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Nicholas DeRenzo

The Ohio State University enjoys such an outsize reputation in these parts that it used to be easy to write off Columbus as a glorified college town. But now, the Midwest’s fastest-growing city is experiencing a boom economy that puts it on par with places like the Sun Belt and the Pacific Northwest. Established corporations and start-ups are moving in, the population is becoming increasingly diverse, and new attractions are offering some, well, non-football-related fun. The city recently celebrated the opening of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum and Otherworld, a 32,000-square-foot immersive art installation, while the food scene is drawing chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants around the world who are looking for an adventurous new audience to feed. And don’t worry: The sausages of German Village, the dive bars around OSU, and the lush greenery of Franklin Park are still there, just like you remember them.