Moving to Columbia

Perched amidst the great Show-Me State, Columbia, Missouri, fondly known as CoMo, charmingly blends midwestern hospitality with vibrant city life. With a spirited university ambiance, profound historical roots, eclectic food fare, and plentiful outdoor wonder, Columbia entices newcomers like a melody you can't quite shake. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a passionate academic, a foodie, or just looking for a warm place to call home, Columbia could tap-dance its way into your heart. Let's dive into our comprehensive Columbia relocation guide - a melody sheet to your seamless transition, helping you glide from stranger to local in no time.

Moving to Columbia, MO landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Columbia

1. Welcome to the Heart of America

Yes, you've correctly landed in Columbia, Missouri, not the country of Colombia. Nestled just about smack-dab in the middle of the country, it's a charming Midwestern college town that's home to the University of Missouri, Columbia College, and Stephens College. With its rich history, vibrant art scene, and youthful energy, this is one city that's hard not to adore. As the colloquial name goes, "CoMo" is a destination that deserves to be discovered!

2. A Serene Abode for Nature Lovers

Mark Twain National Forest. Gans Creek Wild Area. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Familiar with these? Well, you should be because they are all glorious outdoor spaces that make up Columbia's backyard. The city boasts more than 3,500 acres of city-owned parkland, complete with trails for biking, hiking, and serene spots for soaking in the view. So, if you are a nature lover, you are in for a treat!

3. Foodies Delight

Everyone loves to eat, and Columbia seems to know it! You'll find everything from fantastic farm-to-table restaurants to unique food trucks dotting the cityscape, offering a wide array of cuisine that never disappoints. And when it comes to breakfast food, Columbia holds a surprising secret - ready for this? Columbia's obsession with breakfast tacos is absolutely legendary - a secret affection that isn't common knowledge outside CoMo boundaries. You'll definitely want to join this delicious tradition!

4. It's All about Tiger Spirit

When you hear MIZ-ZOU chants in the air, you'll know there's a game in progress at Faurot Field. The local King of Town, Truman the Tiger, is the beloved mascot of the University of Missouri Tigers. Sports are a big deal here, and locals are ridiculously loyal to their Mizzou Tigers. So watch a game or two, and who knows, you may find yourself instinctively roaring along with the cheering crowd!

5. Secret Rock History

Now, to dig deeper into the uniqueness of Columbia. Music enthusiasts might already know this, but for those who don't, you're in for a surprise. Columbia was the launching pad for the underground movement of punk rock in the 90s. Sheltered from the mainstream music, bands like White Rabbits and The Blue Note shaped the sound of this era. So, yes, your new home has a secret, rocking past!

6. It's a Small (ish) Town with City Ambitions

Moving to a new place is a big step, and Columbia tries to make it easier with its warm community feel, coupled with city-like ambitions. CoMo might not be a bustling metropolis, but it doesn't fall short in offering you the amenities and flare of city living. It's a city that's big enough to find new things but small enough to feel like home. Columbia hits just the right balance between big city dynamism and small-town charm.

In conclusion, Columbia, Missouri, is a hidden gem in the heartland of America that offers an eclectic mix of local flavors, outdoor grandeur, sporting fun, and a captivating dose of history and culture. So if you're mulling a move to this intriguing part of the world, rest assured, there are plenty of delightful discoveries waiting for you in good ol' CoMo!

What to know before moving to Columbia, MO image
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Pros and Cons of Living in Columbia

Pros of Living in Columbia

Great Place for Higher Education

Columbia is home to the University of Missouri, Columbia College, and Stephens College. The city's robust academic environment and diverse student population make it a fantastic place for both young students and adult learners looking to further their education.

Strong Economy and Job Market

With a booming economy heavily reliant on healthcare and education, Columbia provides ample employment opportunities. A number of top-rated hospitals and extensive higher-education institutions make it a promising hub for professionals in these sectors.

Rich Cultural Experiences

Columbia boasts a rich cultural scene, from performing arts at the Missouri Theatre to cultural expos held throughout the year. Additionally, the city's Downtown District hosts numerous music festivals and art events, making it an attractive place for art enthusiasts.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

With a plethora of parks and trails, Columbia offers abundant outdoor recreation options. Standouts include the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail, as well as Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, both offering hiking, biking, and various outdoor activities.

