Gainesville Welcomes Mizzou!

Our friends in Gainesville, FL are thrilled to welcome you if you’re traveling with the Tigers this weekend. Check out more about their great city below!


We are so excited that you are coming to Gainesville! The competition in the SEC is fierce but our Gator fans are thrilled to have you visit our vibrant college town. Here are a few tips and suggestions so you can truly enjoy your trip to the Swamp.

Like most college football games, getting to campus and finding an awesome tailgating spot can sometimes be an adventure in itself.  If you would like super easy transportation try the GatorAider, provided by RTS, it is practically front door service to the stadium.  For $10 a round trip, the bus will pick you up and bring you back to one of the five convenient locations including the Oaks Mall, Hilton and downtown. Our friends at and also have some great game day information.  

In Gainesville, like most cities you will find the familiar national chains. What we are really proud of is the locally owned restaurants that have been sprouting up all over.  So much so, that some locals have a list on their refrigerators to make sure they don’t keep going back to the same one or two favorites all the time. In the heart of Downtown Gainesville there are over 25 unique and delicious restaurants to choose from. Our favorites include Emilano’s Café, serving delicious Latin Fusion cuisine with great Sangrias and Mojitos. If you like Asian or sushi try Dragonfly Sushi. Harry’s serves great New Orleans themed menu items.  Amelia’s, behind the Hippodrome Theatre, has been serving some of the finest Italian food in Gainesville for over 20 years. Vello’s Brickstreet Grilloffers a great selection of tasty flat breads and other savory dishes.

The basics of food in any college town is of course, pizza! We’ve got a pretty great selection of pizza including national restaurants and local favorites. These favorites fill up quickly so plan to head over early to claim your seat.  At Satchels, the pizza is only part of the experience.  You’ll enjoy looking around the restaurant’s decorations and art from recycled materials and if you’re lucky you’ll get to eat at the booth inside the 1960’s Volkswagon van. They have a great deep dish and serve a fantastic salad with homemade dressing that you can also purchase to take home. Blue Highway Pizza has a great selection of fresh pizza made to order with thin, Sicilian, and gluten free crusts. They also serve sandwiches, salads and pasta. Piesano’s Stone Fired Pizza has an extreme pizza that will fill anyone’s belly!

If you are looking for exciting nightlife activities – head to Midtown or Downtown Gainesville.  Midtown is a small area across from campus and has several bars and restaurants. The downtown area is also tight-knit grouping of restaurants, bars and shops and is about 13 blocks from the University of Florida campus starting at University Ave and SW 1st Street. You can park on the street or in several of the parking garages that will place you within steps of the entertainment.

If you arrive early enough for the weekend, you can catch a free concert Friday night at 8 pm on the Bo Diddley Community Plaza featuring the 6th Street Rhythm & Blues Review. Or just one block away, the Hippodrome, our professional theatre company housed in an impressive historic building, takes a comedic twist with the stage version of ‘Carrie’ that will have you screaming with laughter.

In downtown, the Main Street Bar & Billiards is a great place for a friendly game of pool. A few doors down Rocky’s Dueling Piano Bar will have you singing to some great tunes. If you are into trying new wines, stop by HalfCork’d. They have sophisticated wine sampling technology that allows you to select from over 250 bottles or 56 types of wine served by the glass.

Gainesville is not only home to great university sports and nightlife but to nature and culture as well.Gainesville has some really great attractions that you are going to want to try and squeeze in. Why not stay an extra night and or take an extra vacation day? You never know what you might find! See for more ideas.

Traditions and Tailgating – The Homecoming Edition

Homecoming is a very special time of year at Mizzou. This week is full of special events, festivities and tradition. In this week’s traditions and tailgating, we’ll look at the homecoming queen and king tradition and then give you a couple ideas for your tailgate this Saturday.


The tradition of homecoming royalty is one that dates back to nearly the beginning of homecoming itself. Each year, 30 candidates (15 women and 15 men) are narrowed down to the top ten. The candidates are presented at halftime of the homecoming football game and the winner is crowned in front of all the fans. Here are this year’s finalists:


This year’s homecoming football game has an early start time of 11:00 a.m. It’s also going to be pretty darn cold. That said, a hot breakfast is a sure bet for those die hard tailgaters. Here are a few ideas to keep the fans happy:

Sausage Rolls

Breakfast Potato and Bacon Casserole

You would be our hero if you showed up to the tailgate with this sandwich.

