Jefferson City is named for the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was the president responsible for the Louisiana Purchase. Some of the land from that purchase eventually became the State of Missouri.
Jefferson is centrally located in the State of Missouri about half-way between St. Louis and Kansas City along the Missouri River. There are three major highways that run directly through the city: US 50, 54, and 63.
Jefferson City Memorial Airport, which is across the Missouri River, only serves general aviation.
The closest airport with commercial service is Columbia Regional Airport, from which US Highway 63 goes straight to Jefferson City. American Airlines is the only carrier at the airport, with daily non-stop flights between Columbia and Chicago (ORD) or Dallas (DFW).
The closest full-scale commercial airport is Lambert St. Louis International Airport, about two hours away. It is very easy to get from the St. Louis airport to Jefferson City. Take I-70 west out of St. Louis for about an hour and a half. At this point take US Highway 54 south for about 30 minutes until you reach Jefferson City.
A little further is the Kansas City International Airport, about three hours away.
The Amtrak Station is in the heart of Downtown Jefferson City at 101 Jefferson Street. At the midpoint of the Kansas City to St. Louis route, the Missouri River Runner, there are two departures each direction every day. While a ticket is not needed to board the train, a reservation is. Call 800-USA-Rail or visit Amtrak for reservations and schedule information.
- 1 Jefferson City railway station, 101 Jefferson St.
Most of the attractions are in the heart of Downtown Jefferson City within walking distance of each other.
There is also an extensive greenway with 7.4 miles of paved trails . This is a multi-use greenway and is perfect for walking, running, biking or skating. The greenway now connects via the Missouri River Bike & Pedestrian Bridge to the Katy Trial, one of the nation's longest trail projects (238 miles).
- 1 Missouri State Museum, 201 W. Capitol Ave, ☏ . Daily 8AM-5PM. Tours are given for free every hour from 9AM to 4PM. The Missouri State Museum is on the first floor of the Missouri State Capitol Building and managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.Today, the museum continues to showcase Missouri’s diverse history and resources. The museum houses temporary and long-term exhibits.
- Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation Museum, 2500 Country Club Dr, ☏ . M-F 9AM to 4PM; Saturday, by appointment. No visit to Jefferson City is complete without a visit to this museum. Veterinary artifacts and instruments, many over 100 years old, are on display. Instruments and equipment used in small and large animal surgery, old diaries and sample drug cases are a part of the display.
- 2 Jefferson Landing State Historic Site, Jefferson St & Capital Ave, ☏ . Tu–Sa 10AM–4PM, closed December. The area at the base of Jefferson Street, known as Jefferson’s Landing, was the site of the original river landing and the first area settled in the city. It is significant as a rare surviving Missouri River landing place. The structures in this historic site date back to 1839 making it the oldest riverfront landing on the Missouri River. As this site was later served by the railroad, several of Jefferson City’s largest businesses grew here.
- 3 Cole County Historical Museum, 109 Madison St, ☏ . You can encounter the roots of Missouri government and discover the charm and culture of the early political society at the Cole County Historical Society Museum. The building stands as a historical site, built by Governor B. Gratz Brown in 1871, and today it draws visitors as a tourist attraction. The museum has a collection of artifacts, antiques and historical documents. Notably, it is the only county museum in the country to own and display inaugural gowns of its state’s First Ladies. $3 for adults $1 for kids.
- Missouri State Highway Patrol Safety Education Center, 1510 East Elm St, ☏ . M-F 8AM to 5PM. The center was opened to the public in April 1982. Nowhere in Missouri is there such a comprehensive display of information concerning traffic safety, law enforcement, drug abuse and many items relating to the history of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
- Museum of Missouri Military History, 2007 Retention Dr, ☏ . This museum is operated by the Missouri National Guard and is free of charge. It features displays about Missouri's involvement in every major military conflict since the Mexican War in 1846.
Outdoor and landmarks
- 4 Missouri State Capitol Building, 201 W. Capitol Ave, ☏ . M-F 9AM-4PM; no tours are offered during the lunch hour. Sa Su, tours start at 11AM and 2PM. Online reservations are encouraged; walk-ins may have to wait for the next tour. The capitol building was once rated as being the fifth most beautiful on the outside and first most beautiful on the inside of all 50 United States capitals by USA Today. Completed in 1917, the Capitol covers three acres in downtown Jefferson City. Free tours are provided. They will provide you with an excellent education on the State of Missouri and the structure that represents its home.
- 5 Missouri State Supreme Court Building, 207 West High St, ☏ . The Supreme Court Building in Jefferson City became a permanent home for the Court at its completion in 1907 using funds from the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. Look for the glass floors in the library. Because the building did not have electric lights when it was built, the glass floors allowed light from the windows to filter down to the main floor. Tours of the Supreme Court are given M-F; call ahead for times.
