13 Fantastic things to do in Columbia, MO on your Holiday

things to do in columia

Columbia, Missouri, is a fashionable college town in the United States of America. The city, which is in the heart of the state, offers panoramic views of the magnificent scenery that surrounds it. Columbia is a great place to explore and discover, with all the facilities of a major city but the charm of a little town. It has a population of over 120,000 people. The city offers everything from beautiful natural spaces to vibrant culture, including curated museums, live local theater, professional ballet companies, and much more. The town’s vitality is unparalleled, with a young demographic and a plethora of academic attractions to discover and visit. With more than 130 wineries in Missouri, Columbia is also known for its finger-licking barbeque and delectable local wines. Below are the things to do in Columbia, MO.

Stroll Around the Town

Columbia walk
Image credits: Travel Lens

Strolling around the town is one of the things to do in Columbia, MO. Columbia is a beautiful town in Columbia with a lot to see and do. This collegiate town boasts a thriving culture as well as stunning architecture. It’s also a great town to walk around in. Take a stroll around the city to admire the city’s picturesque splendor. You can also find lesser-known yet superior stores, restaurants, caf├ęs, and a variety of other places and things that city residents only know. In addition, long, quiet walks through Columbia’s charming neighborhoods will soothe your mind and body.

Visit Stephens Lake Park

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Image credits: Visit Columbia mo

Visiting Stephens lake park is among the things to do in Columbia, MO. Stephens Lake Park, located just east of downtown Columbia, provides another opportunity to get some fresh air. The park’s highlight is the 11-acre Stephens Lake, which bears the park’s name. A seasonal swimming beach, fishing possibilities, and non-motorized boating access are all available at the park. The paved walkway that surrounds the water is another favorite activity in Stephens Lake Park. In addition, long the walk, there are numerous sceneries and stunning waterfalls. Picnic table shelters, an indoor pavilion, and an outdoor amphitheater are all available at Stephens Lake Park. In the winter, Stephens Lake is also famous for its excellent sledding slope and ice skating chances.

Visit the Fascinating Museum of Art and Archaeology

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Image credits: Visit Columbia mo

The University of Missouri’s Museum of Art and Archaeology houses a diverse collection of art genres spanning thousands of years. The museum is located on the Columbia University campus, just north of the city’s downtown center. The Museum of Art and Archaeology is also free to enter, and visitors will be amazed by the enormous quantity of displays around every corner. The Museum of Art and Archaeology’s collection includes anything from ancient pieces of art to changing regional exhibitions. The museum offers docent-led tours that provide a deeper understanding of the artwork. In addition, speaker series, seminars, and an Ad Hoc Film Series are all held weekly at the museum.

Visit David R. Francis Quadrangle

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Image credits: Planetware

The David R. Francis Quadrangle, located in the heart of the University of Missouri (Mizzou) campus, is a culturally significant focal point for the university. The Francis Quadrangle, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is still a popular gathering area for students and community people. The Quad, which is also surrounded by red-brick buildings and the aesthetically attractive Jesse Hall, exudes intellectual appeal, and its rich history speaks for itself. The six tall columns amid the grassy field are among the Francis Quadrangle’s most recognizable landmarks.

The final remaining buildings of the original Academic Hall, which burned down in 1892, are these eye-catching remnants. The quadrangle provides access to other major sites in addition to the aesthetic attraction of the columns. It’s always worth checking out Thomas Jefferson’s original gravestone on the east side of the lawn during every visit to the Francis Quadrangle. The entire campus, including Mizzou football and basketball events, is a communal treasure mine of intellectual interest and fun activities.

See the Devil’s Icebox at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

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Image credits: Inside Columbia

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is a fantastic natural escape and perfect example of a lush Missouri setting, located five miles south of downtown Columbia. Forest and restored meadows on the surface and spectacular karst characteristics beneath the earth define Rock Bridge. This state park offers fun on both sides with both sides to explore. The Gans Creek Wild Area Trail System, which stretches for eight miles through a remote part of the park, is ideal for hikers. Individuals and groups can also practice their map and compass abilities on a permanent orienteering course at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

The Devil’s Icebox and Natural Rock Bridge are popular attractions at Rock Bridge Memorial. Along the half-mile Devil’s Icebox Trail, visitors can travel through the 63-foot-high natural rock bridge before accessing the Devil’s Icebox’s double-sinkhole entrance. Two cave systems are accessible from the Devil’s Icebox. One of the caves is the complex Devil’s Icebox. In addition, Connor’s Cave is 150 feet down, across the subterranean opening from Devil’s Icebox Cave, with no false turns to be taken, and maybe visited by careful tourists all year. 

