Travel

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WikiConference North America 2018 • Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
ScheduleUnconferenceTravel Guide

Welcome to an overview of staying in and getting around Columbus, Ohio. This overview will be expanded and improved as the conference nears.

On Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday of our conference, we will be in and around Thompson Library, located at the heart of the Ohio State University campus. On Friday, we will be doing our Culture Crawl activities (tours, museums, etc.) mostly in downtown Columbus.

Transportation

Columbus is a car-centric city, with Uber and Lyft (ridesharing services) widely available. Columbus is also served by the COTA public bus service, which will be able to take you between most important places in the city (including Ohio State, downtown, and the airport), albeit at a slower speed.

Airport

John Glenn International Airport: Columbus is served by the John Glenn International Airport (CMH), located 6 miles east of downtown Columbus. Southwest Airlines provides the most flights through Columbus, following by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines (in that order). Budget flights from Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, and Orlando are available via Spirit Airlines.

It is roughly 20 minutes from the airport to Thompson Library via car (we recommend a taxi, Uber, or Lyft to your destination - starting at between $20-$30). Busing is also available, though will take up to an hour to get to campus.

Carpooling is recommended; as the conference nears, we will provide mediums for participants to coordinate arrival times and carpooling.

Rickenbacker International Airport: For those flying Allegiant Air, it is a roughly a 30-minute drive from the campus to the airport (Taxi, Uber, or Lyft strongly recommended, will cost around $40). Busing is also available (COTA Line 22 from airport to downtown), though it will take more than an hour to get to campus.

Bus

  • If you are arriving via Greyhound, the Columbus Greyhound Station is located at 111 E. Town Street Columbus, Ohio 43215.
  • Columbus' public transportation consists of the COTA bus service. Fare information can be found here; passes may be purchased upon arrival at John Glenn International Airport, at the AirConnect bus stop located outside of Arrivals (credit card only). COTA day passes cost $4.50, while 7-day passes cost $25. Single one-way trip fares are $2, with rush hour fares costing $2.75. Discounts are available for seniors and children.
  • Ohio State University has its own bus service called CABS, which is free to ride around campus.

Car

Columbus is served by both Lyft and Uber. These rideshare services are easy to use via a smartphone, and we highly recommend participants share rides to share costs. Lyft and Uber rides can support 4 or more passengers at a time.

As the conference nears, we will provide mediums for participants to coordinate rideshare or carpooling. Also, Columbus is a car-oriented city, so if rideshare, carpooling, or busing to your destinations isn't an option, car rental is strongly recommended.

Shuttle

Some hotels provide shuttles to and from the airport, as well as the Ohio State University. See our tables at the bottom of this page for a list.

Lodging

Airbnb

Airbnb is an online marketplace where individuals can rent out their own apartments, houses, etc. There are many quality and affordable Airbnbs available in the area, starting for as low as around $50 per night. Many Airbnbs have multiple bedrooms, making it an extra-affordable lodging option for groups.


Hostels

Unfortunately Columbus doesn't have a hostel scene. The Wayfaring Buckeye Hostel is the only hostel in the vicinity, with rates starting at $100/night.


Hotels

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Most lodging is located roughly 8-15 minutes away from central campus (conference location) via car, with much of it also accessible via COTA. Some hotels can provide shuttles between the hotel and the university. There are many hotels located north of campus as well as downtown, with some other options located throughout the rest of the area. These hotels start at around $60/night, and average at between $100-$200/night. We are currently working to acquire preferred and discount hotel partners. The most budget options include Red Roof Inns.

We recommend checking out third-party travel sites to find deals; many also offer generous cancellation policies if you need some flexibility.

Ohio State has one hotel on-campus, the Blackwell Inn. Due to other events happening on the same weekend, availability is highly limited. It is an approximately 10 minute walk to the Thompson Library, and can easily access the campus bus system (CABS).

Columbus Hotel Overview.png
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North of Campus
There are several options here, ranging from $60 - $200. The nearest bus stop is located right outside Staybridge Suites.


South of Campus
These are another good option and are relatively close to campus.


Downtown
These are a roughly ~15 drive to campus, or a ~20-30 minute bus drive, depending on how far you are from a bus stop. These hotels are nice if you want to be near the heart of the city with access to good, local food and drink. These hotels will also be close to our Culture Crawl on Friday, which takes place downtown.

