A Guide to Columbus Apartments and Neighborhoods
Becoming familiar with the different neighborhoods in Columbus will help to determine which neighborhood will be the best fit for you, along with knowing how far your commute to the Ohio State University campus will be. To help make your search off-campus housing in Columbus easier, we have put together a list of neighborhoods that surround Ohio State University. Each of these neighborhoods is within walking distance to campus, or just a short bike, car, or bus ride away.
Heading two miles north from Downtown Columbus will put you in the heart of the University District. With over 50,000 residents, the University District of Columbus is the city’s most heavily populated area. This area has more than 650 businesses including a variety of shops, churches, restaurants, bars, and of course the massive Ohio State campus. Many of the popular dining and nightlife spots are located on and around High Street and 11th Avenue. From cheap-eats to upscale restaurants, dive bars, and classy clubs, you can find it here! The Wexner Center for the Arts has rotating art exhibits and throughout the year has several events like film screenings, public speeches, concerts, and dance performances. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum, which is across the plaza, has the world’s largest collection of comics and cartoons and entry is free. Of course, we can’t forget about all the OSU Buckeyes sports teams! Thousands pack the stands at Ohio Stadium or “The Shoe” to cheer on the football team. The Schottenstein Center is home to the hockey and basketball teams and throughout the year many concerts are held here too. The best part is, getting to all these spots is walkable from any part of the University District!
The University District is made up of several other smaller neighborhoods. The area directly north of the OSU campus is called Old North Columbus and even within this area, you’ll find several smaller neighborhoods like Glen Echo and Iuka Ravine. In this area, there are fewer apartments and more houses. Much of the housing in these neighborhoods are older bungalow-style homes and you’ll find single-family and updated duplexes. Bordering the Olentangy River, you can escape all the craziness at Tuttle Park. Here you’ll have access to biking and walking trails, baseball fields, and a public pool.
East of High Street, is the Central University District which is commonly called the off-campus neighborhood. This residential area is filled with renters that are highly student-dominated. Amongst the already existing large houses, and apartment buildings, over the past ten years, Central has gone through a lot of redevelopment with several luxury apartment complexes going up.
Just below Central University is Southern University. Here you’ll find neighborhoods like Dennison Park and Necko.This area has a larger population of homeownership by families who live in the prestigious large Victorian houses. Walking around Southern University, you’ll see art galleries, music studios, shops, hair salons, and taco trucks!
The area that makes up Downtown Columbus is huge but getting around is easy with the use of the free CBUS and CoGo Bike Share. Downtown Columbus is the area inside the “inner belt,”is the Central Business District, and home to the State Capitol building. Downtown is also home to the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Street Bridge, and several parks. Just like the University District, there are also several neighborhoods and districts that make up Downtown. The High Street Corridor, or High Five, runs 5 miles long down High Street and connects five different districts (University, Arena, Downtown, Short North, German Village) and has over 200 shops,150 restaurants, 50 venues, and 40 art galleries. Some of the historic spots Downtown are the Kelton House where you can experience the Underground Railroad, The Ohio Statehouse with is the Ohio Supreme Court Building, and the Columbus Commons with is park that has free exercise classes, concerts, a carousel, and every Thursday they have tons of food trucks line up and down the streets for you to feast.
The Arena District takes its name from the Nationwide Arena that was built in this area. The Nationwide Arena is the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets National Hockey League. Springing up in this neighborhood over the years have been several restaurants, bars, offices, and apartment/condo complexes. Some of the popular spots to grab some grub before hitting up a game of concert at the are Nada and Gordon Biersch. A popular bar spot is R Bar.
Sub-neighborhood of the Arena District is the Park Street District. While this area is lacking a lot of places to live, there are tons of bars and restaurants to make up for it. It also overlaps the Short North neighborhood and shares the public market called North Market.
The Discovery District has a wide variety of non-profit cultural institutions like the top-ranked Metropolitan Library. There is also the Columbus Art Museum, French Topiary Gardens, and many other colleges like Franklin University and the Columbus College of Art and Design.
The Short North
Sandwiched in between Downtown and the University Districts, located in the middle of High Street, is The Short North. Brick buildings, usually painted with bright colorful murals, dating back to the 20th-century line the streets that house art galleries, theaters, boutique shops, pubs, and coffee houses. This area has been labeled the artistic heart of Ohio and has been reviewed as a “must see” travel destination by several magazines. There is a mix of old apartment buildings and rowhouses along with newer apartment complexes. Each month an event called the Gallery Hop takes place where stores and art galleries stay open late and entertainers take over the streets.
Also north of Downtown and east of High Street is the Italian Village. The Italian Village is part of the Short North Area. This neighborhood has a mix of residential, industrial, and commercial buildings. This area is a historic district known for the Italian influence and architecture, today, it is quickly becoming a happening nightlife spot with several entertainment venues. By night, you can hit up Little Rock or Seventh Son Brewing, and by day pick up groceries from The Market Italian Village.
The Victorian Village is also part of Short North but instead of east like Italian Village, this neighborhood is west of High Street. Victorian Village is an older residential area mainly comprised of Victorian houses and large two story homes. A lot of these houses have at least four bedrooms and unfinished basements. There is the Goodale Park and some popular spots to grab food like Katrina’s.
The German Village, which is part of the High Five, is just south of Downtown Columbus. This area once was made-up of the German immigrants who came over in the mid-19th century, so much of this area today still has German influences. This area is mainly residential and many of the homes are older red-brick houses, surrounded by fences, and streets are lined with trees. South Third Street has many locally owned restaurants and at the southern end, there is Schiller Park. There are recreational facilities and an amphitheater where audiences are given free attendance to the Shakespearean plays held throughout the summer.
The Clintonville neighborhood is just north of the University District and is in north-central Columbus. This neighborhood is very large has a good mix of both student and families. There are several small businesses like shops and restaurants. Some of the popular s hops are Wholly Craft and Sew to Speak. Favored dining spots are Harvest Pizzeria and The Crest Gastropub. There is also the Park of Roses which is a beautiful 13-acre rose garden. In the summer, the Clintonville Farmer’s Market is a popular place to buy fresh produce. The Olentangy River also runs down this area and there are many trails to hike and bike on.
The housing in North Clintonville was built to be a more high end and there are more subdivisions popping up. South Clintonville is a mix of single and multi-family homes that were built before 1930. The neighborhood was also developed around the High Street Streetcar idea that would run from this neighborhood, through OSU, and down High Street. As of right now, this plan is on hold.
To recap, here are some helpful tips/reminders:
All housing in each Columbus neighborhood mentioned is accessible by the free CBUS and is just minutes to the Ohio State University campus
Most students living off-campus in Columbus live in the University District
Central University is the most heavily dominated student neighborhood in Columbus
Housing in different areas, besides University, will require bike, car or bus transportation
Make sure your new place is easily accessible to shopping and grocery stores for running errands
Use Google Maps to determine the distance of a property you are considering to the Pittsburgh campus