Stay at the Tiger Hotel

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Image credits: The Tiger Hotel

Staying at the tiger hotel is among the things to do in Columbia, MO. The Tiger Hotel is a 62-room boutique hotel with plenty of facilities to make your stay enjoyable. The hotel, which was established in 1928, has a long and illustrious history. It is at a very accessible position in the downtown area, where you will be able to walk to all of the major tourist sites. After the day, you may wine and dine at the hotel’s restaurant and bar. In addition, stay at The Tiger Hotel for a luxury experience and a wide range of facilities.

Hike at Grindstone Nature Area

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Image credits: Visit Columbia

Hiking at the grindstone nature area is among the things to do in Columbia,MO. Grindstone Nature Area, located only minutes from the University of Missouri campus and downtown Columbia, is the ideal natural retreat from the city. It is also a favorite destination for locals and their canine companions. Grindstone Nature Area is one of Columbia’s two leash-free places, with full 199 acres accessible to dogs and their owners to explore. The paved Hinkson Creek Trail, which is popular with bicyclists, is the only place in the Grindstone Nature Area where dogs must be on a leash. Everyone else is free to do anything they choose. Whether you have a dog or not, Grindstone Nature Area is a beautiful place to take a break and observe the seasons in Columbia.

Birdwatching at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area

Eagle Bluff overlook
Image credits: Missouri Department of Conservation

This large conservation area on the city’s southwest outskirts is a fantastic place to get away and observe some wildlife. Eagle Bluffs provides critical wetlands along the Missouri River and PercheCreek, with approximately 4,000 acres of bluff-lined terrain. While Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area is beautiful in every season, the fall foliage is especially stunning. Katy Trail State Park, the country’s longest constructed rail trail, runs through Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. This serves as the park’s primary route for visitors to explore. During the appropriate seasons, the park is also popular with squirrel, deer, and rabbit hunters.

Ride ATVs and Dirtbikes at Finger Lakes State Park

Image credits: Mo State Parks

The 1,100-acre Finger Lakes State Park is situated on reclaimed land that was previously used for coal strip mining. One of only two ATV parks in the Missouri state park system is located here. ATV and dirt bike riders frequent the hiking trails and motocross tracks. The park also features a 2.75-mile mountain bike path and a 4.5-mile water trail that may be enjoyed by kayak or canoe, in addition to motorized pleasure. There is a spacious and relaxing campground where visitors can pitch a tent or park a camper if they wish to stay the night.

Drink at Local Wineries and Breweries

Although it may not appear so, Missouri is known for its vineyards and breweries. It was previously the United States of America’s second-largest wine-producing state. There are more than 130 wineries in Missouri, and Columbia has its fair share. Serenity Valley Winery, Dale Hollow Winery, and Les Bourgeois Vineyards are three of the city’s top wineries. There are several breweries in Columbia where you may sample great craft beers created by local brewers.  Logboat Brewing Company, Bur Oak Brewing, and Broadway Brewing are three of Columbia’s top breweries. In addition, after visiting the city, stop by these vineyards and breweries to sample the greatest wines and beverages.

Enjoy a Picnic at Columbia Cosmopolitan Park

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Image credits: Visit Columbia mo

Columbia Cosmopolitan Park, often known as Cosmo Park, is Columbia’s largest park. There are several sporting fields in the park, including a skateboard park, soccer or football grounds, tennis courts, baseball fields, golf courses, and more. It spans an area of 533 acres. Hiking, walking, cycling, and other outdoor activities are all available on the paths. The annual Show-Me State Games are held at the park (a yearly competition for amateur athletes in the town). In addition, the park is clean and well-maintained, and you may enjoy a picnic in the park’s picturesque setting to get the most out of it.

Attend the Festivals

Attending the festivals is also one of the things to do in Columbia, MO. Throughout the year, Columbia organizes several entertaining and remarkable events. Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration in May, Art in the Park in June, Show-Me State Games in June and July, Heritage Festival & Craft Show in September, Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in September, and Mizzou Homecoming in October among the town’s most well-known and extravagant festivities. Attend at least one of these festivals to learn about Columbian culture and have a wonderful time.

Visit the Shelter Gardens

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Image credits: Vrbo

Shelter Gardens, located on 5 acres of ground behind the Shelter Insurance company’s corporate headquarters, is an award-winning garden that has won numerous awards. Some of the gardens’ distinctive features include a sensory garden for persons who are blind or visually impaired, as well as a children’s play area. A Vietnam War Veterans memorial, a gigantic sundial, a waterfall and reflecting pool, a rebuilt one-room school, and other features can be found in the garden, as well as other attractions. The botanical garden also contains a diverse collection of trees, shrubs, and flowers, and it is a popular location for weddings and photo sessions. In addition, throughout the summer, Shelter Gardens hosts free community concerts on the grounds.

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