Traveling Tigers: Athens, Life Unleashed

Top 5 To Do List in Athens, Ga on Football Weekends

This fall when you and thousands of others head to Athens, Georgia to cheer on the Dawgs in the Sanford Stadium, be sure to check out all that the Classic City has to offer beyond the hedges. With so many available activities, the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau has decided to compile a “Top 5 Things To Do in Athens on Football Weekends” list!

1: Explore VIBRANT DOWNTOWN
Just a short walk from Sanford Stadium, downtown Athens is bursting at its seams with stylish and quirky shops, a variety of bars and music venues, unbeatable dining, and more. The Victoria-era architecture creates an inviting atmosphere for both visitors and locals to take a leisurely stroll and explore the local shops. Athens nightlife is one of a kind- especially on game days. You’ll have to experience it for yourself! While you’re checking out the town, keep a look out for the world’s only Double-Barreled Cannon on the corner of College Ave. and Hancock Ave and the Tree That Owns Itself, which is a few blocks away on the corner of Dearing St. and Finley St. Bordering downtown, the University of Georgia’s beautiful North Campus, which also makes for a beautiful walk, begins at The Arch on Broad Street.
2: Catch a LIVE MUSIC show

Named the “Number One College Music Scene in America” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Athens is gushing with awesome music!  The local venues attract rising stars, old favorites, and everything in between. Not only have world-renowned bands such as R.E.M., the B-52’s, and Widespread Panic originated from the Classic City, but hundreds of new and upcoming bands make their debut in Athens each year. Between famous Athens venues such as the Georgia TheatreThe Melting Point, and 40 Watt Club, and intimate venues such as Caledonia LoungeLittle Kings Shuffle Club, and the Green Room, there is always a great show to be seen. Check out the performance schedule here!

3: Indulge in LOCAL FOOD

No football fan will be underfed this season with dozens of delectable restaurants lining the streets of downtown Athens. The Classic City’s food scene is booming and has recently caught the attention of national media. Among the most recognized eateries are Five and TenTop Chef Hugh Acheson’s restaurant, and The Last Resort Grill on Clayton St., which is always a family favorite. Mama’s BoyHeirloom CafeThe GritPorterhouse Grill, and East-West Bistro are also popular choices for weekend brunch. There is no shortage of traditional “tailgating food” such as pizza, burgers, and wings, which can be found downtown at Amici Italian CafeThe Volstead, and Dirty Birds. A complete list of Athens restaurants can be found here.

4: Taste and tour TERRAPIN BREWERY
While in Athens, fans will want to try local Athens beer. Known for its unsurpassed flavor and character, Terrapin beer is quickly winning over the nation. Adding to their collection of awards, Terrapin Beer Co. recently claimed a spot on The Best 25 Craft Breweries in the U.S. list, and visitors will understand why. The whole family, including leashed four-legged friends, is invited to tour the brewery on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Live outdoor music, free tastings, lawn games, and brewery tours every half-hour make for a pleasant, relaxing environment for all. A $10 souvenir beer glass secures eight four-ounce tasting tickets for visitors ages 21+.
5: Enjoy ATHENS ATTRACTIONS & TOURS

Did you know? Athens is home to Georgia’s official state museum of art and the official state botanical garden. The Georgia Museum of Art, located on UGA’s East Campus, is home to a permanent collection of more than 9,000 works of art as well as a variety of traveling exhibitions and is open to the public every day except Mondays. The 313-acre State Botanical Garden of Georgia is open seven days a week and is the perfect place to have a picnic, take a walk on miles of nature trails, or participate in an interesting lecture, class, or hike. Neither of these attractions  have an admission fee but do accept donations.

For visitors interested in learning about the historical components of Athens, guided tours are available. The Classic City Tour of Athens is offered daily through the Athens Welcome Center, along with free self-guided brochures/maps, audio tours, and pod tours. Details can be found at here.
Athens Food Tours are a delicious and exciting option for those wanting to learn about and taste local and regional cuisine. Lastly, the self-guided Athens Music History Walking Tour focuses on the history of Athens music and the locations that made the music scene into such a success. The tour brochure is available at the Athens Welcome Center or online.

