Columbia, Missouri

Life in Columbia, Missouri, explained by people who’ve lived in Columbia:

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*Response format = Answer (Your name, How long you’ve lived in Columbia)

Columbia Favorites

What’s your favorite thing about living in Columbia?

  • Family oriented community. (Araceli, 7 months)
  • All the fun activities to do. (Elizabeth, 2 years)
  • Tons of neat restaurants without a huge amount of traffic. (Alex, 4 years)
  • The community events. (Becca, 6 years)
  • Trails!! (Jessy, 6 years)
  • University jobs and decent restaurants, and only a couple hours from STL and KC without being in those big cities. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Diversity. (Liz, 18 years)
  • Love the college atmosphere. (Connie, 20 years)
  • Proximity to friends and family. Also Shakespeare’s Pizza. (Aidan, 22 years)
  • Small town feel but still large enough to have plenty to do; Midwest culture but progressive, diverse and inclusive. (Anonymous, 23 years)
  • Small town feeling. (Terri, 30 years)
  • Trails, parks, being near the Missouri River. (Alexis, 32 years)

Columbia Least Favorites

What’s your least favorite thing about living in Columbia?

  • Everything closes so early! (Araceli, 7 months)
  • The traffic on certain days. (Elizabeth, 2 years)
  • When Mizzou is in session, there are a lot of college students everywhere. Most are fine, but some are rowdy. (Alex, 4 years)
  • College kids. (Becca, 6 years)
  • Hard to say. (Jessy, 6 years)
  • Crime rate in some areas. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Roads.. potholes.. badly timed lights. (Liz, 18 years)
  • That they don’t preserve some of the historic buildings. (Connie, 20 years)
  • Over the last 5-10 years it had progressively gotten more and more dangerous, with higher crime rates. Also the public school system needs work. CPS is a mess. (Aidan, 22 years)
  • The weather. (Anonymous, 23 years)
  • Having to go anywhere in south Columbia. (Terri, 30 years)
  • Fast pace of growth in the past 12 years and fears of poor long term planning for this growth. (Alexis, 32 years)

Columbia Things To Do

What are fun things to do in Columbia?

  • Devil’s Ice Box, shopping, food. (Araceli, 7 months)
  • Parks, walking trails, shopping centers. (Elizabeth, 2 years)
  • Bar hopping, eating and walking down town, running trails, muse pole fitness. (Alex, 4 years)
  • Downtown, parks, community events. (Becca, 6 years)
  • Parks, biking, lakes and free fests. (Jessy, 6 years)
  • Bars, restaurants, new golf course and new trampoline park. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Lots of free opportunities especially for families. Pools, parks, Stephens lake, spraygrounds, shelter gardens, rose music hall. (Liz, 18 years)
  • I like biking along Katy Trail. (Connie, 20 years)
  • I love Shakespeare’s, I love Andy’s, I love how cheap movies are here and I love the parks and trails. (Aidan, 22 years)
  • Parks, trails, downtown shops/restaurants, theater, live music, bowling, mini golf, arcade, art shows and activities, festivals, farmers market. (Anonymous, 23 years)
  • Hiking the many trails. (Terri, 30 years)
  • Biking, hiking and enjoying the outdoors. We also have a great farmers market and growing “art scene”. (Alexis, 32 years)

Columbia’s Reputation

What’s Columbia known for?

  • I don’t know actually. (Araceli, 7 months)
  • Mizzou. (Elizabeth, 2 years)
  • Mizzou to most anyone; Seoul Taco to me. (Alex, 4 years)
  • True/false, mizzou, roots and blues. (Becca, 6 years)
  • True/False Film fest and Mizzou. (Jessy, 6 years)
  • College town – MU, Columbia College, Stephen’s college, and lots of bars for the college students. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • The university. (Liz, 18 years)
  • University of MO, Stephens College and Columbia College. (Connie, 20 years)
  • Mizzou. And Shakespeare’s. (Aidan, 22 years)
  • University of Missouri. (Anonymous, 23 years)
  • College town and great hospitals. (Terri, 30 years)

Columbia Crime

What’s the crime like in Columbia? (hot spot areas, etc.)

