Top-Rated Museums in Columbus, Ohio

Ohio

By Omar Perez

When it comes to culture and history, Columbus, Ohio is home to some of the most impressive museums in the country. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a fun and educational outing, Columbus has a museum to suit your interests. From world-class art collections to interactive science exhibits, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

One of the must-visit museums in Columbus is the renowned Columbus Museum of Art. With its extensive collection of American and European art, including works by famous artists like Monet, Picasso, and Warhol, this museum offers a captivating journey through the history of art. The museum also hosts special exhibitions and events throughout the year, making it a dynamic and ever-changing cultural hub.

If you’re interested in Ohio’s rich history, the Ohio History Center is a must-see destination. This museum takes visitors on a fascinating journey through Ohio’s past, from its Native American heritage to its role in the Civil War and beyond. The museum features interactive exhibits, artifacts, and historical reenactments that bring the state’s history to life.

For science lovers, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a must-visit museum in Columbus. With its hands-on exhibits and interactive displays, COSI offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you want to explore outer space, learn about the human body, or dive into the world of technology, COSI has something for everyone.

These are just a few examples of the top-rated museums in Columbus, Ohio. With their diverse collections and engaging exhibits, these museums provide a window into the world of art, history, and science. So next time you find yourself in Columbus, be sure to explore these cultural gems and discover the fascinating stories they have to tell.

National Museum of History

The National Museum of History is a must-visit attraction in Columbus, Ohio. This renowned museum showcases the rich history and heritage of the United States, providing visitors with a fascinating journey through time.

Featuring a vast collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays, the National Museum of History offers a comprehensive and engaging experience for visitors of all ages. From the early indigenous civilizations to the present day, the museum covers various periods and aspects of American history.

  • Explore the Origins: Learn about the indigenous cultures that thrived in the region long before the arrival of European settlers. Discover their rich traditions, art forms, and contributions to American history.
  • Revolutionary Era: Step into the era of the American Revolution and gain insights into the events that shaped the nation’s independence.
  • Civil War and Reconstruction: Delve into the turbulent times of the Civil War and its aftermath. Explore the causes, consequences, and significant figures of this pivotal period in American history.
  • Industrial Revolution: Witness the rise of industrialization and how it transformed the United States into a global economic powerhouse. Discover the inventions, technologies, and innovations that changed the course of history.
  • World Wars and Beyond: Learn about America’s role in the World Wars and the subsequent challenges and triumphs faced by the nation in the modern era.

Aside from its extensive collection, the National Museum of History also offers educational programs, guided tours, and special events for visitors. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the past, a visit to this museum will leave you with a deeper appreciation and understanding of American history.

Plan your trip to Columbus, Ohio, and make sure to include a visit to the National Museum of History. It’s a captivating destination that will transport you through time and offer a glimpse into the fascinating past of the United States.

Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art, located in Columbus, Ohio, is a top-rated art museum that showcases a diverse collection of art from around the world. Founded in 1878, the museum has a rich history and is renowned for its extensive collection of American and European art.

The museum features a wide range of art styles and mediums, including paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs. Visitors can explore various art movements and periods, from the Renaissance and Impressionism to modern and contemporary art. The collection includes works by well-known artists such as Monet, Picasso, and O’Keeffe.

In addition to its permanent collection, the museum hosts rotating exhibitions that provide an opportunity to see new and exciting works of art. These exhibitions often focus on specific themes or artists and provide a fresh perspective on the collection.

One unique aspect of the Columbus Museum of Art is its commitment to engaging the community through art. The museum offers a range of educational programs and events for all ages, including art classes, workshops, and lectures. It also provides outreach programs to schools and community organizations, bringing art to underserved populations.

Visitors can also enjoy the museum’s beautiful campus, which features a sculpture garden and outdoor art installations. The garden provides a tranquil space to relax and enjoy nature while surrounded by stunning works of art.

Overall, the Columbus Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and anyone looking to explore and appreciate art in all its forms. With its diverse collection, engaging exhibitions, and community-focused initiatives, it offers a unique and enriching cultural experience.

Center of Science and Industry

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is one of the top-rated museums in Columbus, Ohio. Located in the downtown area, COSI offers a unique and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

At COSI, visitors can explore a wide variety of exhibits and interactive displays that cover subjects such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. From hands-on experiments to immersive simulations, there is something for everyone to enjoy and learn from.

One of the highlights of COSI is its planetarium, where visitors can journey through space and explore the wonders of the universe. With state-of-the-art technology, the planetarium offers breathtaking shows that educate and inspire.

