Best options in Columbus for 4 popular outdoor activities

Best options in Columbus for 4 popular outdoor activities

Between America’s sprawling public lands system and our nearly universal love for road trips, outdoor recreation isn’t exactly a new phenomenon in the U.S. However, according to reports from the Census Bureau, millions more Americans have been getting outside since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, breaking records and generating billions of dollars in revenue for many outdoor industries.

It’s easy to understand why outdoor recreation has become so popular in a post-pandemic world—spending time outside can do so much more than just help you catch a tan. Studies show that participating in outdoor activities can improve focus, reduce stress, and lead to higher energy levels. That’s to say nothing of the physical benefits, like lower risk for cardiovascular disease.

Though more Americans are spending time outside than ever before, many people who live in large cities still struggle to find outdoor spaces and activities near them. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to drive far from home or spend hours prepping for a strenuous workout to enjoy the great outdoors. Instead, set aside some time to meander through your nearest botanical garden, or spend your lunch break picnicking at a local park. Adding even a few extra minutes of fresh air to your day can help boost your mental and physical health.

Whether you want to explore hiking trails, relax on a sandy beach, or try your hand at an unfamiliar sport, your new favorite outdoor destination could be right around the corner. To help you decide where to go and what to do, Stacker compiled a list of the best places for popular outdoor activities in Columbus using data from Yelp as of April 12, 2024. Locations and businesses were selected using Yelp’s ranking system, which calculates an adjusted rating value that takes into account the number of ratings as well as the rating score itself.

Read on to discover where you should plan your next day out, and don’t forget to grab that sunblock.

Hiking: Olentangy-Scioto Multi-Use Trail

– Rating: 4.0/5 (7 reviews)
– Address: West Broad St. Worthington Hills Park Columbus, Ohio
– Categories: Hiking
– Read more on Yelp

Botanical Gardens: Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

– Rating: 4.5/5 (263 reviews)
– Address: 1777 East Broad St. Columbus, Ohio
– Categories: Botanical Gardens, Venues & Event Spaces
– Read more on Yelp

Park: Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park

– Rating: 5.0/5 (8 reviews)
– Address: 352 West Dodridge St. Columbus, Ohio
– Categories: Parks
– Read more on Yelp

Drive-In Theater: South Drive-In Theater

– Rating: 4.1/5 (44 reviews)
– Price level: $
– Address: 3050 South High St. Columbus, Ohio
– Categories: Flea Markets, Drive-In Theater
– Read more on Yelp

This story features data reporting by Karim Noorani, writing by Cu Fleshman, and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 170 metros.

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