Apple and Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Burger

Now that you know the final homecoming royalty candidates and are ready to wow the other attendees at your tailgate, get out there and have a happy homecoming!

Mizzou Homecoming: Famous Alums

Thousands and thousands of students have graduated from the University of Missouri since it opened in 1839. Every year, thousands ‘come home’ to celebrate homecoming in Columbia. Mizzou has also produced countless notable alums. Check out the full list here and some highlights below…you never know who you may run into at homecoming!

-Stage and Screen

Jon Hamm

Hamm attended Mizzou where he answered an advertisement from a theater company looking for players in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, auditioned, and was cast in the production. After graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Hamm returned to his high school to teach eighth-grade acting. Hamm gained global recognition for playing advertising executive Don Draper in the AMC drama series Mad Men, which premiered in July 2007. Hamm’s performance earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 2008. Aside from his work on Mad Men, Hamm appeared in the 2008 science fiction remake, The Day the Earth Stood Still and claimed his first leading film role in the independent thriller Stolen (2010). Hamm had a supporting role in the 2010 crime film The Town and in Sucker Punch and Bridesmaids in 2011.

Sheryl Crow

At Mizzou, Crow was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, ODK, Homecoming Steering Committee and served as a Summer Welcome leader. Crow graduated from Mizzou in 1984 with a degree in music education. In 1996, she released her self-titled album with the hit singles “If It Makes You Happy,” “Everyday Is a Winding Road,” and “A Change Would Do You Good.” The album went triple-platinum, and Crow brought home Grammys for Best Rock Album and Best Female Rock Vocals. Since then, she has recorded other hit albums, including the recent “Detours” album and “C’mon”, with the hit “Soak Up the Sun.”
Crow returned to Mizzou in 2002 to perform a concert and again in 2003 to serve as the Homecoming Grand Marshal.

George C. Scott

He entered the University of Missouri as a journalism student, but graduated in 1953 with degrees in English and drama. He spent seven years in regional repertory theater and taught a drama course at Stephens College before moving to New York City. He held roles in several theatrical, television, and film productions, and is best known for his Academy-Award winning performance in the title role of “Patton” (1970). Scott died on September 22, 1999.


Russ Mitchell

He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Mitchell currently co-anchors CBS News Saturday Morning, which he has done since November 1997. He also serves as one of the primary anchors of the CBS Evening News Saturday Edition, and as a CBS News correspondent, contributing to many broadcasts, including the CBS Evening News With Dan Rather, first from Washington, D.C. and currently from New York.

John Anderson

While a Mizzou student, Anderson was a varsity letter winner in track and field. He graduated with a degree in journalism in 1987. Anderson currently serves as co-anchor of ESPN SportsCenter. He joined ESPN in June 1999 as an ESPNEWS anchor after spending nine years as a sports anchor for local stations in Tulsa and Phoenix. In 2002, Anderson returned to Mizzou to serve as the Homecoming Grand Marshal.

Jim Lehrer

He is a graduate of Victoria College in Texas and a 1956 graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School. After three years as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, he worked for ten years in Dallas as a newspaperman and then as the host of a local experimental news program on public television. He came to Washington with PBS in 1972, teaming with Robert MacNeil in 1973 to cover the Senate Watergate hearings. They began in 1975 what became The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, and, in 1983, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, the first 60-minute evening news program on television. When MacNeil retired in 1995, the program was renamed The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Lehrer has been honored with numerous awards for journalism, including a presidential National Humanities Medal in 1999. In the last four presidential elections, he moderated nine of the nationally televised candidate debates.

-Other Notables

Mort Walker

Mort Walker was born in 1923 in El Dorado, Kansas. He published his first comic when he was 11, and at 18, he became chief editorial designer at Hall Bros., ushering in a light, playful style for the company’s Hallmark Cards line. In 1943, Walker was drafted into the Army. He was discharged as a first lieutenant four years later, and graduated from the University of Missouri in 1948. While at Mizzou, he was a member of Kappa Sigma and an editor of the school magazine.His first big break came in 1950, when King Features picked up “Beetle Bailey” for syndication. King Features now distributes “Beetle Bailey” to roughly 1,800 newspapers. A statue of Beetle Bailey sits in front of Reynolds Alumni Center in recognition of Walker’s talents.

