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It’s Homecoming week! It will be a battle of the Tigers Saturday with Mizzou taking on Memphis. Kickoff is at 3 PM.

 

PRE-GAME INFORMATION

Looking for a hotel room? If you’re having a hard time finding a room, call the City Contact Center at 573-874-CITY (2489) and ask for hotel availability.

Transportation:

  • Park downtown [parking garages are free on Saturdays] and walk to the stadium
  • Park downtown and catch a shuttle to the stadium
  • Check to see if your hotel is on a shuttle route

Shuttle information can be found at GoComoTransit.com

{Shuttles cost $1.50 each way, exact change is needed}

Find new game day gear here:

Grab a bite to eat: Look through our list of restaurants located in The District  opens in a new windowfor lunch or dinner before the game.

 

TAILGATE

A few tailgating notes:

  • Tailgating sites open at 8 AM
  • Tiger Walk occurs 2 hours and 30 minutes before kick off – this year Tiger Walk will begin at the corner of Mick Deaver and Champions Dr. and will be followed by a free concert from Nico & Vinz in the free fan fest area on Mick Deaver Drive, east of the stadium.

  • The stadium opens 90 minutes before kick off
  • Keep any pets on a leash
  • Drones are not allowed to be flown on campus
  • If you don’t have your own, ask a parking attendant for a free blue recycling bag
  • Make sure you have designated drivers if you serve alcohol at your tailgate
  • Just follow the rules and have fun!

Be prepared: be sure to follow the bag policy; the following options are allowed into the stadium:

  • Bags must be clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and not exceeding 12″ x 6″ x 12″
  • One-gallon, clear plastic freezer bags
  • Small clutch bags that do not exceed 4.5″ x 6.5″
  • An institutionally approved logo no larger than 4.5″ x 3.4″ on one side of permissible clear bag

Make this: Cheesy Shrimp Dip

Our Tiger Tailgating opens in a new window Pinterest board has more ideas for game day recipes, tailgating tips and games, and more.

HOMECOMING EVENTS

Campus Decorations: Campus Decorations will be held on Friday, October 19 from 6 PM to 9:30 PM

Pep Rally: Friday, October 19 at 8:30 PM at Traditions Plaza

Decorate the District: Each participating student organization will be partnered with a local establishment in downtown Columbia to decorate their storefront with Mizzou spirit. Take a stroll through downtown Columbia during the weekend of Homecoming to see the creativity of our current students.

Homecoming Parade: Please join us Saturday morning, October 20, 2018 for the parade!

WHILE YOU’RE HERE

We hope you’ll take some extra time to explore Columbia while you’re here for the game! Here’s what is going on around town this weekend:

ON STAGE

Songs for a New World Thursday – Saturday 7:30 PM and Sunday 2 PM
Studio 4 McKee Gym

It’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice or take a stand or turn around and go back. This moving collection of powerful songs examines life, love and the choices that we make. These are the stories and characters of today, the Songs for a New World.

Sweeney Todd Thursday – Saturday 7:30 PM and Sunday 2 PM
Talking Horse Productions
This brilliant gem in Sondheim’s collection of musicals is the perfect choice for the October slot.  The dark tale of a barber who takes revenge on those who wrong him has been wildly popular since its Broadway debut in 1979.  Multiple Tony winner.  Based on an original Penny Dreadful tale from the 1840s. Come see how Talking Horse creatively stages this show in our black box space!  Directed by Trent Rash.

LIVE MUSIC

Tom Petty Birthday Bash Saturday 9 PM
Rose Park

Yonder Mountain String Band Sunday 8 PM
The Blue Note

Styles Haury Saturday 8 PM
Nash Vegas

SPECIAL EVENTS

Missouri Autumn Carnival & Balloon Festival Thursday – Sunday
Cartwright Business & Technology Park in Ashland
There will be hot air balloon flights, glows, and tether rides back to the skies in mid Missouri. Balloons fly just after sunrise and a couple hours before sunset, during the event you can expect to see balloons around 7:30 in the mornings and 5:30-8:30 in the evenings. There will be a full carnival with rides for all ages, children’s areas, food and retail vendors for lots of fun throughout the weekend. The event site is the Cartwright Business and Technology Park, right off Highway 63 at the Columbia Regional Airport exit.