Low Cost of Living

Compared to large metropolitan areas, Columbia has a relatively lower cost of living. This not only relieves some financial pressure on residents but also allows for a better quality of life due to more discretionary income.

Cons of Living in Columbia

Potentially Limited Nightlife

For those accustomed to the nightlife in large cities, Columbia may fall short in comparison. While it has a decent set of bars and clubs, the options might seem relatively limited.

Less Diversity in Cuisine

While Columbia certainly has some excellent dining spots, it lacks the extensive global cuisine diversity found in larger cities. If you seek international culinary experiences, this might pose a challenge.

Weather Extremes

Columbia, like much of Missouri, experiences weather extremes. Summers can get very hot, while winters can be frigid. This can be a downside, especially for those not accustomed to such varying climates.

Possible Transportation Issues

Columbia's public transportation system may not be as efficient or extensive as one might hope. Those without personal transportation might find it challenging to navigate around the city.

Higher Education Population

While a thriving higher education scene is certainly a pro, some might consider it a con, too. The large student population could create certain issues, such as noise, parking difficulties, and a higher traffic density during the school season.

Modern day picture of Columbia, MO highlighting pros and cons of living in Columbia, MO

Is Columbia a Good Place to Live?

Columbia, MO is a great place to live because of its vibrant culture featuring top-notch restaurants, museums, and sporting events along with a strong educational system with quality schools and the renowned University of Missouri. In addition, it boasts affordable living, accessible healthcare and a robust job market, making it an attractive place for families and young professionals. And let's not overlook its beautiful parks and trails that make for some truly satisfying outdoor adventures!


What Is Columbia Famous For?

Home of the University of Missouri

Columbia is often referred to as 'College Town USA' thanks to the prestigious University of Missouri (Mizzou), a major draw for young professionals and scholars. The university is known for its top-tier athletic programs, especially its football team - the Missouri Tigers.

Columbia's Vibrant Music Scene

For music enthusiasts, Columbia offers a diverse and exciting music scene. The city is known for its True/False Film Fest and "We Always Swing" Jazz Series as well as countless local bands performing in various venues across the city.

The Art Scene

Columbia wears its love of arts on its sleeve. Its North Village Arts District is a revitalized area full of galleries, studios and more, and Columbia Art League regularly hosts art shows. The annual Art in the Park festival offers fun for everyone.

Delicious Eateries and Breweries

For a city of its size, Columbia has an impressive array of local eateries and craft breweries. From college dive bars to high-end restaurants, you'll find something to suit your palate. Don't miss Columbia's beloved Shakespeare's Pizza or Logboat Brewing Co., a hot spot for beer lovers.

Capital building of Columbia, MO in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Columbia, MO as of 2023, the property tax rate is typically around 0.95%, which is slightly lower than the national average. The exact rate may vary based on the assessed value of the property and any applicable exemptions or credits.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Columbia, MO as of 2023 is 7.98%. This is somewhat higher than the average sales tax rate across the US, which is near 7.12%.

Income Tax

Missouri's state income tax rate, which applies to residents of Columbia, is a flat rate of 5.4% as of 2023. This is comparatively low in relation to other states, many of which have progressive income tax rates or higher flat rates.


Housing Market

In Columbia, MO, the housing market offers a mix of affordability and steady growth. The median home price sits around $203,500, considerably lower than the national average, making homebuying more accessible. Rental rates are also attractive with an average of $904 per month, below the US average. Columbia's housing market experiences an annual growth rate of approximately 2.9%, demonstrating stability. While demand remains high, housing remains more readily available compared to densely populated cities. Thus, Columbia proves to be an attractive option for both renters and buyers seeking affordable, yet promising housing opportunities.


Cost of Living

The current cost of living in Columbia, MO is relatively affordable compared to other cities across the United States. Columbia's living cost is approximately 5% less than the national average. This generally means cheaper housing, grocery, and healthcare expenses. However, when compared to other cities within Missouri, Columbia is a bit pricier due to its vibrant economy and the presence of the University of Missouri. Nevertheless, its unique blend of low living costs along with a high-quality life make it an attractive place to live.