This fall, visitors should expect much more from Athens, Georgia than just a good football game. With the beautiful downtown, award-winning food, beer, and music, and interesting cultural elements, the Top Five Things To Do in Athens on a football weekend may require a second trip! For information on last-minute hotel availability, parking, tailgating, plus an event calendar and special deals, click here or call the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau at 706-357-4430.

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Thanks to Hannah Smith with the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau for providing us with this guest post.

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Traveling Tigers: There’s Only One Music City

Nashville Skyline

The Nashville Skyline

There is only one Music City, and Nashville is ready for the Missouri Tigers to come experience it! Vanderbilt’s stadium, also known as Dudley Field, is located in the heart of Nashville only minutes from downtown’s honky tonks, art galleries, unique neighborhoods, botanical gardens and greenways, historic homes, more than 120 live music venues, and culinary delights.

While game day and tailgating is the reason you are here, a popular spot to set-up tent is at Centennial Park. Nashville’s 132-acre premier park features the iconic Parthenon (a full-size replica of the Greek Parthenon), a one-mile walking trail, Lake Watauga, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, an arts activity center and a beautiful sunken garden. Thousands of people visit the park each year to visit the museum, see exhibits, attend festivals (such as Musicians Corner taking place from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, October 5), and to enjoy the beauty of the park.

There are other events and great sights to see while in Nashville. Music remains Nashville’s calling card to the world and is the very heart of the city. You can hear great music 24/7, 365 days a year. Long recognized as the world’s capital of country music, Music City also boasts sounds of pop, rock, gospel, Americana, bluegrass, jazz, classical, contemporary Christian, blues and soul. You’ll catch pickers and songwriters all over town, in places like bluegrass venue Station Inn, the rock venue Exit/In, the honky tonks on Broadway, the song-centered Bluebird Cafe or the legendary Ryman Auditorium.

The Johnny Cash Museum

The Johnny Cash Museum

There are hosts of attractions that have made Music City famous; from the ultimate country music venue the Grand Ole Opry, to the world renowned Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. New to Nashville this year, two attractions opened in summer 2013; the Johnny Cash Museum and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Nashville now houses the most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts in the world at the Johnny Cash Museum downtown. The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum honors musicians from stars to studio players that represent all genres of music and features the very instruments used to record some of music’s greatest hits.

The Southern Steak & Oyster

The Southern Steak & Oyster

While Nashville has long been known for its expansive music scene, the talent and creativity of its culinary scene has recently put Nashville on the map. Dubbed “The Coolest, Tastiest City in the South” by Bon Appetit, Nashville’s creative spirit has infiltrated into its kitchens, turning them into the chef’s studio. From southern fare to haute cuisine to quite literally everything in between, Nashville’s palate offers it all. Visit Nashville’s food page for more information on fabulous restaurants around town.

The Cheekwood Lights

The Cheekwood Lights

Nashville’s visual and fine arts scene is also making waves. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is housed in an exquisitely converted Art Deco post office which hosts roving exhibitions changing every couple of months. Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art houses an extensive art gallery, while the city offers art crawls, studios and art galleries all around town. Be sure to check out Cheekwood’s Light exhibit, a stunning outdoor art installation using an inventive array of materials and hundreds of miles of glowing optic fiber that have transformed the garden into an enchanting, dream-like landscape. The exhibit will run until November 10, 2013 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings until 11 p.m.

Fido, in Hillsboro Village

Fido, in Hillsboro Village

One of Nashville’s gems are its neighborhoods, so be sure to make time to get out and discover some great local restaurants, shops, music venues and more. Neighborhoods like Hillsboro Village, 12South, East Nashville and The Gulch each have their own personality, projecting the nature of the people who frequent them.

With its charming mix of musical, historical and cultural flavors, Nashville is truly a city for all seasons and styles. For more information on fall events in Nashville, visit: http://www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors/fallfun

Other Events include:

Nashville Beer Festival: Oct 5, 2013 from 1-6 p.m. at Public Square Park

First Saturday Art Crawl: Oct 5, 2013 from 5:30-8 p.m. downtown Nashville

Visit www.nowplayingnashville.com for a full list of events

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Thanks to Katherine Roberts with Visit Music City for guest blogging!

Bryan-College Station, Texas Welcomes Tiger Fans!