Centralia Pumpkin Fest Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM
Centralia City Square
We are hosting the Centralia Pumpkin Fest in Downtown Centralia. We will have free activities for families. Vendors, crafts, food trucks, pie eating contest, battle of the drummers, corn hole tournament and so much more.

CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS:

Stop by 300 S. Providence Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
Call 573-874-CITY (2489)
Tweet us @VisitColumbiaMO

Tag your photos #ShowMeCoMo! opens in a new window

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It’s Family Weekend and the Mizzou Tigers are facing off against the Georgia  Bulldogs this Saturday, 11 AM at Memorial Stadium.

Mizzou versus Georgia

PRE-GAME INFORMATION

Looking for a hotel room? If you’re having a hard time finding a room, call the City Contact Center at 573-874-CITY (2489) and ask for hotel availability.

Transportation:

  • Park downtown [parking garages are free on Saturdays] and walk to the stadium
  • Park downtown and catch a shuttle to the stadium
  • Check to see if your hotel is on a shuttle route

Shuttle information and routes can be found at GoCOMOTransit.com.

{Shuttles cost $1.50 each way, exact change is needed}

Wear Gold: Find new game day gear here:

Grab a bite to eat: Look through our list of restaurants located in The District opens in a new window for lunch or dinner before the game.

Be prepared: be sure to follow the bag policy; the following options are allowed into the stadium:

  • Bags must be clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and not exceeding 12″ x 6″ x 12″
  • One-gallon, clear plastic freezer bags
  • Small clutch bags that do not exceed 4.5″ x 6.5″
  • An institutionally approved logo no larger than 4.5″ x 3.4″ on one side of permissible clear bag

TAILGATE

A few tailgating notes:

  • Tailgating sites open at 8 AM
  • The stadium opens 90 minutes before kick off
  • Keep any pets on a leash
  • Drones are not allowed to be flown on campus
  • If you don’t have your own, ask a parking attendant for a free blue recycling bag
  • Make sure you have designated drivers if you serve alcohol at your tailgate
  • Tiger Walk occurs 2 hours and 30 minutes before kick off – this year Tiger Walk will begin at the corner of Mick Deaver and Champions Dr. and will be followed by a free Roots N Blues Showcase concert in the free fan fest area on Mick Deaver Drive, east of the stadium

tailgate map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make This: Loaded Cowboy Queso

Cowboy Queso Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Tiger Tailgating opens in a new window Pinterest board has more ideas for game day recipes, tailgating tips and games, and more.

WHILE YOU’RE HERE

We hope you’ll take some extra time to explore Columbia while you’re here for the game! Here’s what is going on around town this weekend:

ON STAGE:

Life and Literature Performance Series Thursday – Sunday 7:30 PM
Studio 4 in McKee Gymnasium

MU Theatre’s Life and Literature Performance Series 2018, Artistic Director, Dr. Heather Carver. The 16th annual Life and Literature Performance Series features cutting-edge original and adapted works by MU student authors, giving voice to emerging talent by staging a diverse body of new scripts. Come see an evening full of stunning solo performances, poetic and ethnographic works, original and even some classics with a twist.

Fun Home Friday – Saturday 7:30 PM
Macklanburg Playhouse

Based on Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir of the same name. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.

LIVE MUSIC:

Nick Schnebelen Band + The Mojo Roots Friday 9 PM 
Rose Music Hall; $6 advance or $8 day of show

Summerfest: Cody Jinks Friday 7 PM
The 
Blue Note; $35 GA

Cody Jinks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave King Duo Friday 7 PM
Café Berlin; $12 advance, $15 day of show

The Clay Creek Band  Friday 6PM
The Station House at Katfish Katy’s

Killing in the Name: A Tribute to Rage Against the Machine Saturday 9:30 PM
Rose Music Hall; $5

The January Lanterns Saturday 2 PM
The Station House at Katfish Katy’s

Ruth Acuff  Saturday 6 PM 
The Station House at Katfish Katy’s

OTHER EVENTS:

First Friday in the North Village Arts District Friday 6-9 PM
A FREE gallery crawl held the first Friday of each month in the North Village Arts District. Come explore the unique venues and enjoy the live music art and entertainment! There will be free entertainment and light refreshments.

CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS:

Stop by 300 S. Providence Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
Call 573-874-CITY (2489)
Tweet us @VisitColumbiaMO

Tag your photos #ShowMeCoMo opens in a new window!

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The Mizzou Tigers kick off this Saturday, 6:00 PM at Faurot Stadium against the Wyoming Cowboys.

PRE-GAME INFORMATION

Transportation:

  • Park downtown [parking garages are free on Saturdays] and walk to the stadium
  • Park downtown and catch a shuttle to the stadium
  • Check to see if your hotel is on a shuttle route

Shuttle Information and routes can be found at GoComoTransit.com.

{Shuttles cost $1.50 each way, exact change or a pass is needed}

Grab a bite to eat: look through our list of restaurants located in The District for lunch or dinner after the game. Our ultimate foodie checklist is great if you’re looking to try something new.

 

TAILGATE

Tailgating sites open at 8 A.M.

Tiger Walk occurs 2 hours and 30 minutes before kick off – this year Tiger Walk will begin at the corner of Mick Deaver and Champions Dr. and is followed by a free concert in Tiger Town. This Saturday’s featured artists are Ha Ha Tonka.

Be prepared: be sure to follow the bag policy; the following options are allowed into the stadium:

  • Bags must be clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and not exceeding 12″ x 6″ x 12″
  • One-gallon, clear plastic freezer bags
  • Small clutch bags that do not exceed 4.5″ x 6.5″
  • An institutionally approved logo no larger than 4.5″ x 3.4″ on one side of permissible clear bag

WHILE YOU’RE HERE

We hope you’ll take some extra time to explore Columbia while you’re here for the game! Here’s what is going on around town this weekend:

ON STAGE:

“Tuesdays With Morrie”
Thursday-Saturday 7:30 PM and Sunday 2 PM
Talking Horse Productions
Based on the best-selling novel, this is the autobiographical story of Mitch Albom, an accomplished journalist driven solely by his career, and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor.  Sixteen years after graduation, Mitch happens to catch Morrie’s appearance on a televsion news program and learns that his old professor is battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). Mitch is reunited with Morrie, and what starts as a simple visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage and a last class in the meaning of life.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Suicide Club”
Thursday-Sunday 8:00 PM
Maplewood Barn Theatre
Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher takes Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous characters and drops them into a story inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, The Suicide Club, to create a thrilling whodunit mystery that comes complete with a wow-I-didn’t-see-that-coming ending! In the heart of London, behind the impassive facade of a windowless house, some of Europe’s most powerful men gather to play a game. The game is murder, and this is The Suicide Club. But the club has a new member, Sherlock Holmes: brilliant, brooding, the greatest detective in the world. Why does Holmes wish to die? Can his friend Dr. Watson save him? Or doesn’t Holmes want to be saved?

LIVE MUSIC:

Summerfest: Chase Rice
Saturday 7:00 PM
The Blue Note

Thy Antichrist & Nevalra
Saturday 9:00 PM
Rose Music Hall

OTHER EVENTS:

First Friday

Friday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
The District

Paula Poundstone
Friday 8:00 PM
Missouri Theatre

CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS:

Stop by 300 S. Providence Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
Call 573-874-CITY (2489)
Tweet us @VisitColumbiaMO

Tag your photos #ShowMeCoMo opens in a new window!

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Have you ever visited or moved to a new place and wondered what restaurants you should check out or what to order? Us, too. That’s why we made this list of local Columbia restaurants and some of their most popular dishes. Print off the list and check them off as you go! Photos of the dishes are below:

Download the Foodie Checklist

The ultimate foodie checklist for Columbia MO


#CoMoEats opens in a new window

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by Danny Lee

Missouri has something for everyone, and for festival fans, Columbia is the place to be. From the Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration in May to the nearly year-round Show-Me State Games to the pageantry of football season’s Mizzou Homecoming, Columbia is prepared to show you a good time, and then some.

Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration

The sky’s the limit in May, when patriots descend on Columbia—literally, in some cases—for the year’s signature celebration opens in a new window of those who have served the United States’ armed forces. The headline event is always the air show, in which fighting aircraft from armed conflicts throughout modern history show their stuff to the delight of a vast crowd looking upward and shading their eyes against the bright springtime sunshine. Demonstration teams show off workhorse aircraft like the A-10 “Warthog,” T-28s, the British de Havilland D.H. 100 Vampire, Air Force T-33, the Douglas AD-1 Skyraider and even the 1917 Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” biplane. On the ground, visitors can get close-up looks at Vietnam-era Huey choppers, light observation aircraft and exhibitions by the nation’s military services. A parade on Memorial Day concludes at Columbia College Athletic Field, where the U.S. Army Black Daggers and the Canadian Armed Forces parachute teams make precision landings to kick off the formal Salute to the Nation Ceremony.

Art in the Park

It isn’t just about paintings. When the Columbia Art League sets out to create an art festival opens in a new window every year in June, the palette ranges from sculpture to clothing to fabrics to ceramics and, yes, paintings in every medium and genre. To occupy visitors between exhibits and sales kiosks, the grounds abound with roaming entertainers such as jugglers and stilt-walkers. Kids won’t be bored for a second with magicians and face painters available to amaze and delight them and lemonade, ice cream and other savory snacks to nosh on. The site, Stephens Lake Park, offers a lakefront boardwalk perfect for enjoying a leisurely stroll, and there are woodland trails to get a close look at nature’s own artwork.

Show-Me State Games

For athletes and their fans, the Show-Me State Games opens in a new window are the ideal proving grounds. In June, lacrosse, swimming, pickleball, soccer and volleyball are on offer. In July, the Games feature competitors in a wide variety of sports—archery, disc golf, power lifting, softball, synchronized swimming, volleyball and wrestling to name a few. Entrants want to walk away victorious, but everyone has the time of their lives, win or lose. The Games are hosted by the University of Missouri and grew out of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health. Columbia plays host to more than 30,000 athletes competing in the Games, including contestants from nearly all of the state’s 114 counties. That means the competition is extremely challenging but the fun quotient is even higher.

Heritage Festival & Craft Show

A visit to the Heritage Festival opens in a new window in Columbia doesn’t just turn back the clock, it turns back the calendar. Historically attired tradesmen and artisans put their skills on display, as well as their wares. It’s a rare visitor who doesn’t come away from this September festival with a handwoven basket full of handcrafted souvenirs and plenty of unique, happy memories. Entertainment on two stages gives a glimpse of the fun they had in Missouri’s early days. Back then, you couldn’t go down to the local cineplex for an afternoon double feature; people had to make their own fun. Not surprisingly, it’s still fun today to hear the singing, watch the dancing and listen to the tales of excitement and adventure relayed by gifted storytellers who seem to be left over from an age long before television and movies. On the beautiful grounds of Nifong Park, the festival leaves plenty of time to explore nature trails, the 1877 Maplewood Home and the Walters Boone County Historical Museum.

Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

As the early autumn air fills with the scents of fall, the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival opens in a new window adds its own savory notes of barbecue and bluesy music. Every September, masters of the twin arts of blues music and barbecuing descend on Columbia to tantalize taste buds and well-tuned ears with sweet music and food. The laid-back atmosphere is contagious at Stephens Lake Park for this September event; even the songbirds along the nature trails seem to trill along with the music, and it must be hard for the raccoons to stay hidden with the tantalizing scent of barbecue drifting on the breeze. Just as there are many barbecue recipes available, the music menu is always shifting, as well. It’s not unusual to hear gospel, rhythm & blues, country & western, swing and maybe even a touch of Dixieland for a southern tang. As night falls and both the air and the music get cool, the festival heats up with music fans flocking to the bandstand, hands raised, feet tapping and more than a few couples clearing out space to dance and dip.

Mizzou Homecoming

By the third week in October, football season is well under way, and the time has rolled around again for the University of Missouri Homecoming opens in a new window. Interestingly, it’s also known as the original homecoming—in 1911, the then athletic director put out the call for graduates to “come home” and support their alma mater in the annual rivalry game against Kansas University. Tradition doesn’t go much deeper than that. In this case, tradition also involves a pulse-pounding parade through Columbia and around campus, three big talent nights and the distribution of beautiful Homecoming Mums. And of course there’s the football game itself, a riot of color, cheering, marching band music and tailgating that together turn Missouri’s historic Faurot Field into the Midwest’s epicenter of football for the duration of this fantastic festival weekend.

