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Ohio’s state capital certainly has a lot going for it. It's full of friendly people and great minds, live music, and sporting events, shopping and museums, nature trails and gardens, arts and culture, zoos and parks, restaurants and festivals, and bars and nightlife. Columbus pretty much has everything you could ever ask for in a city, and you can experience it all for a lot less money and with far fewer crowds than some of the glitzier American metropolises.

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1. Snap a selfie with Arnie

You might think an 8-foot tall muscle-bound bronze statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger looks a little out of place in an Ohio city, but the former governor of California’s connection to Columbus is almost as strong as his famous Austrian accent. It all started in 1970 when he won the Mr. World contest in Columbus and befriended the event organizer soon after. To this day, the city hosts the Arnold Sports Festival, also known as the Arnold Classic, an annual bodybuilding and fitness expo.

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