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Summer. Vacation Time. People across America will take some time off to relax and investigate the world around them. To explore a new city or get to know their own backyard a little better. Some lucky people will get a chance to spend some time in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is of course Ohio's Capital City, well known for the Statehouse, Ohio State University, COSI and The Columbus Zoo. These are things that any city would be proud of but Columbus is made up of more, much more. What follows is a look at a few of the ‘hidden wonders’ of Columbus. Things to see, places to eat; these previously overlooked ‘attractions’ are the backbone of the city and help to give it it’s unique flavor.

1.) The Field of Corn
Located in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, this is an art installation not to be missed. The Field of Corn was erected by Malcolm Cochran in a field at the corner of Frantz and Rings Roads in 1994. The Field is exactly what the name implies, 109 six-foot tall concrete ears of corn that represent the areas farm history. You’ll want to bring the camera, as this is one for the books.

2.) The Southern Theatre
Often overlooked by its flashier cousin, the Ohio Theatre, the 100+ year old Southern (which opened originally in 1896) has seen it’s share of history. Restored with loving dedication to much of it’s original splendor it’s an exciting link not just to Columbus history, but to popular entertainment over the past 100 years as nearly every type of act and entertainment has made a stop here. If you are unable to take in a show, you may want to look into taking a guided tour of the theatre. Truly something to marvel.

3.) The First Wendy’s Restaurant
Fast food entrepreneur Dave Thomas got his start right here in Columbus opening the first Wendy’s restaurant in 1969. The building still stands and you can still order your favorites when you stop in for a bite at 257 East Broad Street. Besides hamburgers, the building functions as a mini-museum, offering visitors glimpses of many items from Wendy’s 30+year history. Of particular fun is the television that constantly runs Wendy’s television commercials (remember ‘Where’s the Beef?’). Although there are now 5,000 Wendy’s worldwide, this will always be number one.

4.) The Book Loft
A popular stop in Columbus is German Village, located on the south side of town. In the heart of German Village, at 631 South 3rd Street, is a book lover’s paradise. Whether you are a fervent reader or an occasional browser, you won’t want to miss the 32 large rooms that are crammed full of books. Old and new covering every subject imaginable, if for some reason, they don’t have what you are looking for, they’ll order it for you.

5.) The Topiary Garden
Located at 480 East Town Street, you’re likely to find wide-eyed children, seasoned gardeners and students of art enjoying the Topiary Garden on any given day. The reason for such diversity? The garden is a complete reproduction of Georges Seurat’s painting, ‘Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’. All of the famous figures and poses in the classic painting are recreated here through a variety of carefully sculpted shrubbery. It’s a chance to appreciate art from the inside out.


6.) Ohio Departments Building
This state building houses agencies such as The Department of Education but is still one of the Capital Cities best kept secrets. The sixty seven-year-old building has been kept in fantastic shape and it’s monuments and murals rival much of what Washington has to offer. If monuments and history are on your agenda, you will definitely want to make a b-line to this architectural gem located at 65 South Front Street.

7.) WG Grinders
This Columbus based eatery is poised to become the Wendy’s of the new millennium, so stop in now and say you ‘used to eat there when’. With 11 spots spread around the city and suburbs, they offer over 30 baked grinders (a sandwich served open faced on sourdough bread), salads and cookies all made fresh to your specific order. Long a popular hangout for students, more and more people are making Grinders the lunch spot.

These are but a sample of many of the special spots that Columbus, OH has to offer. The best way to discover these special areas and the dozens more to be found is to visit Columbus and mix the larger attractions with the smaller, more unique ones. You never know what you’ll find, sometimes even in your own backyard.