Both Kiel and I were born and raised in Columbus, OH. We parted ways with this city briefly during college to give the south a try and it just didn't feel right. We couldn't be gone long from our family, friends, and the bustling growth and opportunity in Columbus. We both grew up in a large Northwest suburb with the typical suburban life. While I'm grateful for our family home and upbringing, the safety and security that it brought, when it came to choosing a neighborhood for our first house, we set our sights on a more diverse community and urban locale. We rented one half of a duplex in Clintonville my senior year of college at The Ohio State University. We were close enough to school and the hospital (where I did clinicals and worked part time and still currently work) but far enough off campus to not hear partying until 2am. It's central location has been the perfect distance to get just about anywhere in Columbus in under 25 minutes (Northwest to our parents' homes, Southeast for Kiel's workplace). We lived in the quaintest little Victorian era duplex with a beautiful yard and within walking distance to parks, restaurants, and the grocery store. We found ourselves slowly fixing up our rental and realized it was time to move into a place of our own where our work could become an investment. We fell in love with Clintonville that year and after graduation, we started searching for a home of our own. We finally settled on our 1918 bungalow in the south Clintonville area and this August it will be 7 years since we moved in. In that time we have watched the area go through major growth. We are so happy to call this area home along with the growing and already well loved and established local business and wonderful people and community that we share this great neighborhood with!
Choosing a place to call home isn't easy. When it comes to home buying, there are so many options and locations it's hard to chose the right place. Will this house we like in the city be big enough? Is this condo in the suburbs too small? Where do we start? How much is my current home worth? How can I get pre-approved? These are the questions that went through my head (and still do on an almost daily basis) when we set out to buy our first home several years ago. Thankfully, HER Realtors is there to help answer all those questions with their user friendly website which includes a live chat to help you navigate what you need. Whether you're buying, selling, or just wondering what your options are, it never hurts to talk to an expert!
While you're thinking about moving, I want to share with you the top 10 things I love about our neighborhood. It's been hard to keep it to 10 so you may have to keep an eye out for round 2! Here's what I think is the best of what Clintonville has to offer for our young growing family. These are my favorites and I am sure there are tons more that others can add to this list!
10. Antiques- This is probably what first attracted me to the neighborhood of Clintonville. The quaint little antique shops like Eclectiques and Down Memory Lane that have lined High St. in South Clintonville since I can remember. I visited them with my mother when I was younger and I remember imagining how I would grow up and have a place of my own and shop at shops like this one day. And several years later, half the pieces that furnish my house were purchased at Eclectiques. Other great places have since popped up like Elm & Iron, Bundle, and I am eagerly awaiting the opening of Vintage Toast!
9. Pizza- I couldn't imagine a spot with better pizza options! From the super affordable Hounddogs Pizza that pairs great with a pitcher of beer to the gourmet specialty Pizza at Harvest and everything in between. Your options are endless! A few of my favorites include Clintonville Pizza Primo (our Friday night go to spot, especially during the Indianola Stroll), Smith's for a family friendly vibe, or even pizza by the slice at Lucky's during an evening grocery trip.
8. Lucky's Market- Definitely my favorite grocery shop in the 'ville second to Weiland's (which takes the top for their prepared foods and beer selection). Since we live in the south Clintonville area we frequently walk to get our groceries at Lucky's and let Evan push around his own cart. While grocery shopping with your kids can sometimes be a struggle, they employees are all super friendly, engaging, and helpful. The meat selection at Lucky's is definitely my favorite and I probably go there at least twice a week to stock up on fresh produce!
7. Breakfast- Boy does Clintonville do breakfast! While there may be some great breakfast spots all around Columbus, we have an abundance of options for the best meal of the day here! Wildflower Cafe, Dough Mama (love love love this one), The Crest brunch, Jack & Benny's (right outside the 'ville but super close if you're in South Clintonvile), Nancy's, and the new Flowers and Bread (because all I need for breakfast is a great cup of coffee and a huge loaf of this delicious bread) just to name a few. While this isn't an all inclusive list, these are my personal favorites and definitely keep us busy on weekend mornings!
6. Studio 35- How many other neighborhoods can boast a quaint cinema and drafthouse? And how many other Cinema's and Drafthouses host Bring Your Baby to the Bar events and a summer kids series? I think I've said enough!
5. Ice Cream- Clintonville also does Ice Cream. Jeni's, Whit's, and even a walk over the the little DQ on the edge of south Clintonville. While these aren't all exclusive to Clintonville, they are still some great options. Plus the whole evening summer ice cream season has got me all excited over here now that I have some kids to enjoy it with!
4. Beer- Clintonville is quickly becoming the it place for craft beer lovers. Whether you're looking to fill your growler with an endless selection at Savor or Growl, or you want to try out the seasonal micro brews at Lineage, there is something for every kind of craft beer lover. Enjoy happy hour with half off beers at The Crest or indulge in a beer and pepper burger at O'Reilly's Pub. Or have a beer and catch a show at Studio 35. To finish, crawl up High St. and stop at the iconic Bob's Bar on your way out of the 'ville.
3. Weiland's- Speaking of beer (or liquor), their selection is top notch (and they fill growlers too!). There's so much to chose from and always so little time to decide (or maybe that's just me when shopping with kids!). I also can't quite help myself when it comes to their prepared foods section. It is my go to for parties and BBQs. We just had their german potato salad and it was superb! And guess what?! The Peach Truck will be there this Saturday 6/3. They also just recently started carrying frozen Sophie's Pierogies (our favorite). No matter where you live in Columbus, this is a must shop! I just love shopping there, seeing all the familiar employees and owners engaging with customers, and trying out the best of the local artisan chefs and bakers.
2. Whetstone-The Park of Roses, the library, the community center. There's so much to do here with family. Whether it's enjoying the outdoors on a nature walk or bike ride, or taking classes at the community center or attending storytime at the library, there's always something to keep our family engaged and entertained!
1. Clintonville Farmers' Market- Running yearly from April to November, the Clintonville Farmers' Market is easily my favorite and one of the best Farmers' markets in Central Ohio. We go almost every Saturday to stock up on fresh florals, veggies, bread, cheese, and meats. We also stop by the quaint little Colonial Candy shop, Global Gallery, and Wholly Craft right there on the shopping strip. There is always live music and a wonderful vibe. It's a guaranteed good time for the whole family- the kids can walk off energy while we get to shop and mingle with friends and neighbors. The perfect way to kick off the beginning of the weekend.
Do you have a fun home buying or renting story? Share with us what attracted you to your neighborhood by commenting below and sharing this post on your social media. One winner will be selected at random to win a $25 gift card for the new Flowers and Bread in Clintonville. Please leave an email address in the comments if you have not signed in with Disqus so we can get in touch to mail you the card.