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Columbus Sports and RecreationColumbus does not lack sports enthusiasts. The Ohio State University football commands the attention of the city on autumn Saturdays; tailgate parties, Buckeye banners and 100,000 fervent fans color horseshoe-shaped Ohio Stadium scarlet and gray with excitement. Ohio State also fields competitive basketball and ice hockey teams. For information contact the OSU ticket office in the Jerome Schottenstein Center at 555 Borror Dr.; phone (614) 292-2624 or (800) 462-8257.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, (614) 246-7825, play NHL hockey at the Nationwide Arena at 200 W. Nationwide Blvd. Two hours before each match, 250 $10 tickets are released to the public at the box office.

The Columbus Crew, (614) 447-2739, plays major league soccer at the MAPFRE Stadium at the Ohio State Expo Center. The Ohio Machine plays major league lacrosse at Panther Stadium at Ohio Dominican University.

Baseball is also a popular spectator sport in Columbus. The Columbus Clippers, the Cleveland Indians Triple A minor league affiliate, is part of the International League. Games are held downtown at Huntington Park; phone (614) 462-5250 or (614) 462-2757 for ticket information.

Horse racing fans have a variety of tracks and styles from which to choose. Harness racing is held May to mid-September at Eldorado Scioto Downs, (614) 295-4700, 6000 S. High St. The biggest pacing event of the year, the Little Brown Jug, is held the third Thursday after Labor Day at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

Note: Policies vary concerning admittance of children to pari-mutuel betting facilities. Phone for information.

For racing fans who demand more horsepower, stock car racing is held Saturday nights at 7 p.m. during the summer at the Columbus Motor Speedway, (614) 491-1047, at 1845 Williams Rd. Drag racing excitement revs engines May through October at National Trail Raceway, 2650 National Rd. S.W. in nearby Hebron; phone (740) 928-5706.

Columbus offers an abundance of public golf courses, including Blacklick Woods, (614) 861-3193, 7309 E. Livingston Ave. in Reynoldsburg; Raymond Memorial, (614) 645-3276, 3860 Trabue Rd.; and Thorn Apple Country Club, (614) 878-7703, 1051 Alton Darby Creek Rd. in Galloway.

The Memorial Tournament, a 4-day professional golf competition, is held at the end of May or early June at Muirfield Village, a course in Dublin designed by Columbus native Jack Nicklaus; phone (614) 889-6712.

Columbus operates an extensive park system with miles of trails for bicyclists and joggers. One of the most scenic routes takes bicyclists 8 miles along the Olentangy River. Columbus hosts the Columbus Marathon in October and other long-distance running events throughout the year.

flickr/Bob Hall
The Scioto Mile, running along the riverfront between the Arena District and the Whittier Peninsula, offers more than 145 acres of park space. Visitors can walk along the promenade for great views. There also are fountains, gardens, swings and benches.

Tennis courts are abundant in Columbus, with more than 140 run by the city and numerous others at local colleges and high schools. Phone Columbus’ Department of Recreation and Parks at (614) 645-3300 for details.

Despite its moderate climate, Columbus is within about an hour's drive of several popular skiing areas. Snow Trails, (419) 774-9818, is 60 miles northeast near Mansfield and is considered to be Ohio's first ski area. Mad River Mountain, (937) 599-1015, or (800) 231-7669 outside Ohio, about 40 miles northwest in Zanesfield, is a large resort with night skiing.

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Columbus, OH

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Hilton Columbus/Polaris

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Travel Information

City Population

787,033

Elevation

777 ft.

Sales Tax

Columbus has a sales tax of 7.5 percent and a lodging tax of 10 percent. There is an 11 percent concession fee on rental cars picked up at Port Columbus International Airport.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(614) 645-4545

Fire (non-emergency)

(614) 221-3132

Time and Temperature

(614) 281-8211

Hospitals

Doctors Hospital, (614) 544-1000; Grant Medical Center, (614) 566-9000; Mount Carmel Medical Center (Mount Carmel West Hospital), (614) 234-5000; The Ohio State University Hospital East, (614) 257-3000; The Ohio State University Medical Center, (614) 293-8300; Riverside Methodist Hospital, (614) 566-5000.

Visitor Information

277 W. Nationwide Blvd. Suite 125 Columbus, OH 43215. Phone:(614)221-6623 or (800)354-2657

Air Travel

Port Columbus International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz offers discounts to AAA members; phone (614) 239-1084 or (800) 654-3080.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., (614) 228-2266 or (800) 231-2222, 111 E. Town St. between S. 3rd and S. 4th streets, serves Columbus.

Taxis

Yellow Cab, (614) 444-4444, is the largest cab company. Fixed fares are $3 base rate, $4.50 for the first mile, 45c for each additional 2/9 mile and $2.25 for each mile outside Franklin County. A $3 surcharge is added for fares originating at the airport.

Public Transportation

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) provides bus transportation throughout the city and suburbs Mon.-Fri. 5:30 a.m.-11:45 p.m., Sat. 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 8-7. The basic fare is $2, express fare is $2.75 and transfers are free. Multiday passes and reduced rates for children and senior citizens are available. Passengers must have exact change.

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