COSI also features a variety of temporary exhibits that cover a range of topics and themes. From dinosaurs to outer space, there is always something new and exciting to discover at this museum.

In addition to its exhibits, COSI offers educational programs and workshops for both children and adults. These programs provide hands-on learning opportunities and encourage curiosity and exploration.

With its combination of interactive exhibits, educational programs, and captivating shows, COSI is a must-visit museum for anyone interested in science and technology. Whether you are a child or an adult, you are sure to have a memorable and educational experience at this top-rated museum in Columbus.

Ohio Theatre

The Ohio Theatre, located in downtown Columbus, Ohio, is a historic theater that has been a cultural landmark in the city since it first opened its doors in 1928. Designed in a Spanish Baroque style, the theater’s grandeur and ornate details make it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists.

With its impressive architecture and stunning interior, the Ohio Theatre offers a unique and immersive experience for theater enthusiasts. The theater’s main auditorium showcases a stunning ceiling adorned with intricate plasterwork and a majestic crystal chandelier, transporting visitors to a bygone era of elegance and glamour.

Aside from its architectural beauty, the Ohio Theatre is also known for its diverse and high-quality performances. The theater hosts a wide range of events, including Broadway shows, concerts, ballets, and film screenings. Visitors can always find something to suit their taste, whether they are interested in classic works or contemporary performances.

One of the highlights of the Ohio Theatre is its annual Broadway series, which brings popular Broadway productions to Columbus. Theatergoers can enjoy the magic of Broadway right in their own city, with performances of beloved shows like “The Lion King,” “Hamilton,” and “Wicked.” The theater’s commitment to providing exceptional entertainment has earned it a well-deserved reputation as one of the top venues for live performances in Ohio.

Visiting the Ohio Theatre is an opportunity to step back in time and appreciate the rich history and cultural significance of the performing arts. Whether you are a fan of theater, music, or dance, this iconic theater offers an unforgettable experience that combines the beauty of art with the magic of live performances.

For a memorable outing in Columbus, be sure to add the Ohio Theatre to your list of must-see attractions. Experience the grandeur, elegance, and world-class entertainment that this historic theater has to offer.

Wexner Center for the Arts

The Wexner Center for the Arts is a top-rated museum in Columbus, Ohio. Located on the campus of The Ohio State University, the center showcases contemporary art in various mediums, including visual arts, performing arts, film, and video. Established in 1989, the museum is named after its founder, Leslie H. Wexner, a prominent businessman and philanthropist.

With its sleek and modern architecture, the Wexner Center for the Arts has become an iconic landmark in Columbus. The building was designed by the renowned architect Peter Eisenman and is known for its unique geometric design and distinctive facade. The center features multiple galleries and exhibition spaces, as well as a theater, a film/video theater, and a café.

The Wexner Center for the Arts is dedicated to presenting innovative and thought-provoking works of art. The museum hosts a wide range of exhibitions and events throughout the year, showcasing the work of both established and emerging artists. Visitors can explore contemporary art installations, attend live performances and film screenings, and participate in educational programs and workshops.

One of the highlights of the Wexner Center for the Arts is its extensive film program, which includes screenings of classic and independent films, as well as special events featuring renowned filmmakers. The center also houses a comprehensive film and video archive, making it a valuable resource for film enthusiasts and scholars.

Overall, the Wexner Center for the Arts offers a unique and enriching cultural experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a fan of contemporary art, film, or performing arts, this top-rated museum is definitely worth a visit when in Columbus, Ohio.

COSI Columbus

COSI Columbus is a top-rated museum in Columbus, Ohio that offers a unique and interactive learning experience for visitors of all ages.

The museum features a wide range of exhibits and attractions that cover various topics, including science, technology, and history.

One of the highlights of COSI Columbus is the Adventure exhibition, where visitors can explore different ecosystems and learn about the diversity of life on Earth. The exhibition includes hands-on activities and interactive displays that make learning fun and engaging.

In addition to the Adventure exhibition, COSI Columbus also offers other fascinating exhibits, such as the Gadgets exhibit, which showcases the latest technological innovations, and the Ocean exhibit, which explores the wonders of the underwater world.

COSI Columbus also houses a state-of-the-art planetarium, where visitors can embark on a journey through the cosmos and learn about the wonders of the universe. The planetarium shows immersive and educational films that provide a unique perspective on space exploration.

Overall, a visit to COSI Columbus is an enriching experience that combines education and entertainment. Whether you’re interested in science, history, or technology, this top-rated museum has something for everyone.

