Jefferson City is a beautiful city and Missouri’s capital. This beautiful city was named Jefferson in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the United States third President. This beautiful city is home to some of the amazing destinations, landmarks and attractions that visiting will make your trip memorable. While in Jefferson City, you should never fail to visit the farmers’ markets located there so that you can meet the natives, buy local souvenirs, taste local dishes and to understand the region’s culture better. Additionally, you can visit the Missouri State Capitol and admire the breathtaking neoclassical piece of architecture. There are historic buildings such as the Missouri Governors mansions and many more that you can visit during your trip to this beautiful city.
Further, you can visit the nature trails around this beautiful city to stretch your muscles by hiking or just taking a walk. You should never fail to climb the 60-foot fire tower at the Runge Conservation Nature Center if you want to have panoramic views of this beautiful city and its surrounding areas. Moreover, there are various bird, fish and animals’ species, plus a variety of flora that you can see by visiting various destinations during your trip to this fantastic city. There are remarkable artifacts and exhibits from various wars in the past that you can visit the museums located to see during your visit.
Jefferson City covers an estimated area of around 9 square kilometers with an elevation of 192 meters. The number of people residing in this beautiful city as per the 2010 census report is estimated to be 43,079, making it among the top 20 most populous cities in the state. There are multiple destinations with Jefferson City that you can visit to make your trip memorable. Here are the best ten things to do in Jefferson City, Missouri.
# 10 – The Missouri State Museum
If you want more details and understand the history of Jefferson City and the entire Missouri state during your trip to the region, there is no better place to visit than the Missouri State Museum. This museum is located within the Missouri State capital on the first floor, and it is found along 201 W Capitol Avenue. Additionally, the Missouri State Museum was founded in 1919. During your visit to this state museum, you will find and be able to view more than 30,000 artifacts that are showcased throughout the collections in the museum. Some of the artifacts exhibited in this museum showcase the history of Missouri from earlier days before Indian removal to the present day.
Further, there are more than 100 collections of Civil War and World War 1 flags exhibited in this museum that you will be able to view during your visit. Apart from permanent exhibits, there are temporary exhibits that you may get a chance to view during your visit. There is a variety of educational programs such as workshops and field trip programming for students that take place in this museum during the entire year. Admission to this museum is free, and it is open daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
# 9 – Capital Arts Gallery
If you are into arts and would love to view some fine art pieces during your trip to this city, then your destination should be 1203 Missouri Blvd, Jefferson City in Missouri. This art gallery is a public art gallery, and it has hosted non-profit art exhibitions since 2009. Additionally, up to nine annual exhibitions are hosted in this gallery. During your visit to this art gallery, you will find and see the works of hundreds of regional and national artists that work in a variety of media.
Further, there are interactive educational programs at this gallery that you can visit with kids during your visit. You may also attend several events and festivals such as Capital Chalk Art Festival, Porchfest, Salvation Army’s Empty Bowls and Gallery Crawls, plus many more that the art gallery organizes during your visit. Finally, you can also attend Studio workshops for topics such as painting and bookmaking offered at the art gallery all year round.
# 8 – Missouri State Penitentiary
Missouri state prison was established in 1836, and it served as a maximum-security prison until it was decommissioned in 2004 and replaced by Jefferson City Correctional Center. At one time, the Missouri State Penitentiary was named the ‘bloodiest 47 acres in America’ by Time Magazine because of its dreadful past. This state prison is one of the best places to tour during your visit to the city if you want to get details about prison events in the country in the past. Some of the most notorious criminals in the history of America, such as James Earl Ray, Sonny Liston, and Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, were housed in this state penitentiary. Additionally, during your visit to this prison, you will get more details about its dark past. You will also get an insight into the brutal execution of 40 inmates by visiting the horrid gas chamber.
Additionally, you will also get more details about intriguing escape attempts, the infamous riots of 1954 and many more. You will also get an insight into how inmates lived in this prison in the past before its decommissioning. You can tour and explore this state penitentiary from Friday to Sunday ad a fee of $15.
# 7 – Runge Conservation Nature Centre
There is something for everyone at Jefferson City, Missouri. Runge Conservation Nature Center is one of the best destinations to visit if you are nature-oriented. This destination is also one of the best places in the city that you can visit with kids. Inside this nature, the center is an aquarium, indoor exhibits, birdwatching spots, nature trails, and many more. Additionally, In the 3,580-gallon aquarium, you will find different species of fish. There is a myriad of wildlife such as live reptiles, amphibians and many more that you will be able to see during your visit.
You can use the nature trails around the nature center to stretch your muscles by hiking or walking during your visit. While hiking on the nature trails, you will have spectacular views of the surrounding greenery and vegetation. There are multiple bird species that nest within this nature center that you may feed as you watch them and listen to them sing during your visit. Furthermore, this nature center features a 60-foot fire tower that you can climb to have panoramic views of the city and the surrounding areas. Runge Conservation Nature Center is located at 330 Commerce Dr, Jefferson City. You can visit this nature center daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Sundays and Mondays.
