Columbia is the perfect community for any personality in any stage of life. A unique mixture of small town charm and big city bustle, Columbia is home to everything from exquisite restaurants, museums and theaters, to local dives, historic trails and state parks. For more general information about the public and private school systems, multitude of healthcare options, entertainment, sporting events, employment opportunities and other statistics, please check out our Community Links page. To learn the community’s best kept secrets from the locals, keep on reading. We’ll take you on our favorite tour of Columbia!
Kick off the morning right with a little exercise! For some flat, even terrain, head for one of the many MKT trail heads. Bike, walk, or jog along miles of smooth gravel pathways going through town, or connecting Columbia to surrounding communities such as McBaine and Rocheport. If you’re really in the mood to sweat, grab your mountain bike or hiking shoes and trek on down Rock Bridge State Park. A couple minutes south of town, the state park offers dirt trails, rocky climbs, wooden stairs and paths, and gorgeous scenery any way you turn.
Once you’ve worked up a sweat, and an appetite, head on over to Ernie’s Café for some of the best breakfast food around. Known for the bottomless cup of coffee, their menu has something for any craving. The homemade hotcakes and French toast are a must and the hash browns pair perfect with eggs cooked any way you like them! We guarantee your stomach will love you after this stop!
Now that you’ve rested and reenergized, take a look around The District. Just south of Ernie’s is Broadway, the heart of downtown. Venture down street after street of funky boutiques, art galleries and local craft shops. If you feel like taking a walk on the wild side, stop in one of the many tattoo parlors and see what they can do for you!
After all that shopping, you’re going to be ready to eat again. Head further south on Ninth Street and have lunch at an all-time favorite. Booche’s grills up what are arguably the best burgers in the country – no kidding! Not much variety here, but what they have can’t be beat. Just remember cash or you’ll be washing dishes, and don’t bother coming on Sundays, they’re closed for church.
We recommend a leisurely afternoon to let those burgers digest. Head to the Rag Tag Theater to catch the latest indie film, or walk south on ninth and take a look at campus. The Quad is a fantastic place to see how beautiful the MU campus truly is. There you will find the famous Columns, one of the most photographed places in the US. You can also tour the Museum of Art and Archeology in Ellis Fischel or the Anthropology Museum in Swallow Hall. If your stomach is growling again grab some ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery and take a load off in Peace Park or Flat Branch Park – both a short walk and still in The District.
For dinner, the possibilities are endless. If you feel like sitting outdoors, head for Bleu. Situated beside the Boone County Courthouse, it has one of the best patios around. Feel like some great beer, head to Flat Branch Brewery for some great food and even better micro brews. For the wine connoisseur, The Wine Cellar and Bistro boasts fabulous wine and food as well as an unforgettable atmosphere. However, if you are looking to keep it low key, Shakespeare’s Pizza is ideal. Completely weird and totally friendly, this place has beverages for all ages and plenty of pizza to go around!
If you haven’t had enough fun already, Columbia’s night life should just be getting going. Nash Vegas has an array of live entertainment and libations. If you looking for an incredible view of the city, The Rooftop just finished their super sleek rooftop club overlooking Broadway and Quinton's has a rooftop bar and patio with an exceptional view of Ninth Street. Just remember, no matter how much fun you have, take a cab home – we’d like the chance to work with you.
For more information about any of our tour destinations, visit our Community Links page! Hope you enjoy.