We hate to brag because it goes against our Midwestern roots, but we sure are proud of our bustling college town. In the last couple of months, there have been some pretty nice things said about Columbia, its film festivals, attractions and its home-brews. So, we just can't help ourselves. We have to tell everyone about them, because, it just goes to show, there's much more to Columbia than what one might expect.

Filmmaker Magazine just released its annual list of the "25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World," and on that list are two fests that take place right in the heart of Columbia's downtown district.
Coming up soon is the Citizen Jane Film Festival (CJFF), hosted on the Stephens College campus and throughout downtown Columbia, slated for Thursday throughout Sunday, Oct. 22-25.

The 2015 Citizen Jane Film Festival is slated for October 22-25.
Since its inception in 2008, Citizen Jane has morphed into much more than just a film fest - it is now a full-blown 
Film Institute offering a year-around schedule of films, workshops, summits with acclaimed female filmmakers and even a summer camp to teach young women the art of filmmaking. But the flagship festival is still the highlight of the year. The 2015 CJFF program features some of the most daring and accomplished works by women filmmakers from around the world, including films ranging in length and depth from feature narratives and documentaries to short films and animated films. The weekend also is packed with interactive panels with filmmakers, in-depth workshops with industry professionals, dance performances, an afternoon film school and fun and festive parties. 

Passes and individual tickets for the 2015 CJFF are available for purchase now. For more information, including a complete schedule of films and events, or to order tickets, please visit
True/False's "Buskers Last Stand" is the crescendo to the long festival weekend. True/False takes place March 3-6, 2016.
The other is one of the top documentary film festivals in the world, 
True/False Film Fest. Occuring annually in late winter, typically on the cusp of February and March, True/False quickly cemented its status as a top-tier festival receiving rave reviews from TIME, IndieWire and many other national outlets. 

This celebration of life and film consists of four action-packed days (and late nights) of excitement and intrigue revolving around some of the best documentaries in the world. The fest keeps attendees in a fervor with a handful of highly sought-after secret screenings of films, masquerade balls, concerts, a comedic game show, dance parties, art installations, a raucous ragtag parade and busking musicians from around the globe. All True/False screenings and events are conveniently located throughout downtown Columbia, making it easy to attend and get around the festival. For additional details about True/False, or to order passes for the 2016 fest, visit

The MKT Nature and Fitness Trail was chosen as the second-best urban trail in the nation by readers of USA TODAY.
Looking for a unique way to enjoy autumn's splendor? Get up close and personal with nature on one of Columbia's two unique trails. The nine-mile MKT Nature and Fitness Trail was named the second-best urban trail in America in a recent USA TODAY readers' poll. The MKT is built on the bedrock of the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas railway line and features a special "Voices from the Past" audio tour that visitors can download to their smart phones while on the Trail. The MKT runs through downtown Columbia and connects to the 240-plus-mile (and growing) Katy Trail State Park, the longest rails-to-trails conversion in the US and Missouri's skinniest state park. The Katy Trail runs along the western border of the city and covers a large swath of Missouri's landscape from Clinton on the west side of the state to Machens on the east. Much of the Katy Trail winds along impressive limestone bluffs following the Missouri River, traversing a countryside dotted with pastures, wild flowers and passing through several formerly forgotten railroad towns now ripe with quaint bed and breakfasts, cafes, bike depots and antique shops.
Katy Trail State Park is the longest rails-to-trails conversion in the US.
Need further encouragement? Consider this: Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are... you have no such accurate remembrance of country... as you gain by riding a bicycle." So, for a deeper appreciation of Columbia's beautiful scenic countryside, bring a bike (or rent one from one of several bike shops around town) and hit the trails. You'll surely see Columbia in a different light. For more information on Columbia's trails and parks, please go to

Whether visitors come to Columbia to attend a film festival, bike the city's trails or catch that big game, they'll have plenty of opportunities to sample some fine libations at any of the city's five microbreweries. Logboat Brewing Company, one of Columbia's newest alcoholic alchemists, has wasted no time in establishing itself as not just one of the best in Columbia, or even Missouri, but as one of the best in the United States. At the recent Great American Beer Festival held in Denver, Logboat took home a gold medal for its seasonal Bear Hair, a Belgian-style blond ale, and a bronze medal for Mamoot, its year-around English-style mild ale. To sample these award-winning beers, stop by Logboat's taproom at 504 Fay Street on the outskirts of downtown, or look for them at your favorite local liquor store. Learn more about Logboat at 

Other local brewhouses of note are: Flat Branch Pub and Brewery, located near Flat Branch Park in downtown, is Columbia's oldest brewery and offers a wide variety of beers and menu items as well; Broadway Brewery, located downtown on Broadway Street, features a rotating list of craft brews and a seasonal menu comprised of locally-sourced produce and meats; Rock Bridge Brewing Company and Bur Oak Brewing Company, both named after natural Columbia landmarks, are a part of the city's new guard of craft beer producers.

Memorial Union
Memorial Union on the University of Missouri campus. Columbia is home to three major universities or colleges: Columbia College, Stephens College and the University of Missouri.
There's just no other way to put it. According to two different "listacles" by,  Columbia is a great place to be. 

First, Columbia was named the third-best college town in all of America. Here's why: "A strong entrepreneurial scene coupled with an artistic vibe and a politically progressive undercurrent makes living in Columbia, MO highly appealing to both college students and recent graduates. [...] The more than 37,300 students who attend the three colleges that surround downtown Columbia give the town a youthful energy that keeps things interesting. [...] Columbia's high percentage of college grads, strong economy, affordable housing and deep ties to education make it one of the Top 10 Best College Towns in the country." For the full article and complete list of top ten college towns, visit

And, very recently, Columbia was ranked in the top 50 of a list of the "100 best places to live" in the US. According to the Livability staff, Columbia makes the cut because "Columbia  attracts a diverse group of newcomers with its excellent health-care system, great schools and high-quality amenities. The University of Missouri plays a big part in Columbia's economy and culture and is one of the reasons why Columbia has repeated appearances on the Top 100 Best Places to Live. Downtown Columbia is filled with restaurants, shops and music venues, and the city's MKT Trail has been called one of the best urban trails in the country." We couldn't agree more. 

For the complete list of top ten college towns or the top 100 most livable cities in the country, visit

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Columbia features a mix of small town charm and friendliness with the amenities and cultural offerings of a big city. There is always something exciting to see and do in Columbia, so for more information on these and other ways to have fun in Columbia, please contact Megan McConachie at the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-652-0987 or at

Attention Media: Let us play host and show you around Columbia. For more information, media assistance, high-resolution photography, or to schedule a press trip hosted by the Columbia CVB, please call The Beenders-Walker Group toll-free at 800-544-8474 or email MarjorieKyle or Jo.


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