AS WE WANDERED THROUGH busy art galleries and locally owned shops and boutiques on High Street in Columbus, Ohio, it was hard to imagine this vibrant area was a decaying, squatter-filled, crime-ridden section of town not so long ago.
The 18th-century brick buildings in the Short North Arts District housing shops, restaurants and residences intersperse with sleek new condo buildings, brand-new high-tech hotels and high-rises under construction. A recent infusion of millions of dollars from the city for streetscape improvements made the area greener, safer and more walkable. What began as a burgeoning arts district in the 1980s now blooms as one of the hottest, trendiest neighborhoods of this fast-growing city.
The district boasts an arts trail, three parks and dozens of places to eat and shop. Visitors can take art, brewery, food and dessert tours or enjoy live music at bars and nightclubs, where they can see the city’s popular drag queens. Short North also has some of the city’s best happy hours and rooftop bars, a relatively new addition to Columbus. The jam-packed events calendar features fitness classes, festivals, tastings, live music and performance art. Giant interactive kiosks help visitors find information on transportation, restaurants, parks, hotels and stores.
Short North, located directly north of downtown Columbus, proves easily accessible by walking or taking the CBUS, a free circulator bus service that runs through downtown and Short North every 10–15 minutes. You’ll know you’re in the right neighborhood when you spot the giant colorful murals on the buildings and lighted metal archways over High Street. These were installed in tribute to the dozens of gaslit wooden arches that first spanned the street in the 1880s, earning Columbus the nickname of “Arch City.”
Betsy Pandora, executive director, Short North Alliance, said, “Short North has grown to be a premier 18-hour area where people love to live, work and visit. We have close to 400 businesses here, double the amount in 2012. It’s a unique, diverse area filled with entrepreneurs.”
The area benefitted from the rapid growth of Columbus, the state capital, considered one of the top places to do business. With more than 2 million people, the city now ranks No. 14 in the country in terms of population.
“Short North is seeing a significant amount of development,” Pandora said. “More than 1,000 hotel rooms have been added or are under construction.” These include the new Graduate Columbus and the Moxy Columbus Short North.
Joel Pizzuti is president of the Short North Alliance and president of Pizzuti Companies, a commercial real estate company that moved its headquarters to Short North when it was build- ing a mixed-use project in the area. “Our folks wanted to be here. It’s walkable, active, fun and accessible — it’s a fun place to spend the day.”
While urban development is happening everywhere, Pizzuti said Columbus is fortunate because the Short North neighborhood was already growing on its own.
“While it was a place people spent time before, it didn’t have the office and residential component it has now. Over the last 10 years it has really evolved as a community. Being located between the core of downtown and the Ohio State campus has been instrumental. While most of the activity has been along High Street, we now see it moving [three to four] blocks on either side.”
All this development and excitement about Short North bodes well for the city of Columbus. As Betsy Pandora said, “We have a saying: So goes Short North, so goes Columbus. A lot of activity tries itself out here then spreads across the city.
Columbus’ location close to the center of the state provides easy access to Ohio’s 27 scenic byways. One of the best for scenery and fantastic hiking opportunities is the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway in southeast Ohio. This 30-mile byway makes a loop around Hocking Hills State Park, considered one of the best in the country. It has several hiking trails with rugged cliffs, huge waterfalls and ancient caves.
Travel through some of the most scenic countryside in Ohio on the Covered Bridge Scenic Highway, which parallels the Little Muskingum River south of Columbus. Stops on the self-guided tour include the 192-foot Knowlton Covered Bridge, constructed in 1887; an old country store; and a Mail Pouch barn. These were barns painted with ads for the Mail Pouch chewing tobacco company in the early 20th century.
Estimates say one in six Amish people live in the Holmes County area northeast of Columbus. You’ll most likely share the road with horses and buggies on the Amish Country Byway, featuring plenty of shops selling handmade wood products, baked goods, quilts and Amish food. Make a stop in Winesburg, a historic village settled by four German men in 1827.
Creating a wellness environment in the workplace is a terrific idea, and many companies acknowledge the benefits of providing health and wellness programs to employees. However, the concept is anything but new. More than a century ago, Johnson & Johnson offered its New Jersey-based employees access to an on-site health center and a fitness center with a swimming pool and basketball court. In the 1970s, the company followed with the launch of Live for Life, an on-site wellness program with “access to behavior modification tools and education on topics like nutrition, stress management and more.”
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
United Airlines is the first U.S. airline to launch a rapid COVID-19 testing program for travelers. Beginning Oct. 15, United customers traveling from San Francisco International Airport to will be able to take a rapid test at the airport or a self-collected, mail-in test before their trip.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
Winter- and Christmas-loving travelers may already know Rovaniemi, Finland, as the home of Santa Claus Village, a year-round tourist destination. However, nature- and sustainability-minded travelers might be pleased to learn the man in red is working on a new project: making his village completely carbon-neutral over the next five years.
The Inn on Fifth in Naples, Florida, has a new Peace & Quiet offer for remote workers who need a break from their work-from-home settings. Through Oct. 29, the offer includes a standard room equipped with a six-foot worktable featuring four ports for charging electronics; a mini fridge stocked with bottled waters and fresh fruit; a pool-side food and beverage credit; one smoothie daily; full use of rooftop pool, courtyard and fitness center; complimentary valet parking and WiFi; 24-hour concierge service; and room service 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit Italy hard. In response, the country’s flag carrier, Alitalia, is trialing COVID-tested flights between Rome and Milan. The month-long trial will include two daily flights exclusively for travelers who test negative for coronavirus.