Exploring Columbia: Fun Things To Do in Central Missouri

Exploring Columbia: Fun Things To Do in Central Missouri

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Guide to Hidden Highlights, Unique Dining, Galleries, Museums, Towns, Trails, Parks, People & History

By Brett Dufur. Illustrated by Walt Goodman. 

Led by Missouri Jones, explorer extraordinaire, and his trusty sidekicks, this latest release from Pebble Publishing offers a treasure-trove of Mid-Missouri explorations. For newcomers to Columbia, university students and even life-long residents who feel they’ve "been there, done that," Missouri Jones offers page after page of new adventures close at hand. This comprehensive book highlights several seasons’ worth of fun things to do in Columbia, Mid-Missouri, and beyond.

"Mid-Missouri is such a diverse area," said co-author Brett Dufur. "I think of this book as a history book with directions. Not only does this book offer the traveler a real intimate insight into great outdoor fun things to do, like hiking, biking, etc., but it also creates a deeper understanding of Mid-Missouri’s history, heritage and rich past. It all comes to light when you get out on those great back roads to explore new places and meet new faces."

Readers will find a variety of communities featured, and what to do once they get there. From touring Glasgow—and learning it’s on the sharpest bend in the Missouri River, to a tour of Crane’s Store where Native American artifacts share shelf space with Carhartts, this book proves there’s never a dull moment with so much adventure in store.

This 224-page book is profusely illustrated, and offers superb photographs that help you pick your day’s outing. It is organized into easy-to-use sections for every season no matter what the weather, such as "Indoor Fun Things To Do", "Parks & Recreation," "Museums", "A Gaggle of Galleries", "Touring the University of Missouri Campus" and much more.

"A unique thing about Columbia is oftentimes people plop down here to go to college from afar--coming from another state or even another country. Oftentimes they don’t have a clue what lies beyond the M.U. campus. This book is an effort to get them plugged into the larger community," Dufur said.

Launched as a result of a popular previous book effort, entitled "99 Fun Things to do in Columbia & Boone County," in 1996, this book is loaded with activities for people of all ages and interests—many are family-friendly, from painting your own pottery to watching live theatre under the evening sky, or telling you where you can go to look through high-powered telescopes.

"I could never have imagined that we’d still have people calling for that book," Dufur said. "It proved to me that there really was a need for this sort of book. We decided to expand the focus of the book because these numerous small towns that dot the countryside in Mid-Missouri are really what give this area such a distinctive character." This Rocheport-based publisher has long focused on Missouri guide books. "It was great to write about our own backyard." Who better to write about Mid-Missouri than an experienced Mid-Missouri author and publisher?

Chapters include:

Parks & Recreation – Columbia State Parks, National Parks & Conservation Areas

Indoor Fun Things To Do • Gaggle of Galleries • Museums

University of Missouri Campus

Around the Bend (Eastern, Northern, Southern, & Western Boone County and Beyond)


Here’s a sampling of some outings highlighted in the book:

Centralia • Clark • Mark Twain Birthplace • Mexico • Moberly • Union Covered Bridge • Crane’s Country Store • Fulton and the Winston Churchill Memorial • Graham Cave State Park • Hermann • Historic Flying Company • Little Dixie Conservation Area • Williamsburg Store • Central Dairy Ice Cream • Forest Hill Plantation Historic Site • Hartsburg • Lake of the Ozarks • Log Providence Missionary Baptist Church • New Salem Baptist Church • The Old Bur Oak Tree • Pierpont Store • River Traders Store in Wilton • State Capitol in Jefferson City • Arrow Rock • Boone's Lick State Historic Site • Boonville • Bothwell Lodge • Marshall & Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial • Midway Exposition Center • Rocheport • Sedalia • Fun Eats Unique to Columbia