There are so many things that make Columbia a wonderful place to live and work — certainly more than 10, but if we listed out all the things you should do in Columbia, well, we would fill decades worth of magazines (see what we did there?).
Feel free to disagree with our list, but if you haven’t done one of the below things, just trust us and try it out. There is just something special about the energy at a University of Missouri football game and something awe-inspiring about the Big Tree. Better yet, when you do head to these local favorites, snap a pic and tag us. We can’t wait to see your experiences!
1. Attend an MU football game
Since 1926, Faurot Field has hosted countless Mizzou football games — and even more fans. While there have been notable changes, such as the new South End Zone complex, since its debut, some things haven’t changed, one being the school’s spirit.
But, even if you didn’t attend Mizzou, if you’re in Columbia, you have to attend at least one football game and if you want to sweeten the experience, host or attend a tailgate beforehand. Visiting with friends and family is one of the biggest parts of the experience, after all! When attending a game, don’t forget that only clear bags and purses are allowed — you can find some really cute ones at local shops! — and no outside food or drinks are allowed, with the exception of a sealed water bottle.
And, don’t forget to wear your black and gold. M-I-Z!
2. Shoot pool at Booches
Booches is home to the only actual billiards table in town — billiards tables are a little over 9 feet while pool tables are closer to 7 feet, among other rule and ball differences. It also boasts eight pool tables and two snooker tables, which are over a century old. If you’ve never heard of snooker, it may at first glance look similar to pool, but the only notable similarity is the number of pockets in the table. Want to learn more? Take a cue from the University and try the Missouri Method and get your hands, uh, chalky?
3. Look up at the Big Tree
There is room to pull over and park near the tree, but take care when walking as heavy foot traffic has compacted the dirt around its roots, which can negatively impact its longevity. We suggest taking sunset photos from a little further back anyway, to capture the majesty of this mighty force of nature.
4. Go to jazz night at Murry’s
Since the ‘80s, jazz music has been an essential part of this Green Meadows joint, with solo piano performances Monday through Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. with their “unofficial” house performer Tom Andes packing the house on Mondays and Wednesdays. Local favorite Leighton Rhoden performs Tuesday and Thursdays. But Saturday nights, Andes leads a jazz trio late into the night — and early morning — from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Some things in Columbia will never change, and one is Murry’s long-standing motto: Keep it simple and make it good.
5. Meander at the North Village Arts District First Fridays
The free event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. with a long list of participating businesses including Fretboard Coffee, Café Berlin, Artlandish Gallery, Orr Street Studios and the Sager Braudis Gallery. But instead of picking a few favorite places, or new spots to try, we recommend just showing up and strolling. Food and drinks are provided, but you may want to bring an extra large bag in case you end up purchasing some local art — trust us, navigating the catacombs with a handful of purchases isn’t as easy as it sounds.
6. Hear a performance at Pierpont
Every week on Saturdays — and sometimes extra days, just check their Facebook page — performers such as the Norm Ruebling Band, Flood Brothers and Lacey Burrell perform outside. The venue’s outdoor fire pit enables use through the fall, so on chillier days just cozy up with a cocktail and coat and relish in the ability to enjoy live music once more.
7. Make a road trip to Rocheport
For dining, the Les Bourgeois Bistro, Meriwether Café and Bike Shop and Rocheport General Store all have superb options. Downtown Rocheport boasts shops such as Art Off The Trail, Stockton Mercantile and Bee’s Knees Boutique with a wide range of offerings from antiques to small gifts. For an overnight getaway, locally owned and operated inns, such as the Mount Nebo Inn, are perfect for a couple’s retreat or girls’ weekend. Speaking of girls’ weekend, you won’t want to miss the winery’s A Frame, located on the same property as the Bistro. It’s open through October and overlooks the scenic Missouri River.
8. Do some spelunking at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
While cave tours at Devil’s Icebox are still closed to protect the bats, you can still do some cave exploring at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Just the descent into the entrance of the Devil’s Icebox is an adventure, with steep stairs and a rapid temperature drop. Be sure to bring proper footgear, a flashlight and jacket. If it’s a warmer fall day, the hike to the caves — both Connor’s and Devil’s Icebox — will make the cooler cave temperatures welcome.
9. Meet the Missouri River
Not far from Cooper’s Landing lies Boathenge. Even if you’ve seen photos of this art display, it’s definitely worth seeing in person. According to the official website, the boats were placed in the late ‘90s and like Stonehenge are 13 feet tall, 6 feet wide and 3 feet deep. The diameter of the circle they form is also equivalent to that of Stonehenge. Of course, there are some notable differences that we suggest you discover yourself.
10. Lounge at Logboat Brewery
Bonus: their space is pet friendly, so bring the pooches, too! Plus, Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co.’s new brick and mortar is just next door, so once you feel a bit peaked (or perhaps had one too many Shipheads) a southern-style biscuit sandwich is just waiting for you. Of course, the brewery hosts food trucks on certain dates, too.