HOWDY!  The Texas A&M Aggies welcome you to Bryan-College Station. We hope you feel right at home as you make your way into Aggieland. The Bryan-College Station area has much to offer, so here are a few tips to make your experience one of a kind.

Kyle Field. Home of the Texas A&M Aggies.

Game days are always exciting here in Bryan-College Station. Eager fans from both teams begin tailgating early in the day and can be found all around Kyle Field. The roar of 87,000 screaming fans in Kyle Field is something you won’t want to miss.

Though many see the University as the hub of Bryan-College Station, there are many things to do to keep the fun going before and after the football festivities.

While you’re in town learn more about Texas A&M and its traditions and history by visiting some of the places on campus such as the Bonfire Memorial, a dedication to the 12 Aggies who lost their lives in the tragic collapse of the 1999 Bonfire, the Appelt Aggieland Visitor Center, the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center, and the Lettermen’s Association Athletic Sports Museum.

The Dixie Chicken

After the game, fans frequently move the excitement and party to the Northgate Entertainment district where you must stop by the Dixie Chicken. The Dixie Chicken sells more beer per square foot than any other place in the United States.

Downtown Bryan is also bursting with live entertainment, shopping, food and more! Plus, it is just minutes from the central College Station area. With almost everything within walking distance, you can stroll the streets while enjoying the art galleries, night life, and striking scenery.

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is another popular stop. Here you can walk through exhibits that chronicle George Bush’s life and presidency. This historic spot continuously makes the list of Texas’s 30 most visited attractions and is certainly a must-see while in the area.

For a relaxing night visit Messina Hof Winery and Resort the fastest growing, most awarded premium winery in Texas. Wine tasting, vineyard tours, and fine cuisine make this an unforgettable experience.

If you’re looking for great food you happen to be in luck; Bryan-College Station offers some of the best local food in Texas! No matter what you’re craving (fine dining, the family-owned atmosphere, or something one of a kind) we have it all.

Whether staying an extra night or just passing through, we hope you take advantage of all Bryan-College Station has to offer. Enjoy your stay!

For more game day details on parking, tailgating, hotel rooms, restaurants, and more go to www.visitaggieland.com/gameday

Knoxville, Tennessee – A City Filled with College Football Pride and Tradition

Welcome to beautiful Knoxville, Tennessee Tiger Fans! We are thrilled to have you join us for the University of Tennessee vs. Missouri game and hope you enjoy your weekend in our city. Tennessee Volunteer fans take football seriously and a Game Day in Knoxville is the perfect way to spend a beautiful fall weekend.

From tailgating with family and friends to participating in all of the pre-game activities, Missouri fans are sure to have a memorable Game Day experience.

When you arrive in Knoxville, some great stops for Game Day weekend include activities along the Tennessee River and throughout downtown. From outdoor activities to arts, history, and entertainment there’s plenty to do and see in our city.

Kick-off your visit with a trip to the Knoxville Visitor Center, located in downtown Knoxville.
Find a unique gift to remember your trip at the Uniquely Knoxville Gift Shop or grab
information from the visitor’s desk to help you explore the city.

Head one block over to explore the Market Square District, a central hub in downtown Knoxville filled with shops, restaurants, and nightlife options. Pick up locally made arts and crafts at the Market Square Farmers Market on Saturdays or stop in to one of the locally-owned boutiques. Grab a bite to eat at some of Knoxville’s favorite restaurants including the Tomato Head, Café 4 or the newly opened Tupelo Honey. Walk over to Gay Street and stop in to one of the many art galleries to see some of East Tennessee’s best artwork by local artists.

Savor a delicious meal from Knoxville favorite, Calhoun’s on the River. Order delicious
barbecue and grab a cold micro-brewed beer while taking in the sights of the Vol Navy on the Tennessee River.

Take in the Knoxville scenery along the Tennessee River aboard the Star of Knoxville Riverboat and the Volunteer Princess Luxury Yacht. Head down the river and experience life on the water as you encounter beautiful landscapes and fall foliage on two of Knoxville’s favorite boats.

Want to experience all of Knoxville’s outdoor adventures? Make your way to the Outdoor
Knoxville Adventure Center. Located at Volunteer Landing, this newly opened outdoor location features all the information you need to explore Knoxville’s parks, greenways and wilderness options. Rent a bike from River Sports Outfitters, located on the first floor of the center, and explore more than 65 miles of greenway loops and trails in the city.