# 6 – Binder Park
Binder Park is another great destination to visit during your trip to Jefferson City, Missouri, if you are an outdoor enthusiast who is nature-oriented. Additionally, this beautiful park is also a great destination in the city to visit with kids. This beautiful park covers an estimated area of 644-acres, and it is located at 5840 Rainbow Dr, Jefferson City, Missouri. Inside this 644-acre park, there is a pristine lake suitable for water-related activities such as boating and fishing. Some of the fish species found in the lake located with Binder Park include catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and many more.
There are picnicking areas that you can use for a picnic and admire nature during your visit. The park also features softball fields that you can use to stretch your muscles by playing a softball game during your visit. There are also campsites that you can use to pitch a tent. Further, there are more than 15 RV campsites with amenities like a sewer, water supply, a shower house, a laundry, barbecue grills, campfire rings, electrical hookups and many more.
# 5 – Museum of Missouri Military History
Museum of Missouri Military History is one of the best destinations in Jefferson City to visit if you want to get more details about Missouri’s military history. Inside this museum, there are artefacts and demonstrations ranging from the Revolutionary war of the 1700s to the current day. Some of the exhibits that you will be able to see during your visit to the Museum of Missouri Military History include Sheridan Tank, an F-15 Eagle Fighter, C-130 Hercules, F-4 Phantom II Fighter, helicopters, jeeps and many more. Additionally, there are exhibits from both world war I and II that you will be able to see during your visit. Most of the exhibits and displays in the museum keep on changing to ensure it is up to date.
# 4 – Hough Park
There are endless places in Jefferson City worth visiting if you are an outdoor enthusiast. One of the best destinations in Jefferson City you should never miss visit during your trip there is Hough Park. Hough Park is also an amazing destination to visit with kids if you want to spend some time outdoors during your trip to Jefferson City. Additionally, this beautiful park features a serene lake that you can use for water-related activities such as canoeing and fishing. Some of the fish species you will find in the lake located within this park include sunfish, catfish, bluegill, crappie and black bass.
# 3 – The Downtown Jefferson City
There are multiple historic buildings and splendid architecture in this beautiful city, and most of them can be found in Downtown Jefferson. During your visit to Downtown Jefferson City, in Missouri, you will be able to see the breathtaking architecture of the Romanesque and other Victorian-era styles. Additionally, you find and see the oldest synagogue west of the Mississippi River during your visit to this region. The unique building around Downtown Jefferson City features stained glass, unique window styles, old towers, antique clocks and many more.
There are remarkable buildings such as Lohman’s Opera House, Exchange and Trust Bank Building, Cole County Courthouse, and Temple Beth El that you can visit while in the region. You can visit the restaurants around the area to catch a bite of local dishes and shops to get local souvenirs.
# 2 – The Missouri Governor’s Mansion
The Missouri Governor’s Mansion is another stunning architectural piece you should never miss visiting and viewing during your trip to Jefferson City, Missouri. This beautiful architecture building was built in 1871 in the Neo-Renaissance architecture style by architect George Ingham Barnett. The mansion is located at 100 Madison Street in Jefferson City, Missouri, just a short distance from the Missouri State Capitol. During your visit to The Missouri Governor’s Mansion interior, you will have spectacular views of breathtaking elements such as the pink granite columns, grand walnut stairway, mansard roof and many more. Additionally, during your visit to this beautiful mansion, you will have picturesque views of the Missouri River and the Missouri State Capitol. There are beautiful sceneries around the mansion that are suitable for taking photos. The Missouri Governor’s Mansion is open for tour daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Saturday and Sunday.
# 1 – The Missouri State Capitol
Jefferson City is home to one of the amazing State Capitols in the United States. Your trip to this beautiful city will not be considered complete without visiting The Missouri State Capitol. The Missouri State Capitol is located at 201 W Capitol Ave, in Jefferson City, Missouri. Additionally, The Missouri State Capitol is a breathtaking piece of neoclassical architecture that opened in 1917. It is the third state capitol in this beautiful city after the other two were damaged and demolished by fire. The design of this breathtaking neoclassical architecture was done by New York City architects Tracy and Swartwout.
The Missouri State Capitol houses the legislative and the executive branches of the state’s government. The chambers of the Missouri General Assembly are also found in this stunning building. During your visit to this unique state capitol, you will be able to have fantastic views of iconic architectural elements such as the capitol’s 238-feet gorgeous dome and the incredible bronze statue of the Roman goddess Ceres. Moreover, during your visit, you can take guided tours to explore the building at no cost, and you will have spectacular views of the river. The Missouri State Capitol is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.