It’s a large, Midwestern city with vibrant neighborhoods, a strong LGBTQ community, emerging fashion industry, and thriving economy that’s home to small scale makers and global brands. No, it’s not Chicago or Detroit. Welcome to Columbus! The capital of Ohio is home to more than two million people in its metropolitan area, and keeps on growing in population, culture, and as a booming US travel destination.
Among the city’s various new businesses, from restaurants to parks to craft distilleries, is Hotel LeVeque (50 W. Broad St. Tel: 614-224-9500. www.hotellevequecolumbus.com). The property opened in 2017 in a converted former office tower. Its 1920’s art deco–style marks Columbus’s rich history, while the property itself offers a rather enchanting stay thanks to astronomical and celestial designs across the furnishings, uniforms, art, and especially in the projected constellations that appear with every room’s turn-down service.
We wanted to know more about the sights, flavors, and happenings gracing Columbus these days, so we asked Hotel LeVeque General Manager Geri Lombard to share some of her favorite places, events, and tips.
Catch a Drag Show
Columbus has a great drag show at Axis (775 N. High St. Tel: 614-291- 4008. www.axisonhigh.com). It’s a blast! When someone wants a really unique, fun experience, we send them there. We have our own Nina West, one of the top drag performers in the country (she might be on an upcoming season of RuPaul’s Drag Race). Ed Note: Nina West will be appearing on the brand-new season.
Grab a Cocktail
We like both Watershed Distillery (1145 Chesapeake Ave. Tel: 614-357-1936 www.watersheddistillery.com) and Middle West Spirits (1230 Courtland Ave. Tel: 614-299-2460. www.middlewestspirits.com). Those are two of the country’s first craft distilleries, so they’ve been making outstanding spirits for years, and have won many awards. We feature some of the products they make here at The Keep. Both now have their own restaurants, excellent bartenders, and craft-cocktail programs.
Visit a Museum
The Columbus Museum of Art(480 E. Broad St. Tel: 614-221-6801. www.columbusmuseum.org) is also a must see.The curators are among the best in the country. They have some great permanent collections, and it hosts outstanding temporary exhibitions. The art museum just underwent a $64 million renovation, and has some spectacular architecture.
Take a Tour
Columbus Food Adventure (Tel: 614-440-3177. www.olumbusfoodadventures.com) has a long list of really interesting, informative tours, and each one is a fabulous way to learn about the city’s dynamic food scene. I like their Alt Eats driving tour that introduces you to international foods you might not try otherwise. Columbus has a huge international population, and you can see that reflected in our city’s food scene. When you live in a historic city, you don’t always get to experience it from a tourist’s perspective.
Find out more from our insider over at Passport magazine online…