Weekend Getaways: 12 Great Direct-Flight Vacation Destinations From Columbus

Find inspiration in these 12 stunning destinations, all just a direct flight from Columbus.

Columbus Monthly staff
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

First came the shots. Then came the plane tickets. For many Columbus residents, COVID-19 vaccinations unleashed pent-up wanderlust, leading to a resurgence in air travel. In July, more than 635,000 passengers passed through John Glenn Columbus International Airport, a 167 percent increase from the previous year.

With that in mind, Columbus Monthly is highlighting 12 destinations that meet two of the most critical criteria of many Central Ohio travelers today. These getaways offer unique experiences, appealing to foodies, art lovers, history buffs and more. And they’re practical—just a direct flight from John Glenn Airport, making them ideal for two or three days of inspiration and replenishment.

Understandably, many folks—especially older and immunocompromised people—remain uncomfortable with hopping on crowded planes right now. But health experts point out the safety of air travel, thanks to mask requirements and sophisticated air ventilation systems. Though the delta variant has revealed that vaccines aren’t perfect, they are safe and effective, making travel reasonable for careful, health-conscious people with lower-risk profiles.

Which leads to another key point: If you aren’t vaccinated, air travel—or any travel, for that matter—should be avoided. Stay home and get the shots before thinking about taking flight.


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Las Vegas

Admire these gorgeous natural wonders just a short drive from the Strip.

New York City

Manhattan's Central Park is a surprisingly popular destination for birdwatchers.


Explore a metropolis' island sanctuary.


Art, history and literature beyond the Freedom Trail


A historic site reckons with its brutal past.


A dynamic arts scene, from graffiti to self-taught artists

New Orleans

Home of Shorty, Kermit and too many foot-stomping shows to count


Follow in Prince's gem-studded footsteps.


Tour Music City's thriving and diverse restaurants.


Tiki drinks, classic daquiris and stunning Biscayne Bay views

This story is from the October 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly.