Top 10 Reasons to Live (and Stay!) in Central Ohio

There are a lot of reasons people decide to move to Columbus, Ohio and its surrounding neighborhoods. Even more interesting are all the reasons people choose to stay. We asked Battelle employees about their favorite things to do and the reasons why they stay in the country's 14th largest city and surrounding communities (aside from working at Battelle!).


Top 10 reasons to live in Columbus and Central Ohio

1) Affordability:
Columbus is one of the most affordable cities to live in the U.S. According to a recent study from Porch, Columbus ranks No. 9 for most affordable Large Metros nationwide. With the cost of housing 14% lower than the national average and the cost of living and goods almost 6% less than the national average, Columbus is a major metropolitan city where you can enjoy life while simultaneously building savings and wealth.


2) Delicious Culinary Scene: Superb cuisine is probably Columbus' greatest secret superpower. Being positioned in the heart of the country means that all roads and recipes run through Columbus.


Photo: Cuisine at Lemon Grass in Short North Columbus Ohio

High Street, the city's main north-south thoroughfare, is lined with world-class restaurants,  rooftop bars, food trucks and breweries. There isn't a part of the city where you won't find a 4.5+ star rated restaurant on Yelp. From African peanut stew to Latin empanaditas to vegan buffalo chick'n salad, Columbus has world-class fare ready to delight your tastebuds.  And if cooking and baking are your passion, you can spend days browsing international groceries, specialized spice merchants, farmers markets and the famed North Market.


3) Art and Culture: From the visual and performance arts to botanical gardens and historical museums, Columbus is a growing and thriving city full of cultural experiences. Visit the Columbus Museum of Art on a Sunday to enjoy free admission to masterpieces ranging from Renaissance to Contemporary arts. Then head over to the Wexner Center for the Arts, also a free admission, for a deeper, ever-changing exploration into contemporary arts performances and exhibitions. Just next door is the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library featuring the world's largest collection of cartoons and comics.

Photo: Columbus Artist with Mural

There are plenty of things to do in Central Ohio. Musicals, dance or other performing arts are always a special experience in any one of CAPA's many historic theaters. The Franklin Park Conservatory, a Victorian-style botanical garden with more than 400 species of flora and exotic plants, has a large permanent collection of Chihuly glass sculptures.

And if you are a supporter of the arts, culture or charitable giving, you will really appreciate Battelle's employee philanthropic match of up to $20,000 annually to your favorite non-profits.


4) Sports and Athletics: Whether you're a fan of sports or an active participant, the Buckeye state and Columbus has a lot for you. The Ohio State University has a great mix of college athletics. If you love football, then watching the Buckeyes compete in the fifth largest stadium in the world, Ohio Stadium (better known as "The Horseshoe") is for you.

Photo:  Night view of the OSU Stadium with the Ohio State Buckeyes football team

Professional sports in downtown Columbus? Check. The brand new Columbus Crew soccer stadium is one of the best in the country, and the Columbus Clippers are the Cleveland Guardians' AAA affiliate with a baseball stadium that has major league vibes and views. Hockey fans come from all over to watch the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets play from September until April. And in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, one of the PGA Tour's top events, the annual Memorial Tournament occurs every June. Bonus for golfers:  Ohio State University is home to the Jack Nicklaus Museum and the area is home to some of the country's best private and public golf courses.

If running is your passion, challenge yourself during the Columbus Marathon, one of the largest in the country. Biking more your speed? During Pelotonia, a three-day cycling event, riders from all over the world converge with the goal of ending cancer with 100% of every dollar raised going to cancer research.


5) Unique, Diverse and Welcoming Neighborhoods: Columbus is often described as a community of neighborhoods, each with their unique charm and feel. Italian Village, a historic neighborhood is just east of  the Short North, the "art and soul" of Columbus. Both are a short walk from Battelle headquarters, located in the University District. Walk just a block northeast from Battelle and you will find the beautiful homes of Victorian Village and the stunning architecture of The Ohio State University. Venture a little further south of downtown to find historic German Village or take in some inspiration from Franklinton's galleries and public art.