University of Tennessee Game Day Traditions

Once you arrive on campus you will find yourself surrounded in a sea of orange. Thousands upon thousands of Tennessee Fans come from across the Southeast to participate in game day activities, arriving by car, plane and even boat! The University of Tennessee combines football and boating unlike any other location in the SEC Conference, with access to boating docks across the road from Neyland Stadium along the Tennessee River. Enjoy a sneak peak of a Knoxville Game Day here!

One tradition not to miss is the arrival of the Vol Navy. Directly across from Neyland Stadium, the Tennessee River fills with approximately 200 boats and forms a floating tailgate party on the river. Take a stroll through Volunteer Landing to see this game day tradition.

Tailgating starts early in Knoxville, with University of Tennessee and visiting team fans
heading to campus to enjoy all the game day activities. Choose the perfect location to set
up your tailgate, with options on campus, around Volunteer Landing, or in the Fort Sanders
neighborhood. Make sure to grab a spot early!

Many University of Tennessee fans will make their way towards Volunteer Village to take
part in activities enjoyable for both adults and children. Activities include live entertainment,
inflatables, and appearances by UT’s mascot Smokey, UT’s Dance Team, Cheerleaders, and the Pride of the Southland Marching Band.

Vol Walk at the University of Tennessee

Two hours before the game, fans can cheer on the University of Tennessee football team as they make their way to the stadium during the Vol Walk. The walk starts at Circle Park on campus and continues down Peyton Manning Pass before reaching the stadium.

After the Vol Walk, the Pride of the Southland Marching Band marches towards the stadium while performing some of the University’s signature songs. Once the band has made its way into Neyland Stadium, fans can stay and listen to the Kick-off Call In Show hosted by Bob Kesling, Tim Priest, and Mike Stowell.

Running through the ‘T’

Once you arrive at your seat, be prepared for a stadium filled with more than 100,000 cheering fans in a sea of orange. Get settled in your seat and watch the football team charge the field by running through the “T” formed by the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, a tradition since 1965.

Once the game begins, sit back and get ready for one of the best experiences in college football because “It’s Football Time in Tennessee!”

As you can see, there is nothing like a Game Day in Knoxville, Tennessee. For more information about Knoxville visit http://www.knoxville.org and http://www.knoxville.org/sec.

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!

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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 GatorZone.com and GatorTailgating.com 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 VisitGainesville.com for more ideas.

Orlando-The Home to Fun, Sun and Endless Smiles

Since the Tigers are on the road again this week, our friends at Visit Orlando were kind enough to submit a post to help you enjoy your time in the city while you travel with the Mizzou Football team.

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Orlando is truly the home to sun, fun, and endless smiles? Think about it: world class theme parks, exciting outdoors adventures, endless shopping options and a collision of diverse dining options makes Orlando a win-win situation for every family member, no matter how picky. Year-round Orlando is bigger, better and a whole lot more fun with so many new things to see and do.

Swim with dolphins and get face to face with playful otters and curious marmosets at Discovery Cove’s recently opened Freshwater Oasis. Journey into the life of a sea turtle at SeaWorld’s TurtleTrek, a first-of-its-kind 3-D/360-degree dome shaped theater; at the Universal Orlando Resort don 3-D glasses to get minionized at Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and enjoy a marvelous spectacle of a 100 years worth of Universal Pictures movies; or get in touch with your inner kid at the Magic Kingdom as new cool things are coming to life at Fantasyland throughout this year.

For thrills beyond the roller coasters, take the wheel and put the pedal to the metal of a Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini or an Audi at the Exotic Driving Experience. Swoop, twist and dip through the tree tops at Florida Eco Safaris at Forever Florida’s The Rattlesnake, the first and only roller coaster zip line in the U.S. Love the thrill of a good deal? Then Orlando Premium Outlets is a must-shop with more than 330 stores in two Orlando locations. Famished yet? Then take your pick of cuisines ranging from good ol’ barbeque at local favorite 4Rivers Smokehouse to progressive American cuisine at LUMA on Park or the first “picanha” cut at Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse.

For more tips on what to see and do in Orlando, check out VisitOrlando.com/blog. Now, pack a smile and see you soon in Orlando!

From One Columbia to Another!

