Columbia is a vibrant college town with a culturally diverse population of about 102,000. Columbia combines the best of urban and rural life. Inexpensive housing, low cost of living, excellent childcare centers, a vibrant downtown district, farmers markets, and award-winning public schools attract many families to our peaceful town. There is an extensive array of restaurants, an annual nationally acclaimed film festival, and a popular Roots N’ Blues N’ BBQ festival. In addition, Columbia is midway between two larger cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, which are within a two hour drive. According to standardized rating systems, Columbia often ranks as one of the top best places to live in the United States.
Columbia also boasts multiple parks, including Rock Bridge State Park and Three Creeks Conservation Area. The MKT Trail winds its way through most of Columbia before linking up to Missouri’s 225-mile long Katy Trail State Park. Columbia is an increasingly bicycle-friendly community, with a city program to encourage cycling. Canoeing and camping opportunities abound in nearby conservation areas and state parks, and the Ozarks National Scenic Riverways are only three hours away.
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