Jefferson City, Missouri in a Day

Photo by Rob Stinnett

The "Show-Me State" shows you its historical capital city

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Jefferson City might be best known as home to the Capitol, but Jefferson City also is a place of rich Missouri history, and host to a variety of fall festivals and activities throughout the season. Here are our best ideas for spending a day in the capital.

Morning in Jefferson City, Missouri

Oscar’s Classic Diner
Cruise in for fabulous 1950s food and fun. Oscar’s breakfast favorites include made-from-scratch biscuits with gravy, country-fried steak and jumbo omelets. Enjoy the music and nostalgia of the fabulous 50s.

Runge Nature Center
Inside, explore more than 3,000 square feet of exhibits that lead you through a myriad of Missouri’s natural habitats. Featured in the exhibit area are a 3,580-gallon fish aquarium, live amphibians and reptiles, hands-on activities for children, an indoor wildlife viewing area, a nature library, a small gift shop and other displays.Venture outside to discover more than two miles of hiking trails.

Missouri State Capitol
The Capitol, completed in 1918, covers three acres in downtown Jefferson City. The dome rises 238 feet above ground level. The structure is notable for its architectural features, including: eight 48-foot columns on the south portico; six 40-foot columns on the north side; a 30-foot-wide grand stairway; and 13-foot by 18-foot bronze doors on the south side.

Afternoon in Jefferson City, Missouri

The Old Brick House Deli
Enjoy a comfortable atmosphere and a quality meal for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday. It serves a variety of sandwiches, salads and wraps.

Missouri State Penitentiary Museum
Giving visitors an opportunity to learn more about the history of the famous – or infamous – prison, the museum includes a replica cell with prison bars, a bunk and a toilet to demonstrate what living conditions were like. Also, the museum has a number of large displays featuring photographs of the penitentiary through time. Several display cases are filled with artifacts and memorabilia on loan to the museum.

Carnahan Memorial Gardens
A striking complement to the Capitol Complex, this garden, located next to the Governor’s Mansion, was constructed in the late 1930s. The site is filled with flowers, pools, and walkways.

Evening in Jefferson City, Missouri

Capitol City Cork and Provisions
This wine shop and bistro serves lunch and dinner. If you do not drink wine, you will find a short list of beers, soda and tea options. A farm-to-table dinner special is served every Friday and Saturday.

This itinerary is compliments of the Missouri Division of Tourism.

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