My husband and I like to travel. When we get a chance to explore new places, we are usually up for an adventure. We have voyaged across the country several times in search of unique places.
Being vegetarians, we often find that the outside appearances are usually deceiving about the menu. We like to try new things and often we are thrilled to find local favorites off the beaten path. So when our friend asked us to come with him on a fun get-away trip to the unusual town of Columbus, Indiana we were up for it.
Like us, Nick loves exploring new places and finding dining experiences that don’t belong to a chain. So we make great travel friends and the anticipation of a week-long adventure made us giddy with excitement over our travel plans.
Our adventure to this unique little town began with a flight to Lexington, Kentucky. This airport is one of the nicer airports I have visited. We travel a lot and when you find an airport with clean bathrooms, plenty of seating and enough power outlets for charging electronics you find that everyone is a little happier. After renting a car, we were headed out of town for a 2 hour drive towards Columbus, Indiana.
The countryside is beautiful. Lots of wide open spaces hold room for horse country and plenty of green space. My husband and I usually enjoy car trips, especially when we have lively conversations Nick is always good for striking up odd conversations that go on for hours and car trips go by fast when he’s around.
However as we started getting closer to the area we would be staying, the conversations grew quiet as we found ourselves in a barren bleak area. The buildings looked like they hadn’t been maintained since the early 60’s and as we grew hungry our concerns mounted. Where in the world had we ventured to?
After searching reviews on Yelp for local favorites we pulled into a quaint Mexican food place. I however had to pause as I approached the door and read the specialties: Tongue, Liver, and Chicken.
As a vegetarian you learn very fast to ask questions because eating animal products when you haven’t in a long time or ever leads to a fast reaction in your stomach and that is NOT something you want to happen on a road trip.
“Is there lard in the tortillas?” my husband asked the hostess. “Yes?” she asked puzzled.
“What about in the beans and rice?” He asked, thinking over our food options here. “Of course!” she responded quickly
And we turned right around and politely left, then got to the car and sat there wondering if we were going to have this problem all week. Looking around the area, our trepidations grew. Maybe we should have planned this out a little better?
However Columbus, Indiana is a sweet Mayberry town full of surprises and delights. And we did find some great places to eat on our stay.
Bistro 310 is a hip place with an expansive menu full of original creations from a top chef. The starter of Garlic Fries was a great way to begin a great lunch. The Caesar salad is a large plate with fresh lettuce and a house made dressing that was perfectly balanced. The Green burger is a freshly made veggie burger that is indeed green and filled with flavor. Similarly the Green Pasta is a green pesto sauce with goat cheese and pine nuts. The service was fantastic and it certainly changed our first impressions of Columbus.
Or next stop was to check into the Hotel Indigo. This hotel is beautiful and very unique. We stay in a lot of hotels and my biggest complaint with them all is the dark hallways of the upper floors. They all have the same feel, except for the hotel Indigo. When the elevator doors opened I had to gasp at the bright contemporary feel of the hotel’s hall. Hardwood floors and bright colored walls filled with gorgeous artwork greeted us and led us to our hip modern rooms. Outfitted with comfortable furniture, a keurig coffee maker stocked with a variety of teas and coffees, and available upon request… a beautiful aquarium with fish.
Miles, the hotel ambassador dog gave us a warm greeting and melted us with his cuteness. A pet friendly hotel was something unusual and very cool. We can’t wait to come again and bring our dogs to meet Miles.
The rest of our stay was filled with delightful little shops, a tattoo parlor where Nick got some work done, and an ice cream museum with amazing ice cream. You will learn all about about soda fountains and mechanical music at Zaharakos.
All in all we had a great adventure in Columbus, Indiana. The local shops are unique and most of them take credit, however they are a little slower because everything is rang up the old fashion way. Some of the restaurants do not take credit, so bring cash.
Columbus is a quiet but cool little town. It’s great for walking around and checking out the town’s historic buildings. It is one of the safest cities in the United States and people there are very nice. If you are more of the outdoors kind of person, there is a canoe livery, Blue’s Canoes, that offers canoeing, rafting and kayaking trips on the nearby Driftwood River.
Have you ever been to Columbus, Indiana? What did you do and what did you enjoy the most?