In the historic German Village district of Columbus is Schiller Park, a European-style promenade. Established in 1867, Schiller Park was named after the romantic German poet Friedrich von Schiller, whose statue marks the center of the park. During World War I, due to anti-German wartime sentiment in America, the park was renamed Washington Park until the end of the war. Today, 23 acres unfold before you, alongside wide red brick paths that circle around a tranquil fishing pond. A community recreation center, tennis courts, and outdoor theater that puts on productions during the summer months are also available at Schiller.
Schiller Park, 1069 Jaeger St, Columbus, OH, (614) 645-3300
Technically, the Scioto Mile is comprised of several parks linked by a greenway that stretches along the Scioto River. 145 acres of parkland and sweeping boulevards connect the Arena district to the beautiful Whittier peninsula. Rent a bike from the ‘CoGo’ stand to tour the lush parks along the river, and stop off at the 15,000 square-foot interactive fountain or eat at Milestone 229, a futuristic restaurant overlooking Bicentennial Park. The Scotio Mile is a wonderful and green-conscious way to experience Columbus.
Scioto Mile, W. Whittier St, Columbus, OH, (614) 645-3800
The Topiary Park
The Topiary Park is a landscape of a painting of a landscape – yes, you’re reading that correctly. Artist James T. Mason crafted the bronze structures that are now the topiaries of various figures from Georges Seurat’s painting ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jette.’ The pond represents the river Seine in Paris, and the fountain makes the entire park reminiscent of Versailles. The garden is comprised of 54 human figures, eight boats, three dogs, a monkey, and a cat. Admission is also completely free.
The Topiary Park, 480 E. Town St, Columbus, OH, (614) 645-0197
Hayden Falls Park
Hayden Falls is an actual waterfall in the middle of Columbus, only a few miles away from a major shopping center. The Scioto River has carved a gorge near Griggs Reservoir to create a cascading waterfall. A lush park leads to the wooden staircase that circles around the falls, which provides easy access and ample opportunity for photos. Take a break from the downtown crowds in this beautiful natural oasis.
Hayden Falls Park, 4326 Hayden Run Rd, Columbus, OH, (614) 645-3300
Whetstone Park of Roses
The Whetstone Park of Roses is 13 acres of over 300 types of roses, surrounded by a lush central park. This charming spot is a popular wedding venue in the Victorian-style gazebo overlooking a sea of beautiful blooms. The rose park connects to the central Whetstone park along the Olentangy Trail and acres of greenery, ponds, and recreation centers. Be sure to catch the roses when they’re in season from mid-June to mid-September.
Whetstone Park of Roses, 3923 N. High St, Columbus, OH, (614) 645-3300