Fabulous Weekend Getaways in 100 Miles or Less!

Looking to escape Columbia for the weekend? For those stuck with summer classes or jobs, sometimes it's necessary to get out of our college town (although we love it!) just for a few days.

Steelville, Mo., is a rural town located just two hours southeast of Columbia and has been called the floating capital of Missouri. While many would overlook this town as a summer destination, opting to go to the lake, there are several reasons this is a must-visit spot for any college student. For starters; with such a short drive you can literally get there and back to Columbia on one tank of gas. Just one! We all know that being a broke college student is no fun, but this is one trip you can afford to take. Unlike the lake, you don't need to own a boat or condo (or know someone who does) in order to go. All you need is a car, a cooler and a group of friends that are ready to have a great weekend on the river.

Of course, a reservation is necessary, but there are a number of places to choose from at affordable prices. In the mood to get rowdy? There's even a resort with a campground appropriately titled "The Zoo” for those of us that might like to play our music a little loud and stay up late. Not only are there a number of resorts to choose from, but a number of streams and rivers as well. A float trip could be as short as a couple of hours or even a day long if the group is looking for excitement. It all depends on what float trip you decide to take! Although floating and camping are the most popular things to do, there are plenty of other activities ranging from hiking to rock climbing, and even spelunking.

So gather up your sorority sisters, fraternity brothers or everyone you know, because what can possibly be better than floating down the river with your good friends?

If you aren't feeling adventurous or if traditional camping isn't for you, then cabins may be a suitable alternative. Bass's River Resort in Steelville offers a wide variety of cabins for both large and small groups alike.

Ozark Outdoors in Leasburg, Mo., is another popular destination for floating and camping. Located on the Meramec River, it offers many possible activities ranging from Memorial weekend cookouts to the popular "Bull Float" in August. On Saturday of Memorial Day weekend many were still out enjoying the holiday despite the gloomy weather. 

The scenic riverways around Steelville make this an ideal summer getaway for college students. Reservations to camp and float are fairly inexpensive. 

Even if you don't feel like floating, going to the river is a great way to stay cool and a good excuse to hang out with friends during the summer months. Just make sure to bring river shoes on your trip because swimming isn't fun with sore feet.

For those that prefer to stay away from the water, there are many hiking trails throughout the area and rock climbing is also a favorite. If none of those options sound appealing, cave tours are given daily at Onondaga State Park.

As you can tell there's literally something for everyone in your group on this trip, so grab your friends, sunscreen, and your coolers and get ready for a mini vacation!

By: Lacey Sterling  


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