Moving to Columbus discussion

Negative reviews

Current Resident

I was assaulted on the street 15 min walking distance from Downtown. Four days later, my car was burglarized at the same place( Rear window of my car was broken and change was missing.) Police took a report about the broken window because 3 other cars parked next to mine had broken windows and were burglarized as well. Police did not want to listen about the assault.


If you move to Columbus for Olive Garden there is something seriously wrong with you..(seems like any good restaurant turned into a chain and quality went downhill) Columbus already has one of the most overweight populations in the countries. It's true. Wonder why establishments have so many handicapped parking spots?

Not for the injured or elderly, but for those who can't keep their mouth hole closed. You often find these areas littered with scooters, little rascals, personal mobility devices or whatever you call them.

Why would a person ever get so fat? A glandular condition needs a fuel to feed on. I like food as well, but I stop eating when food no longer goes down my throat voluntarily.

If you're looking for traveling Broadway shows with second rate talent you've hit the jackpot. Remember, these are actors that couldn't 'Make It There'.

Schools, yes the suburban schools are probably better, but that's cause voters/homeowners pass levys that better fund the schools.

Columbus City Schools have a higher ratio of transient parents. That means kids move with them and have to start all over again.

If sports is your life (why?) this might be for you although locals can't find enough to keep them from their families. More second rate sports are brought in to fill the void for lack of pro (real sports) teams. Why can't Columbus pull in another Pro team? Cause nobody wants to move here. Even the soccer team is leaving...

This would partially explain why college (amateur) sports waste so much local news time. Cup stacking, hacky sack and putt putt golf are included in this category.

Don't get me wrong, college is big business here, some of those kids even graduate. The ever-growing health care system continually needs bodies to fill the constantly under construction hospitals.

In 20 years the OSU campus will be surrounded by health care facilities. The graduates won't have far to walk when school ends.

Columbus has a beltway more or less surrounding Franklin County.

What can you see as you drive this beltway? Nothing of interest.

If you enjoy driving past car dealerships you're in luck. If you enjoy traffic backed up at every exit, continual roadwork and construction this is your place. Very little of this roadwork is beneficial to the average citizen.

Most of it is designed to get you from one retail area to another just a little faster. Maybe.

Inside the beltway it gets exciting. Miles and miles of strip malls, fast food, apartments and maybe a car dealership. In a five mile radius of where I live there are two CVS a mile apart on the same street. A conservative estimate of 25 pizza places, two Kroger, two Target, a walmart of course, too many fast dining places, a dozen or so small shopping centers, some fitness centers, about four large car dealerships, and new houses. Lots of new houses. Also a bunch of useless crap that makes me ill every time I see it cause my tax dollar may have help to fund it.

Fully half of this stuff didn't exist 15 years ago. It used to be disused farmland. Farmer died, kids got rich. These were the last of the small farms in the area, but we were already in fully developed suburbs. Urban sprawl sucks.

Columbus is a tiny fish in the pond of real cities.

This might be a booming metropolis if you are from Wheeling, but if you've ever spent time in a real city you'll wonder why the hell you stopped here.

20 years ago I moved here under the premise we would move after a few years. We didn't. Hence my growing disdain for the little town that should concentrate more on the residents that stay than building gleaming spires that attract none.

Btw, I'm leaving it all and moving to the desert.... 

Neutral reviews

Mimi Edwards

I haven’t been back to Columbus for over 14 years and I currently have no reason or desire to go there. I didn’t like the weather in Columbus, but I’m spoiled and from sunny California. Compared to NYC and SF, the houses are affordable (as is most of US). The suburb where we stayed was safe, but I couldn’t get use to no fences separating backyards. If I had children then, I would definitely put them in private schools. The public school looked and felt drastically underfunded. Most restaurant catered to meat and potatoes; not a lot of choices for international cuisines but many Italian restaurants, pizza and burgers joints. The food availability also reflects the diversity or demographics. 

Current Columbus, Ohio Population, Demographics and stats in 2016, 2017.

 I recall lots of local strip malls and one large mall with high end shops.

People there seem less into small talk and everyone minded their own business. Defacto segregation was somewhat obvious in various neighborhoods but still much more intermingled than in South. And there are some diverse neighborhoods. Some areas were obviously being gentrified. At golf clubs and resorts spas is where the diversity breaks down as they are very white. (I think golf is a predominately white sport). Most AA (African American) probably couldn’t afford private schools so the public school has a lot more AA than private ones. It’s rural US condensed by larger population.