Ohio History Center

The Ohio History Center is one of the top-rated museums in Columbus, Ohio. It is an excellent destination for history buffs and those who want to learn more about Ohio’s rich history.

The museum offers a wide range of exhibits that showcase the history of Ohio from prehistoric times to the present day. Visitors can explore various themes and topics, such as natural history, the Civil War, and industrial development.

One of the highlights of the Ohio History Center is the “Ohio: Champion of Sports” exhibit. This exhibit celebrates Ohio’s rich sporting heritage and features artifacts and interactive displays related to famous athletes and teams from the state.

Another must-see exhibit is the “Ohio Village,” a recreated 19th-century town that offers a glimpse into life in Ohio during that time period. Visitors can walk through the village and interact with costumed interpreters who bring the past to life.

The museum also houses the Ohio History Connection, which collects, preserves, and provides access to a vast collection of artifacts and archival materials related to Ohio’s history. Researchers and historians can access these resources to conduct in-depth studies and learn more about the state’s past.

Overall, the Ohio History Center is a fascinating museum that offers a comprehensive look at Ohio’s history. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the area, it’s definitely worth a visit to learn more about this vibrant state’s past.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a must-see attraction in Columbus, Ohio. This 90-acre park is home to a stunning collection of exotic plants and beautiful gardens.

One of the highlights of the conservatory is the Palm House, a glasshouse filled with tropical plants from around the world. You can stroll through lush gardens and admire palm trees, orchids, and other colorful blooms.

The conservatory also features a beautiful butterfly garden, where you can observe hundreds of butterflies in a natural habitat. It’s a truly magical experience to see these delicate creatures up close.

In addition to the gardens, the Franklin Park Conservatory offers educational programs and exhibits. You can learn about the importance of botanical conservation and how plants impact our everyday lives.

Don’t miss the Chihuly Collection, a stunning display of glass artwork by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly. These incredible glass sculptures are integrated into the gardens, creating a unique and immersive experience.

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the city, a visit to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is sure to delight and inspire.

Columbus Metropolitan Library

The Columbus Metropolitan Library is a top-rated library located in Columbus, Ohio. It is widely regarded as one of the best libraries in the country and offers a wide range of resources and services for residents and visitors alike.

The library features a vast collection of books, including both fiction and non-fiction titles. Whether you’re looking for a classic novel or the latest bestseller, you’re sure to find it at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. In addition to books, the library also offers a variety of other media, such as audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs.

In addition to its extensive collection, the Columbus Metropolitan Library provides a number of services to its patrons. One notable service is its digital library, which allows members to borrow e-books and audiobooks from the comfort of their own homes. The library also offers computer and internet access, making it a valuable resource for those who may not have access to these resources elsewhere.

Another highlight of the Columbus Metropolitan Library is its wide array of programs and events. The library hosts regular author talks, book clubs, and educational workshops for children and adults. These events are a great way to engage with the community and learn something new.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library is conveniently located in downtown Columbus, making it easily accessible for residents and visitors. The library is surrounded by other cultural attractions and there are plenty of parking options nearby.

If you’re visiting Columbus, Ohio, be sure to make a stop at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. With its impressive collection, valuable services, and engaging programs, it’s no wonder why it’s one of the top-rated libraries in the area.

Topiary Park

Topiary Park is a unique and beautiful outdoor museum located in Columbus, Ohio. It is known for its intricate topiary sculptures that are based on the famous painting “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. The park features 54 life-size topiary figures, including men, women, children, boats, and pets.

Visitors to Topiary Park can stroll along the winding paths and marvel at the artistry and attention to detail that went into creating these living sculptures. The park offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere where visitors can relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

In addition to the topiary sculptures, the park also includes a pond with a bridge, as well as benches and picnic tables where visitors can sit and take in the scenery. There is also a small Visitor Center where you can find information about the history and maintenance of the topiary garden.

Topiary Park is open to the public year-round and admission is free. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and it is a must-see for art and nature enthusiasts visiting Columbus. Whether you are looking to enjoy a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply admire the unique artwork, Topiary Park is a truly special place to visit.

James Thurber House

The James Thurber House is a historic home in Columbus, Ohio that served as the residence of American author, humorist, and cartoonist James Thurber from 1913 to 1917. Thurber is best known for his contributions to The New Yorker magazine and for his wit and satire in depicting American culture.

The James Thurber House is located in the historic Victorian Village neighborhood, just west of downtown Columbus. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2013 and is now operated as a museum and literary center dedicated to preserving Thurber’s legacy.