- 6 Runge Nature Center, 330 Commerce Dr, ☏ . Year round, M-Sa 8AM-5PM; Su from noon to 5PM. Enjoy the natural wonders of Missouri and the fish, forests and wildlife found here by strolling through exhibits or hiking nature center trails. Inside the center you will find an indoor wildlife viewing area, a nature library, and a small gift shop. Venture outside to explore over two miles of hiking trails. The Naturescape Trail is accessible to people with disabilities. Self-guided tours are always available; advance notice is required for naturalist-led programs. Free admission.
- 7 Governor's Mansion, 100 Madison St, ☏ . The State’s first family invites you to tour their home to see its beautiful architecture and period furniture. Public tours of the first floor are conducted each Tuesday and Thursday from 10AM until noon and again at 1PM until 3PM, except during August and December. In December, Candlelight Tours are held on two evenings during the holiday season. Free Admission. Reservations required 24 hours in advance.
- Carnahan Memorial Garden, 100 Madison St, ☏ . The garden behind the Governor’s Mansion started in the late 1930s as a WPA (Works Progress Administration) project. The WPA was created in 1938 by Franklin D. Roosevelt to employ the thousands of craftsmen and the laborers out of work during the great Depression. The Governor’s Garden was renamed in 2001 as the Carnahan Memorial Garden after the death of Governor Mel Carnahan. A beautiful site for relaxing and enjoying the beauty and smell of blooming flowers.
- 8 Lincoln University, 820 Chestnut St, ☏ . Jefferson City’s prized institution of higher education is the internationally recognized Lincoln University. The university was formed at the end of the Civil War by officers and soldiers of the 62nd and 65th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiments (these units were mostly comprised of Missourians).
- Soldier's Memorial Plaza, 820 Chestnut St, ☏ . A memorial to the soldiers of the 62nd and 65th Colored Infantries, who served in the U.S. Civil War, and went on to found Lincoln University.
- 9 National Cemetery, 1024 East McCarty St. Burials in Jefferson City National Cemetery date to summer 1861; its original purpose was for the burial of Civil War soldiers from the surrounding area. The site of the cemetery, which local residents Israel and Mary Read sold to the government, was surveyed for classification as a national cemetery during the war. However, its official designation did not occur until 1867, after the war and approximately 350 interments were completed. Jefferson City National Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Louis and Clark Trail Head Plaza (Corner of Capitol Ave. and Jefferson St.). A Lewis and Clark monument next to the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, called the Lewis and Clark Monument Trailhead Plaza, recognizes again the city's connection to Lewis and Clark. The monument is near the corner of Jefferson Street and Capitol Avenue on the Capitol grounds overlooking the Jefferson Landing Historic Site and the Missouri River. This trailhead and monument connects the Katy Trail to the Capitol and the greenway trail network now that the Missouri River Pedestrian Bridge has been completed.
- 10 Missouri State Penitentiary, 115 Lafayette St, toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. The longest operating prison west of the Mississippi, the MSP closed its doors in 2004. In 1954, overcrowding, the increasing violence of inmates and aging nature of the penitentiary climaxed into a three day riot. The National Guard was called in to suppress the rioting. When it was all over, four inmates were killed and millions of dollars of damage had been done. In 1963-64, there were 550 serious assaults inside the Missouri State Penitentiary, including hundreds of stabbings, which is why Time magazine called it the "bloodiest 47 acres in America". A few of the more famous prisoners include: Sonny Liston, James Earl Ray, and "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Decommissioned in 2004, it is now a museum offering tours of the prison focused on history, as well as specialty tours for photographers, ghost-hunters, and "paranormal investigators". 2 hr history tour $15, photography tour $40.
- Binder Park, 5840 Rainbow Dr, ☏ . Binder Park adjoins Joseph C. Miller Park. The main feature of the park is a 150-acre lake which offers excellent fishing for bass, catfish, bluegill and other species. Binder Park is also home to Jefferson City’s only disc golf course. The 18-hole course runs through the woods with some open fairways. Binder Park also has a mountain bike trail on its terrain. As the Binder Lake trail system winds across the landscape, it provides something for all users.
- Katy Trail State Park. The Katy Trail is a 225-mile (365-km) bike path stretching across most of the state of Missouri. Over half of it follows Lewis and Clark's path up the Missouri River, where you can ride beneath towering river bluffs while eagles circle overhead. After leaving the river, the trail meanders through peaceful farmland and small-town Americana. America's longest "rails-to-trail" project, formerly the MKT rail line, is flat and scenic. It's ideal for hiking, running, or cycling on just about any kind of bike.