Alexander Rak


  • Great food scene. Can get almost any cuisine you'd like. It might not be Michelin-starred or the best in the US, but it certainly is diverse and something to satisfy your craving.
  • Extremely low cost of living
  • No real traffic (biased, as I moved here from the DC area). Seems like it never takes more than 20 minutes to get from one point to another
  • Kind, nice people
  • Excellent art scene
  • Strong employment prospects -- so many F500 companies based here
  • Good healthcare options and offices


  • Diverse, but separate. Columbus is multicultural, but I rarely see it blended together. Oftentimes I find myself as the only minority in an establishment...
  • I think the music scene is weak, but that's based on the type of music I like. A lot of acts do not stop by Columbus. (Then again, we're not one of the "major" major cities)
  • A car is required to get around; cannot depend on public transport.
  • While it's close to driving distance for many places in the US, airfare can get expensive since we commonly have to fly to another hub. On that note, the airport is convenient to get to, with short lines and cheap parking.

P.S. Thanks for requesting me! :)

Stuart Farmer

It’s decent, but it’s not a city that’s on a national or world stage. Our universities are average, the research that comes out of them are average, the business talent is average. There are no celebrities or star talent here besides the OSU football team. If you’re a doctor, could be a cool spot. Tons of hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturing is done here. Museums are meh (besides COSI).

People that compare this place to Boston, or any other larger city are doing themselves a disservice. We don’t have world class universities. We aren’t a business hub. We have good logistics throughout the Midwest which makes us a really good strategic spot for storing product, but okay, cool.

The nice thing is that it’s beautiful during all of the seasons, big enough to not be too boring, yet small enough to know everything within a few months. It’s also super affordable to live here.

That being said, you’re capped at who you can become. I could see settling down here if you’re into the whole family and suburbia thing. The suburbs here are hands down beautiful (Worthington, Upper Arlington, Clintonville, Dublin, etc).

Current Resident

Truthfully, Columbus looks good compared to the towns and depressed cities around it, and to areas of West Virginia and Kentucky. Beyond that, forget it. The best thing about Columbus is and always will be the Ohio State University, which drives the local culture and economy. Everything else is mediocre at best. The downtown never really came together, and this isn’t helped by the presence of local neighborhood commissions who don’t want to see any new developments over six stories and not in red brick. With no national developers, the local one’s don’t design anything over 12 stories max, the central business district is badly outmoded parking lots and just plain lacking. Suburbia isn’t much better with a muddle of cookie cutter developments scattered through out the metro. Public transportation is a barely adequate bus only system. About all we can do here is dream of cities on the coast. But if you’re from Appalachia, or a depressed industrial town - come on in!

Current Resident

Columbus is a growing city with a lot of opportunities for small businesses, I like the support that Columbus give to its people to prosper, it has a lot of beautiful and antique houses. Communute and shopping center are close to each point in the city. The only downside is that some neighborhoods need a lot of improvement.

Current Resident

Columbus is an interesting and fun place to live. Although with the amount of construction and changes around the city it will most likely be just your average hot spot city with little uniqueness or character within the next ten years.


I moved to Cbus in 2007 from St. Louis. Having been here a sufficient length of time, I can give an unbiased appraisal of the city. First, let me start off by saying that for the first two years I lived here, I hated it! Thought the people were fat, aloof, the food scene pretty awful, the fashion abyssimal (think OSU sweatshirts and bad '80s jeans), the beer and chips aisles in the grocery stores took up three times the space as the fresh produce!, not a lot going on for families and the weather (gray til May) incredibly depressing. THAT was my initial impression, and some of that has not changed.

There are, however, great aspects to the city, as I have learned over the years. While healthy lifestyles still seem more of the exception than the rule here, the people here are highly intelligent. The diversity here is the most I have seen in any US city outside of NYC. You can walk into any grocery store and hear people speaking five different languages...Japanese, Chinese, various Indian languages, French, Dutch, name it and you will find it here. This is largely due to the influence OSU has had on the culture of the city. OSU itself is an amazing large as it is, it is difficult to get into with less than a 30 ACT score...hence why Cbus has been named the most intelligent city in the US.

The food scene is still mediocre at best, but there are a few noteworthy restaurants if you look hard enough.

Traffic is not bad, although my kids have nicknamed it "Orange Barrel, Ohio" because road construction never ceases...and never seems to improve anything. 

The land is flat, so finding a home with a decent yard is easy. Many attractive homes here too.

The summer climate, with the exception of an unusually hot 2018, is typically decent, albeit far too short.

The nightlife at the Short North is reasonably lively and vibrant.

The suburbs, Dublin, Powell, Worthington, UA, New Albany all have well-preserved and charming town centers...better than I have seen in most other cities. 

Plenty of art and culture events come to Cbus.

I have raised four kids here, and I have always struggled to find the breadth of activities for families here that other cities offer.

No decent lakes or water nearby!

I will be here for another seven years until my youngest graduates from high school. For all of the good aspects of Columbus, I will high tail it out of Ohio as soon as she graduates. 

