East End Taste has debuted their new column: My City. My City includes a feature Q&A with residents from notable cities and regions from across the world, highlighting the best places to stay, eat and what to do for visitors of all ages. This week’s feature is is an insider’s guide to Columbus, Ohio with Bianca Gery of B. Sage Studios.
Where should one go first when visiting your city for the first time?
The wonderful thing about Columbus, Ohio is that it has all kinds of little neighborhood pockets. It’s all the hidden gems in each neighborhood that make Columbus what it truly is. It’s a very artsy and food-driven city, that shows major pride and love for all things local. It’s a mecca of small businesses with a community-driven mindset. You’ll want to prepare yourself for lots of building murals and #614 everything.
You get a good taste of this in the Short North Arts District. It’s pretty centralized within the city, so you can get to anywhere from there. It’s full of art galleries, funky shops, and amazing restaurants. From there, you can head straight to Ohio State University campus to walk around, grab some classic Buckeye Donuts and go to the Wexner Center for the Arts. The next neighborhood over is Clintonville, which has a lot of the city’s indie shops and bakeries, as well as the Park of Roses.
In your opinion, what is the best time of year to visit?
Columbus has things going on all year around, but I would recommend visiting anytime between late May to early October. On top of everything the city has to offer regularly, there are festivals almost every week during these warmer months. Not to mention a ton of weekly markets where you can find the locals selling fantastic handmade goodies. Check schedules out for Moonlight Market and Gallery Hop.
The weather is more consistent during the summer months, too. Ohio is known for our unpredictable weather, but June-August stay more even. Bring clothing for warm-hot days, but a light sweater or jacket for cooler summer nights. Also, pack a few clothing items that are comfortable for rainy days, just in case.
Which district is the best area to stay in? Any hotels you recommend?
Short North or the Arena District are great places to stay since they have several hotels to choose from. These hotels will be on the higher end of most budgets, but you can walk to almost anything you would want or need.
Another place to consider would be Easton Town Center. A lot of people don’t realize this, but Columbus is the third top fashion capital in the country, right behind L.A. and New York, so we have a fantastic mall. Easton is a huge indoor/outdoor mall with stores ranging from Tiffany’s and Henri Bendel to Zara and Abercrombie. There are a few hotels in the Easton area for different budgets. It’s also great for families, with an entire section of kid stores and kid-approved restaurants. Easton isn’t too far from downtown Columbus, so it easy to take a bus or a Lyft ride into the city. It’s also close to the airport.
Where are your three favorite spots to dine?
North Market is a must! The building is historic from the early 1800s, and features all kinds of food vendors: Polish food, Indian cuisine, French pastries, Vietnamese Pho, organic vegan food, and more. I set up a booth for my company, B. Sage Studios, there every Sunday during the summer months, so I get spoiled with a variety of great food.
Another spot that I adore is called Fox in the Snow. It’s a quaint café with the most heavenly pastries I’ve had the pleasure of eating. I’m talking tears-of-joy every time I eat there.
Thai Paradise is my favorite go-to Asian restaurant. It’s located in Pickerington, Ohio, a neighborhood that sits on the outskirts of Columbus. It’s been rated the best Thai food in Columbus multiple times. If you love Thai food, you won’t mind the 18-minute drive outside of downtown to check this place out.
Bonus: One Line Coffee. My all-time favorite coffee, hands down. If you are a serious coffee drinker like me, just put this place on your list. You will be happy you did.
Describe your perfect day in your city.
My perfect day would consist of my husband and I grabbing a cup of coffee from One Line Coffee and walking around town going to the different art galleries and vintage shops, or even going to a nearby park, then finishing the evening off with dinner in German Village and getting lost in the Book Loft.
Which three hidden spots are a must do/see while visiting?
You’ll want to add German Village to your list so you can check out the Book Loft- an old historic house turned bookstore, that is like a 32 room-labyrinth of books. It’s amazing! Plan to spend a couple hours if you are a book lover.
For the artsy folk, George Seurat’s famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte has been turned into a topiary garden that you can see on East Town St.
I also recommend taking a day to explore one of the small farming towns on the outer parts of Columbus. Canal Winchester is my favorite. It’s about a 20-minute drive outside of the downtown area. It has a charming historical section with farm-to-table restaurants. You can take a drive in the countryside, a hike at a nearby park, or take advantage of the photo-opt landscape.
Bianca is a professional artist/designer and owner of B. Sage Studios, a traveling boutique focusing on artisan jewelry and luxury home fragrances. When she isn’t working, or snuggling with her two cat-children, she enjoys exploring new coffee shops, thrift stores, and experimenting with food. She loves teaching others about art and getting lost in a good book.
Follow Bianca on:
Her personal Instagram, @bianca.sage
Her personal blog, www.thelittlegreenroomblog.wordpress.com
Her company’s site and Instagram, www.bsagestudios.com and @bsagestudios