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Friday Favorites

Happy 4th of July! Hope everyone is enjoying the day! Today’s favorites come from CVB Sales Manager, Gina Damico Landeck:

It’s Favorite Friday!  As much as I want to write this, I hate to think I’ll be moving away from this wonderful city in just a few weeks. But before I leave, I have compiled a personal top ten list of random things I’ll miss about Columbia.

Bangkok Gardens:

Bangkok Gardensopens IMAGE file

Voted “Best Thai and Asian Food” by Inside Columbia Magazine for a reason. Hands down one of my favorite Thai restaurants of all times. I love sitting at the counter, eating pistachios while they cook my Phat See Eiu (Drunken Noodles, with Chicken, at a level 3 heat). They know what their customers want and they do it right.

Clip Joint South:

Being able to trust someone with your hair is very important to a lot of women. I met Staci Mains when I planned her wedding 2007 and was coloring my hair from a L’Oreal box. She told me to relax and let her do the work. She’s an Aveda color expert and I haven’t picked up another L’Oreal box since.

Tropical Liqueurs: 

Tropsopens IMAGE file

(Photo of South location)

Where else can you close your eyes and have a fruity frozen drink (other than a beach)? The downtown location’s remodel has really brightened the place up. I love to mix flavors, dine on their buttery popcorn and buy a half gallon of mix to bring home. One word: Yummy!

Columbia Mall Alterations: 

Columbia Mall Alterationsopens IMAGE file

Sue is the best kept secret in town. For us shorter folks who need a quick hem, Sue makes everything happen at a reasonable price. I first met Sue in the mall 8 years ago, near the Target wing. She has since moved across the street next to Apple Tree Quilting. Sue defines the American dream of providing for her family back in Vietnam and is proof that hard work pays off.

Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital: 

Noah's Ark Animal Hospitalopens IMAGE file

Veterinarians are some of the most respected people on the planet. They care so deeply for our loved ones, and that’s why I love the husband and wife team over at Noah’s Ark. They even offered to come to our home when we couldn’t transport our dog to their clinic and made a donation in his honor when he passed. I can never forget that generosity and compassion as long as I live.

Women’s Health Associates: 

Again, another topic women can appreciate. The doctors and nurses of this practice understand and listen to the patient. I don’t have a general doctor so they answer all my questions, even those related to the common cold. Although I’m done having children, I would recommend Dr. Kevin Jones to every woman I know.

Daniel Boone Little League:

When my husband and I moved to Columbia we lived in a subdivision called Georgetown. Our street happened to back up to this amazing ball field complex. As we had our children, I knew that’s where I wanted them to play. There’s just something about the crack of the bat and the parents’ cheering that puts a smile on my face.

Columbia Performing Arts:

Columbia Performing Artsopens IMAGE file

This favorite relates to our children, or maybe the fact that I was a dancer in my youth. I enrolled our daughter into her first dance class at the age of 6. In two years, this prestigious arts centre has grown into 12 dance studios, and they now have their own 700 seat theater. They have an award-winning competition team, and 100% of all ticket sales for their May recitals go to local charities.

True/False Film Fest: 

True False parade1 2014 Photos-3 -Elise

(Photo of 2014 True/False Parade “March March”)

I was one of the people who had heard about it but never went, UNTIL this year. Wow, did I miss out! Mark your calendars for March 5-8, 2015! These documentaries are unbelievable and raw. The producers, directors and subjects answer questions at the end of the screening, just like at the highly publicized Sundance Film Festival.  You will get a whole new perspective of certain topics, trends, beliefs and/or history.

My friends, my community:


(CVB staff members, left to right: Gina, Beth Mead, Terra Crane, Julie Ausmus)

The relationships I have made here are priceless. My co-workers past and present, my neighbors, my church family, my children’s teachers and daycare provider are just some of the people I’ll truly miss. The places are endless but the people are rare. I will treasure Columbia and visit frequently because it’s what you unexpect!

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Gone Fishin’

Today is National Go Fishing Day! To help you celebrate, we’ve put together some information on fishing in Columbia.

Stephens Lake Park fishingopens IMAGE file

 (Photo courtesy of Columbia Parks and Recreation)

City Parks:

Stocked by Missouri Department of Conservation unless otherwise noted

American Legion Lake (not stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation)
602 S. Legion Ln.
Acres for fishing – 0.25

Antimi Lake 
Cosmo Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 W.
Acres for fishing – 1.25
Fish include bass, catfish, sunfish, and crappie

Cosmo-Bethel Park
4500 Bethel St.
Acres for fishing – 7
Fish include bass, catfish, crappie, and trout

Lake of the Woods Recreation Area
7600 St. Charles Rd.
Acres for fishing – 2
Fish include bass, catfish, sunfish, and crappie

Nickell Lake (not stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation)
L.A. Nickell Golf Course, 1800 Parkside Dr.
Acres for fishing – 1.25 acres

Nifong Park (not stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation)
2900 E. Nifong Blvd.
Acres for fishing – 1.5

Philips Lake
5050 Bristol Lake Parkway
Acres for fishing – 40
Fish include bass, catfish, and sunfish
*Handicap accessible dock

Stephens Lake Park
2001 E. Broadway
Acres for fishing – 11
Fish include catfish, crappie, bass, and sunfish
*2 Handicap accessible docks

Twin Lakes Recreation Area
2500 Chapel Hill Rd.
Acres for fishing – 26
Fish include catfish, bluegill, crappie, bass, and sunfish
*Handicap accessible dock

Missouri Department of Conservation areas:

Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area
6700 West Rte. K
4 miles of stream, 5 miles of river (Missouri River)
Fish include catfish, carp, buffalo, drum, and crappie

Hinkson Woods Conservation Area
On MKT: 1 mile east of Scott Blvd access, 1 mile west of Forum Blvd access
2 miles of stream
Fish include bass, catfish, sunfish, and crappie

Rocky Fork Conservation Area
3500 E. Gans Rd.
Acres for fishing – 300
Fish include bass, catfish, crappie, and sunfish

Three Creeks Conservation Area
Deer Park Rd. off of Hwy 63
9 miles of streams
Fish include bass and sunfish

Other fishing spots:

Cooper’s Landing – 11505 Smith Hatchery Rd.
Katfish Katy’s – 8825 Sarr St.
Finger Lakes State Park – 1505 E. Peabody Rd.

