The Indiana Insider Blog

Ten Things to See in Columbus, IN Before You Die

Irwin Bank in Columbus, IN
Columbus, Indiana was very proud when travel writer Jordan Simon listed Columbus among his “Top 10 Things to See in the U.S. Before You Die.” The city was included in the same list as Times Square, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone National Park, so there must be something amazing about this little Hoosier gem.

Simon says (heh) in his article:

For a small city, Columbus is a major repository of modern architecture, with works by luminaries like Eero Saarinen, Cesar Pelli, and Richard Meier. This destination says design from the get go-you enter the city over a futuristic quadripod bridge. The Visitors’ Center dazzles with work by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly, while Eliel Saarinen’s 1942 First Christian Church (its rectangular windows and brick tower glow like corn in the sun) faces I.M. Pei’s Cleo Rogers Memorial Library (a brick pavilion with long deep recessed windows). In between, Henry Moore’s whimsical massive sculpture, Large Arch, is his tribute to Stonehenge.

I am ashamed to admit, I’ve lived in the same state as Columbus almost all my life, and have only been there a handful of times. I’ve admired the design, but never knew it was so rich in architectural history.

Columbus has created their own top 10 list of places you have to see in Columbus before you die. Since I only live an hour away, this is a challenge I’m going to have to take them up on. In the meantime, I’m just going to let them tell you what they are (from the Columbus, Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureau):

ONE : See 5 National Historic Landmarks.

TWO : Take a tour of more than 60 modern marvels via a guided tour, or on your own, with your cell phone.

THREE : See two original works by Dale Chihuly – a dazzling, 900-piece yellow neon chandelier and a colorful quilt of plexiglass

FOUR : Check out the bridges of Bartholomew County – two sleek modern bridges and a covered bridge in a beautiful park setting.

FIVE : Take in some local flavor with culinary experiences ranging from beer-tastings and wine pairings to progressive dinners at multiple restaurants.

SIX : Walk the People Trails. It’s an inspiring way to get in those 10,000 steps, while you look to spot the blue herons on the Flatrock River.

SEVEN : Drink a Green River at Zaharakos, hear the Orchestrion, and, for a limited time, indulge in some homemade cherry ice cream!

EIGHT : Explore the city to find dozens of pieces of large-scale, public art.

NINE : Discover little surprises around every corner. One alleyway is filled with colorful neon sculptures.

TEN : Find a one-of-a-kind collectible at Indiana’s largest antique mall, which is huge and amazingly well-organized.

Now that Spring is upon us, and the weather is getting nice and warm, I’m taking my family down to Bartholomew County in the next few weeks to see these things for myself. I hope to see you there.

Photo credit: PNTPhoto (Flickr)

Tagged as:

, , , ,

Written by : is a professional blogger and social media consultant. He is also a humor columnist in several weekly papers around Indiana, and on his own blog at ErikDeckers.com. A supporter of the local arts scene, Erik is a rabid fan of the Indy Fringe Theatre Festival in the summer. Erik is married and a father of three, and a Ball State alum. Erik receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development — and a warm fuzzy feeling — for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.