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Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. After taking into consideration house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, and the convenience of location, it can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched the best neighborhoods in Columbus for you, so you don’t have to (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop —Columbus movers and movers throughout the country).
You’ve most likely seen the neighborhood section in our Columbus City Guide. This list, along with our “Best Suburbs in Columbus” and our “Best Neighborhoods for Families in Columbus,” lists are more in-depth guides examining what it’s like living in each of these areas. We include links to popular destinations along with available houses for sale and apartments for rent. We also have a guide about schools in Columbus, OH if you’re curious about where your kids might be heading to class.
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A Little About Columbus’ Neighborhoods
Columbus is an affordable, bustling area that’s seeing an uptick in interest for young professionals. The 15th largest city in the U.S., with a population of more than 822,000 people, the Arch City has a lot going on. And so do its neighborhoods, which tend to overlap each other. Few cities have such a mix of diverse and fun-filled neighborhoods, all within a short walk of downtown. For an even deeper dive into the history of some of Columbus’ most famous neighborhoods, watch the weekly show Columbus Neighborhoods.
Downtown and Franklinton
Franklinton was Central Ohio’s first settlement and is west of downtown, which serves as the central business district. It used to be called The Bottoms because of its lower elevation and location near The Hilltop, a group of smaller neighborhoods.
Franklinton is also called West Columbus and has a new nickname, “The Next Short North,” a reference to a more popular neighborhood in the city. Franklinton, as well as downtown Columbus, is making a comeback from decades of neglect. Developers are buying properties left and right, breathing new life into these areas for new businesses and residents to call home. For more about the history of this area, read about the Other Franklinton.
What’s Happening in Downtown and Franklinton
All sorts of events and attractions will keep you busy as a resident of downtown and Franklinton. If you like art, the Columbus Museum of Art has a brand new modern wing, and the Columbus College of Art and Design has galleries open to the public for free.
Combine your love of art with nature by visiting the Topiary Park, a shrubbery recreation of Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of Grande Jatte. There are many more galleries, along with theaters, parks, restaurants, and shopping. The Columbus Commons park hosts free concerts, exercise classes, and special events, and there’s even a carousel for the kids. And there’s so much more.
Schools in Downtown and Franklinton
Avondale Elementary School is a staple and architectural monument of the Franklinton community. Other Columbus schools in the area are Columbus Collegiate Academy and Harrisburg Pike Community School.
Homes in Downtown and Franklinton
The average price of homes in Franklinton and downtown is around $235,000, which is a great deal, while rent hovers around $1,400 a month, which still isn’t bad. You can still find plenty of apartments for rent well under that price.
Short North is a fast-paced neighborhood north of downtown and is filled with art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars, and the distinctive lighted arches above High Street. The popular Short North Arts District is part of this area and is a hub for the local arts scene. If you fancy yourself an artist, you’d be happy in this neighborhood.
What’s Happening in Short North
We’ve already mentioned the Short North Arts District, with galleries, theaters, shops, and restaurants full of local art. Some of the standout places to visit in that area are the Hammond Harkins Gallery and the Pizzuti Collection, as well as What the Rock?! boutique, Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar, Fox in the Snow Cafe and the Axis Nightclub.
Schools in Short North
Zoned schools for the Short North district include Hubbard Mastery School and Columbus Gifted Academy.
Homes in Short North
The average home price in the Short North neighborhood is around $315,000, while the average rent per month is around $1,600.
German Village and The Brewery District
The Brewery District is located south of the central business district near German Village. The area’s history stretches back almost 200 years and is filled with restored brick houses and shops among streets that are filled with old-world historic charm, in fact, German settlers built both districts.
While the Brewery District was once the industrial hub of the city’s landmark beer scene, the German Village is known for its stunning architecture. Now, the area is full of dining and entertainment options and a beautiful place to live.
What’s Happening in German Village and The Brewery District
Frank Fetch Park is a great place to take a stroll while getting some coffee from Winans Chocolates & Coffees or Stauf’s. At the southern end of the neighborhood is Schiller Park, where you can hike trails, kids can play on the playground, and you can watch a show at the amphitheater. The 120-acre Scioto Audubon Center is also located in this area.
The Brewery District, one of our favorite sections in Columbus, can be found along High and Front Streets and is full of great entertainment and dining options, such as the South American-inspired Arepazo Tapas and Wine and Czech-filled pastries at Kolache Republic. Shadowbox Live! is the country’s largest resident theater company and is a great place to see original productions.
Schools in German Village and The Brewery District
Schools zoned for German Village are Saint Mary School and Stewart Alternative Elementary.
Homes in German Village and The Brewery District
You’ll find a variety of historic homes in German Village. The average home price is $484,000, and the average rent per month is $1,500.
North and west of downtown is the Arena District. This is another vibrant neighborhood filled with bars, restaurants, offices, and condos. As you’d expect, there are a number of arenas here, which can make for a very noisy and high-traffic area at times.
When Nationwide Arena, home to the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, opened in 2000, it started a resurgence in the area, resulting in a vibrant neighborhood filled with restaurants, bars, condos, and offices. Nationwide Arena and Express Live! host concerts from some of the nation’s biggest acts, while the Columbus Clippers, the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, can be seen in Huntington Park.
What’s Happening in The Arena District
Dining in the Arena District ranges from Nada to beer and pub fare at Gordon Biersch, while hockey fans will find a raucous home at R Bar Arena. North Market offers the best of the local food scene, where you can shop for spices, produce, meat, and kitchenware. Then grab some ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. If you’re into the club scene, go to Park Street, where the nightlife scene is in full swing.
Schools in The Arena District
While the Arena District doesn’t have schools in the area, a number of schools are just a quick drive away. They include Capital University Law School, Cristo Rey Columbus High School, and St. Joseph Montessori School.
Homes in The Arena District
The average home price in the Arena District has trended upward in the past few years and is around $579,900 and the average rent is around $1,514.
University District and Clintonville
The University District, located a couple of miles from downtown, includes the massive Ohio State campus and its sports venues, along with plenty of restaurants, bars, and the kind of nightlife that accompanies college life. Stretching from the university to Worthington is Clintonville, a large neighborhood with independent shops and restaurants, providing a more intimate feel than its high-energy neighbor.
What’s Happening in The University District and Clintonville
Even if you’re not a football fan, you’ll still want to check out Ohio Stadium, which is known as “The Shoe” and home to the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. Then there’s the 18,000-seat Schottenstein Center, where Ohio State’s hockey and basketball teams play. It also holds concerts from nationally-touring artists.
There are other sports venues as well, but let’s get to some other attractions, such as The Wexner Center for the Arts, which hosts a huge variety of events, along with rotating art exhibits. Then there’s the world’s largest cartoon and comics collection at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum. For dining options, go to High Street and 11th Avenue, where you’ll find places that are more student-friendly to upscale fare.
Schools in The University District and Clintonville
A number of schools are nearby, including The Ohio State University, Tree of Life Christian Schools, and Graham Elementary and Middle School.
Homes in The University District and Clintonville
The average home price in the University District is around $399000 and the average rent ask is $1,550 per month. In Clintonville, house prices sell for an average price of $385,000, while rent is around $1,200 a month.
There you have it: the best neighborhoods in Columbus
Neighborhoods are about location and lifestyle, to be sure. But more importantly, they are about the people who live in them.
We hope this guide helps in your decision-making process. If you decide to move in or to Columbus, don’t hesitate to reach out. We have local movers in Columbus and offer long-distance moving services in Columbus, as well as other nearby cities such as Cincinnati and Cleveland, and we would love to help! We even offer last-minute moving services in Columbus.
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