Linda Godwin

Linda Godwin was born on July 2, 1952 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Southeast Missouri State University in 1974, and earned a master’s and a doctorate degree from the University of Missouri in 1976 and 1980.
Dr. Godwin joined NASA in 1980 in the Payload Operations Division and was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1985. She is a veteran of four space flights and is a recipient of the NASA Outstanding Performance Rating, Sustained Superior Performance Award, and Outstanding Leadership Award.

Norm Stewart

“Stormin” Norm Stewart, best known for his 32-year career as head basketball coach at Mizzou, is the only person in the school’s history to be inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame as both a student-athlete and coach.
The Shelbyville, Missouri native and double threat lettered in both basketball and baseball at MU in 1954, 1955 and 1956. Stewart still ranks fourth at Mizzou for his 24.1 point scoring average in ’56. He was drafted into the NBA for the St. Louis Hawks as well as the MLB for the Baltimore Orioles upon graduation. After six seasons as head coach for the University of Northern Iowa, Stewart returned to his beloved alma mater to begin his tenure as head coach at the University of Missouri in 1967. As one of college basketball’s greatest coaches, Steward won eight Big Eight Conference championships and six conference tournament titles. Under him, the Tigers appeared in 15 NCAA Tournaments, including two elite eights. Stewart missed part of the 89-90 season to fight his battle with colon cancer, leading him to found Coaches vs. Cancer, an organization that raises millions of dollars for research on the disease to this day. Stewart retired in 1999 and was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

A Few Columbia Favorites

You’ve heard of Shakespeare’s, Booche’s, Tiger Spirit and Harpo’s, right? Of course you have. They’re Columbia traditions that are packed on football Saturday and some plain old Tuesdays too.

But have you checked out all of Columbia’s favorites? Locals in the know might send you the way of these spots…

To Shop

ACME T-shirt Company: Pick from one of the dozens of pre-designed tees hanging on the walls, bring in your own design or let their artists help you create the perfect tshirt. Buy just one or one hundred in a rainbow of colors.

Makes Scents: Browse shelf after shelf of high quality bath, body and home products. Then create a custom scent that can be turned into everything from lotion to hair fragrance. A true sensory experience.

Mustard Seed: Fair trade items from around the world create a unique shopping venture. A scarf from India, chocolate from Latin America, handmade necklaces from Africa. You never know what you’ll find at Mustard Seed but it will always become a treasured purchase.

Calhoun’s: Specializing in unique gifts that everyone loves and no one forgets. For your friend with a new house, a new baby, a new job or for yourself, Calhoun’s has something for everyone who needs a souvenir from your Columbia visit!

To Eat

CJ’s in Tiger Country: Promising hot wings and cold beer, CJ’s in downtown Columbia has been a local favorite for years. Ranging from mild to BYFO (that’s Burn Your Face Off), CJ’s sauces complement their wings perfectly and the atmosphere is casual and sports-centric. Be sure to check in before you go to make sure all the wings haven’t disappeared!

-International Cafe: Ready for one of the best gyros you’ve ever had? Stop by International Cafe on 9th Street in The District, where the food is authentic, the owners are friendly and the hummus…oh the hummus. Dine inside or pick a patio table and watch the action on 9th Street.

Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream: We seriously can’t say enough about Sparky’s. Even if you only kind of like ice cream, Sparky’s will make you a believer. Like traditional favorites like chocolate and vanilla? Sparky’s has you covered. What about trying something new like lavender-honey, rice krispie treat, pumpkin pie, chai and Georgia bourbon peanut? Sparky’s constantly rotating menu of flavors means every visit is a new adventure and if that wasn’t enough, make sure you check out the art while you’re waiting in line.

Countdown to Gameday: Kentucky

The Mizzou Tigers kickoff this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Memorial Stadium against the Kentucky Wildcats for the 101st Homecoming.


-Want to take the shuttle to Memorial Stadium? Here’s how to make it happen:

-Make a stop at the Romp, Chomp and Stomp Tailgate on the Carnahan Quad! Gather with thousands of students and alumni as we celebrate Homecoming by rejuvenating a lost tradition from the 1950s. Enjoy live entertainment, a spirit rally, food and drinks. Admission is FREE and food and beverage vendors will be available.


