What to do
Bluestem Missouri Crafts This bright gallery puts the spotlight on regional artists.
The District The university’s youthful energy feeds this area, with over 110 shops, restaurants and galleries.
True/False Film Festival Filmmakers discuss hteir documentaries but the mood is light with parades, parties, musical acts and art installations.
Stephens College Stop by the Historic Costume Gallery to see an exhibit with items from the Costume Museum & Research Library.
University of Missouri Hit all the highlights of Mizzou’s historical campus on a guided or self-guided tour (download audio tours from the university’s website). Set aside an hour or two to see exhibits at the State Historical Society of Missouri and the Museum of Art and Archaeology.
University of Missouri. Photo courtesy of Columbia CVB.
Where to eat
Buck's Ice Cream You’ll definitely want to time your visit for when the university’s ice cream parlor is open to taste the popular Tiger Stripe.
Cafe Berlin Join the line of families and college students who come for some over-the-top combos (the Compost Pile is a biscuit topped with grilled veggies, jack cheese and a burger—cover in gravy and add an egg, if you like).
Shakespeare’s Pizza Near the Mizzou campus, this popular pizzeria piles on the toppings: The Masterpiece weighs 5 pounds. Watch it being made in the open kitchen. (573) 449-2454;
Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream Homemade flavors and alcohol-spiked milk shakes draw a steady procession.
Where to stay
Broadway Columbia This hotel in the heart of downtown focuses on hospitality.
Yates House Bed and Breakfast The brick inn fits in among the antebellum homes in Rocheport (14 miles west); you’d never know it was built in 1991.
For information: Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 652-0987;