- Cole County Park, Country Club Drive, ☏ . Cole County Park is near the fairgrounds off Country Club Drive. An attractive 8-acre lake in the park provides opportunities for fishing and picnicking. A general purpose field and a soccer field have been developed at the park.
- 1 Ellis Porter/Riverside Park, Grant Street, ☏ . Located at the north end of Grant Street on a beautiful bluff overlooking the Missouri River.
- Joseph C. Miller Park, Highway 50 West, ☏ . Joseph C. Miller Park is on Highway 50 West, approximately two miles west of Capital Mall.
- 2 McClung Park, 930 McClung Park Dr, ☏ . On Chestnut Street near Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Stadium. Contains facilities for large crowds with a covered picnic shelter, and a general purpose air-conditioned building.
- 3 McKay Park, 1700 Southridge Dr, ☏ . 5AM-11PM. This park also provides picnic shelters and tables, hiking and fitness trails, basketball courts and a playground. Located off Southwest Boulevard on Sunset Lake Road
- Memorial Park and Family Aquatic Center, 120 Binder Dr., ☏ . An aquatic center, picnic shelter, playground, picnic tables and barbecue pits.
- Washington Park, 900 E. Miller Street, ☏ . Has a multipurpose court with basketball goals, fitness trail, playground equipment, horseshoe pits, picnic tables with grills. No reservations needed.
- Prison Brews, 305 Ash Street, ☏ . Prison Brews is a unique brewpub located in the historic east side of Jefferson City two blocks from the old Missouri State Penitentiary. They describe themselves as having a diverse food menu and large selection of handcrafted ales. The large outdoor patio and bocce courts provide a great way to enjoy a beautiful Missouri day.
- Canterbury Hill Winery and Restaurant, 1707 S Summit Dr, ☏ . Tu-Th 11AM-8PM, F-Sa 11AM-9PM. Some fine views and wine sampling and food available here.
- Capitol City Cinema, 126 East High Street, ☏ . Single-screen cinema, run by a nonprofit, community-based, member-supported movie theater that specializes in independent, foreign and documentary films.
- 4 Miller Performing Arts Center.
- Oktoberfest. The last weekend in September, the Old Munichberg Associations puts on the Oktoberfest. Located at Jefferson Street and Dunklin Street in historic Old Munichburg, Oktoberfest is a celebration of Jefferson City's strong German heritage. It includes authentic homemade German food, music and dancing. A parade, car show, craft vendors and demonstrating artisans offer a day full of family activities. Some of the highlights include the Dachsund Derby and the Children's Train. A beer garden with live music serves as entertainment for the adults.
- Salute to America. One of the largest 4th of July celebrations in the state! Activities begin on July 3, with a parade and live music on the Capitol Main Stage. Activities take place throughout July 4, and wrap up with more live music and a fireworks show. With a full festival schedule, there will be plenty of fun-filled activities to entertain people of all ages. Whether it’s dancing to the sound of great music, enjoying some tasty cuisine or diving into the historic tradition of the Fourth of July, Jefferson City provides the experience through Salute to America.
- Missouri River Wine Trail. A leisurely, self-paced tour of the 4 wineries of the Missouri River Wine Trail (Les Bourgeois, Native Stone, Summit Lake – Hartsburg, and Summit Lake - Holts Summit). Each stop will present a wine and food pairing. Start at any location; see all 4 locations in 1 day, or take the whole weekend!
- Eagle Knoll, 5757 East Eagle Knoll Dr, toll-free: . Hartsburg.
- Oak Hills Golf Center/Hough Park, 932 Ellis Blvd, ☏ .
- Railwood Golf Course, 12925 County Rd, ☏ . Holts, Summit.
- Redfield Golf Course, 14005 Redfield Dr, ☏ .
- Turkey Creek Golf Center, 1616 Oil Well Rd, ☏ .
- 1 The Capital Mall, West Truman Blvd, ☏ . This mall features three major department stores (Dillard’s, Sears and JC Penney), a variety of shops and restaurants, on US 50 at West Truman Blvd. Stores include American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret, Buckle, and Bath and Body Works. This mall has seen better days.
- Downtown Jefferson City, 100 East High St., ☏ , email@example.com. High Street has been the heart of Jefferson City for more than 150 years. Downtown stores are mixed with more than 20 eateries and include American Shoe, Carrie’s Hallmark Shop, Copper Tree Exchange, Downtown Book & Toy, Fine Mess Boutique, High Handsome Men's Exchange, Southbank Gift Company, Samuel’s Tuxedos, Saffees Ladies Apparel, Snob Shop Exchange, Tolson Drug and River City Florist & The XChange Boutique.
- East Side. Spread throughout this mostly residential area you’ll find a number of quaint little shops selling everything from clocks to antiques to ceramic zebras.
