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Best Free Sites in Columbus

By: Cityseeker
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Ohio Statehouse

Sprawled across a big city block in the center of Downtown Columbus, the Ohio Statehouse is a shining beacon of history and culture. In this opulent building, it is as if the state's bygone glory exists, lingering over hallowed halls, past antique paintings and well-furnished rooms. A jewel of the Capitol Square, this statehouse bears stunning semblances of Greek Revival style, its columnar facade giving way to opulent interiors, including an impressive rotunda. Said to be one of the oldest functioning state houses in the country, the Ohio Statehouse is particularly known for sheltering a treasure trove of artworks including paintings and sculptures depicting the glory of those who have, in one way or another, helped shape the course of the state. The focal point of the state's legislative stride, the Ohio Statehouse is a stunning reminder of the state's political nuances and its long-standing social and cultural history. Doubling as a museum, the statehouse also harbors exhibits, artifacts specially-tailored tours, giving visitors stunning insights into the heritage it carries in its fabric.

Columbus, OH, United States
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Columbus Topiary Garden at Old Deaf School Park

The Columbus Topiary Garden is a topiary garden unlike any other. Whereas the average topiary garden collects a bunch of random figures doing random things, this one is a unified work. It recreates Georges Seurat's classic painting ‘A Sunday on the Island of La Grand Jatte’ in three dimensional shrubberies. Each life-size (if not larger) figure plays the part of a figure in the painting, and it is marvelous. An on-site museum will fill you in on the history of the park, the Old Deaf School, and the surrounding neighborhood. Hours are daily from sunrise to sunset.

Columbus, OH, United States
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Thurber House

The mission of Thurber House is to "celebrate the written word for the education and entertainment of the broadest possible audience and to continue Thurber's legacy of humor." The gentleman this mission refers to is James Thurber, the humorist and cartoonist famous for his genre-transcending witticisms. Thurber House, located in the college-age home of the writer, is both a non-profit center promoting literacy and a museum of the writer's life and materials. The first two floors of the home are open for daily tours and, in the spirit of truly knowing the Thurber legacy, guests are encouraged to touch many items in the home.

Columbus, OH, United States
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Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

This one of a kind museum holds the largest collection of cartoon and comic art in the country. Founded by Lucy Caswell in 1977, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum astounds visitors with the vast collections it holds. From 450,000 original cartoons, 45,000 books, and 2.5 million comic strip clippings and tear sheets, this museum has great American treasures. Rotating and visiting exhibits make their way through the museum so there's always something new to see.

Columbus, OH, United States
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Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens

Spread across 60 acres (24.28 hectares), Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens is located on the Agricultural Campus of The Ohio State University. Stroll through this expansive green reserve free of charge. Its 17 beautiful gardens are full of hostas, roses, wildflowers, perennials, tropical plants, shrubs and trees. The wide range of flora includes non-native and native species. It is also an environment educational base for those interested in horticulture. Enjoy the Labyrinth walk inspired by the renowned Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth or check out the green roof at Howlett Hall.

Columbus, OH, United States
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Park of Roses

The idea for the Park of Roses was conceived in 1951 when members of two different rose clubs teamed up to share their love for roses with the rest of Ohio. The Park opened in June 1953 and continues to host the Columbus Rose Festival every June. There are 12,000 rose bushes in the park of 400 varieties, as well as other specialized gardens such as the herb garden, perennial garden, and daffodil garden, which houses more than 1,000 varieties of daffodils! Admission to the park is free, and it is open every day sunrise to sunset.

Columbus, OH, United States
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Inniswood Metro Gardens

Inniswood Metro Gardens is a beautiful oasis where guests can observe the beauty of nature and spend time in peace amongst the many flowers. These gardens are wonderful for people of any age, children and adults alike, with scenic, winding walkways and a picturesque setting. There is also a children's garden in addition to a meditation garden and a rose garden.

Westerville, OH, United States
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