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Discover music, art and good reads in downtown Columbia, Missouri

written by Jackie Tucker


My husband, Jake, and I are massive music fans. The 9th Street Summerfest in Columbia, Missouri, is one of our favorite music festivals of the year. We buy our tickets early, clear our calendars and drive two hours from St. Louis to enjoy warm summer nights filled with all our favorite music. Last year, we tried something new. Instead of just heading downtown for the concert in the evening, we had decided to make a day of it. As many times as we had been to Summerfest, we had never taken the time to explore the surrounding downtown area of Columbia—The District.

“Why have we not done this before?” I remembered Jake asking as we wandered down streets filled with sidewalk cafes, art studios and gorgeous old buildings.

Maybe it was the freedom of a summer day with no set agenda, or maybe it was the anticipation of the concert later, but the city seemed to be giving off a warm, energetic vibe that I was embracing wholeheartedly.

A good story

“Jake, look!” I pointed out a store window full of books.

I can’t pass up a good bookstore, and I could tell there was something special about Yellow Dog Bookshop. From the adorable name to the two children who were laughing as they walked out of the shop with their parents, I knew we had to go inside.

As Jake held the door open for me, he said (a little overdramatically), “All this happened, more or less.”

It was a running joke between us. I have this quirky knack for remembering the first lines of famous novels, and Jake always tries to one-up me. As I walked in, I responded with one of my favorites from Pride and Prejudice. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Jake grinned as he browsed through a stack of books on a table by the door. He picked one up and cleared his throat.

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.”

“All right, you win!” I laughed. It’s hard to compete with Dickens.

I made my way along the rows of shelves filled with everything from new releases to beloved childhood favorites. The smell of old books and the soft shuffling of pages took me back to afternoons spent at the library after school. And then, I saw my favorite book as a little girl—The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It wasn’t new, but it was in excellent condition. On the inside cover an inscription read, “To Anna: I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did (and still do). Love, Aunt Sarah.”

And even though I already had three copies of the book, I bought this one, too.

Local art scene

A few blocks away we discovered the Columbia Art League, a gallery of work from talented national and local artists. The art was eclectic and vibrant, a reflection of The District itself. There seemed to be something for everyone—paintings, sculptures and even handcrafted items. It was a visual feast that ranged from contemporary art to funky folklore.

“I don’t understand it, but I like it.” Jake admired a rather psychedelic painting with a turtle in front of a cityscape on a bright blue background. “It looks like it should be an album cover.” Jake is a graphic designer, and I could see his mind spinning with ideas. It was fun to watch his creative process at work.

As we explored the rest of the art in the gallery, I began to appreciate the fact that local artists created all these pieces. While I am certainly no artist myself, I do enjoy it and admire organizations such as the Columbia Art League that involve national and local talent and give emerging and accomplished artists a place to showcase their work together.

Music and lyrics

We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling the streets of The District, delighted by the lovely shops and restaurants around every corner. After a quick bite to eat at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, we made our way to The Blue Note. A crowd was filling the streets around the outdoor stage and the excitement was growing.

The Blue Note was the perfect spot for live music performances, small with a great bar. Jake and I discovered a couple of our favorite new bands there. It’s standing room only by the stage and the balcony seating is where it’s at if you want a great view. The intimate venue had amazing acoustics, but for 9th Street Summerfest, they took the party outside so more people could get in on the action.

Jake and I made our way to the stage, weaving in and out of the crowd. The energy was contagious. The band hit the stage and we joined in with all the other screaming fans. This may have been what we came for, but Columbia had delivered more than just a great concert and we certainly looked forward to returning in 2018.

Discover The District in Columbia.

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We checked out the photos posted around Columbia to find out what people are Instagramming the most, and there are definitely some favorite spots! Take a look at our list of ‘must-Instagram’ places in CoMo:

The Columns

Duh, right? Mizzou’s iconic Columns opens in a new window are the 2nd most photographed spot in Missouri – so obviously it’s a can’t-miss for any Instagrammer visiting CoMo.

