For a Father’s Day gift, one of my sisters and I bought tickets to a Columbus Landmarks CityWalks Guided Tour, and we finally were able to go the weekend before last. It was a beautiful morning to walk around downtown. I keep thinking every warm weekend will be our last before winter but they just keep on coming. A Columbus walking tour was a great way to spend time with family on a Saturday morning.
I love the city of Columbus and for how much time I spent in the different neighborhoods I do not give the downtown area the attention I should. I am embarrassed to say that I know next to nothing about downtown so it was really nice to hear some of the history while walking around and taking in the sights. Our tour guide, like all the others for Columbus Landmarks Foundation, was a volunteer. He knew his stuff and it was nice to get some Columbus facts from someone who was visibly passionate about it.
During our walk, we saw the first, second, third, and fourth high rises (LeVeque, Rhodes Tower, the Wyandotte Building, and 8 On the Square). Other stops along our tour included the Huntington Building, the Supreme Court of Ohio, and the Ohio State House. I had seen lots of photos of the LeVeque Tower on Instagram and it was even more beautiful in person. The interior is very grand yet they stayed true to the building’s art deco roots.
One fun fact that has made it with me a week later is the story behind the name of my favorite sports team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. During the Civil War, Columbus played a big part in manufacturing the blue jackets for the Union Army, thus the Columbus Blue Jackets. Similar to the canon that goes off when the team scores during a game, there is a working canon at Capitol Square in front of the State House, which apparently is used every now and then for Civil War reenactments (who knew).
For how little tickets cost for this tour, it is so worth it, even if you have lived in Columbus your whole life, you are forced to actually look at the buildings downtown, which I’m sure will surprise you as much as they surprised me. Unfortunately, the CityWalks only go through October so you only have one more weekend if you want to make a tour before the season ends. Thankfully, downtown Columbus is open all year round!
We were on a bit of a tight schedule with a baby and a sister who needed to get back to Chicago, so we cut our Columbus walking tour a little short and got brunch at Jack & Benny’s. It was your typical diner food but it was super delicious. We first discovered Jack & Benny’s (Clintonville location) during our Breakfast Food Tour a couple of years back but learned during this tour that the original downtown location first opened many, many decades ago. The current location sits just adjacent to its original spot (if my memory serves me right).
After our tour, Chris and I paused nearby to take a couple snapshots before fetching our car and heading to Records Per Minute in Clintonville (which was having a great sale). All in all, it was a great Saturday.
I have a bit more confidence with parking downtown so Chris and I both hope to explore a bit more and get to know our city better. We may have to splurge and stay in the recently opened Hotel LeVeque so we can walk the beautiful Scioto Riverfront (which reminds me of another fact/legend I learned on our tour – apparently the Scioto River was so named by the Shawnee because it was a “hairy place”). That’s all I’ve got today. Have a great hump day!