Don't know how far from Columbus but it is 3 hrs (not towing) from Louisville, KY.
As far as the lake goes. The water is good and clean. The lake is a swallow but right now you can run just about anyway. There are also two channels and that run down both sides of the lake that are well marked. The center of the lake is the swallow part right now. Runs about 7-10 to deeper right now.
I would definitely stay up at the northern part of the lake (dam). The two best places to put in and stay would be Kentucky Dam village (marina) or Moors.
The Rock Quarry is our little party cove. It is the quarry that they used to build the dam and then it was flooded. It is straight across from Moors. Also you can head south to TN and go to some bars on water. It is about a 45 min boat ride (cruising around 50-55). Two places that we usually go to, Eagles Nest and Fat Daddys. There are some others that I haven't got to check out.
Check out www.kentuckylake.com for more info on lake, lodging, etc.
And one piece of advice, have plenty of cups on board. Water patrol does not like to see shiny cans.
Let me know if you need more info. There are few others on here that can add some info I'm sure.