Categorized as: Off the radar
Median Home Price: $121,970
The Scene: Sandwiched between St. Louis and Kansas City, Columbia is home to three colleges, including the University of Missouri.
The Selling Points: Open roads, rolling hills and access to the Katy Trail, the nation’s longest rails-to-trails project, can all be found in Columbia. Swimmers love Mizzou’s pool (arguably the fastest in the world), and the college culture fuels a thriving arts and music scene.
The Snags: Columbia’s high humidity lends itself to sticky summers. And though mid-Missouri isn’t a hotbed of tornado activity, the area has its share of twisters: Historically, the Columbia-area tornado activity is about 60 percent greater than the U.S. average.
Local Flavor: With more than 600 participants this year, The University of Missouri Orthopedic Institute TriZou Triathlon (Ultramaxtri.com), held each May, is one of the largest pool swim triathlons in the nation.