Weather & Natural Disasters

Columbia, MO experiences a temperate, four-season climate with moderately humid, warm summers and cold winters. In summer, temperatures can peak around 88degF in July, while winter low temperatures hover near 20degF in January. Precipitation is reasonably spread throughout the year ranging from 2.4 to 4.8 inches per month, with May typically the wettest month. Columbia's atmosphere is often characterized by rapid weather changes due to its location near the geographical center of the U.S., away from large bodies of water that can moderate weather conditions. Natural disaster threats include tornadoes, severe storms, and floods. Columbia is situated in Tornado Alley, and while tornadoes can occur at any time of year, the peak season is from March through June. Flooding is also a concern, particularly in spring and early summer when rainfall is most intense.

Typical weather in Columbia, MO

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Educational Services

* Retail Trade

* Manufacturing

* Accommodation and Food Services

As the county seat of Boone County and a city deeply immersed in the history and charm of Midwestern America, Columbia, MO, has a diverse and spirited economy that beautifully weaves together the traditional and the modern. Historically, the Columbia economy was rooted in agriculture and manufacturing, but it has grown to include robust sectors in healthcare, education, and retail trade. This paradigm shift is largely due to Columbia's strategic positioning as a regional epicenter for healthcare and home to several prestigious educational institutions, like the University of Missouri. It's a vibrant city where the echoes of the past reverberate in the agricultural ties, yet it still pushes forward with technological innovation and expansion.

If you're moseying on over to Columbia, MO, with hopes of finding greener pastures in terms of employment, you're in luck! In this bustling city, a stronger focus is now on the service sector, primarily in healthcare and education, leading to the creation of numerous jobs. The city boasts an impressively low unemployment rate, and a healthy job market that has grown by 1.8% in the past year. Moreover, the city's cost of living is 5.9% less than the U.S. average, making it an affordable choice as well! So whether you fancy teaching at the prestigious University of Missouri, pulling shots at a quirky coffee shop downtown, or driving growth in the burgeoning tech scene, Columbia is a picture-perfect canvas for your career masterpiece. Come on down, the job market's fine!


Traffic and Transportation

Hey there, travel enthusiast! Welcome to Columbia, MO, a city where traffic flows as smoothly as a hot knife through butter. The average commute time here is a blink-and-you-miss-it 17 minutes! That's nearly half the national average, so say goodbye to curling your toes on the steering wheel in traffic. But wait! If you're not much of a driver, have no fear. The city boasts an ample assortment of public transportation, from its efficient bus service (Go COMO) to taxi and rideshare options. It's like having a magic carpet at your disposal, just without the magic...or the carpet. And for those jetsetters amongst us, Columbia Regional Airport (COU) offers direct flights to Dallas, Chicago and Denver. So pack your bags, folks! Whether you're commuting, wandering, or soaring, Columbia, MO is the poster child for smooth, stress-free transportation!

What is the traffic like in Columbia, MO?

Best Neighborhoods in Columbia

1. Downtown

Like many cities, the heart of Columbia is found in its downtown district. However, unlike other metropolises, Downtown Columbia combines a small town charm with a cosmopolitan feel. It boasts a wide range of boutiques, art galleries, and a plethora of mouth-watering local eateries. Plus, you'll never run out of social events like outdoor concerts, art festivals, and farmers markets. For those who thrive in a bustling environment, Downtown Columbia is a perfect choice.

2. East Campus

The East Campus neighborhood is ideal for those looking for a sense of academia. Adjacent to the University of Missouri campus, you can expect scenic brick buildings, quiet coffee shops, and a beautiful network of walking trails. Still, East Campus isn't just for students -- many young professionals and families are drawn to the area's historic homes and strong sense of community. Plus, its quick access to downtown adds an element of big city convenience.

3. Benton-Stephens

The Benton-Stephens area encapsulates much of what Columbia is all about: history and quirkiness. This secluded neighborhood is known for its quaint and unique homes, heritage trees, and neighborly atmosphere. A firm favorite of Benton-Stephens is the annual Porchfest musical event, where residents showcase local talents right from their own porches. If you value community connection and historic charm, Benton-Stephens is the spot for you.

4. Old Southwest

Old Southwest is a neighborhood that oozes character and charm. Think tree-lined streets, walking trails, and vintage homes. However, it's not just its aesthetic appeal that residents are fond of; Old Southwest is also home to Columbia's Columbia College and Stephens College. The neighborhood also boasts the proximity to downtown and the University of Missouri, making it well-suited for both students and families seeking a peaceful yet connected neighborhood.

