Stayovers: Columbus, Ohio

Airport

Port Columbus Airport provides 400 daily arrivals and departures to 30 nonstop destinations on airlines that include America West, American, Continental, TWA, United, Northwest, Southwest and Midway Connection; it also is served by more than 30 international carriers.

For information, call (614) 239-4000.

Information

The Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau is at 10 W. Broad St., Suite 1300, Columbus 43215; call (800) 354-COLS (2657) or (614) 221-6623 or fax (614) 221-5618.

For Columbus Tourism Information, call (800) 345-4386.

The City Activity Line is (614) 258-6000.

Attractions

Set in a state of corn and soybean farmlands, Columbus is the state's capital city and its largest metropolis.

It is one of the country's 20 fastest-growing cities, with more than half-a-million residents.

Located in the nation's mid-section, it became a focal point for air, rail and trucking connections, leading it to be called the Columbus Inland Port.

Information flows through the city, as well; CompuServe, based here, provides on-line services to about 3 million subscribers.

The preserved, book-

cluttered home of humorist and short-story writer James Thurber is the city's literary center and hosts small meetings. Call (614) 464-1032 for details.

A $94 million convention center handles larger gatherings.

Restaurants, shops and entertainment characterize the restored brewery district.

There are several microbreweries plus the William Graystone Winery, which is located in the limestone vaults of an old brewery and features 12 varieties of wine.

For free tours of the Anheuser-Busch brewery, call (614) 847-6465.

A highlight of the city is German Village, marked by restored 19th century homes, small brick houses with slate roofs and yards with wrought-iron fencing.

Cobblestone streets are lined by trees and turn-of-the -century streetlights, brick sidewalks, restaurants and beer gardens.

Its 23-acre Schiller Park is being restored, and the Book Loft discounts publications and displays them in 32 rooms.

For information about the neighborhood, call the German Village Society at (614) 221-8888.

Short North is the city's premier turn-of-the-century commercial district and serves as a main street, offering art galleries, trendy boutiques, restaurants and bars.

Along the waterfront there is a full-scale, 98-foot-long replica of Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria.

It will reopen April 5 with guides dressed in period costumes.

For information, call (614) 645-8760.

The Center of Science & Industry has rooms full of hands-on activities.

Through September 7, the center will feature an exhibit called "Liquid Vision: Lasers, Holograms and Virtual Reality." Call (614) 228-COSI for information.

The Museum of Art, home to the world-renowned Sirak Collection of Impressionist and Postimpressionist masterpieces, is at 480 E. Broad St.; call (614) 221-6801.

The Contemporary American Theater Co. is at 512 N. Park St. in the Short North section. Call (614) 461-0010.

The city also has a symphony orchestra, a ballet company and Opera Columbus.

Events

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic fitness expo will be held at the Veterans Memorial March 1 and 2. Call (614) 431-2600 for details.

Butterflies will be featured April 1 to May 11 at the Franklin Park Conservatory; (614) 645-TREE.

The Rhythm and Food Festival will be held downtown on the riverfront May 23 to 25; (614) 645-7995.

An Arts Festival is scheduled for June, and Red, White & Boom, featuring a parade and fireworks, will be held on July 3.

Sports

Ohio State University competes in the Big 10 Conference. The Buckeyes play football in the fall at Ohio Stadium; the men's and women's basketball teams are in action from November to March at St. John Arena. For tickets, call (614) 292-2624.

Through the fall, winter and spring, horses race at the Beulah Park Jockey Club; call (614) 871-9600 for details.

During the winter, the minor league Horizon, (614) 224-3865, plays basketball at the convention center, and the Chill, (614) 791-9999, competes in ice hockey at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

The Crew plays Major League Soccer at Ohio Stadium from April through August. For information, call (614) 221-CREW.

The Clippers, the top minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees, play baseball at Cooper Stadium; call (614) 462-5250.

Scioto Downs has harness racing from early May to September; call (614) 491-2515.

Nearby

The Columbus campus of Ohio State University is the nation's largest.

It is a 10-minute drive north of downtown and features the Olentangy Conference Corridor, a partnership of eight properties and a conference center.

On its grounds is the Wexner Center for the Arts. For details, call (614) 292-4403.

Shopping

The City Center Mall, 111 South Third St., contains more than 150 stores plus eateries.

Stores include Marshall Field's and Jacobson's, and the mall has a hotel and a theater.

The Continent, at 6076 Busch Blvd., features outdoor cafes and small shops.

The Ohio Factory Shops offer discounts of 25% to 70% on name brands of clothing and housewares in 75 stores.

Dining

Handke's Cuisine is at 520 S. Front St. in the Brewery District. Call (614) 621-2500.

The Refectory, at 1092 Bethel Road, features wild game in season. Call (614) 451-9774.

In the German Village, Carolyn's, 489 City Park Ave., focuses on American dishes; call (614) 221-8100.

Also there, Lindey's, 169 E. Beck St., specializes in pasta, grilled dishes and seafood; for reservations, call (614) 228-4343.

On Thurman Street in that neighborhood, the landmark Engine House No. 5 features seafood and pasta. Call (614) 443-4877.

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