Page content

Recreation and Physical Activities Center

The RPAC has pretty much everything: 27,500 square feet of fitnessfour gyms with 12 multipurpose courts, 12 squash and racquetball courts, a track, five multipurpose rooms and an aquatic center complete with pools, saunas and a spa.  

Seriously, whatever you need, it’s at RPAC. Do yourself a favor and check it out.


North Recreation Center

Located conveniently for students, the North Recreation Center’s ground-to-roof window design offers natural light and views beyond wall TVs. You can also find inspiration in the former Ohio State standout athlete quotes adorning the walls.

The North Rec Center offers more than cool visuals, though: we’re talking three floors of fitness equipment, four multi-purpose rooms, outdoor basketball and sand volleyball courts.

Jesse Owens North

The Jesse Owens North facility has an old-school weight-room feel for powerlifters and cross-trainers to get those heavy gains with free weights, strength training and cardio machines. It also sports a basketball court, a matted court, a turf area to train on and dryland training equipment for dive and cheerleading clubs to hone their skills.

Adventure Recreation Center

The Adventure Recreation Center, which houses the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC), is a bit off the beaten path in more ways than one.  

Because of its West Campus location and parking lot, it’s a hot spot for faculty, staff and grad students, meaning it’s a bit quieter and a little less crowdedAnd while it has the typical array of strength training and cardio equipment, the ARC also has four basketball/volleyball courts, batting cages and two indoor turf fields for football, soccer and Frisbee clubs. 

Meanwhile, the OAC offers a ton of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors through equipment rental, trips and educational clinics. It also houses the Tom W. Davis Climbing Center, complete with its 4,000-square foot, 35-foot-tall climbing and bouldering walls. 

Ohio Union fireplace lounges

If you appreciate a social study setting, the Ohio Union fireplace lounges on the first and second floors are so you. The living room settings are bathed in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook a picturesque south Oval landscape.


Orton Library

The grotesques on the bell tower façade and the ginormous dinosaur skeleton in the Orton Hall entrance belie the quiet, quaint atmosphere of the Orton Memorial Library of Geology. Occupying the oldest library location on campus in one of our coolest and most historic buildings, the library is a traditional study spot that allows students to lock in and focus.

Grand Reading Room

Not one for heights? Want something more traditional? Head to the east end of Thompson’s second floor for the Grand Reading Room. This quiet study area overlooks the Oval and offers oodles of table space to spread out under the winged splendor of the Nike of Samothrace sculpture.

Thompson Library's top floor

Go for the views, stay for the meditative bliss. The natural light and variety of seating — from lounge chairs to rocking chairs — creates a laid-back, happy place.

The Stadium Rotunda

Before you step foot inside the ‘Shoe to cheer the Buckeyes on to (yet another) glorious victory, stop to notice the beautiful architecture of the rotunda. Then when you’re done admiring, get a selfie or two and watch the “likes” roll in.

The University Seal

The GOAT of Ohio State selfies? Probably. This seal resonates with Buckeyes across the world, across graduation years, and across social media accounts. It’s iconic. It’s timeless. All of the feels, one simple selfie spot. A can’t-miss, really.

The tippy-top of Thompson Library

Not for those who don’t dig heights, but the windows at the very top of the library offer some incredible views. The rooms up there are also very peaceful for studying, so when you need a break from the books, reach for the phone and snap a selfie.

The Brutus statue in the Union

Brutus is an icon, and a very busy mascot at that. So if you’re hanging out at the Ohio Union, sidle up next to his statue on the bench and snap a pic. We’re sure he won’t mind. Plus, you can tag him if you want! He loves the shout-outs.

The Wexner Center for the Arts scaffolding

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The scaffolding around the Wex really is that cool. The building, designed by Peter Eisenman, is full of architectural quirks, theories and accomplishments. The “scaffolding,” though, is one of the most striking.

The Lane Ave. bridge (at night!)

An after-hours selfie spot if there ever was one, the Lane Ave. bridge is beautiful all lit up. So whether you’re returning from some late-night studying, a basketball game or another sort of festivity, stop a moment to admire.

The Woody Hayes statue on Lane Ave.

While the man, the myth, the legend is no longer among us, his statue stands Buckeye-proud outside of The Varsity Club on Lane Ave. near High St. So if you’re strolling by, take a second and snap a pic of you with this university celebrity.

The Planetarium

Time to space out. And what better place to do so than at the Ohio State Planetarium? It’s been around since 1967 and recently went through some tremendous transformations. Now, you can zip around the galaxy and beyond without leaving one of the comfy seats.

It’s on the fifth floor of Smith Laboratory and offers programs that are guided by graduate students. Depending on the weather, the events even extend to the rooftop some nights, with the use of a high-tech telescope.

The Parker Dairy Store

Not sure if you know, but Ohio State had a hand in inventing the Drumstick frozen ice cream treat. It’s true. Two of our professors came up with the idea of coating the inside of the cone with chocolate so it wouldn’t get soggy. #brilliant!

So why not enjoy one at the Parker Dairy Store? Located in the Parker Food Science and Technology Building, you can grab a Drumstick, a sandwich, some chili and other offerings daily.

University Hall

Built in 1873, University Hall used to be every Buckeye’s one-stop shop. It was a library, classrooms, chapel and dorm.

The original building had to be demolished because it was deemed unsafe, but it does retain a lot of its originality: the clock tower, the entrance and pillars.

These days, this is the place to go if you’re looking to delve into the lives of Buckeyes of a previous era. Inside is the University Museum, and it’s home to some pretty breathtaking stuff. Tons of photos, memorabilia, even bricks and blackboards from the original building. Definitely worth checking out.

Orton Hall

Orton Hall is one of the oldest buildings on the campus, and with that comes some intriguing history.

This building is home to some really neat stuff. Around the belltower sit 24 gargoyles and grotesques. The building is made of 40 different kinds of Ohio stone —arranged as they occur in nature, oldest on bottom, newest on top.

Plus, it’s home to the Orton Geological Museum. Once inside, you can find over 30,000 specimens, including a 7-foot giant ground sloth and the skull of a Jurassic dinosaur.

The Ohio State Archives

If you’re a history buff (of just a fan of looking at some seriously cool stuff), the archives is the place for you.

The Ohio State University Archives preserves Buckeye history at its headquarters on Kenny Road. In addition to more than 2 million photographic images of university life from 1870 to now, the archives contains documents, records and mementos that are part of the Ohio State story.

Archivists also publish From Woody’s Couch, a must-read blog for those who love to soak up Ohio State history.