Inside Columbia


Escape: Take a Quick Getaway to These Local Lodgings

By Jordan Durham
loft tub yellow low

Photos Courtesy of Amy Higgins Stambaugh, Angad Arts Hotel, Bryan and Catina Topash, Evolve

Now that the holidays have wound down, the winter months truly start setting in. While some thrive during the wet and cold weeks, others dream of warmer days with beach vacations.

Though mid-Missouri traditionally lacks such summery opportunities during this time, there are still several options for amazing staycations in the surrounding area. Luckily, with so many options, your decision merely depends on your preferences on everything from atmosphere to driving distance.

We’ve collected a diverse list of hotels, guesthouses and cabins nearby, so you can find one that suits your style (or maybe one you haven’t heard of before) or allows you to explore. Instead of hunkering down for the entire winter, this list hopefully will help you stave off the winter blues. Happy staycation!

sweet hills guesthouse

Sweet Hills Farm Guesthouse
Columbia, Missouri
10 minutes from Columbia
Nightly rate: $180—$260

For a rural stay only minutes away from Columbia’s downtown, Sweet Hills Farm Guesthouse is the idyllic and cozy place for a home-away-from-home experience. The property provides hik- ing and mountain biking trails, with a creek and cliff to explore. It also includes a healthy population of sugar maple trees where, in the late winter, guests can watch the maple syrup production if the sugar shack is fired up.

“The proximity to Columbia makes it nice to sneak away without having to travel too far,” says owner Amy Higgins Stambaugh. “With trails to explore, the winter snowfall can be quite a treat.”

A loft allows room to practice yoga, work out and play music or games. If you are a grill master, a wraparound deck means great views while cooking up din- ner. Plenty of wildlife can be seen from the deck, in addition to beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

“Our place sits about three-fourths of a mile off the main gravel road, so there are plenty of stars to take in, and it is very quiet and peaceful,” Higgins Stambaugh says.

wp lakefront

Lakehouse A-Frame Cabin with Community Perks
Columbia, Missouri
10 minutes from Columbia
Airbnb and Vrbo
Average nightly rate: $451

Perhaps a picture-perfect lakeside stay is exactly what you are looking for during the winter months — even if the lake is too cold for swimming. The Lakehouse A-Frame Cabin with Community Perks offers plenty of amenities along with its gorgeous view, including a fully equipped kitchen, smart TV and open-concept interior.

“Guests have raved about the cabin’s location and how comfortable it is for families,” says Ashley Taylor, senior manager of communications at Evolve. “It’s the perfect place for peaceful lakeside coffees, hikes through the woods and even urban exploration.”

The house accommodates up to 16 people if you are bringing a large group of friends or family and are looking for extra space. It in- cludes three bedrooms — one with a king and two with a queen bed. Additional sleeping in the living room includes two double sofa beds and in the loft with four twin beds. Do any furry members of the family or friend group want to join? The house is pet friendly for an additional fee.

Hopefully, a nice day greets Columbia during these wintry months, and then you can enjoy the outdoor community perks the house has to offer, such as picnic tables, a fire pit, a playground and beach access.

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Hotel Frederick
Boonville, Missouri
35 minutes from Columbia
Nightly rate: $125—$300

In a building that is 118 years old, surprises are found around every corner. Hotel Fred- erick owner Holly Simpson found one of her own when deciding to create a speakeasy style bar and event space — now known as The Brick Room— and discovering a dirt floor basement that had not been touched since the building’s groundbreaking in 1905.

With many renovations since then, the hotel offers guests a destination rather than simply a place to stay. The Fred is the hotel’s restaurant and lounge where guests can order craft cocktails and delicious dishes, from crab cakes, calamari and firecracker shrimp to a bacon cheeseburger, harvest cobb salad and smoked chicken tacos.

“As an independently owned boutique hotel, it’s just the right size and has the warmth of a bed and breakfast,” Simpson says. “It’s not corporate feeling. It has a very personal touch. And with 30 guest rooms, you can really pay attention to your guests and offer that personal touch.”

With hardwood floors, original doors with transoms and the occasional brick wall, the rooms hold the history of the hotel. The rooms also include antiques from around mid-Missouri, along with modern comforts such as natural bath products and luxury linens.

“I feel like it blends the local culture and his- tory with guests who come from all around the United States,” Simpson says. “It’s rewarding to see locals mingling with people who have never been to Missouri, let alone Boonville, and just hearing their lively conversations. It’s fantastic because now people from all over the United States come back often because they want to stay at the hotel. They love the experience of the charm of the hotel, the warmth of a small town.”

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Breathe@JJ’s Folly
Fayette, Missouri
30 minutes from Columbia
Nightly rate: $109—$159

A truly eclectic architecture awaits when you see and stay at Breathe@JJ’s Folly Bed & Breakfast. The 5,500-square-foot home, built by first owner Julius Johnmeyer, is one of a kind. Held up by Osage Orange tree trunks and overlooking a 20-acre lake, the home looks like a treehouse until you realize it includes 17 rooms. Part of its name, JJ’s Folly, hails from Johnmeyer’s family, due not only to Johnmeyer’s construction of the house but also his daredevil demeanor.

Bryan and Catina Topash bought the property from Johnmeyer’s daughter in 2017, who had already turned it into a bed and breakfast. As a yoga instructor, Catina wanted to convey the message of relaxation along with keeping the property’s roots, which is how the name Breathe@JJ’s Folly Bed & Breakfast came about.

“Breathing is such a huge part of the yoga tradition,” Topash says. “So, it brings in the idea that when you come to this space, we want people to find peace and to be able to take a big breath and not to be distracted by the worries of their days.”

Each room corresponds to individual chakras, allowing you to find relaxation not only from visiting the space but within yourself as well. An apartment, named Sun Suite, also resides on the property.

“It’s definitely a hidden gem,” Topash says. “People, when they first arrive, are just amazed because they never knew this was here. Because the lake is wrapped mostly around it, it feels like you’re not in the middle of Missouri. It feels like you’re in this dreamy getaway.”

lobby chameleon blue design (1)

Angad Arts Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri
2 hours from Columbia
Nightly rate: $132—$391

An artistic past defines this boutique hotel, which is the only hotel in the world where individuals can book a room based on the emotion of color they wish to experience. Guests can choose a room to influence their moods from empowerment red, freedom blue, rejuvenation green or curiosity yellow. In the 1920s, the building was home to the Missouri Theatre, one of the grandest theaters in the country. It also housed the Missouri Rockets, a dance group now known as the Radio City Rockettes once they moved to New York.

“The vibrancy of the hotel provides guests with an escape from the dreary outside weather and provides a getaway that intends to nurture joy colorfully,” says Nikolaus Kern, Angad Arts Hotel’s general manager.

Elevators to the 12th-floor lobby open to a 360-degree visual art installation hang- ing above the chameleon lounge, along with permanent art installations, a library and a biannual exhibit next to where guests check in. The hotel also has Commonwealth, a restaurant, and ART Bar, a rooftop bar that is 13 stories high. Often, the bar hosts live music, happy hours, seasonal pop-ups and igloos throughout January and February.

“There is a lot to explore while on the property,” Kern says. “You could easily spend the day just exploring the ins and outs of the hotel and not get bored, which is a must for winter travel.”

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