Sometimes called the Athens of the Prairie, this Midwest city is a treasure trove of modern, post-modern and contemporary buildings.
Columbus is a city filled with architectural innovation and splendor as well as imaginative pieces of public art. See the work of some of the most influential architects of the 20th century and discover the attractive countryside within and around the city.
The imaginative cityscape results from the late industrialist Joseph Irwin Miller’s desire to improve Columbus to lure businesses and employees to the area.
For a good introduction to the city’s architecture, stroll along Fifth Street which is nicknamed the Avenue of the Architects for the prominent architects who built there. Among its collection of impressive buildings are Historic City Hall, St. Peter's Lutheran Church and the First Christian Church, which was the first contemporary building in Columbus, constructed in 1942. Study the street’s public artworks such as The Large Arch by English artist Henry Moore.
Get around to other fascinating buildings and artworks in Columbus. Appreciate the unusual forms of Ancestral Way, a series of abstract sculptures along Third Street. Tour the Miller House and Garden, a mid-20th-century modernist masterpiece that was commissioned by J. Irwin Miller. An enjoyable way to discover the buildings is on the architecture bus tour organized by the Columbus Area Visitors Center.
While the architecture is often the magnet that pulls in visitors, Columbus also has beautiful southern Indiana scenery. Rent bikes from kiosks located throughout the city and ride along more than 27 miles (44 kilometers) of trails. You’ll pass through woods and along and over a river.
Kayak or canoe along the Driftwood River and relax in Mill Race Park, a riverfront park with lakes, playgrounds, basketball courts and an amphitheater for concerts.
To get to Columbus, fly into Indianapolis International Airport and pick up a rental car for the 190-mile (310-kilometer) drive to this vacation destination of imaginative art, architecture and Midwest scenery.