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Upper Arlington, OH, often celebrated for its distinctive blend of historical charm and contemporary suburban living, stands as a notable city in Franklin County, right at the heart of the Columbus metropolitan area. With a population of 36,800 as of the 2020 census, this city not only prides itself on its rich heritage, marked by the Old Arlington neighborhood’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places but also on its forward-looking community spirit. The city’s landscape, a testament to its early 20th-century foundation and thoughtful development, boasts curvilinear streets, ample green spaces, and a harmonious blend of residential and commercial areas. Upper Arlington’s journey from ancient Adena mounds through periods of significant historical milestones to its present-day status as a coveted suburban enclave encapsulates a unique story of growth, community, and resilience.

About Upper Arlington, OH

Upper Arlington, Ohio, seamlessly blends the serene allure of a well-established suburb with the dynamic vibrancy of the Columbus metropolitan area. Its geographical positioning to the northwest of Columbus affords it a unique advantage—proximity to the bustling city life while maintaining a tranquil residential ambiance. The city’s meticulously planned layout, characterized by its curving streets and green spaces, reflects the early 20th-century Garden City movement, promoting a harmonious living environment. The Scioto and Olentangy rivers frame Upper Arlington’s scenic boundaries, adding to its picturesque landscape, while nearby attractions like the Ohio State University and downtown Columbus are just a short distance away, offering residents and visitors alike a wealth of cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities.

The community of Upper Arlington itself is a tapestry of historical richness and modern sophistication. The Old Arlington neighborhood, with its designation on the National Register of Historic Places, stands as a testament to the city’s deep historical roots and architectural elegance. This area, along with the city’s other neighborhoods, showcases a diverse range of housing styles, from the charming older homes in the historic district to the more contemporary residences found throughout the city. The public schools in Upper Arlington are highly regarded, reflecting the community’s strong emphasis on education and contributing to the city’s reputation as one of the best places to live in Ohio. Moreover, the city’s commitment to maintaining high standards of living is evident in its careful urban planning, which includes maintaining generous green spaces and ensuring a high quality of community services, making Upper Arlington not just a place to live, but a place to thrive.

Upper Arlington History

The city of Upper Arlington, OH, has a storied past that traces back long before its establishment in the early 20th century, with its lands first known to be inhabited by the Adena people, famous for their burial mounds. This region saw a succession of inhabitants and uses over the centuries, eventually becoming farmland after the U.S. government awarded land grants to Revolutionary War soldiers. In the 1800s, this area was sold off as farm property to various families, laying the groundwork for its future development. The transformation of Upper Arlington from rural farmland to a suburban gem began in earnest when brothers King and Ben Thompson purchased land south of present-day Lane Avenue in 1913. Inspired by the Country Club development in Kansas City, they envisioned a community that would adopt a Garden City-inspired plan, emphasizing curvilinear streets and green spaces. This vision was briefly interrupted by military use during World War I but quickly resumed, leading to Upper Arlington’s incorporation as a village in 1918, with James T. Miller, from whom the Thompsons purchased the land, serving as its first mayor.

As Upper Arlington evolved, it adhered to a development philosophy that prioritized open spaces, park maintenance, and controlled development, fostering a distinctive community character that persists to this day. Despite grappling with racially restrictive covenants until the mid-20th century, the city has grown into a diverse and inclusive community. Upper Arlington’s transformation into a city in 1941 and subsequent expansions through annexations reflect its growing appeal as a residential area. Its history is also marked by the establishment of the Old Arlington neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places, celebrating its rich architectural and historical heritage. Through these developments, Upper Arlington has maintained its unique identity, balancing respect for its past with a vision for a progressive and inclusive future, making it a vibrant part of the Columbus metropolitan area.

Why People Love Upper Arlington, OH

Upper Arlington, OH, is cherished by its residents for its unique blend of community spirit, high-quality living standards, and proximity to urban amenities while retaining a cozy, suburban feel. The city’s highly rated public schools are a significant draw for families, reflecting a commitment to educational excellence that contributes to the overall sense of community pride. Furthermore, Upper Arlington’s dedication to maintaining green spaces and promoting a healthy, active lifestyle is evident in its numerous parks, recreational facilities, and community events that cater to all ages. This emphasis on education, community engagement, and an active lifestyle fosters a strong sense of belonging among residents, making it a desirable place to live for families and individuals alike.

Moreover, Upper Arlington’s rich historical backdrop, combined with its modern-day conveniences, adds to its appeal. The architectural diversity within its neighborhoods offers a visual representation of its evolving history, from the historic homes in the Old Arlington area to the contemporary houses that accommodate modern living. The city’s strategic location near Columbus provides easy access to a bustling city life, including cultural institutions, shopping, dining, and professional opportunities, without sacrificing the tranquility and tight-knit community atmosphere that defines Upper Arlington. This balance of suburban charm and urban convenience is why many people are drawn to Upper Arlington, seeing it as the perfect place to enjoy the best of both worlds.