Don’t miss out on these other great events while you’re in Columbia. The game is just the beginning!

-The full Schedule of Events for homecoming

David Nail at The Blue Note – October 26th

Homecoming Retro Night at The Blue Note – October 27th

Halloweenie in The District – October 26th


It’s Football Friday, every Friday of home football games at the Walton Building! Be sure to stop by the Walton Building, location of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, on Friday for visitor information and cookies!

Mizzou Homecoming: Schedule of Events

If it’s your first time at Mizzou homecoming or even if you just want to change up the experience this year, there’s no shortage of events to take up your time! Here are a few highlights…revisit your old favorites or create a new tradition!

The Talent Competition: October 22-24

If you’re in town early, check out the talent competition each night at 6:30 at Jesse Hall. Singing, dancing, slight-of-hand! It will all be on display from Mizzou Students during three nights of talent.

Campus House Decorations: October 26

A tradition at Mizzou for decades, ‘House Decs’ is a collection of funny, family-friendly skits   at the sorority and fraternity houses on campus. From 6:30-9:00 p.m., thousands of students, citizens and alumni descend on Greek Town for this annual event. These giant skits are sure to surprise and entertain the entire family and are always on trend with the homecoming theme for the year. This year, it’s “Many Tigers, One Roar.”

Spirit Rally and Concert: October 26

Gather on Rollins St. outside the Mizzou Student Center for the inaugural campus-wide spirit rally and concert performances from Marching Mizzou and the Spirit Squads as well as comments from special guest speakers and a live performance from national recording artist Imagine Dragons.

Brewer Breakfast: October 27 at 7:00 a.m.

Need breakfast before the parade? Like pancakes? Check out this Mizzou tradition at the Brewer Fieldhouse in the Mizzou Rec Center.

The Homecoming Parade: October 27

Starting bright and early at 7:00 a.m., the Mizzou Homecoming Parade weaves its way through campus and downtown to the delight of thousands of onlookers. See the homecoming court candidates, floats, marching bands from across the state and much more!

Romp, Chomp and Stomp Tailgate: October 27 at 8:30 a.m.

Gather with thousands of students and alumni on the Carnahan Quad as we celebrate Homecoming by rejuvenating a lost tradition from the 1950s. Enjoy live entertainment, a spirit rally, food and drinks. Admission is free and food and beverage vendors will be available.

The Game: October 27

The Mizzou Tigers kickoff against the Kentucky Wildcats at 11:00 a.m. for this year’s homecoming, Mizzou’s first in the SEC. Check back Monday for more about the game!

Mizzou Homecoming: A History

As the home to the first homecoming ever, it’s only right that Mizzou have one of the largest ones in the nation each year. This year, homecoming will be celebrated the week of October 22nd, with the week culminating in the football game against Kentucky at 11 a.m. on Saturday the 27th.

One of the most important parts of celebrating homecoming is appreciating its history. The roots of homecoming span all the way back to Civil War times, when Kansas and Missouri were rivals as states before schools. From Mizzou’s History of Homecoming:

Player’s on the field at MU’s first homecoming football game.

Chester L. Brewer, MU’s Director of Athletics, had a vision. His vision, to add some excitement to the rivalry, was to invite alumni to “come home” for the game. As part of this celebration of “coming home,” there was a parade and spirit rally to coincide with the actual game. In 1911, with a spirit rally, parade and more than 9,000 fans packed into Rollins Field (current site of Stankowski Field), the tradition of “Homecoming” at the University of Missouri and has served as a model for the various Homecoming celebrations that take place across the nation.

Since that first homecoming in 1911, Mizzou’s homecoming has only grown and improved.

Those at homecoming are welcomed in 1933.

The Homecoming Parade in 1963

Things are more live and in color now, so keep checking back this week to learn more about this year’s festivities. And welcome home!

Mid-Missouri: What We’re Famous For

One of the best parts of traveling to see your team play is getting to experience a new place. These mini vacations give you the chance to cheer on your team, try new restaurants, make new friends and see new sights. There are also new experiences to be had within just a short drive of Columbia! If you have a spare afternoon, here are a few places to check out right here in mid-Missouri.

