Columbus, Ohio

Choosing Columbus for your SutureStar workshop offers you the best of several worlds.

Highbanks Metro Park

Our RNFA workshop hotel is on the north end of town, just across from the upscale Polaris Fashion Place mall, with abundant shopping, restaurants, movie theaters and even a bowling alley.

Want to get out in nature? The nearby opportunities are tantalizing. Depending on which direction you go, within a 15-minute drive from the hotel you can find three parks with hiking and biking trails through forests, meadows, ravines and/or wetlands. There’s Highbanks Metro Park, where a massive 100-foot-high shale bluff towers over a scenic river. Sharon Woods features towering trees, including some 250+-year-old oaks, and an observation platform overlooking a nature preserve. And at Alum Creek State Park, in addition to many trails, there’s a 3,387-acre reservoir with Ohio’s largest inland beach; boat rentals are available.

Then there’s the city itself. The state capital of Ohio, Columbus is full of interesting neighborhoods, due in part to multiple waves of immigration: Irish, Germans and Italians in the 1820s and ‘30s, African Americans as part of the Great Migration north after the Civil War and, more recently, groups from Mexico, Puerto Rico, India, Somalia, China.

Linzer cookies from Mozart’s, in the Clintonville neighborhood

What does all this mean for our RNFA student visitors? For one thing, food exploration! You can find Somali and African restaurants in the northeast part of town and on the West Side. Latino food is scattered throughout the area, ranging from Caribbean to Puerto Rican to Cuban, Dominican, Venezuelan and Mexican. There are Chinese, Thai, Nepalese and Tibetan options. And, going back to the city’s European roots, you’ll find Irish pubs, Italian restaurants at all price points, and many German restaurants and bakeries, along with Polish, Russian and Hungarian ones. European cookies, anyone?

Beyond food, Columbus is rare among cities for its mix of diverse neighborhoods accessible on foot from downtown.

Downtown offers public art, parks, museums, shopping, restaurants and a mix of interesting architectural styles. There’s a free downtown circulator bus and even open-air golf carts that you can flag down like a taxi (the ride is free, but tips are encouraged). The Columbus Museum of Art is one of the city’s most beloved institutions, with modern and contemporary European and American art collections and special exhibitions and events, while COSI, the Center of Science and Industry, is a hands-on, family-friendly science museum. Check out their Gadgets Café, where you can do simple hands-on experiments and disassemble old machines and computers.

A mural in the Short North Arts District

The Arena District downtown is the home of several professional sports teams, including the Columbus Clippers (minor-league baseball) and Columbus Crew (soccer).

South of downtown, the German Village Historic District is a neighborhood with brick streets and architecture dating from the 1800s. Check out the Book Loft—one of the city’s gems. Located in a pre-Civil War-era building that once housed general stores, a saloon, and a nickelodeon cinema, the business features 32 rooms of bargain books. The neighborhood features many shops, restaurants and cafes (don’t miss Katzinger’s Delicastessen).

North of downtown, the Short North Arts District is a happening area where you can see some 15 galleries, visit great restaurants and catch live music at one of the many night spots. The city’s historic Italian Village is located in this area and is a blend of historic structures and a park, with restaurants, cafes and breweries.  

German Village alleyway


To the west across the Scioto River with its associated trails and park, is Franklinton. First settled in 1797, the area is a hotbed for Columbus’s maker culture and independent art scene. Several arts collectives are open to visit and host late-night events in their industrial spaces. There are many restaurants and bars.

Finally, there are all kinds of opportunities to see great performances A flourishing Theatre District downtown includes refurbished grand old theatres and contemporary theatres hosting local professional theatre companies, Broadway shows, national touring acts, comedy, dance and more. Further south, in German Village, Shadowbox Live is the largest resident theatre company in the U.S., producing rockumentaries, dance theatre, and sketch comedy year-round.

The recently renovated Palace Theatre


Who knew your RNFA educational trip could be so much fun?

Call 800-922-7747 for availability and register today! Note: SutureStar Workshops fill up fast (specialty workshops, such as CV and OB, are even more limited).