Life in Columbia
Welcome to Columbia, Missouri.
Call us CoMo ... Call us College Town, U.S.A. ...
Call us home.
Ranked (over and over again) as one of the best college towns in America, Columbia, Missouri, is home to 36,000+ college students and 118,000 residents. Columbia — conveniently located approximately 100 miles from both Kansas City and St. Louis — has it all: big-time college sports, film, music and arts festivals, a high-energy arts community, amazing recreation and a great downtown with lots of places to eat, shop, snack and check out the latest bands. Our community offers outstanding health care options, as well as excellent educational opportunities for every level of student (including our own Children’s School).
The District (Downtown and Right Next Door)
Downtown Columbia is called The District. Here, you’ll find 20 square blocks of shopping, dining, dancing and people-watching. There’s something for every interest and lifestyle. And it’s all just steps from campus.
- Discover the District: Check out our downtown.
- See some of our festivals and music events: Roots N Blues N BBQ, True/False, 9th Street SummerFest, Art in the Park, and Unbound Book Festival (on the Stephens campus)
We hear it all of the time. Columbia, Missouri, is a great place to live. But you don’t have to tell us twice. We’ve been named:
- Top 10 College Town (Livability.com)
- No. 5 Best College Town (Sports Illustrated)
- Top 30 College Town (Best College Reviews)
- Top 100 Best Places to Live (seven consecutive years)
- No. 6 Best Place to Retire (Kiplinger)
And much more. From "Most Romantic" to "Least Stressed" to a "Best City for Working Women," the list goes on and on. See the complete list.
We’re known for our extensive system of parks and trails. Go for a hike at Rock Bridge State Park or on the award-winning MKT Trail, rent a kayak or canoe at Finger Lakes State Park, or toss a disc at Harmony Bends Disc Golf Course. Tennis courts, golf courses, lakes and pools give you lots of options for outdoor recreation.
Within city limits
Less than 20-minute drive
Less than 1.5-hour drive
- Lake of the Ozarks State Park
- Mark Twain State Park
- Ha Ha Tonka State Park
- Graham Cave State Park
- Annie and Abel Van Meter State Park
Bringing a pet to campus?
Take the pup to one of Columbia's many dog parks! Twin Lakes Dog Park is a favorite.
Like to bike?
Biking is popular in Columbia. Take advantage of Bike Boulevard, which runs through Stephens’ campus and includes nearby Stephens Lake Park and downtown access at Tenth Street.
More to Explore
- Check out our local Visitor’s Guide for lots of easy-to-sort guides so you can find exactly what interests you
- Get recommendations from Stephens’ students, faculty and staff
- Review city services
- See our places of worship info sheet
- Moving to Columbia? See what it's like
- On your way? Get directions
- Plan your campus visit
- See our events calendar