Welcome to Dublin

According to legend, Dublin, Ohio, originally called Sells Town, was on the short list to become the state capital in 1812.

It lost the honor to Columbus, then called Franklinton, in a poker game.
Today, the upscale suburb about 20 miles northwest of Columbus is one of only two cities in the United States to have been named among Top Seven Intelligent Communities, and it has plenty of reasons to pull visitors away from Ohio's capital city.

Dublin's best-known attraction is the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
It also is well known for Muirfield Village Golf Club, site of the Memorial Tournament since 1976. Muirfield, designed by Jack Nicklaus, was named No. 17 among America's 100 top golf courses by "Golf Digest"; it's No. 1 in Ohio and among the top 50 in the world.

The zoo, named the No. 1 zoo in the United States by USA Travel Guide, has more than 9,000 animals of 650 species, and is known for its support of conservation projects around the globe. It includes a 22-acre water park, Zoombezi Bay, and the 18-hole Safari Golf Club.

Visitors also are drawn to Dublin for its 25-year-old Dublin Irish Festival in early August ("Like Ireland, Except Smaller"). The festival includes cultural activities such as poets and storytellers, Irish traditions and history, and entertainment on seven stages with all kinds of Irish music.

Nearby accommodations may be crowded during the festival, but are plentiful: Chains include Marriott, Crowne Plaza, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn, among others. Campgrounds also are nearby, including at Alum Creek State Park in Delaware, Ohio.

For nature lovers, Dublin has 56 parks for hikers, bicyclers and anglers. Birdwatchers might spot a Prothonotary warbler, also known as Flame of the Swamp, or a bald eagle along the Scioto River. Hikers might see deer, owls or other wildlife.

After sightseeing, hungry visitors might try Dublin Village Tavern, "Home of the Amazing Irish Egg Roll"; fish or pizza at Tucci's California Bistro; martinis, steak and chops at Hyde Park Steakhouse; or Northern Italian cuisine at La Scala. Other options are Amul India, Blue Ginger Asian fusion, or Mary Kelley's, where Boarshead Pub is decidedly Irish.

For dessert, visit Graeter's Ice Cream and its free, self-guided factory tour. Try chocolate and peanut butter Buckeye Blitz ice cream for a taste of the candy named for the nut from Ohio's state tree.