- Old Munichburg, 308 West Dunklin, ☏ . Located along the south side of Hwy 50, this German-influenced neighborhood has seen a resurgence in the past few years with a number of stores, restaurants and festivals. Some stores in this area of Jefferson City are Schaefer House, Kas A Design, Riversong Day Spa, J & D Bike Shop and Busch’s Florist.
- West Side. Ambitious shoppers will enjoy the opportunities on the west side of town. Shopping centers, department stores, and over 30 restaurants are concentrated along Missouri Boulevard and adjacent streets. Best Buy, Staples, Kohl’s, and The Marketplace are located on the west side of Jefferson City.
- Wildwood Crossings, 3535 Missouri Blvd. Stores include Old Navy, Barnes and Noble, T.J. Maxx, Petco, Pier 1 and Shoe Carnival.
- Arris' Pizza Palace (Greek), 117 W High St, ☏ .
- 1 Bandanas Bar-B-Q (BBQ), 2336 Missouri Blvd, ☏ .
- [formerly dead link] Capitol City CORK & Provisions, 124 East High St., ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-6PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Serves a seasonal and changing menu and sources food locally when available.
- Central Dairy (Ice Cream), 610 Madison St, ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-6PM, Su 10AM-6PM. For a refreshing break anytime, stop in at Central Dairy for legendary ice cream treats. The dairy is an excellent stop any time of year and is known as a longtime favorite of locals and many throughout the Midwest.
- Das Stein Haus (German), 1436 Southridge Dr, ☏ .
- La Chica Loca, 306 E High St, ☏ . Breakfast burritos are the specialty.
- 2 Love Sushi (Japanese, Korean), 2201 Missouri Blvd, ☏ .
- Lutz's BBQ (BBQ), 3505 Missouri Blvd. M-Sa 10AM–8PM. Good BBQ food, the store used to be a smoker on the street, now it's part of a gas station. They had many trophies around, including at least one from the American Royal.
- Madison's Cafe (Italian), 216 Madison St, ☏ . Northern Italian, American and eclectic fare at its finest; a Jefferson City tradition since 1982. Casual, relaxed, yet elegant dining.
- Old Brick House Deli, 2421 W Edgewood Dr, ☏ . M-F 7:30AM-3:30PM.
- Sawaddee Thai Kitchen, 103 E High St, ☏ .
- 3 Spectators Sports Bar & Grill, 232 E High St, ☏ . Three floors with a sports bar on the main level, the upper level is a loft that can be reserved for private parties and the lower level being the game area having amenities including pool tables, foosball and darts. The main and lower levels have a full bar offering great selection and service.
- 4 Sweet Smoke BBQ - Downtown, 127 East High St, ☏ . 11AM-9PM. Missouri BBQ chain.
- 5 The Grand Cafe, 107 E High St, ☏ . They profess to serve "exceptional cuisine in a relaxed environment". They have an extensive wine, beer and liquor selection, and their menu changes with the seasons.
- YoYums, 122 E High St, ☏ . A mom 'n' pop self-serve frozen yogurt store.
- 1 Bones Restaurant and Lounge, 210 Commercial St, ☏ .
- 2 Gumbo Bottoms Ale House, 221 Madison St, ☏ .
- 3 Paddy Malone's Pub, 700 W Main St (Just west of the Capitol on Main), ☏ . M-Sa 3PM-1AM. Extremely good food, Guinness, Irish music. 20 oz draughts $4-6.
- 4 The Mission, 915 E High St, ☏ . Terrific bar with great entertainment!
- Ecco Lounge, 703 Jefferson St, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM.
- 5 Yanis Coffee Zone, 130 E High St, ☏ . Home of Rocket Fuel. The capital's only Middle Eastern cuisine.
- 1 Baymont Suites, 319 West Miller St, ☏ .
- 2 Capitol Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, 415 West McCarty St, ☏ .
- 3 Doubletree Hotel Jefferson City, 422 Monroe St, ☏ .
- 4 Best Western Capital Inn, 1937 Christy Dr, ☏ .
- Candlewood Suites, 3514 Amazonas Dr, ☏ .
- 5 Days Inn, 2100 Jefferson St, ☏ .
- Fairfield Inn, 3621 West Truman Blvd, ☏ .
- Holiday Inn & Suites Jefferson City, 1590 Jefferson St, ☏ .
|Routes through Jefferson City|
|Kansas City ← Sedalia ←||W E||→ Hermann → St. Louis|
|Kansas City ← Sedalia ←||W E||→ Gray Summit → St. Louis|
|Nevada ← Lake Ozark ←||SW NE||→ Mexico → Griggsville|
|Ottumwa ← Columbia ←||N S||→ Rolla → Jonesboro|