Visitors to the James Thurber House can explore Thurber’s former home and learn about his life and work through exhibits and guided tours. The museum features original furnishings and memorabilia, including typewriters, books, and artwork. It offers insight into Thurber’s creative process and the role of the home in shaping his career.

Address 77 Jefferson Avenue
Phone (614) 464-1032
Website https://www.thurberhouse.org

The James Thurber House also hosts a variety of events, including author readings, writing workshops, and art exhibitions. It offers educational programs for students and aspiring writers, as well as a residency program for writers and artists.

Whether you’re a fan of James Thurber’s work or simply interested in exploring the literary history of Columbus, a visit to the James Thurber House is a must-see. It’s a unique opportunity to step into the world of this acclaimed writer and gain insight into his life and creative process.

Columbus Museum of Industry

The Columbus Museum of Industry is a must-visit museum for anyone interested in the industrial history of Columbus, Ohio. Located in the heart of the city, this museum showcases the rich heritage and achievements of the industrial sector in Ohio.

With exhibitions spanning various industries such as automotive, manufacturing, and technology, the Columbus Museum of Industry provides an immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Explore the history of companies that shaped the city, including the Columbus Buggy Company, Buckeye Steel Castings, and the Ohio Power Company.

One of the highlights of the museum is the interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience the manufacturing process firsthand. From operating a virtual assembly line to trying your hand at soldering, you can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and innovations in the industrial sector.

The museum also hosts special events and temporary exhibits that delve into specific topics related to industrial history. From workshops on 3D printing to panel discussions on sustainable manufacturing practices, there is always something new and exciting happening at the Columbus Museum of Industry.

Don’t forget to stop by the museum’s gift shop, where you can find unique souvenirs and books on the history of industry in Columbus. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the city’s industrial past, a visit to the Columbus Museum of Industry is sure to be a fascinating and educational experience.

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is the largest and most comprehensive academic research facility of its kind. Located on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, the museum houses a vast collection of cartoons, comics, and related materials.

The museum is named after Billy Ireland, a legendary cartoonist who worked for the Columbus Dispatch and was known for his whimsical and humorous illustrations. The collection includes over 300,000 original cartoons and comic strips, as well as thousands of books, manuscripts, and other documents.

Visitors to the museum can explore the history of cartoons and comics through exhibits that showcase the work of both past and present artists. The museum regularly hosts special exhibitions and events, highlighting different themes and aspects of the cartooning world.

One of the museum’s main attractions is the Cartoon Library, a research facility that offers scholars and students the opportunity to study and analyze the art form. The library provides access to a vast collection of primary and secondary sources, including original artwork, interviews, and historical documents.

In addition to its educational resources, the museum also features a gallery that showcases rotating exhibitions of cartoons and comics. These exhibitions often feature artwork from notable cartoonists and highlight specific themes or genres within the medium.

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the art of cartoons and comics. Whether you are a fan of classic comic strips or are curious about the latest developments in the industry, this museum offers a unique and engaging experience.

Be sure to check the museum’s website for information on current exhibitions, events, and hours of operation before planning your visit.

FAQs

What are the top-rated museums in Columbus, Ohio?

Some of the top-rated museums in Columbus, Ohio include the Columbus Museum of Art, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and the Ohio History Center.

What can I expect to see at the Columbus Museum of Art?

The Columbus Museum of Art features a diverse collection of artwork, including pieces from different time periods and cultures. Visitors can expect to see a variety of paintings, sculptures, and other forms of visual art. The museum also hosts special exhibitions and offers educational programs for all ages.

Why is COSI considered one of the top-rated museums in Columbus?

COSI, the Center of Science and Industry, is considered one of the top-rated museums in Columbus because of its interactive and educational exhibits. It offers a wide range of hands-on activities related to science, technology, and innovation. Visitors can enjoy exhibits on topics such as space exploration, the human body, and renewable energy.

What makes the National Veterans Memorial and Museum unique?

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio is unique because it is the only museum in the United States dedicated to honoring and remembering veterans from all branches of the military. It offers personal stories, artifacts, and interactive exhibits that showcase the experiences and sacrifices of veterans throughout history.

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Omar Perez

Omar Perez, a Caribbean correspondent at TravelAsker, is a skilled writer with a degree from Florida International University. He has published in prestigious outlets like The Miami Herald, Orlando Weekly, Miami Daily Business Review, and various New Times editions. He has also worked as a stringer for The New York Times in Miami, combining his love for travel and storytelling to vividly depict the Caribbean's charm.

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