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zoooojenisicecreamgallhopBy Anna-Maria Thalassinos

Recently Columbus has made its mark both nationally and internationally with its various honors and awards

Columbus is proudly home to quite a few attractions such as The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which was voted #1 Best Zoo from the Besties Readers Choice in 2012. With 580-acres of space, this famous zoo features a wide range of animals and a 22-acre water park, Zoombezi Bay.

According to the NY Daily News,one of the nation’s top 25 spots for cool, creamy blends is Columbus’ Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. The shop is known for its rich, exceptional taste and unique flavors. The publication also named the city of the best ice cream cities in America.

In January 2013, the think tank Intelligent Community Forum announced Columbus as one of the world’s most intelligent communities, and was the only U.S. city selected for 2013. This means that Columbus is a role model for creating competitive local economies and vibrant societies in today’s hyper-competitive global economy.

According to the ICF website, after the “Smart21” Communities are chosen in autumn, ICF then selects the “Top7” Intelligent Communities for the year within that group.

ICF undergoes a rigorous selection process in order to select the Top7.

“Each Smart21 Community is invited to complete a detailed questionnaire based on ICF’s Intelligent Community Indicators as well as an annual theme,” the ICF website states. “An international academic team of analysts review the questionnaires, score each one on dozens of factors, and produce a quantitative ranking of the candidates.”

The Top7 epitomize models of economic and social transformation in the 21st Century. According to ICF, in June they will announce their Intelligent Community of the Year based on a second round of analysis, site visits by ICF’s co-founders and the votes of an international jury.

Named the #13 Arts Destination in the U.S. by American Style Magazine, downtown’s Short North hosts the trendy Gallery Hop the first Saturday of every month. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009, the Hop hosts over 40 galleries each month.

Although many shops are open earlier, according to the Short North website, the Gallery Hop officially starts at 4pm and goes until 10pm, with restaurants and bars staying open considerably later. While Gallery Hop fans travel from one gallery to the next, street performers provide spectators additional sources of entertainment for the night.