Positive reviews

Derek Heinzman

It's different but it also has similarities to other Midwestern cities. Columbus is a city in transition from being an outdated infrastructural manufacturing city to a more modern city hosting high tech jobs. There is a massive amount of road construction happening to accommodate the new influx of people who recently relocated here like myself.

It feels very progressive especially in the conservative Midwest by hosting gaypride events and political rallies. Culturally, we are an eclectic group and I haven't met many native people from Columbus. Most people came for employment or stayed because of OSU.

OSU is a cult, it's inescapable. The whole school is really forced on you due to the fanatical following and the city reacts in kind by nearly shutting down during sporting events.

Ohio is always a political battleground in the Presidential election and we get bombarded by political ads months before the primaries begin.

Overall, it's a nice city with some big city employers and entertainment with a small town feel.

Kristen Auletto

Columbus, Ohio, is perhaps best known for its unbridled passion for college football. It's true that the fierce loyalty for the Ohio State Buckeyes is a significant part of life here. Look past the scarlet and gray that adorns the streets, however, and you will see that this metro area has much more to offer.

Columbus is teeming with art, music, theater, museums and culture, and thanks to the sprawling Ohio State University and an array of businesses, it's also home to a bustling and energetic workforce. A prosperous economy draws millennials, creating a young and energetic atmosphere throughout the city.

Locals know how to have fun, too. From the lively bars and restaurants in Short North to the charming, historic German Village to the many parks and gardens – and yes, to Columbus' professional and college sports teams – residents are never left looking for entertainment. 

Current Resident

I love Columbus. I live in the campus area, and the mixture of adults and families with students is so interesting. I can get to a mall or the university or any kind of food or entertainment I want within a 20 minute drive. The city has weekend festivals and other events that make it fun, and it's clear that new businesses are being brought into the city all of the time. There are tons of metro park and other great outdoor spots. I'm never moving!


Compared to Grand Rapids, I'd expect more traffic. Compared to most major metro areas, Columbus has less traffic. Columbus has plenty of nice suburbs. The North end tends to be pricier and have the more upscale communities. It's also where most of the shopping is located. Columbus also has some great older inner suburbs like Upper Arlington, Grandview, and Bexley. You'll pay more for what you get here but you also are much closer to nightlife and restaurants that are not chains. These neighborhoods will also save you a lot of driving if you would be working downtown. There are also some very nice inner city neighborhoods but again, you get what you pay for. The inner city neighborhoods range from dirt cheap to insanely expensive. Based on the fact that you are asking about suburbs, I won't go into too much detail there.

Columbus is slowly becoming less affordable and traffic is getting worse. It has a very strong growth rate and I believe is still one of the fastest growing cities in the US if you exclude the South and the West. There is construction everywhere you turn which to me is exciting.


Columbus is great. A large city with every amenity but a kind, polite populace. The city is growing very fast: I think condos are going up in every notable section of the city. We have two full-size arenas (Schottenstein and Nationwide) that get every show you can name, and the outdoor arena (Express) gets good shows as well.

Columbus has growth industries underpinning its economy: banking, including a huge Chase presence; insurance (Nationwide); tech; education; government; and a lot of Amazon action.

I've been around the world and lived in many places, and I chose Columbus and have no regrets about it. I'm a bit concerned out infrastructure cannot handle the rate of growth, but that's true of any hot city.


I spent my early childhood on the north side of Columbus, finished it on the east side, went to Ohio State, lived in Chicago, and just moved back to a northwest suburb called Dublin. I frequently travel to other cities for work, and have a pretty good feel for a lot of places ranging from Ann Arbor to Boston to LA. If you like the variety and excitement that a big city has to offer without the crowded nonsense, Columbus is a great place to live, and Dublin is my favorite suburb in Columbus. I've been to Grand Rapids, and its a nice city, but I think I would get bored there. I didn't like Chicago because it was overwhelming. Columbus is that perfect sweet spot - there is so much to explore. It's hard to compare two cities on a broad scope - what about GR do you like? If it is cost of living, night life, and things to do, Columbus has GR beat on two of the three (cost of living going up, but that's good for long term property value). There are only two cities I'd live in over Columbus - Vancouver and Raleigh, NC, but family keeps me here.


Columbus is a fun city, but it's essentially a really big small town. It doesn't feel metropolitan because "downtown" is a business center rather than a place for nightlife. Our neighborhoods have really distinct vibes to them, and once you find the pockets of town where "your people" hang out, you'll feel at home. Yuppies flock to the Short North, college kids dominate OSU campus, hipsters and artists hang in the Old North, Old Towne East, Franklinton, party people party on Park Street. These are huge generalizations, but you get the idea.

People are usually nice and rent is usually pretty cheap. Most one-bedrooms / studios will range from $550 - $850 per month, unless you're looking in really hip parts of town.

We've got a really good music scene if you're into that, good bars, good restaurants.

The parks are really nice Spring through Fall -- lots of bike trails with easily accessible paths.