There’s the Columbia you know: Mizzou, Shakespeare’s, The District, Harpo’s, The Columns, Columbia Mall. And then there’s those little things that are less known, less crowded … Columbia’s hidden treasures. We figured it’s time to share some of these lesser-known Columbia spots so you can check a few (or all of them!) out on your next visit.
Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream: Located on 9th Street in The District, Sparky’s is a small-batch homemade ice cream shop. Sure you’ll find vanilla and chocolate, but take a chance on more unique flavors such as lavender honey, carrot cake and maple bacon and you won’t be disappointed. On warm summer nights, the line is often out the door, but the wait is always worth it.
Makes Scents: Right next to Sparky’s is Makes Scents, the perfect spot for all sorts of good-smelling home and bath gifts (for others or yourself!). You can step right up to the counter and create your own signature scent with the help of the Makes Scents staff. That fragrance can be made into a perfume oil or body lotion.
The Candy Factory: Sitting on a friendly corner in The District is The Candy Factory, which has been churning out delectable chocolates and other candies for more than 30 years. Explore the baskets full of candies ranging from handmade truffles to taffy to chocolate pizza, a 1.5-pound confection covered in nuts, marshmallows and more chocolate.
Shelter Gardens: An oasis in the middle of Columbia, this gorgeous garden is free and open to the public. Spread out over five acres, Shelter Gardens is a serene spot to explore and features a waterfall, a replica of a 19th century schoolhouse and more than 15,000 annuals and perennials.
Ragtag Cinema: Fans of independent film flock to Ragtag Cinema, which runs independent, alternative and documentary films all year. With two intimate theaters, Ragtag also is home to the Uprise Bakery, which features a bar. What’s better than a movie with snacks and a beer? Nothing, that’s what.
Some of these hidden treasures may not be new to you, but we hope there’s a least a couple for you to check off your list on your next visit to Columbia. We’ll see you there!
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Written by Megan McConachie, Web and communications manager for the Columbia CVB