City Hall

City Hall is a beautiful building but to make it even more Insta-worthy, there’s this unique Keys to the City opens in a new window sculpture in front commemorating Columbia’s history.

CoMo trails

We have 60+ miles of trails, and the MKT has even been voted the 2nd best urban trail opens in a new window in the nation. Lucky for us we also have a great Parks and Recreation department to keep the trails in good shape and looking beautiful.

Festivals

While not exactly a ‘place,’ Columbia is home to so many awesome festivals opens in a new window like Roots N Blues N BBQ, True/False Film Fest opens in a new window, Art in the Park, Citizen Jane Film Fest, the Heritage Festival, Unbound Book Festival, and more.

Capen Park

Capen Park opens in a new window provides picture-perfect views from the bluffs, and who doesn’t want to Instagram fall colors, a bluff-top sunrise, or cute pups on a hike? (We know there are daredevils out there but we do not recommend getting close to the edge.)

Memorial Union

The tower of Memorial Union was completed in 1926 as a tribute to students who lost their lives in World War I. One of Mizzou’s many traditions opens in a new window involves always tipping your hat and whispering when walking underneath the tower to honor the fallen soldiers. The tower is popular on Instagram because of the gorgeous architecture (and it reminds Harry Potter fans of Hogwarts, so there’s that, too).

Columbia’s Skyline

From parking garages, The Roof, hot air balloons… you name it, photos of Columbia from above are another ‘must-have’ for Instagram.

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Rock Bridge opens in a new window is kind of like our hidden secret: not many visitors know about the caves, natural rock bridge, sinkholes, and everything else that can be found in the park. There are eight major trails for you to explore – but definitely check out the plank trail that takes you to Connor’s Cave (Devil’s Ice Box is currently closed to protect the bats) and by the rock bridge for great photo opportunities.

Food from Local Restaurants

Nachos from Addison’s opens in a new window, ice cream from Sparky’s opens in a new window, Harold’s Doughnuts opens in a new window, Shakespeare’s Pizza, etc. We have so many delicious restaurants opens in a new window – foodies (and Instagrammers) rejoice!

Public art

Columbia is full of random art – traffic box art opens in a new window, wall murals, storm drain opens in a new window paintings, sculptures, and more. Learn more about our public art and how to take a self-guided public art tour from the Office of Cultural Affairs opens in a new window.

Honorable mention: The Big Tree

The Big Tree opens in a new window is just south of Columbia off of Route K, and is worth the short drive or bike ride. If you have never seen it, you’re probably thinking, “what’s the big deal about a tree?” We think the photos speak for themselves, but if you want stats: this tree is the largest bur oak tree in Missouri, and is around 350 years old, 90 feet tall, and has a circumference of 287 inches. It has survived floods, lightning strikes, and the occasional vandalism, and locals and visitors love stopping by The Big Tree for picnics and photos. Just trust us on this one.


What do you think? Did we include everything or did we miss something? Tag us on Instagram opens in a new window and use #ShowMeCoMo!

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Spend the day exploring the outdoors in Columbia, Missouri

By Danny Lee

Finding fun outdoors comes easy around Columbia, Missouri, where residents and visitors can explore a landscape crowded with parks, trails and other outdoor action areas. Columbia offers enough forest-y fun for any nature lover, from the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary to the wild appeal of the rails-to-trails Katy Trail. With a multitude of other invigorating outdoor venues, as well as facilities for more organized recreation, such as hiking, biking, swimming and casual picnicking, there’s an activity for everyone.

children bicycling on the MKT Trail in Columbia, Missouri

The MKT Trail, which connects Columbia to the Katy Trail, is a popular jogging and bicycling trail.

Finger Lakes State Park

All-terrain vehicles and woodland recreation coexist within the generous expanse of Finger Lakes State Park. Rolling hills, rippling waterways and forested glades thrill visitors who might never suspect that it’s all on reclaimed coal-mining land. A water trail accessible by canoe or kayak leads around the park’s lake, also popular with fishermen, and a pleasant beach is perfect for a refreshing dip after a hike or mountain bike outing through the woods. Visitors can lounge around the campfire and lay down their heads among the trees and quiet nighttime rustlings of a naturally wild environment in one of the 19 basic or 16 electric campsites.

