Jefferson City

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States Missouri Jefferson City



Missouri State Capitol Building

Missouri State Capitol Building

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Jefferson City, located on the Missouri River nearly halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City, is the state capital of Missouri. 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. In 2013, Jefferson City was named America's "Most Beautiful" Small Town by Rand McNally.



Sights and Activities

Recently the capitol building was rated as being the first most beautiful on the inside of all 50 United States capitals by USAToday. Tours of the exquisite Missouri State Capitol Building are free and offered 7 days a week.

In addition to the award winning Capitol building, Jefferson City is home to a number of other historical sites and museums. Included in these are the brand new Lewis and Clark Trailhead Plaza, Museum of Missouri Military History, Runge Nature Center, Museum of Veterinary History, Missouri State Museum, Missouri State Highway Patrol Museum, and Cole County Historical Society Museum. (Tours of the attractions listed above are free of charge except for the Cole County Historical Society Museum which charges a nominal fee of $3 per person.)

Lincoln University, located in Jefferson City, is both a regional university and a Historically Black University. Lincoln University was founded in 1866 by members of the 62 nd and 65 th Colored Infantries of the Civil War specifically for the education of African-Americans who were previously prohibited from seeking out higher education in Missouri. The campus now includes a monument dedicated to these founders as well as eight buildings on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

Katy Trail State Park (a former railroad converted for bicycle usage and hiking) runs on the north side of the Missouri River. The trail stretches 225 miles between St. Charles and Clinton, Missouri. It is wheelchair accessible. Jefferson City has a multitude of parks, trails and golf courses open for public use. Lakes for fishing, boating and swimming, walking trails and nature viewpoints are scattered throughout the city.


  • Binder Park, 5840 Rainbow Dr, (573) 634-6482. 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, (573) 636-3614 - Cole County Park is located 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.
  • Ellis Porter/Riverside Park, Grant Street, (573) 634-6482 - Located at the north end of Grant Street on a beautiful bluff overlooking the Missouri River.
  • Joseph C. Miller Park Highway 50 West (573) 634-6482 - Joseph C. Miller Park is located on Highway 50 West, approximately two miles west of Capital Mall.
  • McClung Park, 930 McClung Park Drive, (573) 634-6482 - 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.
  • McKay Park, 1700 Southridge Drive (573) 634-6482, open 5:00am-11:00pm. 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, 111 Memorial Park Drive, (573) 634-6482 - Located at 120 Binder Dr., it has an aquatic center, picnic shelter, playground, picnic tables and barbecue pits.
  • Washington Park, 900 E. Miller Streetm (573) 634-6482 - Has a multipurpose court with basketball goals, fitness trail, playground equipment, horseshoe pits, picnic tables with grills. No reservations needed.


  • Native Stone Winery, 4317 Native Stone Rd (573) 584-8600 - Located atop the bluffs of the Missouri River, Native Stone is a 300 acre estate owned and operated by Cara and Larry Stauffer. The estate has been farmed by the Stauffer family since the 1960’s and is named for the national award-winning play “Native Stone” written by Jim Steerman, and based on lives of the Stauffer family’s ancestors. For current hours of operation please call.
  • Summit Lake Winery, 1707 South Summit Dr. (573) 893-9966 - Opened in February 2002, Summit Lake Winery sits high on the blufftop overlooking Highway 54, the Missouri River, and Jefferson City. They offer distinctive Midwest wines and a creative bistro menu. Also with year round wine tasting, they also have facilities to accommodate rehearsal dinners, receptions, large or small parties, conferences and banquets.


  • Eagle Knoll, 5757 East Eagle Knoll Drive, Hartsburg, (800) 909-0564.
  • Oak Hills Golf Center/Hough Park, 932 Ellis Blvd, (573) 634-6532.
  • Railwood Golf Course, 12925 County Road Holts, Summit, (573) 896-GOLF.
  • Redfield Golf Course, 14005 Redfield Drive, (573) 498-0110.
  • Turkey Creek Golf Center, 1616 Oil Well Road, (573) 636-7833.



Events and Festivals


  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.


  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.




Jefferson City has a humid continental climate (Dfa) with hot, rainy summers and cold winters. Thunderstorms are common in both the spring and summer. Light snow is common during the winter, although about half of wintertime precipitation falls as rain.



Getting There

By Plane

Jefferson City Memorial Airport (IATA: JEF, ICAO: KJEF), located just across the Missouri River, only serves general aviation. There is currently (as of December 2008) no commercial airline flying into this airport.

The closest airport with commercial service is Columbia Regional Airport (IATA: COU, ICAO: KCOU) in neighbouring Columbia. Northwest Airlines is the only carrier at the airport, with service from Memphis. From Jefferson City, the airport is located about 23 miles (37 km) north, connected by the US Highway 63.

The closest full-scale commercial airport is Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (IATA: STL, ICAO: KSTL), located in St. Louis, about 120 miles (193 km) 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. Take exit 148 for US Highway 54 south and drive for about 30 minutes until you reach Jefferson City.

By Train

Jefferson City is serviced by Amtrak services from St. Louis and Kansas City by the Missouri Routes.

By Car

  • From the East, take 70 west to highway 54 west.
  • From the West, take 70 east to highway 63 south to highway 54 west.
  • Highway 50 also runs east and west through Jefferson City.



Getting Around

Most of the attractions are located in the heart of downtown 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. This is an excellent place to go and be safe from the dangers of a busy street.

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.




Central Dairy 610 Madison St. (573) 635-6148, 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. Open Monday-Saturday, 8:00am-6:00pm, Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm.

  • Arris' Pizza Palace, 117 West High Street, ☎ (573) 635-9225.
  • Bandanas Bar-B-Q, 2336 Missouri Blvd, ☎ (573) 634-RIBS.
  • Bingham's, 1510 Jefferson Street, ☎ (573) 635-5388.
  • Das Stein Haus, 1436 Southridge, ☎ (573) 634-3869. German
  • Kate & Ally's New York Pizzeria, 1418 Missouri Blvd, ☎ (573) 893-8855.
  • Madison's Cafe, 216 Madison St., ☎ (573) 634-2988. Itailian
  • The Prison Brews, 305 Ash, ☎ (573) 635-0678.




  • Best Western Capital Inn, 1937 Christy Drive, ☎ (573) 635-4175.
  • Candlewood Suites, 3514 Amazonas Drive, ☎ (573) 634-8822.
  • Capitol Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, 415 West McCarty Street, ☎ (573) 635-1234.
  • Days Inn, 2100 Jefferson Street, ☎ (573) 761-3600.
  • Doubletree Hotel, 422 Monroe Street, ☎ (573) 636-5101.
  • Fairfield Inn, 3621 West Truman Blvd., ☎ (573) 761-0400.
  • Holiday Inn Express, 1716 Jefferson Street, ☎ (573) 634-4040.
  • Hotel Deville, 319 West Miller Street, ☎ (573) 636-5231.
  • Truman Hotel & Conference Center, 1510 Jefferson Street Jefferson, ☎ (573) 635-7171.
  • Budget Inn, 1309 Jefferson Street, ☎ (573) 636-6167.
  • Econo Lodge, 1926 Jefferson Street, ☎ (573) 636-2797.
  • Motel 6, 1624 Jefferson Street, ☎ (573) 634-4220.
  • Super 8 Motel, 1710 Jefferson Street, ☎ (573) 636-5456.

View our map of accommodation in Jefferson City



Keep Connected


There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.


See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.


The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.
100 East High Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101 is where the main post office is.


Accommodation in Jefferson City

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This is version 25. Last edited at 10:11 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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