From Tiffany diamonds to Brutus Buckeye T-shirts, Columbus has got the goods.
Columbus is a shopper’s paradise, offering everything from posh department stores to quirky specialty shops to budget-friendly discount centers.
The top draws for those serious about shopping are Easton Town Center and Polaris Fashion Place. The largely open-air Easton Town Center, on the city’s northeast side, has more than 200 retail, dining and entertainment venues, including department stores Nordstrom and Macy’s. Destination shops at Easton include Crate & Barrel, Tiffany & Co., Sur La Table, Burberry, Coach, the Apple Store, C.O. Bigelow, lululemon, North Face, Madewell and LEGO. Recent new dining tenants include Northstar Café and Yagööt, joining Easton staples such as Smith & Wollensky, Cheesecake Factory, Mitchell’s Ocean Club and Brio Tuscan Grille.
Polaris Fashion Place is a thriving retail destination with six anchor stores—including Saks Fifth Avenue, the Great Indoors, Macy’s and Von Maur—and 175 dining and shopping options, such as specialty stores Coach, Williams-Sonoma, Sephora, Swarovski, Accent on Image and Destination Maternity. Polaris’s new open-air lifestyle area is occupied by stores such as Godfrys Men’s and Women’s Clothiers, New Balance, Barnes & Noble and Forever XXI, along with restaurants such as Benihana, The Pub and Dave & Buster’s. Around the perimeter of the mall is a host of specialty stores.
For those who prefer independent shops, the Short North Arts District continues to set the pace for some of Columbus’s most unique shopping. The neighborhood runs along North High Street from King Avenue to Nationwide Boulevard. One-of-a-kind shops in the area include Adore House of Bloomsbury Loft, full of handmade jewelry and other treasures; the huge GrandView Mercantile, which offers antiques and vintage items for the home; Cookware Sorcerer; Lady Bird, with new and vintage women’s fashions, and Grid Furnishings and Collier West for hip home accessories.
In the picturesque neighborhood of German Village, just south of downtown, dozens of shops and restaurants are tucked in among the restored brick homes, including the Book Loft, a landmark independent bookstore famed for its 32 rooms of books, and Franklin Art Glass, a shop that has kept Central Ohioans supplied with stained glass for nearly 85 years. For imported linens and dinnerware, there’s Caterina Ltd., where most housewares and gift items come directly from Europe. Helen Winnemore Craft is a lovely old home filled with functional art such as colorful handblown glass and handmade jewelry. The Greater Columbus Antique Mall, a bit further south on High Street, boasts five floors overflowing with antiques, collectibles and other treasures.
Students are always buzzing around the shops surrounding Ohio State University’s main campus. Conrads College Gifts and College Traditions are good places to search for all things OSU—from Brutus sweatshirts to Buckeye gear for your pets. The South Campus Gateway development mixes national chains such as Barnes & Noble and Finish Line with art galleries and shops.
Unique stores abound near OSU, including Black Sheep Board & Skate, Urban Outfitters and used-record stores covering nearly every genre of music. The Wexner Center Store inside the contemporary arts museum sells books, art prints, funky jewelry and mod housewares. To the west of campus, across the Olentangy River, is Lennox Town Center, with retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Target, Old Navy and World Market.
There also are a number of traditional malls in the city. On the northwest side, the Mall at Tuttle Crossing has nearly 150 shopping and dining options, from anchors Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney to specialty retailers such as Ann Taylor, Aveda, Pottery Barn, Bare Escentuals and H&M, a hip fashion emporium. Eastland Mall on the city’s east side is anchored by Macy’s, JCPenney and Sears. A $30 million renovation in 2005 included the addition of an OSU-themed soft play area for children.
The Shops on Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington houses more than 30 local and national stores, including LOFT, New York & Company and Whole Foods. On the far north side, Worthington Square Mall, whose tenants include Ann Taylor, Talbots and White House Black Market, is in makeover mode as its new owners begin renovations. Other suburbs and neighborhoods throughout Central Ohio have their own unique shopping districts, from the trendy shops along High Street in the Clintonville neighborhood to walkable shopping areas in the historic districts of Dublin and Worthington.
Bargain hunters won’t leave Columbus disappointed, with consignment shops galore and discounters such as the Eddie Bauer Warehouse Store and Salvage Store. About 40 minutes southwest of Columbus, along I-71 south, is Prime Outlets Jeffersonville, with nearly 100 outlet stores including American Eagle, Banana Republic Factory Store, Coach, Yankee Candle, Gap, Kate Spade, Nike Factory Store and Old Navy.