North of Campus
Hotel Name Google Maps Link Prices (Oct 18-21) Google Rating Breakfast? Internet? Shuttle to Campus?
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Columbus OSU [1] $216 4.3 Yes Yes Yes
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbus Univ Area - Osu [2] $182 4.2 Yes Yes Yes
Residence Inn by Marriott Columbus University Area [3] $219 4.7 Yes Yes Yes
Marriott Columbus University Area [4] $186 4.6 No No No
Hampton Inn & Suites Columbus/University Area [5] $209 4.5 Yes Yes Yes
Hilton Garden Inn Columbus-University Area [6] $216 4.4 No Yes No
Motel 6 Columbus OSU [7] $70 3.6 No Yes No
Staybridge Suites Columbus Univ Area - OSU [8] N/A 4.3 Yes Yes No
Red Roof PLUS+ Columbus - The Ohio State University [9] $127 3.9 No Yes No
East of Campus (Fairgrounds)
Hotel Name Google Maps Link Prices (Oct 18-21) Google Rating Breakfast? Internet? Shuttle to Campus?
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Columbus OSU [10] $221 4.4 Yes Yes Yes
Varsity Inn OSU South [11] $96 3.5 No Yes No
Downtown
Hotel Name Google Maps Link Prices (Oct 18-21) Google Rating Breakfast? Internet? Shuttle to Campus?
Hampton Inn & Suites Columbus-Downtown [12] $234 4.5 Yes Yes No
Hilton Columbus Downtown [13] $227 4.5 No No No
Crowne Plaza Columbus-Downtown [14] $211 4.2 No Yes No
The Lofts Hotel [15] $242 4 No Yes Yes
Courtyard by Marriott Columbus Downtown [16] $236 4.2 No Yes No
Residence Inn by Marriott Columbus Downtown [17] $217 4.3 Yes Yes No
Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel [18] $248 4.4 No No No
Hotel LeVeque, Autograph Collection [19] $278 4.6 No Yes No
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Columbus Downtown [20] $212 4 No Yes No
Sheraton Columbus Capitol Square [21] $169 4.2 No No No
Red Roof PLUS+ Columbus Downtown - Convention Center [22] $197 3.9 Yes Yes No
Holiday Inn Columbus Dwtn-Capitol Square [23] $179 4.1 Yes Yes Yes
The Westin Great Southern Columbus [24] $226 4.2 Yes No No

About Columbus

The city's climate is characterized by hot, muggy summers and cold, dry winters. It is home to OSU, one of the largest universities in the United States. Columbus is the state capital of Ohio, and the third most populous capital city in the US. The city has a diverse economy based on education, government, insurance, banking, defense, aviation, food, clothes, logistics, steel, energy, medical research, health care, hospitality, retail, and technology.

Practical matters

3-prong 120-volt plug
  • Language: English
  • Currency: U.S. Dollar
  • Time zone: EDT (-04:00)
  • Country dialing code: +1
  • Voltage: 110-120 (single phase)
  • Electrical Socket: NEMA 5-15, grounded, type B plug

Weather for October, 2016

  • Weather.com for 43210
  • Average high: 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius)
  • Average low: 43 F (6 C)
  • Average rainfall for month: 2.61 inches (6.53 centimeters)

High / low for long weekend

Thursday: 64 F (18 C) / 44 F (7 C)
Friday: 64 F / 44 F
Saturday: 64 F / 44 F
Sunday: 63 F (17 C) / 43 F (6 C)
Monday: 63 F / 43 F

Tipping

Tipping is customary in the United States. Tips are calculated pre-tax. Meals with waiter service average between 10-20% on the pre-tax total. Tip US$1 per drink at bars. Taxis, hairdressers, tour guides, masseuses, etc. are 10-20%. Bellperson or Skycap: $2 for 1st bag, then $1 for each bag thereafter. Restroom staff: $1. Housekeepers: $2-5 per day. Shuttle drivers $2-5 depending on distance. Anybody doing a service for you should be tipped-out including concierge, maitre d', and so on. Fast food: 10-30%. Uber and Lyft driver: 0-20%.