I have lived only a few hours from Columbia, Missouri most of my life, and have the pleasure of traveling there several times a year. Columbia is the home of the University of Missouri and their Big 12 conference Missouri Tigers, as well as Columbia and Stephens Colleges. The college town feel makes this a wonderful place to visit, for games, shopping and entertainment.
Due to the presence of the colleges, hotels and restaurants are plentiful for a city of just over 100,000 residents and offer a much more cosmopolitan atmosphere than expected. All the conveniences of a city can be found in this small town.
Downtown Columbia is home to many small restaurants and specialty shops, as well as one of the mid-west's premier music venues. Well known for presenting national acts in an intimate setting, several of these clubs regularly host artists doing warm-up performances before embarking on national tours. Restaurants are enhanced by a healthy Indian community who offer authentic foods from their homeland.
Columbia, Missouri host several festivals throughout the year including, The Roots and Blues Bar-B-Que Festival and the Boone County Fair. You'll always find something to do in Columbia.