar. On-street parking is available at the side of the building, but Uber/Lyft may be easier.
1124 Parsons Ave.
Things to Do/See
Near the Hyatt Regency:
Are you a hockey fan? Catch the Columbus Blue Jackets vs. the New York Islanders at Nationwide Arena on Friday, March 24.
Art exhibits from the Columbus Museum of Art are also housed at the Pizzuti Collection, located in the Short North Arts District.
Admire the architecture and take in an art exhibition at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Be sure to visit the nearby Topiary Park depicting Georges Seurat's famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte.
Check out the King Tut exhibit, dinosaur gallery, and a planetarium show at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI).
Celebrate artistic expression at the Wexner Center for the Arts on The Ohio State University main campus.
The National Veterans Memorial and Museum honors veterans across all military branches by sharing their individual stories and experiences.
Book a German Village Tour to learn fascinating history and admire the beautiful homes in the city’s most popular historic district. While you’re there, enjoy one of German Village’s popular restaurants, such as Katzinger's Deli, Schmidt's Sausage Haus, Lindey's, or Barcelona.
Taste the best of Columbus on a tour with Columbus Food Adventures.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is consistently ranked among the top in the U.S. and houses over 9,000 animals from 650 species.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is not just a great place to explore plant life, it also features art exhibitions, a children’s play area and a hot shop where you can watch glass artists at work.
Interact with art at Otherworld, an immersive experience of sight and sound that guides you through 47 rooms of surrealist dreamscapes.
Karyn Johnson is a freelance writer, editor, and ACES member who lives on a small farm just outside of Columbus.
Columbus is a vibrant city full of fun places to visit during your free time at the ACES conference. And the good news is it’s easy to reach fascinating neighborhoods, parks, attractions, restaurants and nightlife from our base at the Hyatt Regency.
The heart of Columbus is easily walkable and safe for pedestrians. The Arena District, Short North, North Market, Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio Statehouse, Center of Science and Industry, Scioto Mile park all are within a half-hour walk of the hotel. Also, bike share and scooter rentals can whisk you to nearby destinations.
But some of the city’s best sites require venturing a little farther — places like the Ohio State University, German Village, Hollywood Casino, Franklin Park Conservatory and Easton Town Center. Fortunately there are options such as public buses, taxis and ride share services to get you there. (Alas, Columbus has no subways or light rail, and there is no express public transit to the airport.)
The Central Ohio Transit Authority has bus stops for several major routes near the hotel. Service is frequent between about 5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m., but there is no service after 10. COTA Routes 1, 2 and 5 ply North High Street in the Short North, and Routes 1 and 2 continue north to OSU. All three routes go south from the Hyatt to downtown, and Route 5 continues south to the heart of German Village. At the Statehouse downtown, you can transfer free to Route 10 for trips west on Broad Street to the casino and east to the conservatory. To visit Easton, catch the eastbound No. 9 bus at the stop on Nationwide Boulevard near the Hyatt.
The standard fare is $2 per ride, or you can buy a day pass when you board for $4.50. Visit https://cota.com for routes, schedules, fares and other information. The website and the COTA app have tools for trip planning and real-time bus tracking. These tools also show other modes of transportation, such as scooters and bikes, to use in conjunction with the buses.
Taxis and car hires
If you prefer a cab, a number of taxi companies operate in Columbus. Taxis can be hailed in front of the hotel. Ride share service from Uber and Lyft is widely available via their phone apps, and they usually arrive in minutes. For taxi or ride share from John Glenn Columbus International Airport, exit beyond baggage claim and cross at the pedestrian crosswalk. Ride shares pick up on the right side of the second access road, and cross over to the other side for the taxi stand. This is also where you pick up a shuttle to the nearby car rental building. Learn more at https://flycolumbus.com/getting-to-from.
Bike shares and scooters
For more adventurous sightseers, the CoGo bike share network (https://cogobikeshare.com) and dock-free scooters from Lime (https://www.li.me), Spin (https://www.spin.app) and Bird (https://www.bird.co) are options.
CoGo has 600 bikes (some electric) and 90 docking stations in Columbus and nearby suburbs, including stations along N. High Street just north and just south of the Hyatt. Multiple stations can be found in the Short North and OSU areas, and there are several along the Olentangy Trail bike path. Bikes must be docked at least every 30 minutes. A trip costs $2.25 per 30-minute ride and can be purchased at the docking station kiosk, on the CoGo website or through the Lyft app. A day pass is $8, and bikes must be returned to a docking station every 30 minutes. You can buy a day pass through the CoGo website.
Lime, Spin and Bird scooters are plentiful downtown, in the Short North and near OSU. Phone apps show where scooters are available, and the app can be used to pay for trips. Lime, for example, charges a $1 fee to unlock the scooter and an additional 15 cents per minute of use.
Jeff Pierron is a retired Columbus Dispatch copy editor, lifetime ACES member and past ACES secretary.