5 Places to Find Peace and Quiet in Columbus, Ohio
The Topiary Park of Columbus
Described by the park's sculptor James T. Mason as "a landscape of a painting of a landscape," The Topiary Park of Columbus portrays the famous painting by artist George Seurat, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte." The park, built in the former location of the Ohio School for the Deaf, features 54 hand-cut topiary figures. A walk throughout the park is a truly unique experience, as visitors find themselves immersed in a living work of art. It has been said that the easternmost hill in the park provides the best view, so visitors should definitely head up there to truly take in the beauty of their surroundings. Located just minutes from downtown, the park is a place of relaxation in the middle of a high-paced world. Admission is free, and the park is open from April-November on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sundays from noon-4 p.m.
In Columbus if you're looking for a quiet place to get some work done, the Northwest Library is where you want to go. The library has free wireless internet and three study rooms, each one containing a table, a whiteboard, and seating for six. Those who want to spend some quiet time with a good book will enjoy browsing through the library's collection of over 200,000 books, as well as hundreds of magazines and newspapers. Once visitors find some good reading material, they can unwind in the main reading room, which has a fireplace and comfortable seating. The library also has a separate teen room, with study areas and seating where teens can work on homework or spend time with friends. Overall, the library has something to offer for people of all ages, and makes for a peaceful rainy day retreat. The library is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Blacklick Woods Metro Park
Balamurugan Sadhananthan/Wikimedia Commons
Located in the Columbus suburb of Reynoldsburg, the 643-acre Blacklick Woods Metro Park provides the perfect escape from city chaos. The park contains a variety of landscapes, with wooded areas, fields, and a buttonbush swamp. There is also a wealth of wildlife in the park, and if visitors are lucky they may catch a glimpse of a red-shouldered hawk, a great blue heron, or a white-tailed deer. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful walk or bike ride along one of the park's six trails, ranging from 0.1 to 18 miles in length. The park also lets visitors bring their furry friends along; dogs and cats are permitted in picnic areas, roadways, and on the 18-mile Blacklick Creek Greenway trail, as long as they are leashed. While admiring the beauty of the park, visitors will feel like they are in a whole separate world from the city they left behind. The park is open every day from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. during the months of April-September and from 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m. during the months of October-March.
ZenCha Tea Salon
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With two locations in Columbus, the ZenCha Tea Salon was the first specialty tea service in central Ohio. The salon is an ideal place to go for some peace and quiet, and it even markets itself as "an elegant, relaxed environment where you can spend quality time with yourself, your friends or family." Customers can chose from a variety of soothing teas, including mango bubble tea, Moroccan mint tea, and jasmine green tea. All of the salon's food is made in-house, with the menu featuring delicious dishes such as French Parmesan quiche, dumpling soup, and a tuna avocado sandwich. While customers enjoy their tea and treats, they can socialize with friends or simply admire the salon's peaceful, Zen-style environment. The salon's hours vary by location, with one salon being located downtown and another in the Short North neighborhood, which is immediately north of the downtown area.
Columbus Park of Roses
As one of the largest public rose gardens in the U.S., the Columbus Park of Roses is a stunning sight to see. Located in the neighborhood of Clintonville, the park is only ten minutes from downtown, but it's far enough away to provide some separation from the urban atmosphere. First established in 1953, the park has grown to include over 400 varieties of roses. In total, the park contains over 12,000 roses, along with annual flowers and herb and perennial gardens. The roses are at peak bloom in mid-June and display a second peak bloom in early September. Even if the roses aren't at their peak, the other flowers and plants may be. For example, the daffodils are in full bloom from March-May and some of the herbs reach full maturity in September-November. Each season there is something new and beautiful to see in the park, so visitors should definitely make a point to keep coming back to enjoy the serene setting. The park is open every day of the year from dawn to dusk.
Miranda Roehler grew up in Northwest Ohio. She studied Creative Writing and History at The University of Findlay and has been published in multiple international journals.