The Best Time to Visit Upper Arlington, OH

The best time to visit Upper Arlington, OH, largely depends on the visitor’s interests, particularly in outdoor activities and local events. Spring and fall emerge as the most appealing seasons due to Ohio’s moderate climate during these times. Spring, starting from late March through May, breathes life into the city as flowers bloom and the green spaces and parks that Upper Arlington is known for become especially vibrant and inviting. This season is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the city’s extensive parks and recreational areas in comfortable weather. Additionally, the spring season hosts various community events, making it a lively time to experience the local culture and community spirit.

Fall, from September to November, is equally captivating with its cooler temperatures and the spectacular display of changing leaves, providing a picturesque backdrop for visitors. This season is perfect for those looking to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and cycling in a more serene and colorful environment. Fall also brings with it a series of local events and festivals that celebrate the season and the community, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in Upper Arlington’s rich cultural scene. Whether it’s participating in local harvest festivals or enjoying the tranquil beauty of the season in one of the city’s many parks, visiting Upper Arlington during these transitional seasons promises a delightful experience blending natural beauty with engaging community activities.

Top 10 Benefits of Living in Upper Arlington, OH

  1. Exceptional Educational Opportunities: Upper Arlington boasts highly rated public schools, providing excellent educational resources and programs for students.
  2. Strong Community Spirit: The city is known for its strong sense of community, with numerous events and activities that foster a close-knit environment.
  3. Proximity to Columbus: Residents enjoy easy access to the amenities, cultural institutions, and employment opportunities of the larger Columbus metropolitan area while living in a more suburban setting.
  4. Green Spaces and Parks: Upper Arlington prioritizes green living, offering abundant parks and recreational areas for outdoor activities and relaxation.
  5. Historical Charm: The city’s rich history is reflected in its diverse architecture and the Old Arlington neighborhood, adding a unique character to the area.
  6. Safe and Secure Environment: With its low crime rates, Upper Arlington is considered a safe community, ideal for families and individuals alike.
  7. Vibrant Local Economy: A mix of local businesses and commercial areas contribute to a robust local economy and convenient lifestyle for residents.
  8. Cultural and Recreational Activities: From community festivals to local arts and sports programs, there’s always something happening in Upper Arlington.
  9. High Standard of Living: With well-maintained neighborhoods, high property values, and a focus on quality of life, residents enjoy a high standard of living.
  10. Community Services and Amenities: Upper Arlington offers excellent municipal services, including public libraries, efficient public works, and responsive local government, ensuring a comfortable and convenient living environment.

Upper Arlington, OH Geography

Upper Arlington, Ohio, is strategically positioned within the Columbus metropolitan area, marking its place as a distinguished suburb with a unique blend of natural beauty and urban convenience. The city is located at a latitude of 40.0192° N and a longitude of 83.0628° W, embedding it squarely in the heartland of Ohio and the broader Midwest region of the United States.

Spanning an area of approximately 9.87 square miles, all but a minuscule fraction of which is land, Upper Arlington presents a compact yet comprehensive suburban experience. The city’s elevation stands at around 800 feet above sea level, offering a relatively flat terrain that gently accommodates both the built environment and its natural features.

Upper Arlington is bordered to the west by the Scioto River, adding a picturesque waterfront aspect to the community. This proximity to water not only enhances the area’s aesthetic appeal but also provides recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Moreover, the city’s terrain is further characterized by two notable ravines, Slate Run in the northwest and Turkey Run, which cuts through the city before meandering eastward. These natural features contribute to the city’s landscape diversity, offering scenic views and serving as a habitat for local wildlife.

The city’s location puts it within easy reach of Columbus, Ohio’s state capital and largest city, offering residents quick access to a wealth of cultural, educational, and economic resources. Upper Arlington’s proximity to nationally recognized cities like Cincinnati (approximately 100 miles southwest) and Cleveland (around 140 miles northeast) further places it in a strategic position within the Midwest, making it an attractive location for those seeking the tranquility of suburban life with the convenience of urban access.

Nearby Cities

  1. Marble Cliff – 0.6 Miles
  2. Grandview Heights – 2 Miles
  3. Valleyview – 3.5 Miles
  4. Columbus – 5.5 Miles
  5. Hilliard – 7 Miles
  6. Dublin – 8.6 Miles
  7. Bexley – 8.7 Miles
  8. Riverlea – 9.9 Miles
  9. Worthington – 10.2 Miles