The diversity of great neighborhoods extends into surrounding suburbs. Bexley boasts a highly ranked K-12 school system and is home to Capital University. Bridge Park in Dublin is a new, must-see destination for a wide variety of top-shelf restaurants and even better views. Worthington, just north of Columbus, is home to Rush Creek Village, the largest community in the United States to embrace organic Usonian architecture based on the principles of Frank Lloyd Wright. This is just a small sampling of Columbus communities, but whatever your passion, rest assured there is a great neighborhood for you.


6) Festivals: Sure, every city has its festivals, but in Central Ohio we go big. The COSI Science Festival, sponsored by Battelle, is a four-day festival in May with the focus of inspiring the pursuit of STEM careers at all ages. Red, White and Boom, the largest Independence Day celebration in the Midwest, features an incredible firework display for over 400,000 people in a single day.

Long before Burning Man there was Comfest. Now in its 50th year, ComFest is likely the largest, free, non-corporate, volunteer-driven, music and arts annual festival in the country. Columbus Pride is also one of the biggest LGBTQ events in the United States hosting more than 700,000 visitors for a week long party.

Photo: Battelle employees at Columbus Pride Parade


Local cultural festivals like the Day of the DeadDublin Irish Festival, Juneteenth Festival, OktoberFest and so many more make summer and fall months a very special time to be in Ohio, but don't worry there are festivals and events to look forward to throughout the entire year.


7) Good Climate and Weather: Yes, we have a winter, but that means three months out of the year we also have snowboarding, snowmobiling, downhill and Nordic skiing. . . and even curling all within an hour of the city.

Then we have nine months of beautiful to moderate spring, summer and fall weather. While we don't have twelve months of 60–100 degree days, Columbus also doesn't suffer major wildfires, hurricanes or as many other extreme weather events as many other parts of the country. The changing climate affects everyone everywhere, so to identify solutions to address and adapt to that change, Battelle hosts the annual Innovations in Climate Resilience Conference right here in our downtown Columbus Convention Center.


8) Amazing Parks: The Columbus Metro Parks comprise more than 28,000 acres of beautiful land, 230 miles of paths and greenways, and outdoor activities including mountain biking , climbing walls, dog parks, kayaking and more. It is worth a mention that the Battelle Darby Creek is the largest of the Metro Parks with more than 7,000 acres and even roaming bison.

Just a little more than an hour southeast of Columbus is Hocking Hills State Park. It features a brand new state park lodge and more than 25 miles of spectacular hiking trails, rock formations, waterfalls and caves.

Photo: Waterfall in Hocking Hills during a winter snowfall

9) Scenic Lakes and Waterways: There are 18 lakes collectively in greater Central Ohio, featuring more than 22,000 acres of boating, fishing and water sport adventure. Battelle's headquarters are right on the Olentangy River Water Trail. This makes for a convenient way to get outside and recharge on a walk along a five-star scenic river. The Olentangy Trail is almost nine miles long and provides access for cycling, walking and paddling. If that is not enough, there are more than 100 miles of rivers and streams in Central Ohio offering serenity along gently rolling shale banks and ravines.


10) Live Music: Whether it is hip hop at Kemba Live, opera at the Southern Theater, or screamo at Ace of Cups the Columbus music scene is as diverse as it is energetic.

Photo: Bruce Springsteen Live in Columbus Ohio

Every night there is a local band rocking a dive bar or a national act rolling into town to play one of the numerous larger venues. And if playing music is your passion, there are plenty of local musicians ready to jam in shared practice spots all over town.

Ready to move to Columbus? Find your career at Battelle, and join us in one the most exciting, growing and vibrant cities in the United States.

October 20, 2022
Ian MacConnell
Estimated Read Time
6 Mins

You Belong with the Brightest Minds

Explore Careers at Battelle

Internships & Co-ops

Start Your Career with Battelle

Search internships & Co-ops
Stay In the Know

Get Battelle Insights in Your Inbox

Get Updates

Related Blogs


Receive updates from Battelle for an all-access pass to the incredible work of Battelle researchers.