Why We Love Columbia

It’s no secret that those of us who promote Columbia for a living love the city. Like, really really love it.  A lot. There are, of course, many reasons we have a passion for Columbia, but here are a few of our biggest reasons why we heart Columbia.

Outstanding Local Dining

Columbia is a food-lover’s paradise!  Whether you fancy pizza or parsnips, you can tempt your taste buds at a variety of local restaurants. What we love best about Columbia fare is how committed local chefs are to using local and sustainable ingredients.

Enjoy tofu tacos at Main Squeeze in Columbia.

Stop by Main Squeeze for a smoothie or tofu tacos and you may see a local farmer stopping in to drop off some fresh produce.  Sycamore has always been a champion of featuring local foods and the Wine Cellar and Bistro serves up local cheeses and an extensive Missouri wine list. You can also stop by Lakota Coffee, one of the few places in the country that actually roasts their coffee in-house every day. With so many stops to make, you’ll have to visit Columbia quite a few times before you could even begin to taste everything the city has to offer.

The Vibrant District

After you’ve devoured the flavors of Columbia, take a stroll through Columbia’s downtown area, The District. Home to many of the restaurants we so adore, The District also holds many of Columbia’s best shops, art galleries, music venues, many housed in beautiful historic buildings. Legendary concert venue The Blue Note has hosted musical acts for more than 30 years including Wilco, the Dave Matthews Band and REM, all in an intimate setting in the heart of Columbia.

Bluestem Missouri Crafts features works from artists that reside in Missouri and its eight contiguous states and the Columbia Art League Gallery, located adjacent to the historic Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, displays art from local, regional and national artists in excellent shows. You can also pick up a memento from your visit to Columbia at any of the unique shops in The District.

Create your own signature perfume oil at Makes Scents, indulge in a chocolate pizza at The Candy Factory or that perfect little something for your home from Calhoun’s or Poppy. Each stop in The District is sure to hit the right note, so what’s not to love?

Tiger Spirit

Jesse Hall on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.

For many in Columbia, the only thing that’s truly hard to love is a Jayhawk. As the home of the University of Missouri, we love our Tigers. Black and gold isn’t just something for game days, so you can always pick up some Mizzou gear at the University of Missouri Bookstore on the gorgeous MU campus or the Tiger Team Store, located next to Memorial Stadium.

With Mizzou athletics moving to the Southeastern Conference next year and the phenomenal season the men’s basketball team is having, there’s extra buzz this year. On your next Columbia visit, explore campus, pick up a new sweatshirt and yell M-I-Z to your heart’s content.

It’s pretty obvious that we love Columbia…a lot, but there’s even more to fall for when you come visit.

Written by Megan McConachie, Web and communications manager, Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau. Photos by Patrice Raplee and Jennifer McGovney.