One of the fastest growing cities in the country, and rated one of the ten most livable, Columbus Ohio is far more vibrant than people from better known cities might expect.

There are a number of very distinct and individual neighborhoods in the Columbus metro area. The Short North, which is located at the northern most point of the downtown area, is rich with fine dining establishments and pubs as well as art galleries and specialty stores. The large number of ornate well kept Victorian homes nearby make up the Victorian Village. Just to the west you can find the mainly residential areas of Harrison West and Grandview Heights.

German Village lies to the south and is known for its quaint 19th century brick cottages, and is the largest privately funded historic district in the country. The Brewery District was once filled with, unsurprisingly, drinking establishments, has seen a change in recent years becoming more of a residential and office area.

King-Lincoln was once the hub for culture and commerce for the African American community. This neighborhood has undergone gentrification on a grand scale recently, much like the Harlem district in New York City.

The Arena District is a new development and neighborhood near the Short North. It is centered around the new Nationwide Arena, and is filling up fast with new residential buildings, including the 20 story Condominiums at the North Bank tower. Columbus also has a new ballpark where the Columbus Clippers, the Triple A affiliate for the Cleveland Indians, will play.

Columbus has a good city park system, with a number of good reservoirs and parks by major streams to be used for recreational purposes. The Scioto and Olentangy Rivers both flow through Columbus and are now flanked by great new bike pathways. A project called the Scioto Mile is enhancing and revitalizing the riverfront in the heart of downtown, something that had been so successful in many other cities across the US.

When it comes to art and culture Columbus is certainly not lacking. The Columbus Museum of Art has a fine collection of work that focuses on European and American art up to early modernism. On the campus of the Ohio State University, golf fanatics can tour the Jack Nicklaus Museum.

For nature lovers a trip to the Franklin Park Conservatory is most enjoyable, and the Center of Science and Industry provides plenty of interesting exhibits for the more mechanically minded.

One of the more fascinating museums if one would like to get a glimpse of old Columbus is the Kelton House Museum and Garden, which is devoted to Victorian life and was the home to three generations of the Kelton family after it was built in 1852. It was a documented station on the Underground Railroad, the network of safe houses used to help black slaves escape to free states and Canada.