Welcome to Columbus, Ohio, a city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and a host of intriguing facts waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or you just rented an apartment in Columbus, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. In this Redfin article, we’ve gathered ten fun and lesser-known facts about the city that will surprise and entertain you. From its surprising role in shaping American fast food to its renowned festivals, architectural marvels, and noteworthy inventions, Columbus is a city that continues to make its mark on the world. So, how well do you know your city? Let’s dive into these fascinating facts and explore the hidden gems of Columbus,
1. Columbus is the birthplace of the iconic Oreo cookie
Did you know that Columbus, Ohio holds a delicious claim to fame? This vibrant city is the birthplace of the beloved Oreo cookie. Back in 1912, the National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco) opened its first Oreo factory in Columbus, forever linking the city to this iconic treat. So, the next time you indulge in an Oreo, remember that it all started right here in Columbus!
2. Columbus is home to the largest science museum in Ohio
Columbus is a hub for innovation and knowledge, and the city proudly hosts COSI (Center of Science and Industry), the largest science museum in Ohio. COSI is a haven for curious minds of all ages, offering interactive exhibits, engaging demonstrations, and captivating shows that bring science, technology, and creativity to life.
3. The city has an impressive literary legacy
Columbus boasts a rich literary heritage, having been home to several renowned authors. Notably, James Thurber, an acclaimed American humorist and cartoonist, was born in Columbus in 1894. His witty and insightful works continue to captivate readers worldwide. Moreover, Columbus annually hosts the Ohioana Book Festival, celebrating the literary talent of Ohio and fostering a love for books and reading.
4. Ohio’s state tree, the buckeye, can be found throughout Columbus
Columbus is the capital of Ohio, which is also known as the “Buckeye State” after its official tree, the buckeye. These beautiful trees are found throughout the city, with their distinctive nuts serving as a symbol of Ohio pride. In fact, the term “buckeyes” is commonly used to refer to Ohio State University sports teams, demonstrating the deep connection between the city and its iconic tree.
5. The vibrant German Village neighborhood is one of the highlights of Columbus
One of Columbus’ most charming neighborhoods is the German Village. Founded in the 19th century by German immigrants, this historic district retains its old-world charm with its brick-lined streets, enchanting architecture, and delightful gardens. The German Village offers a rich cultural experience, with its traditional festivals, authentic German cuisine, and friendly community spirit.
6. Columbus is an art lover’s paradise
Columbus is a haven for art enthusiasts, hosting a diverse and thriving arts scene. The city is home to the Columbus Museum of Art, which showcases an impressive collection of American and European art. Additionally, the annual Columbus Arts Festival attracts artists from all over the country, transforming the downtown area into a vibrant tapestry of creativity.
7. Wendy’s was founded in Columbus
Fast food aficionados will be delighted to know that Columbus is the birthplace of the famous Wendy’s restaurant chain. Established in 1969 by Dave Thomas, the first Wendy’s opened its doors in this lively city. Today, Wendy’s has become a global fast-food giant, but its roots remain deeply tied to Columbus, where it all began.
8. The Ohio State University, a powerhouse in college sports, is located in Columbus
When it comes to college sports, Columbus takes center stage with The Ohio State University. The Buckeyes have a storied athletic program and a passionate fan base. The iconic Ohio Stadium, also known as “The Horseshoe,” is a must-visit for any sports enthusiast, offering an electrifying atmosphere during football games that is truly unmatched.
9. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is located here
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a gem that brings joy to millions of visitors every year. This world-renowned institution is dedicated to conservation, education, and animal welfare. With its wide array of exhibits and diverse animal species, including the legendary gorilla named Colo, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is an unforgettable experience for all ages.
10. Columbus is known for its vibrant and inclusive LGBTQ+ community
Columbus has gained recognition for its dynamic and inclusive LGBTQ+ community. The city proudly hosts one of the most significant Pride parades in the Midwest, drawing individuals from diverse backgrounds to commemorate the values of diversity and equality. With its progressive environment, Columbus nurtures an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusivity, creating a welcoming haven for all who visit.