Capen Park

The rocky topography of Capen Park takes Missouri outdoors adventure to another level. Rock climbers and rappelers love the challenging outcrops looking down on Hinkson Creek. Those who don’t fancy dangling from or clambering up and down the sheer limestone cliffs will certainly relish the tranquil, wooded trails along the creek’s flat-rocked path. One great place to enjoy the stream is from the graceful old iron bridge that crosses its course. Hikers love to sit on the bluffs looking out across the green and leafy property, tucked away in an in-town location that seems remote but is actually almost as convenient as your own backyard.

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

A short jaunt south of Columbia, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park showcases a variety of trails, wooded glens, hills and dales making up a fascinating karst landscape. It’s alive with sinkholes, crystal-clear springs feeding into streams, and the underground limestone features that jut unexpectedly into the open air or give way to yawning caverns below. Connor’s Cave makes a great self-guided exploration. Hikers, horseback riders and bikers share the 15 miles of trails tracing through shady woods and wildflower-sprinkled meadows in the park and adjoining Gans Creek Wild Area. Families gather in broad picnic areas and shelters and fill the playgrounds with happy laughter

At the heart of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park lies the popular Devil’s Icebox Trail. It’s a .5-mile loop boardwalk trail that features plentiful opportunities for nature viewing; it’s mostly wooded, shelters uncountable wildlife, and passes by sinkholes, a limestone glade, and a valley formed by a collapsed portion of the limestone caves that underlie the whole area.

Every level of hiking is available, from forested trails to well-maintained boardwalks, and you can’t beat the admission price: free!

Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary

Nearly 100 acres are devoted to the preservation of a large natural expanse that offers visitors to Bonnie View a beautiful getaway. Broad meadows filled with daisies, Queen Anne’s lace, bellflower and yellow corydalis open from woodland edges. Birdwatchers love the diverse landscape for its possibilities. Paved walkways and a modern shelter open the park up to enjoyment in all weather. The property includes the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, which has recorded 146 bird species in the area. In the spring the diversity swells with the arrival of migrating Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets along with flycatchers, many varieties of warblers, American Woodcock, and Swainson’s thrushes.

Katy Trail

At 240 miles, Missouri’s Katy Trail is one of the nation’s longest rails-to-trails parks, and provides Columbia visitors an excellent route to explore the state’s wilder areas. Tracking along the Missouri River, the trail serves bikers, hikers, and joggers 12 months a year, displaying brilliant colors in the fall, silent snowy vistas in the winter, wildflowers in the spring and a summer full of the relaxing buzz of crickets, katydids and yearly broods of cicadas. Birds and other wildlife make frequent appearances along the way; raccoon and deer, squirrel, chipmunks and opossum have their own daily and nightly rounds, which sharp-eyed hikers and bikers can enjoy keeping tabs on. The rolling Missouri serves up plentiful fishing holes, and fans of wild edibles will find natural treats no farther away than the nearest blackberry bush. The trail also features the MKT Trail, which connects Columbia to the Katy Trail.


With a variety of activities and outdoor venues, the parks and trails of Columbia are an outdoors paradise.

Explore the outdoors of Columbia.

#ShowMeCoMo

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Happy New Year! As happy as everyone is to leave 2017 behind and start fresh with 2018, we couldn’t resist taking a look back at our most popular Instagram photos from the past year. Looking through these photos, it’s clear that our followers love trails, trees, and sunsets:

January

dog sitting on a snow-covered bridge on one of Columbia's trails

@nelletheaussie enjoyed a snowy walk on one of Columbia’s many trails.

February

nighttime The Big Tree

The Big Tree is a popular spot for both visitors and locals. This shot was captured by @zachev7.

Marchcloudy day shot of The Big Tree surrounded by purple honeysuckle

Everyone loves to Instagram The Big Tree. Photo from @alissabriannephotography.

April

nighttime shot of The Big Tree

Seriously… you all REALLY like The Big Tree. Photo by @haley.robison.

May

the natural Rock Bridge at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park with extremely flooded creek

A unique photo of a flooded rock bridge at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Photo captured by @wrumpf.

