We asked our friend, Fred Parry, Publisher of Inside Columbia magazine to give you a warm welcome to Columbia, Missouri. “Get ready for a weekend full of fun,” said Parry. “Whether you’re a fan of the great outdoors, a connoisseur of life’s finer things or you just like to party until the wee morning hours, there’s something for everyone in Columbia, Missouri!”
Parry added, “One of the things that you’ll be quick to notice about Columbia is our ‘over the top’ hospitality for Georgia fans.” “We don’t know why, but we love Bulldog fans! Don’t hesitate to ask anyone on the street for directions or for their personal recommendations. We hope you enjoy your stay!”
Here are a few suggestions from Parry for getting the most of your weekend in Columbia:
What is the first thing a visitor should do once they arrive in Columbia?
First you must check out the columns on the Francis Quadrangle on the Mizzou Campus. They’re the remnants of the great fire in 1897 that destroyed the university’s Academic Hall. Second, head over to Shakespeare’s Pizza for some world-famous pizza. After, stock up at Macadoodles, Columbia’s largest liquor store featuring a drive-thru window, while simultaneously looking for the Ozark Mountain Biscuit Food Truck, where you will discover unique sandwiches on made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits.If your still up for an adventure, grab a burger at Booches (just don’t expect it to arrive on a plate), which was named one of the top 10 burger joints by USA Today. My recommendation: order two cheeseburgers with everything, a bowl of chile and a tall mug of Bur Oak Brewing’s Boone County Brown for the ultimate culinary experience. To walk off your pre-game meal(s), visit The District (our downtown shopping area) and poke your nose into some of our unique shops, or stroll through Shelter Gardens, a botanical masterpiece on the campus of the world headquarters of Shelter Insurance.
What Are We Known For?
- Our impressive trails system! Bring along your bikes and spend a few hours on the MKT and Katy Trails. The MKT is one of the nation’s first and longest “rails to trails” projects that stretches between Kansas City and St. Louis. Enjoy a leisurely ride along the Missouri River where scenic sights and limestone bluffs abound.
- Our Local Breweries: You can’t go wrong with any of our local breweries. Bur Oak Brewing, Logboat Brewing, Broadway Brewery, Flat Branch Pub and Brew and Rock Bridge Brewing. Great places for suds with your buds.
- Our parks. Check out Cosmo, Rock Bridge State Park and Stephens Lake Park.
- Our hot Air Balloons: Ever since Columbia hosted the National Hot Air Balloon Championships in the 1990s, it’s rare to look at our skyline and not see hot air balloons at dawn and dusk.
- Our hotdogs and Rice cakes! *A couple of useless facts: Every Oscar Mayer Hot Dog and every Quaker Rice Cake is made in Columbia, Mo. Our town also has the distinction and benefit of world class health care. Second only to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Columbia has the highest number of hospital beds per capita in the United States. And, finally, thanks to being the home of the world’s first school of journalism, Columbia has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of reporters per capita. Watch what you say!
- The Bur Oak Tree on the Missouri River bottoms looms “large” in local lore. This 350+ year-old tree is a favorite gathering spot for late night partiers and lovers.
- Our ice-cream. How would you like to earn a major in making (and eating) ice cream? Stop by Eckles Hall where our food science students make Buck’s Tiger Stripe ice cream. You won’t be disappointed.
Best (TOP SECRET) Tailgating Spots
Check out the RV Parking at Reactor Field. We’re not sure there’s a connection, but this parking lot is adjacent to the only on-campus nuclear research reactor in the world. You’ll be “glowing” with delight by game time. If that’s full, head over to Lot G (behind the Stadium). There you’ll get to party next to the training facility for the University of Missouri’s famous Golden Girls. (We’re not talking Bea Arthur and Betty White, here!) If you want to be in the middle of the action, spend $30 to park on the front lawns of several fraternities located along Providence Road. You’ll be amazed at what those boys will do for a can of beer!
Favorite Places to Shop
- Check out The District located along Broadway between Fifth and Tenth Streets in downtown Columbia.
- Be sure to stop in Talullah’s. It’s a cooking maven haven.
- Poppy is worth popping into if you’re into local art.
- Blue Stem has a great selection of Missouri-made items, including wooden toys.
- Bingham’s is sure to suit even the most demanding man.
- North Village Arts District features an array of galleries that feature the handiwork of local artisans.
- The Candy Factory is paradise for chocolate lovers and those who appreciate handmade confections.
Best Place To Wind Down After The Game
Take the elevator to The Roof on top of the Broadway Hotel for a great bird’s-eye view of CoMo and an excellent place to enjoy cocktails and hang with the “in” crowd. If you’re not into rooftops, then stop by the Broadway Diner after the bars close and order the world-famous “Stretch.”
If you’re not into diners, then check out Columbia’s only secret bar, The Social Room, hidden behind Lips and Curls Salon on North Eighth Street. Pick up the pay phone next to the entrance, give the secret code and the bouncer will buzz you in. Don’t worry, there’s always some drunk college kid outside the door willing to blab the secret code to out-of-towners. If you’re not into going out, but need something sweet instead — go to Strange Donuts, which is open until 2:00 am and offers a variety of unusual hand-made donuts.
Favorite Sunday Brunch (in list form)
- 44 Stone offers fare inspired by a British Pub.
- Cafe Berlin with its awesome assortment of mismatched coffee mugs.
- Room 38 offers great food and is close to downtown hotels.
- Broadway Brewery offers live music during its Sunday brunches.
- Glenn’s Cafe is in the lobby of the Tiger Hotel and offers cuisine with a New Orleans’ flair.
- The Broadway Hotel‘s 11Eleven restaurant and rooftop bar offer a brunch prepared by award-winning chefs.