  • Seems like a calm community. (Araceli, 7 months)
  • There are “bad spots” but lots of “good” spots as well. (Elizabeth, 2 years)
  • Business loop area has a lot of reports. Lots of reports of car break-ins and theft in neighborhoods close to campus. (Alex, 4 years)
  • North of town is crime heavy. (Becca, 6 years)
  • Not bad. (Jessy, 6 years)
  • A few bad areas, but overall lower rate than bigger cities. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • It seems like it can happen anywhere but isn’t as awful as some people make it seem. I would avoid areas directly off Clark or Paris road. Also avoid Bethany drive and surrounding streets. Another hot spot seems to be Demaret drive. (Liz, 18 years)
  • Not as bad as some cities this size. (Connie, 20 years)
  • There are many areas where I don’t feel safe. I never walk around downtown alone, or ever really. Areas of both the north and south sides are run down and don’t feel safe. (Aidan, 22 years)
  • No different than any other town of this size. Mostly safe but there’s always going to be some parts of town that are notorious for crime (such as Rice Road). (Anonymous, 23 years)
  • Not all to bad, all parts of Columbia are hot spots. Don’t like when media targets north side. (Terri, 30 years)
  • Depends on where you want to live, which part of town, but as the city grows so does crime. (Alexis, 32 years)

Columbia Advice

Any advice for people moving to Columbia?

  • Be involved! Make new friends everyone is friendly and inviting here. (Araceli, 7 months)
  • It’s a great community, lots to offer for people of all ages. (Elizabeth, 2 years)
  • Avoid living on stadium or near the university to avoid crazy traffic. Try Pizza Tree! (Alex, 4 years)
  • Start now to look for a PCP. (Becca, 6 years)
  • Embrace it, it’s different and quirky. (Jessy, 6 years)
  • Research your intended neighborhoods before you rent or buy there, talk to current residents. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Do it. We are cool. (Liz, 18 years)
  • I’m sure you’ll like this town. (Connie, 20 years)
  • This is a fun town, with a large diversity of people. It’s a college town and it is growing all the time. That’s not advice, but that’s just what I would tell people. Advice? Live on the south side and go to Shakespeare’s and Andy’s. Learn the history, there’s some cool stuff! (Aidan, 22 years)
  • Buy a house if you can afford it – rent is expensive! (Anonymous, 23 years)
  • Stay away from south side, unless you like traffic and snobs. (Terri, 30 years)
  • Research where you want to live and the schools in that area if you have children. This is a university/college town, things are busier during the school year. (Alexis, 32 years)

Columbia Stories

Share an experience you’ve had in Columbia (fun, crazy, dangerous, etc.).

  • I’m from California, so deer or turkey seem walking around like nothing is pretty crazy to me. Driving towards this hot yoga place a saw a turkey on the left lane just sitting there holding up traffic while some pedestrians tried to shoo it away came to find out the community named her Tina the turkey and that was something she was known for doing. Also saw three beautiful deers running up hill in my back yard! (Araceli, 7 months)
  • The 4th of July spectacular event was awesome. (Elizabeth, 2 years)
  • Muse Pole Fitness puts on a show every year at the Blue Note and it is spectacular! (Alex, 4 years)
  • Columbia multi sport club – enough said. (Jessy, 6 years)
  • Lots of unique restaurants Shakespeare’s, billiards, booches. (Liz, 18 years)
  • I loved going to the movies. (Connie, 20 years)
  • My first ever concert was at the blue note. I was 15, went with my sister and we saw Mayday Parade. It was a blast and we met the band after. I still love the blue note, it’s a cool venue. (Aidan, 22 years)
  • Too many to list! (Anonymous, 23 years)
  • Paint the town, very fun! (Terri, 30 years)
  • I have spent many wonderful hours biking the MKT trail and walking in neighbor hoods near my home off W. Broadway. (Alexis, 32 years)

Columbia’s Future

How do you think Columbia will change over the next 10 years?

  • I believe Columbia will be a lot more friendly towards college students and college life, so it will somewhat lose its family values. (Araceli, 7 months)
  • I see it growing. (Elizabeth, 2 years)
  • Hopefully more independent restaurants and small businesses! It seems to be growing as well, so some expansion. I’d like to see neat shops in places other than downtown. (Alex, 4 years)
  • More college people. More community events. (Becca, 6 years)
  • It will grow, and yet still be it’s own thing. (Jessy, 6 years)
  • It’s still growing. (Elizabeth, 12 years)
  • Will get bigger and less like a “home town”. (Connie, 20 years)
  • I think Columbia will continue to grow. Downtown is changing and the buildings are getting taller. I’m guessing the downtown area will grow and become more urban. I’m also thinking the areas that are already rundown will be neglected and continue to deteriorate. (Aidan, 22 years)
  • Continue to grow in size. (Anonymous, 23 years)
  • Unfortunately more housing, more people. (Terri, 30 years)

Columbia Facts

Any other interesting facts about Columbia?

  • Not that I know off. (Araceli, 7 months)
  • Mizzou has a law school, vet school and med school in Columbia! (Alex, 4 years)
  • Sure loved how Columbia was when I was in High School. (Connie, 20 years)
  • Not that I can think of. (Aidan, 22 years)