For information on City Park fishing regulations, click here.
For more information on state fishing regulations and permits, click here.

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Friday Favorites

It’s Friday! Today’s favorites come from Beth Mead, CVB Sales and Marketing Manager. Her list is all about her “summer in Columbia” favorites:

Patio Dining:


(Photo of Bleu’s patio)

Columbia has amazing restaurants with great food. That is good news for us COMO diners year round. In the summer, we have great food on great patios. Even better! Some of my favorite patio- dining spots are Bleu, Sophia’s, Flat Branch, Les Bourgeois and Las Margaritas. So many patios, so little summer….

Kids Playing Outside:

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(Photo of Flat Branch Spraygrounds)

It’s a beautiful summer day and I’m stuck inside working at my desk. You know what makes that all better? Opening my window and working to the sounds of happy children playing in the spray grounds at Flat Branch Park. Suddenly, I am transported back to my childhood, running through a sprinkler in my front yard.

Ice Cream:


(Photo of Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream)

What is summer without ice cream? Of course, you can always make ice cream if you have enough time. Why bother, though? Columbia has more than enough ice cream spots to keep you going all summer long. My family’s favorites are Sparky’s, Randy’s, Andy’s, yogoluv and Buck’s Ice Cream at Mizzou.

Less People:

Hinkson Creek Trail

(Photo of bicycle rider on Hinkson Creek Trail)

This may sound odd for someone who spends their time encouraging people to visit Columbia, but I do love summer in Columbia. It’s quiet and peaceful; it takes less time to go from place to place. There are shorter lines everywhere-at the theater, the ice cream stand, your favorite coffee shop. Even the trails are less crowded.

The Arts Keep Going:

Art in the Park 2011 photo courtesy Art in the Park

(Photo of art at Art in the Park)

There may be fewer people in Columbia in the summer, but the Columbia arts scene doesn’t take a vacation. Summer kicks off with Art in the Park followed by the Blind Boone Festival, not to mention great stage productions at Maplewood Barn Theater, Summer Repertory Theater at Mizzou and Columbia Entertainment Company.

Flowers Everywhere:

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(Flowers in front of Flat Branch Park sign)

The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department does a fantastic job of creating beautiful garden spots in our public spaces. Whether you are walking or driving downtown, you can’t help but notice the bright plantings all over downtown. Also, next time you are taking your kids to the pool, or hurrying in to a tee-ball game, look around you. You are walking past colorful displays at the entrances to these places. Even if you don’t have time to stop and smell the flowers, you can enjoy them as you drive by: at the roundabout, the stoplight and the “Adopt a Spot” median plantings all over town.

Farmers Markets:

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(Photo of Columbia Farmers Market)

I love getting up early and going to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. I especially love the Farmers Market in the summer when there is so much variety with all the tasty summer fruits and vegetables. It gets my Saturday off to a great and healthy start and I am much more productive on those Saturdays. But…here’s a little secret: sometimes, I like to stay up LATE on Friday night and then I don’t love getting up early on Saturday. No problem. Columbia has a Sunday Farmers Market too. It’s open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, so I can play late on Friday and not miss out on my tasty summer market finds.

The Library:

Columbia Public Libraryopens IMAGE file

(Photo of Columbia Public Library)

I know that going to the library isn’t just a summer activity. The library is open all year. But there’s something special about visiting the library in the summer. I see all the kids checking out reading books with their parents and it reminds me of the time I spent browsing through my hometown library’s bookshelves with my mom and going to the morning “story time” once a week. Is there a better place to read a good book than outside on a sunny summer day?

Summer Welcome:

Mizzou Cornell

(Trulaske College of Business – University of Missouri. Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

Okay, I know that I said I liked less people in Columbia in the summer. That’s true, but there’s just something about watching families visit Columbia in preparation for the upcoming school year. At the CVB, we get a lot of parents in our lobby during Summer Welcome asking questions about Columbia – where to live, what to do, where to eat. They are so excited to be here and when talking with them and answering their questions, I get excited to be here all over again. Every time.

Mugs Up:

Mugs Upopens IMAGE file

(Mugs Up at 603 Orange Street)

It seems like I’ve spent a lot of time talking about food: patios, ice cream, farmer’s markets.  Mugs Up is more than food, though, it’s an experience. If you’ve never been to Mugs Up, it is a small family operated drive-in located on Orange Street.  Their signature style loose meat “zip burgers” are tiny but tasty and their home made root beer served in thick glass mugs is just like root beer should be. Mugs Up: car hops serving hot delicious burgers, fries and root beer to your car window since 1955.

Summer Concerts:


(9th Street Summerfest, photo courtesy of The Blue Note)

Columbia is a great music town all year, but I think our summer concerts are special. The variety is amazing; from high energy crowds jammed together on Ninth Street during Summerfest events to low-key, family friendly Sunday night concerts in Shelter Gardens, we have it all. If it gets too hot for you, duck into the Missouri Theatre for the Missouri Symphony Society’s Hot Summer Nights performances.

Let us know what you think of Beth’s favorites, and don’t forget to check back with us next week for more Friday Favorites!

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