Columbia - Possibly the Perfect Place to Be
"Best of Both Worlds"
Columbia is my hometown. I've often described it to people like this: "It's like living in the suburb of a big city...without the big city."
With a population just under 100,000, Columbia's not "too big." You can pretty much get anywhere in town in about 15 minutes. (When it takes twenty minutes, we start to complain.) Yet, Columbia is no "small town." With three major colleges here in town, including the world-class University of Missouri (Go Tigers!), there are a lot of opportunites to experience culture and sport.
Columbia is about a half hour away from Jefferson City, the state capital. Many people make the commute every day, and some state offices have even relocated to Columbia because of its close proximity to Interstate 70.
Columbia is located smack-dab in the middle of the state, and is less than two hours away from both Kansas City and St. Louis. Many people who drive through the state of Missouri along I-70 choose to stop in Columbia for a meal or for the night.
Each summer, Columbia plays host to the Show-Me State Games, the largest state games in the nation.
Columbia's largest employers are the University of Missouri, University Health Care (hospital system), and State Farm Insurance (Columbia has the second largest State Farm facility in the world, second only to their world headquarters in Bloomington, IL).
Notable famous Columbians include Sam Walton (founder of Wal-Mart) and Ken Lay (former chair of Enron), both whom graduated from Hickman High School (which is the only high school in the nation to have a Kewpie for a mascot).
Columbia is well-known for it's parks and recreation system. There is a large network of parks throughout the city. The idea is to have a park within close proximity of everyone.
Columbia is also home of the MKT trail, a rails-to-trails project that spans some 8.9 miles of multi-use trail that connects with the Katy Trail, a statewide trail that runs from Sedalia to St. Charles.