GerI Lombard of the Hotel LeVeque, Columbus, OhIo

by Kelsy Chauvin

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.

Kelsy Chauvin

What are the top local museums?
think everyone needs to visit the Pizzuti Collection (632 N. Park St. Tel: 614-280-4004. www.pizzuticollection.org) in the Short North neighborhood. It’s consistently listed as one of top 100 private collections in the world. You can take a guided tour, you can attend one of their artist talks, or just take in the collection and outdoor sculpture garden on your own. 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. Down the street from Hotel LeVeque is the Center of Science and Industry (333 W Broad St. Tel: 614-228-2674. www.osi.org), or COSI (“koh-sigh”), it’s one of the biggest science museums in the country. It’s partnered with the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and is home to a wonderful permanent dinosaur gallery as well as rotating exhibits. Opening in the fall is the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum (300 W. Broad St. www.nationalvmm.org), and it can be seen right from our hotel rooms. Architectural Digest called it one of the world’s “most anticipated buildings” for 2018.

Which tours do you recommend most often?
Guided tours are great way to immerse yourself in our city. 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. So my teenage daughter and her friends and I did the SegAway Tours of Columbus (400 N. High St. Tel: 614-222-3005. www.segawaytoursofcolumbus.com). It was really fun to do the guided tour and learn about all that local history, and understand the city’s architecture, and see what’s going on around town. And I didn’t fall off the Segway, so that’s good! There are many more tours in Columbus that focus on food or a particular neighborhood. The Columbus Ale Trail (www.cbusaletrail.com) and Coffee Trail (www.cbuscoffee.com/columbus-coffeetrail) are really popular—you go self-guided or in a group.

What are considered “must see” annual events in Columbus?
Columbus Pride (www.columbuspride.org) is one of the best in the nation. It’s a great event and program, organized by Stonewall Columbus, our LGBTQ community center. Hotel LeVeque was a 2018 sponsor. Many of our associates are LGBTQ, and we want to support them. Plus, the parade is very close to our hotel and lots of our guests participate— it’s a pleasure for our hotel. We’re able to build some great alliances. I also recommend Highball Halloween (www.highballcolumbus.org). I don’t think there’s a better Halloween celebration anywhere. In typical Columbus style, it’s over the top and fashion focused. They set up a massive runway down the middle of High Street that becomes an eye-popping couture costume show and competition. Fashion designers and visitors travel to Columbus to watch, to perform in it, and to walk it. It’s way beyond your usual costume party—40,000 people attend from all over the world. Nina West, the city’s favorite drag queen, emcees the whole event.

Where are the best places to workout?
You can rent bikes from CoGo (www.cogobikeshare.com), our bike-share program. Columbus has a rich yoga culture with lots of studios all over town. Working out and walking in the different parks is fun at Scioto (“sigh-oh-toe”) Mile (www.sciotomile.com), I love walking there. By the State House in Columbus Commons (www.columbuscommons.org) there are outdoor fitness classes and yoga on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

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