Being a Tiger fan sometimes means hitting the road to watch the team in action. If you’re headed to South Carolina this weekend to watch Mizzou take on the Gamecocks, get excited! The Columbia, SC Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited to welcome you to their Columbia, and they even were kind enough to write a guest blog post to help make your experience a great one!

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Welcome to the SEC, Missouri Tigers! Get ready for fierce competition, passionatefans and most of all, a good time! This week, Mizzou fans will make the trip from Columbia, Missouri to Columbia, South Carolina and we couldn’t be more excited. But before hitting the road, fans need to know a few things that will make their trip exciting, tasty, eventful and most importantly, memorable.

 
University of South Carolina fans take tailgating very seriously. Hours before kickoff, fans pour into the State Fairgrounds, old farmer’s market, parking lots and every little crevice available to tailgate around the stadium. Plan to get there early to join in on the fun. Among the usual football tailgate foods, one thing we always recommend our out-of-towners to try is South Carolina’s official state snack, boiled peanuts! This salty treat is a game day staple in the South. In regards to home team tailgates, don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of white table cloths and flower arrangements or women dressed in sundresses and cowboy boots and men in their slacks and bow ties. University of South Carolina fans treat game days as a dress-to-impress occasion.
 
Drop by the premiere tailgating spot, the University of South Carolina Cockabooses.These stationary trains on the rear side of the stadium definitely take tailgating up a few notches. Decked out with flat screen televisions, chandeliers and on site catering make attending a Gamecock football game quite an experience. While these Cockabooses are privately owned, they’re definitely something to see when playing the Gamecocks!
 
Before or after the big game, there are a number of things Mizzou fans can enjoy while visiting the Columbia region. The weather this week is ideal for a canoe, kayak or standup paddle board trip down the Congaree River, one of three rivers that run through the city. There are a number of guided tours visitors can join to see nature up close and personal. Take a walk on the wild side and visit the number one gated attraction in South Carolina, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. After checking out the penguins, toucans, giraffes, koalas, elephants, lions and more, try your hand at Sky High Safari; a four story, self guided ropes course. Want more adventure? Take a trip out to Congaree National Park. While there, visitors can explore 2.4 miles of boardwalk throughout the park and nearly 26,000 acres of wilderness. In addition to being the only national park in South Carolina, it is also the closest to a metropolitan city.
 
In your down time, take in a movie at The Nickelodeon, South Carolina’s only nonprofit art house film theatre. Recently relocated into its new, multi-screen venue on Main Street in downtown Columbia, the theatre plays independent and documentary films nightly. For the young Mizzou fans, EdVenture Children’s Museum, located in the Congaree Vista, is a perfect afternoon trip. Where else can you climb inside a 40-foot child and explore the inner workings of the human body? This nationally ranked children’s museum offers fun and educational experiences kids won’t soon forget.
 
Good food isn’t in short supply in the Columbia region. If there’s one thing we do well in the South, it’s eating. Try some of the best burgers in town at Pawley’s Front Porch in Five Points or Rockaway’s Athletic Club in Rosewood. Both serve up tasty bites like raw cut fries, sweet potato fries, pimento cheese burgers, fried pickles and more. Barbeque is a southern delicacy that all visitors must try. May it be mustard-based, drenched in Carolina gold, or poured over with vinegar, pulled pork BBQ is taken seriously in the South. Visitors should try some of the Columbia region’s favorites like Doc’s Barbeque and Southern BuffetHudson’s Smokehouse andPalmetto Pig – to name a few. To end the meal, visit Nonnah’s in the Vista. With a mini novel serving as the menu, guests will have a hard time deciding between lemon cheesecake, triple mousse cake, Californian almond cake and chocolate raspberry fantasy. Need even more sweets?! Venture in Mast General Store on Main Street or The Peanut Man on Lincoln Street to satisfy those old-fashioned candy cravings.
 
Clearly there is an abundance to see, do, eat and experience while visiting The New Southern Hot Spot. We look forward to hosting the Mizzou Tigers in our neck of the woods this weekend and hope this trip isn’t your last!
 
Browse things to do, places to stay and more information on columbiacvb.com, drop by our Visitors Center while you’re in town or drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter while you’re here. For more game day information for your visit, be sure to check out our game day guide.