With the final stretch of the semester ahead of us, the eerie feeling of upcoming finals, semester projects and multiple-page essays is lurking. The course assignments may be different, but everyone’s real thoughts (the ones buried beneath bio notes and Spanish conjugations) are on the same thing: summer.
While many will head back to their homes, others will have the privilege of staying put in our beloved CoMo. You may ask what there is to do in a college town when there is, well, no college going on (with the exception of summer courses). Not to worry! These spots are sure to entertain, even as students flock home for the summer.
- Best place to grab a frozen treat — Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream
Stuck in a rut when it comes to your ice cream? Sparky’s features new flavors almost every day. Each new concoction is created in the shop based on requests from customers and staff members. So, whether you’re craving a basic flavor or something completely outside the box, Sparky’s has you covered.
- Best place to be a kid again — Gunther’s Games
This retro, black-light arcade will take you straight back to the days when gaming was life (which may still be the case for some of you — no judgment). With vintage games like "Pac-Man" and "Galaga" right next to modern selections like "Guitar Hero," there is virtual fun for everyone.
- Best place to “study” — Kaldi’s Coffee
For those of you fortunate enough to be spending the summer furthering your education, a good place to study (or to pretend to, anyway) is crucial. The atmosphere in Kaldi’s is quiet, chill and perfect for getting work done. Tired of studying? Grab a bite to eat instead. The shop just revamped its menu and is serving up a variety of tasty new dishes just in time for summer. So far, the biggest sellers are its new barbecue nachos and the iced coffee creation known as the Honey Almond Toddy.
- Best place to catch up on summer style — Elly’s Couture
From the newly-installed sequined wall to “The Hills” marathon that is constantly playing in the store, Elly’s Couture is a girly girl’s paradise. The shop carries Betsey Johnson accessories, A.J. Morgan shades (for only $15) and made-to-order Tiffany Rose custom jewelry. With a full range of prices, not to mention frequent sales, you’re sure to find a great outfit for any occasion.
- Best summer barbecue — Shotgun Pete’s BBQ Shack
Summer just isn’t complete without good barbecue. At Shotgun Pete’s, they take it to a whole new level. With five homemade sauce options, 24 local beer selections and every side dish home-cooked, there is no doubt that it’s the real deal. The restaurant has been ranked by Urban Spoon as the best barbecue spot in mid-Missouri for three consecutive years, and Inside Columbia Magazine ranked its ribs in the top 100 foods all Columbia natives must try.