Ohio State-Michigan is the premier football rivalry in the Big 10. The perennial national powerhouses face off in late November each year in a game that often has title implications. The squads’ on-field battle is almost always close. But which city wins the honor of being the better place to visit – Columbus, Ohio or Ann Arbor, Michigan? Let’s start the clock on this hometown faceoff.
Architecture, attractions and history
The University of Michigan Museum of Art, which dates to 1856, features African art and inspiring outdoor sculptures. Downtown Ann Arbor boasts the famed independent bookstore Literati, which recently published the offbeat book Notes From a Public Typewriter. To view great architecture, visit Burton Memorial Tower on central campus, which houses one of the world’s few grand carillons in the belfry.
Traveling with kids? Take them to the Center of Science and Industry, where they can play on a replica of the space center. Those of all ages will appreciate OSU’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, covering everything from editorial to, yes, sports cartoons. Downtown’s LeVeque Tower, which houses Hotel LeVeque, Autograph Collection, once ranked as the world's fifth-tallest building, and it provides a stunning example of the area's Art Deco style.
Score: Ann Arbor 1, Columbus 0
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Food, drink and nightlife
Zingerman's Delicatessen remains the most popular restaurant for Ann Arbor visitors. Sample the ‘sandwich of the month’ on freshly baked bread. Wash it down with a spiked milkshake at Frita Batidos.
Land-Grant Brewing Company taps 24 beers down by Scioto River, and food trucks add to the fun atmosphere. Prefer a dive bar for postgame drinking? Johnnie’s Glenn Avenue Grill has cheap drinks and an old-school jukebox.
Score: Ann Arbor 2, Columbus 0
To canoe, bike ride or picnic, lovely Gallup Park is the place to go. Visitors love strolling the pedestrian bridges connecting small islands. West of the park, walk the Furstenberg Nature Area to experience local wetlands.
Walk or bike the Scioto Mile by the Scioto River, which winds past several parks. Finish up with a stop at Scioto Audubon Park, a onetime industrial zone turned gorgeous green space where many bird species flock.
Score: Ann Arbor 2, Columbus 1
Lodging, cost & walkability
While many chains have a presence in Ann Arbor, locally owned B&Bs offer a quirky alternative at reasonable rates. Burnt Toast Inn has a big porch and sits within walking distance of the city center, as do other accommodations. Ann Arbor Bed and Breakfast serves a daily breakfast buffet and rents bikes for local exploration.
Columbus is a bigger city and less walkable than Ann Arbor. It has several gorgeous hotels, such as the Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph, a Cubist-inspired destination that lends visitors bikes for free. Downtown also hosts the usual array of chain hotels.
Score: Ann Arbor 2, Columbus 2
Colombus: Born in Columbus Ohio, Guy Fieri is taking you to Flavortown
Ann Arbor: Iggy Pop, though he was actually born in Muskegon (nearly three hours away), this musical legend is definitely an Ann Arbor boy.
Final: Much like that double-overtime game in 2016, Columbus comes from behind to edge out Ann Arbor, 3-2