A walking tour acquaints you with the city around you, helping you avoid disaster during future scavenger hunts and upcoming bouts of amnesia. Today’s Groupon gets you a few hours of steps closer: for $15, you get two tickets to the City Hop Tour from the Columbus Landmarks Foundation (up to a $36 value). The self-guided tour is available on Saturday, September 17 between 10 a.m and 4 p.m. and departs from the Neighborhood Launch Design Center on North Fourth Street.
The 12th annual City Hop Tour pairs downtown’s architectural ingenuity and urban renewal with anecdotes from enlightening residents as trotters saunter through the bustling Gay Street community at their own pace. Casting off from Neighborhood Launch’s sumptuous surroundings, sightseers meander across an eye-fetching spread of condo developments and private residences gilded with rendered metal foliage motifs, majestic Greek Revival columns, and lavish murals depicting timeless aluminum siding. Armed with a tour book and map, walkers can ambulate to stops such as oft-forgotten inns, ominous vaults, verdant rooftop gardens, and urban condos. Expert docents at each spot amplify the excursion by chronicling Gay Street’s salacious side, unspooling twisty yarns about foiled bank robberies, suspicious fires, and belly-dancing aldermen. An accompanying Urban Safari Architectural Scavenger Hunt yields big payoffs for hawk-eyed ramblers, as does the coinciding Independents’ Day festival’s celebratory salute to art, music, and entrepreneurship.