Cooper's Landing

Thursday, August 19, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

It seems like Smith Hatchery Road floods whenever there’s rainfall in Columbia, but if that’s bad news for drivers coming up from the southernmost parts of the city’s borders, it’s great news for visitors at Cooper’s Landing.

The marina prides itself on being full service, but it’s also a destination for families and friends looking for a unique place to spend the day. There’s a wide variety of things to do there, from boating to hiking to eating (and not just c-store fare).

So if a daylong adventure’s on the calendar, this list of things to bring will come in handy:

  • Tennis shoes. Whether running, biking or simply taking a stroll, the marina’s immediate proximity to the Katy Trail gives all ages a chance to get some exercise and enjoy nature in a different setting than what may be usual. After a day in a boat, a brisk walk along the path may be just what’s needed to stretch out those sea legs and get reacquainted with the ground.
  • A boat. Boats are always good to bring to marinas, and considering that Cooper’s Landing is one of the few places where they can pull right up to the dock and fill up, it’s an opportune time to take care of business. Besides, the river’s right there, and what better way to explore it than on a free day with a fresh, full tank of gas? Don’t forget the fishing pole, either!
  • The best campfire stories. Cooper’s Landing operates one of the state’s few campgrounds along the Missouri River, and setting up under the stars is a great way to cap off a day spent outdoors. Summer and early fall are great times for Missouri camping – the temperatures start to drop off at night, and the bugs aren’t too bad. Stars, s’mores and stories? Sounds smashing.
  • An empty stomach. It’s easy to get hungry after being out all day in the boat (or if those fire-roasted hot dogs didn’t turn out quite as planned). Chim’s Thai Kitchen serves some of the best Thai food in the area. And don’t look around for a restaurant – just walk up to the trailer adjacent to the marina building. It won’t be a decision you'll regret.
  • Should that be lacking, a foot will do. Cooper’s Landing has great live music to listen to while eating at Chim’s or the marina deli. Or if the boat’s still on the river when the bands start up, it’s like a private concert under the stars.

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