Only 30 minutes away…


West on I-70 to exit 115, Right on Highway BB

Just a short drive on I-70, Rocheport is a charming town set on the Missouri River. Spend an afternoon exploring the variety of antique shops, taking a walk on the Katy Trail and enjoying the delicious food at restaurants like Abigail’s. In the evening, head up to Les Bourgeois Vineyards to sip outstanding wines and have an amazing dining experience at their blufftop bistro while you watch the sun set over the river bluffs.

Jefferson City

US 63 South

Missouri’s state capital, Jefferson City, is full of rich history. Tour the state capitol building, the governor’s mansion, and experience the city’s newest attraction, the Missouri State Penitentiary Tour. When Alcatraz was built, the Missouri State Penitentiary was already 100 years old. Now the facility is open for tours and it’s an experience you simply won’t want to miss.


East on I-70 to exit 148, right on US-54

While in Fulton, be sure to visit the National Churchill Museum. The museum has resources describing who Winston Churchill was, what he did during the course of his long life and why his legacy continues to inspire new generations today, nearly 50 years after his death.  Come experience the National Churchill Museum and learn about the man many consider to be the man of the 20th century and whose example lives on into the 21st.

Within an hour…


US Highway 63 North to State Highway P

The Amish settlement near Clark is the 3rd largest settlement in Missouri. You’ll see Amish farmers working their fields with horses and plows. Quilts, molasses, produce, bakery goods and other items are available at various farms. Please respect the Amish culture and refrain from taking photos of individuals.

Arrow Rock

West on I-70 to exit 98. Right on MO-40 North

The entire village of Arrow Rock is a designated National Historic Landmark and is full of friendly people, charming shops and fascinating historical attractions. If you’re in Arrow Rock in May-November, be sure to see if you can add a performance at the Lyceum Theatre to your agenda. The theatre is one of Missouri’s oldest professional regional theatres and professional actors, directors, designers and technicians from across the country take residence in Arrow Rock for several months to bring the audience outstanding musicals and plays.


East on I-70 to exit 175, right on MO-19 South

Also sitting on the Missouri River, Hermann is a town rich in German heritage. Hermann is also home to a wine trail, featuring seven local wineries throughout the historical town. Each weekend in October, Hermann explodes with its Octoberfest and you can also enjoy dining, museums, shops and biking on the Katy Trail.

Mizzou-Traditions and Tailgating

It’s Thursday before a home game here in Columbia, so what better time that a little tradition and then a little tailgating. First up, Tiger Walk…

Tiger Walk

Cheering for the team doesn’t start when they take the field. In the past few years, Tiger fans have started a new tradition that welcomes players as they walk from the Mizzou training complex to Memorial Stadium, crossing Providence Road on the pedestrian bridge.

Image from the Columbia Missourian

Tiger Walk starts two hours before game time, so line up early to high five your favorite Tiger and get the team pumped!

Image from St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Tailgating at Mizzou

What’s a football game without some tailgating? At Mizzou, fans wait in line for lots to open at 8:00 a.m. on game days and proceed to set up everything from tables to tents to televisions. Naturally, one of the most important tailgating elements is food and drink! Need something to bring to the game? What better than this cheesy football

Easy to make and even easier to eat!

So gather up your black and gold gear, tailgate for awhile this weekend and then go cheer on the Tiger players during Tiger Walk. Sounds like pretty nice Saturday to us!

What’s your go to tailgating recipe?

Countdown to Gameday: Alabama

The Mizzou Tigers kickoff this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium against the Alabama Crimson Tide.


-Want to take the shuttle to Memorial Stadium? Here’s how to make it happen:

-Make a stop at the Tiger Landing Tailgate! Hosted by the Mizzou Alumni Association, Tiger Landing begins three hours prior to kickoff, is free to attend and is perfect for the entire family! Stop by the Reynolds Alumni Center and Carnahan Quad for delicious concessions, kids activities, botanic garden and campus tours, big screens with other games on and more.


Don’t miss out on these other great events while you’re in Columbia. The game is just the beginning!

Techn N9ne at The Blue Note on Thursday, October 11th

North Village Arts District Pre-game Art Huddle on Friday, October 12th

Honey Island Swamp Bank at the Blue Note on Friday, October 12th

Artrageous Weekend Friday and Saturday the 12 & 13th

Mickey Hart Band at the Blue Note on Saturday, October 13th


It’s Football Friday, every Friday of home football games at the Walton Building! Be sure to stop by the Walton Building, location of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, on Friday for visitor information and cookies!