Welcome to Columbia!
Located 15 minutes from most locations in the St. Louis region and steeped in small-town charm, Columbia is a world away from the big-city bustle. From our historic downtown Main Street with upscale boutiques and unique restaurants to pristine natural settings for fun and recreation and historical sites for exploring, Columbia is rich in tradition with new reasons to visit every year.
The City has a vivid and diverse spirit developed from the history that shaped it. In the mid-1600s, the French landed here as the first European settlers, followed by the British, who controlled the territory through most of the 18th century until American revolutionaries drove them out. The original town – starting with Fort Whiteside and Fort Piggott – was built by a handful of American settlers on high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. In 1835, German immigrants made their way to Columbia, and through their industry, thrift and methodical work, transformed the city into the thriving community it is today. Despite its growth, Columbia has maintained its charming qualities and quaint characteristics as portrayed through its town mascot, Fritz Schnickel.
One of our city’s treasures is our Historic Main Street. With its outdoor patios and German vernacular buildings, visitors enjoy diverse dining experiences and historical walking tours, amongst the bustling retail and commercial activity they’ll discover there. Visitors from near and far relish the sense of place and authenticity Columbia offers.
Columbia is home to plentiful parks and scenic bluffs, as well as superior amenities and unique venues. Come explore everything Columbia has to offer. Whether visiting Columbia for a day, weekend, or a lifetime, it’s all here!
June & July. Outdoor summer music concert series at Metter Park.Movies at Metter
June & August. Outdoor movies shown on the big screen. Fun for all ages at Metter Park.Fourth of July Bike Parade
Kids decorate their bikes for the 4th, join the parade down Historic Main Street and enjoy old time games and fun at Metter Park.
Learn to play Kloepper, join a washers tournament or play bingo. Enjoy your favorite food and drink and take in the spectacular fireworks show at the American Legion Park.Columbia Days Parade and Festival
3rd Weekend in August. Festive summer parade of floats down Historic Main Street followed by amusement rides, games, food, music and more at Turner Hall and Metter Park.Songs4Soldiers
Alternating annually: 3rd and 4th weekends in September. Two night concert. Friday features a national touring act and Saturday is an all day family event at Bolm-Schuhkraft Park, featuring some of the St. Louis area’s best cover bands.
Alternating annually: last weekend in September and 1st weekend in October. Celebrate fall with the entire family! Listen to the music of great bands, and stroll the promenade to find unique merchandise & food, including authentic German potato pancakes! Lots of activities for the kids in the kid zone! Metter Park.Witches’ Ghoulish Night Out
2nd Thursday in October. Witches unite on Columbia’s Historic Main Street! Food, brew, shopping & fun for ladies and men dressed as witches and goblins. Contests & prizes.Halloween Hi-Jinks
Saturday before Halloween. Children trick or treat at Historic Main Street businesses. Activities, fun & costume contest at City Hall’s Fountain Park.Holiday Hunt
Saturday & Sunday before Thanksgiving. While the guys are hunting, ladies have their own fun targeting their treasures on Historic Main Street. Contests & prizes add to the fun.Small Business Saturday
Saturday after Thanksgiving. Shop local for specialized service. Many stores offer free gift wrapping and snacks!
First Saturday in December. Santa Claus makes his grand appearance at this Christmas themed parade of bright lights down Historic Main Street. Visit with Santa & enjoy food, beverages & activities for the kids at Turner Hall after the parade.Visit with Santa
Saturdays & Sundays after the Christmas Parade. Santa visits with children, poses for pictures and children make a craft in Columbia’s historic one room school house, Shoemaker School Museum.Ugly Sweater Contest
2nd Thursday in December. Christmas shopping with a twist. Wear your ugly Christmas sweater to win prizes on Historic Main Street.
Experience ColumbiaRoute 3 Corridor
There are two main routes through the City of Columbia. In addition to Historic Main Street, the Route 3 corridor is a major thoroughfare featuring service, retail, dining, and hospitality establishments. This area of the community connects to parks and schools and continues to grow and develop while serving a wide range of interests for our visitors.
Please use the map below to see our shops and restaurants.
Things to do and see
Visit Columbia’s thriving historic district with unique architecture, museums, boutiques, and vibrant restaurant scene.Stumpy’s Spirits – Distillery
Hand-crafted vodka, bourbon, and whiskeys from grain grown on the family farm.Shoemaker School House
Explore a historic one room school house with furnishings, artifacts, and photographs reminiscent of the more than 60 one room school houses that dotted Monroe County in the early 1900s.Sunset Overlook
Opening 2017. Relish the tranquility of the Columbia Bottoms and view the ssingle-engineairplanes as they take off and land on the grass runway nearby. Small plates and cocktails are served at this historic landmark and grounds.
Blaze a trail on this easy to moderate hike with 12 interpretive points amid forests and plains. Perfect for families looking for an afternoon with nature.Salt Lick Point Trail
More experienced hikers will enjoy the incredible bluff-top views as they traverse a 2.9 mile loop trail located near Valmeyer, Illinois. Accessible year-round. Dogs must be kept on a leash.
Play all day in what the locals call, “City Park.” Tennis courts, playgrounds, walking trails, horseshoe pits, pavilions, a fitness area and a ball diamond add to the fun.American Legion Memorial Park and Doughboy
Pay tribute to veterans who served their nation during six great wars at a monument where the “Spirit of the American Doughboy” is memorialized. Located at the entrance to the park which houses multiple ball diamonds, a playground and indoor pavilion.
Journey back in time as you visit this German vernacular house filled with historic local relics reminiscent of earlier days in Columbia.
Take a leisurely ride down Main Street or pedal along the farm bottoms near the Mississippi River to discover the wonders of nature on Columbia’s “Not So Secret Training Loop,” a 63 mile ride deemed the best bike ride in Illinois by Bicycle Magazine.Metter Park
Dance to the music at one of our many outdoor summer concerts, take in an outdoor movie, stroll the promenade at FestiFall, read a book from the library next door under the shade of a gazebo, or play some hoops or tennis while the kids climb on the jungle gym. There’s something for everyone at this cozy park.
Imagine the Possibilities
Fulfill your heart’s desire, from an intimate dinner to a lavish gala where cascading waterfalls welcome your guests.The View at 11 South
Guests admire the view of the St. Louis skyline in this intimate space accommodating up to 80 guests for meetings and events.Main Street Abbey
Opening 2017. Celebrate your special occasion inside the architectural beauty of the former Immaculate Conception Church located on Historic Main Street.Turner Hall
Make your event a day to remember. Celebrate in our full-service banquet hall accommodating up to 550 guests.American Legion Hall
Post 581 offers a spacious hall available to rent for receptions, banquets, meetings and other occasions.Sandback School
This renovated one room school house is a perfect venue for small weddings, parties and showers.
For gatherings or events, our contemporary meeting space accommodates up to 45 people. At our hotel, you can expect free WiFi, free hot breakfast, an available luxury honeymoon suite, and a 24-hour business center.