Columbia is Exactly What You Unexpect

sparkys ice cream

Enjoy unique tastes at Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Time and time again, visitors are delightfully surprised by what Columbia has to offer. From picturesque parks and clever cuisine to amazing art and superb shopping, visitors find Columbia is ‘more than a college town’ and ‘surprisingly sophisticated.’

Columbia What You UnexpectWe like to think of Columbia as a cool neighborhood in a big city, with a young vibe, an active buzz and an engaged community. We’re also a friendly and welcoming place, with a thriving downtown and an abundance of cultural opportunities. We’re Columbia…What You Unexpect!

Think you know Columbia? Here are a few things about our city you might unexpect.

Love ice cream? Love wine? Of course you do. Could we interest you in some wine ice cream? Check out Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream in downtown Columbia for ice cream in flavors only a genius could think up. Think lavender-honey, pineapple upside-down cake, red wine-dark chocolate, green tea, peanut butter-banana-honey (called The King), or jelly doughnut. With a couple dozen flavors always in rotation, you never know what one-of-a-kind concoction will tempt your taste buds.

Whether you can barely draw a stick figure or have paint spots on all your clothes, everyone’s an artist at The Canvas on Broadway. The Canvas provides a relaxed atmosphere with a bar to inspire creativity, all the supplies you need and step-by-step instructions to creating your masterpiece.

The University of Missouri's campus offers beautiful garden scenes.

The University of Missouri’s campus offers beautiful garden scenes.

The University of Missouri campus is a beautiful spot to explore all year, but did you know the entire campus is a botanic garden? Established in 1999, the Mizzou Botanic Garden is a living museum of thousands of plants displayed among the historic buildings and monuments already on campus. The garden serves as both a delight to visitors and as a learning tool for students at Mizzou.

Plenty of cities boast film festivals. However, Columbia’s True/False Film Festival is one of the most respected events in the world for the documentary film community. This four-day event at the end of each February is truly Columbia at its best. The festival not only showcases incredible films but also musical showcases, panel discussions, a game show and the weirdest parade you’ll ever see.

These are just a few ways that Columbia is What You Unexpect. We truly believe the experiences you have, the people you meet and the memories you take with you will all exceed your expectations.

Want to keep up with what’s unexpected in Columbia? Check out our website or join us on our blog, Gotta Go CoMo.

Written by Megan McConachie, web and communications manager at the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau.