Tailgating in Columbia, Missouri (Missouri)
GatorTailgating.com is doing a series of articles on where and how to tailgate at all of the Gator Football away games. This is the next part of our series detailing where and what to look out for in Columbia, Missouri on the Tigers of Mizzou Campus. Go Gators!
1. Where are the good areas of town to stay in the night before/after the big game?
Most of the best hotels for enjoying a game day weekend should be reserved well in advance since they fill up quickly, like most college towns. Most of the concentration of hotels are along I-70 at different exits with most hotel chains covered.. There are also a handful of Bed and Breakfasts and a couple winery lodges in the Columbia area, if that is the type trip you're looking for.
2. What are some attractions in Columbia that a visitor shouldn't miss?
Most of the attractions in Columbia and the surrounding areas are within a 10 mile radius. The University of Missouri campus offers several galleries, museums, and memorials; most famous being the Columns on the Missouri campus. The Columns were salvaged from a fire in 1892 that destroyed Academic Hall at Missouri. The Columns now stand on campus and is a can’t miss while in town.
The Museum of Art & Archeology is located right on the U of M campus. Admission is free, and it is a true hidden gem in Columbia. The museum is located in Pickard Hall. See works by masters of every major art movement of the modern era like Rembrandt, Dali, and Kandinski, as well as unnamed artists of the ancient world
If you are a music lover, The Blue Note is an absolute can’t miss. This venue is a great place to see a blues band. The architecture and restoration of the building make the experience that much more enjoyable.
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is minutes away from Columbia. The park gives visitors a chance to hike through a scenic environment. Hikers can see large cave systems, sinkholes, and natural springs. These are some of the most popular hiking trails in the whole state of Missouri.
BleacherReport.com considersHarpos one of the best game day bars in the entire nation.
3. Where should a visiting fan go to eat before leaving Columbia?
Columbia has great places to get some grub before or after the big game. Shakespeare's, hands down has the best pizza in town. Flat Branch is a great brew pub and has been voted best overall restaurant in Columbia. The beer (which they brew themselves right on site) is outstanding. Quinton’s is a great place to get a sandwich. This restaurant has a huge multi-level deck with an outstanding view of downtown Columbia and the Campus of the University of Missouri.
4. Is there an area or a part of Columbia that the visiting fans usually congregate/tailgate/park?
There is no set visitor tailgating area in Columbia. Most of the tailgating areas in Columbia are within comfortable walking distance to Faurot Field. All parking lots immediately surrounding the stadium are reserved for donors. There is tailgating in the nearby parking garages but you are not allowed to grill inside the garages. Visiting Florida fans will be welcomed to most Mizzou tailgates for some burgers, beers, and light hearted football talk as long as they are polite and respectful of their hosts. This is a great link for any additional information about tailgating at Missouri. http://www.mutigers.com/gameday/getting-here-tailgating.html
5. How much should we expect to pay for a parking spot (preferably unblocked so there's enough room to set up tents, tables, and a grill to tailgate) ?
The parking spots range from $15-25 depending on how close you get to the stadium. There is free parking, although the proverb of the early bird getting the worm holds true in this case just like every other campus. The parking garages in the District (downtown) are a great place to park and walk to pre game festivities. The garages vary from .25 cents - .50 cents an hour and it is an easy walk to the stadium.
6. Are there any special rules we should know about tailgating on or off campus, open-container policies we should be forewarned about, or anything of the sort?
Drinking is allowed in the Mizzou's tailgate areas; just use common sense with walking around with open containers (also no kegs are allowed). Also be forewarned the Mizzou and Columbia Police departments have no tolerance for drinking and driving. (i.e. the Mizzou athletic department’s largest donor got a DWI from the Mizzou Police a few years ago, as did Coach Pinkel last fall). Columbia/Boone County has the reputation for being the worst place in the state to get a DWI/most patrolled city in the state.
7. Are there any game day traditions we shouldn’t miss while in Columbia?
- The Tiger walk (think Gator walk) is a fan favorite. It takes place about two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff. The Tigers trek down Providence road into the back of the stadium to the home locker room
- The Marching band and the Mizzou Golden Girls. The band enters the stadium 35 minutes before kick off. The fans sing along to their favorite fight songs as the band makes its way into Faurot Field. The pre-game show is not something you want to miss.
- You will quickly learn the MIZ-ZOU cheer. (I am sure they do it all the time)
- The ROTC fires a cannon as the team enters the field and also after every Mizzou touchdown.
- On the North end of Faurot Field is the historic rock “M”. The traditional block “M,” carved from stone by the freshman class in 1927, guards the stadium’s north end zone and gives Faurot Field one of the more unique landmarks around the country. Each fall the new freshmen class paints the “M” as a part of freshman week. And a tradition on senior day for the football team, senior members of the team grab a rock from the “M” after the game to remember their career at Mizzou.