June

sunset over the Katy Trail

Our Instagram followers love trail shots and sunsets – this post of The Katy Trail is the perfect combo. Photo from @kim_horgan.

July

stormy sunset over Columbia MO

This stormy summer sunset was captured by @duyhauvn, who has awesome Columbia photos.

August

solar eclipse photo with sun peeking out from behind the moon

Let’s not forget about the once-in-a-lifetime event that occurred in August – a total solar eclipse right over Columbia! We had visitors from all over the world, and the experience was truly amazing. Photo by @rgriffin89

September

Exterior of Fretboard Coffee building in the North Village Arts District of Columbia, MO

Fretboard Coffee, one of Columbia’s popular coffee shops, is hidden away in the North Village Arts District. Photo from @younggloomy_.

October

trees showing off their fall colors over the MKT Trail in Columbia MO

The trees really showed off their colors during the fall. This photo of the MKT Trail was taken by @allietea.

November

the Magic Tree, covered in holiday lights at the Village of Cherry Hill in Columbia, MO

We love our trees here in CoMo. This is the original ‘Magic Tree,’ located at The Village of Cherry Hill. Photo taken by Visit Columbia team member, Sandi Peters. 

December

huge 'magic tree' covered in holiday lights at The Crossing church in Columbia, MO

The Crossing Church introduced a new ‘Magic Tree’ to Columbia in 2017, and it is huge! The tree is 85 feet tall and was covered in 200,000 lights. Photo taken by Visit Columbia team member, Sandi Peters. 


Use the tag #ShowMeCoMo on your Columbia photos, and we might ask to share it with our followers!

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As it gets colder, you may be tempted to pass on date night so that you don’t have to brave the frigid temps, snow, and everything else Missouri winters tend to bring. We don’t blame you – it can be hard to find the strength to emerge from your warm pile of blankets (we’ve all been there). But just in case you start getting a little stir-crazy, here are some ideas for a winter date night in Columbia:

stephens lake park sledding

Sledding is not just for kids. Throw on a bunch of layers, grab a sled, and head to Stephens Lake Park opens in a new window. The hill on the east side of the lake is a popular sledding spot, and there’s typically a bonfire going at Collins Shelter when there is snow on the ground. You can also ice skate on the lake when the ice is deemed thick enough – there will be signs up and updates from Parks and Recreation opens in a new window when skating is allowed. When you decide it’s time to thaw out, stop by Lakota opens in a new window for your favorite seasonal drink and some hot soup.

food at Gunter Hans in Columbia, MO - pretzel bites, waffle, beer

Mix up your regular ‘dinner and a movie’ date night! Head over to Gunter Hans for Bretzels and Liege Waffles before a movie at Ragtag opens in a new window. Just because you ventured out of the house doesn’t mean you can’t hang out on a couch. Couches = cozy. Check the website for information on current movies.

Magic Tree 2010

No Columbia winter is complete without a visit to the Magic Tree opens in a new window at the Village of Cherry Hill. Get some photos and then warm up at Flat Branch Pub opens in a new window for dinner. Grab a beer (see what’s on tap at Flat Branch), and order your favorite. If you’ve never been, we suggest the Green Chili Chicken Fingers, the Flat Branch Burger, and the Stout Brownie Sundae. Yum. [Once the Magic Tree is gone, here are some other stops opens in a new window you can make instead.]

bowling

Two words: Lazer Lanes opens in a new window. They have bowling, laser tag, an arcade, BUMPER CARS, food, a bar… what more could you want? Make a contest out of it – whoever loses Lazer tag buys the winner fried Oreos (speaking of food, we want everything on the menu opens in a new window). If the onsite cafe is closed, go next door to Jose Jalapenos for cheese dip and tacos. Check out their drink specials online.

Les Bourgeois A-frame Restaurant

If you’re looking for a quick getaway, Rocheport is the place. Full of small-town charm, there are plenty of antique and gift shops and of course, the winery. Treat yourself to lunch or dinner at the Les Bourgeois Blufftop Bistro opens in a new window or pick out a favorite wine to take home with you at the Tasting Room opens in a new window.

Have we talked you into a date night? Tweet us @VisitColumbiaMO to let us know or to give us your date night ideas. Enjoy! #ShowMeCoMo

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