5. Rock Bridge

A little further south you'll find the upscale neighborhood of Rock Bridge. Known for the community's commitment to green-living, it's home to a namesake state park featuring caves, hiking trails, and beautiful picnic areas. Rock Bridge also offers premium retail options and high-quality dining establishments. Suitable for families and individuals who value eco-conscious living with a touch of luxury, Rock Bridge certainly delivers.

In conclusion, whether you're a student, young professional, family, or retiree, Columbia's diversity in neighborhoods means there's something for everyone. From the vibrant, event-packed Downtown district, to the quirky and charming Benton-Stephens neighborhood, to the upscale and eco-conscious suburbs of Rock Bridge, you're sure to find your slice of comfort and happiness in Columbia, MO. So, pack your bags, and prepare to call one of these remarkable neighborhoods home!

Best neighborhoods in Columbia, MO image

Things to Do

Welcome to the heart of Missouri, Columbia! It's a vibrant city filled with rich culture, scenic parks, mouth-watering eateries, world-class educational institutions, and a thriving art scene. Whether you're a foodie, an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or an art lover, this Midwestern gem has something for you. Here are seven top things to do in Columbia, handpicked for your enjoyment and enlightenment. Buckle up and let the adventure begin!

1. Take a Stroll Around the University of Missouri Campus (a.k.a. Mizzou)

Founded in 1839, Mizzou is a sight to behold in the heart of Columbia and offers a plethora of free and public attractions. Marvel at the breathtaking Greek-revival columns, enjoy a peaceful walk in Botanical Garden, take in the beauty of the historic Jesse Hall or cheer for the Tigers during a football game at Faurot Field. Don't miss the chance to grab a bite at one of the off-campus eateries for a true taste of student life.

2. Dine and Wine at The District

Columbia's buzzing downtown, fondly referred to as "The District", is packed with dozens of restaurants, boutique stores, music venues, and art galleries. Explore the local shops, wolf down some of the best Columbia cuisines, or simply soak in the vibrant ambiance. Make sure to visit during the "First Fridays" for a cutting-edge blend of art, music, and food.

3. Explore the Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Head outdoors to this serene state park. It's a breathtaking sanctuary of caves, sinkholes, and a natural rock bridge. Amble along the boardwalk, test your rock-climbing skills, and experience the serenity of untouched nature. Don't forget to bring a picnic for a delightful al fresco lunch amid cascading spring blossoms or vibrant autumn foliage.

4. Visit the Artlandish Gallery

This unique and somewhat hidden gem in downtown Columbia is an eclectic mix of art galleries, studios, and a performance venue. It's an artistic paradise for art aficionados, offering everything from quirky craft gifts to beautiful fine art. Plan your visit on a first Friday to join the gallery crawl and enjoy live music and local food at Artlandish Gallery!

5. Attend a Live Show at The Blue Note

Experience a thrilling rosta of live music at this historic venue set within a former vaudeville theater. The Blue Note has hosted everything from upcoming local bands to internationally recognized musicians. Trust us, you won't want to miss seeing a show in this beloved Columbia institution.

6. Take the Roofie Tour

As bizarre as it sounds, this unconventional and little-known tour is a beloved pastime among some residents and students. The aim? To find and climb onto the roofs of as many buildings in the city as legally possible, enjoying unique views of the city along the way. Attend at your own discretion and, please, stay safe!

7. Visit the Fairy Tale Murals and the Magic Tree

Last, but definitely not least, visit Columbia's hidden treasures - the Fairy Tale Murals and the Magic Tree. The whimsical murals located along the MKT trail are a delight for everyone. Meanwhile, the Magic Tree decked in Christmas lights typically appears during the holiday season and fully embodies enchanting twinkling magic that shouldn't be missed.

Wrapping up, whether you indulge your inner foodie, immerse yourself in history, nature or the arts, engage in unconventional tours, or simply revel in the cheerful campus vibe, Columbia promises an unforgettable sojourn, or, as you may soon call it-an everyday life. Welcome home!

Things to do in Columbia, MO?

Find Movers for Your Columbia Relocation

As you embark on your new journey to Columbia, ensure your transition is as smooth and stress-free as possible with the help of Great Guys Moving. We take the hassle out of finding a reputable, cost-effective moving company by connecting you with movers who are best suited to your needs. These movers are carefully selected - renowned for their outstanding service and competitive pricing, and they are all licensed and insured for your peace of mind. So why wait? Simplify your move to Columbia now. Get the ball rolling and request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

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