Columbia is a charming town in Missouri that features a vibrant downtown district, plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities and is home to the University of Missouri. Take a hike, enjoy live music or view local art during your stay in Columbia. You’ll have an unforgettable time when you enjoy these top things to do in Columbia, Missouri.
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Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
If you’re looking for a great place to escape into nature near Columbia, you’ll want to visit Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. This park, which spans 2,000 acres, offers plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities for visitors. Hike, bike, fish or explore the underground cave system while you’re here. Devil’s Icebox is a popular trail to visit within Rock Bridge Memorial. Since this state park is only five miles from downtown Columbia, it makes the outdoors accessible for those visiting and living in Columbia.
Finger Lakes State Park
Another way to enjoy the outdoors while you’re in Columbia is by visiting Finger Lakes State Park. One major draw to this state park is its ATV trails. There are over 70 miles of trails to enjoy on a four-wheeler, motorbike or ATV. Not only explore the park by land but also by water through its 4.5 miles of water trails. Also home to campsites and mountain biking trails, there are plenty of fun ways to explore the outdoors in Missouri here.
The Blue Note
The main music venue in Columbia is The Blue Note. National and local bands and artists regularly hit the stage here. Not only catch live music here at The Blue Note but also movie screenings and comedic acts too. Found in the town’s Ninth Street Historic District, The Blue Note offers live entertainment options for a Friday or Saturday night in Columbia.
Browse the over 500 different plants and flowers at Shelter Gardens. Perfect for a photo op, a picnic spot or simply a nice stroll, this garden is a popular place for good reason. The rock garden, waterfall and plants are all reasons to visit, however during the summer months you can even catch live music on Sunday nights. Shelter Gardens is open to the public year round and offers free admission, making it a budget-friendly attraction in Columbia.
Stephens Lake Park
Stephens Lake Park is a popular attraction due to its 116-acre lake, home to a swimming beach and paved trails. Many people flock to this lake not only to enjoy the outdoor recreation opportunities but to also attend community events. Festivals and concerts are regularly hosted here. Even during the winter months, Stephens Lake Park is a popular spot for sledding and ice skating.
Columbia Cosmopolitan Park
Another way to enjoy the outdoors in Columbia is at the largest park in the city, Columbia Cosmopolitan Park. Simply referred to by locals as Cosmo, this park hosts a number of sporting events like soccer, football, lacrosse, and baseball. Also home to skate parks, a playground, and biking trails, this urban park is a family-friendly attraction.
Shryocks Callaway Farms
If you visit Columbia during the fall months, you’ll want to make a visit to Shryocks Callaway Farms. Get lost in the corn maze, eat some kettle corn and take a hayride during your fall visit here. You can even choose a pumpkin from their pumpkin patch. The working farm’s most popular attraction is the three-story gumball coaster.
Spend a rainy day at the Ragtag Cinema, an independent movie theater in downtown Columbia. Attached to Uprise Bakery, you’ll want to grab a sweet treat here before enjoying your flick. There is also a bar too, for those who’d like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage in the theater. This indie theater is a cool, must-visit attraction in Columbia.
Columbia Art League
Art lovers should visit the Columbia Art League, where local art lives. Simply view the art or even purchase a piece too. This downtown art gallery regularly hosts both adult and kids programs. Budget travelers will be happy to know that admission here is free.