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

The Columbus Marathon starts at 7:30 on this day, and will run through campus. Please allow yourself plenty of extra time to get to campus due to road blocks and traffic.
For guests staying at hotels along Olentangy River Road, take Olentangy River Road to Herrick Drive to Neil Drive, and then park or be dropped off near the Neil Ave Garage. It is about a 3 minute walk to Thompson Library.
For the guests downtown, take SR315 and exit Lane Avenue, take Lane Avenue to Olentangy River Road and follow the same route.

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. To get to the Ohio State Campus, take the AirConnect bus downtown, and get off at the convention center. Once there transfer to the 1, 2, or 2L buses going northbound. The High and 13th avenue stop is across the street from The Ohio Union and is the closest bus stop to the conference venues.
  • Ohio State University has its own bus service called CABS, which is free to ride around and in the area surrounding the OSU 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.

Carpooling can be coordinated through our Facebook group for attendees, and/or the Telegram group (link shared to conference registrants). 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.

Parking

At Ohio State

On the Ohio State University campus, there are multiple visitor parking garages available - see the CampusParc website for more information. On Thursday, conference attendees should look for parking garages that support visitors at "ALL TIMES". On the weekend, all parking garages will take visitors at all hours. Parking garages have a daily max of $13.75.

The parking garages closest to Thompson Library that support visitors on Thursday are the Ohio Union South Garage (1759 North High Street) and the Tuttle Garage (2000 Tuttle Park Pl). On the weekend, Neil Avenue Garage (1801 Neil Avenue) is the closest to Thompson Library. This should also be the parking garage used on Sunday morning due to the Columbus marathon.

City parking is available around the city, but do be wary of street signs; some streets may require permits. Metered street parking is only available for 2 hours max. It is not recommended to park on private property (restaurant and store parking lots) and leave their venue, as there is a risk of being towed.

Downtown

The Columbus Metropolitan Library Main Branch(for Friday's activities) has its own parking garage at 355-435 Library Park N, with a daily max of $10.

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 $60/night and beds (shared rooms) starting at $30/night.


Hotels

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On Facebook? Join our attendees group to coordinate
lodging and meet your fellow conference goers.

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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Data Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL), cartography CC BY-SA 2.0.

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

Food and Drink

Have your own additions? Feel free to edit this list!

Columbus is quite the city when it comes to food! In fact, Columbus is one of the top spots for food companies to try new things. There's a bit of something for everyone with plenty of new things to try.

Short North

The Short North is a trendy neighborhood nestled right between downtown and the Ohio State University campus. In addition to fun bars and galleries, there are lots of great food options available.

  • North Market, market full of independent merchants
    • Hot Chicken Takeover
    • Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
    • Pistacia Vera, coffee and pastries
  • Northstar Cafe, New American food and sweets
  • The Guild House, rustic-modern
  • Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
  • The Angry Baker Cakes and Pastries
  • Brassica, Mediterranean with great vegan options

Downtown

  • Poke Bros.
  • Condado Tacos
  • Si Senor
  • Jimmy John's
  • PurePressed
  • Market 65
  • Graze
  • Elia Athenian

Brews

  • Wolf's Ridge Brewing, full eatery with lots of beer options
  • Platform Beer Co., featuring an urban-chic taproom
  • Elevator Brewery Taproom

Coffee

  • Fox in the Snow

German Village

The historic German Village, located just south of downtown, is home to great beer and German-inspired food.

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, 2018

  • 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%.