Living in Columbia
Columbia, Missouri is regarded as the quintessential college town, combining small-town comfort, community spirit and cost of living with big-city culture, activities and resources.
Columbia is home to nationally renowned public schools, including two top-ranked high schools. It also supports other institutes of higher education, including Columbia College and Stephens College, a women’s college known for its fashion, film and fine arts.
Columbia’s historic downtown district is packed with restaurants and entertainment. For more than 30 years, The Blue Note has attracted top musicians of all genres, from indie rock to old-school blues. Ragtag Cinema shows independent and international films in a hipster-friendly setting. The 1938-constructed Missouri Theatre (now owned by MU) home to the Missouri Symphony Society, recently was restored to its original grandeur. Columbia’s local art community thrives with galleries and venues including Orr Street Studios, PS:Gallery, Bluestem Missouri Crafts and the Columbia Art League.
The great outdoors
Columbia boasts multiple city parks as well as Rock Bridge State Park and the city’s Activity and Recreation Center. Columbia is an increasingly bicycle-friendly community, thanks largely to the MKT Trail, which takes cyclers and hikers all through Columbia and links to the 225-mile statewide Katy Trail.
Festivals and events
Columbia hosts more than a dozen annual festivals, including Art in the Park, the Heritage Festival, the Citizen Jane Film Festival, the internationally acclaimed True/False Film Fest that attracts documentary filmmakers from throughout the world and the New York Times-touted Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival, which draws top-named blues acts and a crowd of 100,000 people.
- #5 in Education
- #4 Best Small Places for Business and Careers
- #37 in Job Growth
- #31 in Cost of Doing Business
- #9 on America's Best College Towns