Many travellers ask this question: “What are the best things to do in Jefferson City MO?” Most of the time, it becomes a nightmare that you can’t even place your hands on the main reason for your vacation.
Jefferson City, MO, is home to the state capitol building and some beautiful scenery, making it a great place to live and visit. It is also a glamorous destination in Missouri, being its capital city, with most of its endowment and history based there. This makes Jefferson City a great destination for a nice treat.
From historic sites to great food and drink, here’s what we consider the 22 best things to do in Jefferson City, perfect activities whether you’re travelling with friends or family! Let us make your special vacation unforgettable as you trip with me to Jefferson City, Missouri.
22 Fun Things To Do In Jefferson City MO
#1. Missouri State Penitentiary
Missouri State Penitentiary is one of the old historical buildings in Jefferson City. It was a prison that operated from the year 1836 to the year 2004.
The Missouri State Penitentiary is the best place to tour a 19th-century prison. It was a prison that held the USA’s most notorious convicts and was regarded as one of the most successful prisons.
Ghost and history tours are the most carried out in Missouri State penitentiary.
Visiting this state prison is one of the things to do for a remarkable trip to Jefferson City. Before its decommissioning in 2004, some part of Missouri State penitentiary now serves as a museum, but some areas were still crafted for tourist tours.
It is located at 115 Lafayette St, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States.
#2. Runde Nature Center
One of the greatest sites in Jefferson City to see animal displays is the Runge Nature Center. It’s a terrific location for tourist attractions since Punta Cana and its outdoor animal display provide a good sight for kids.
In the range nature centre, you will view all animals, both the aquarium animals and wildlife.
Runge nature centre features about 2 miles of hiking, biking, and strolling trails. This is one of the best recorded and should be included in your list of things to do for a memorable trip to Jefferson City, Missouri.
This centre has done a great job conserving nature and is a very nice place for bird watching.
It is partially wheelchair accessible, does not allow pets, and is open to people of all ages.
It is located at 330 Commerce Dr, Jefferson City, MO 65109, United States.
#3. Jefferson Landing State Historic Site
Jefferson Landing state’s historic site is one of the old landmarks in Jefferson City, Missouri, United States.
It was built in 1834 as a landing area for the Missouri River. Jefferson Landing state historic sites were once used for a store and warehouse but currently serve as tourist attractions.
On this site, several state-owned properties are in sight, including the union hotel, Christopher Malls’ house, Elizabeth Rosier gallery, and Lohman’s landing building.
Jefferson landing state historic site offers a lot of fun, as it serves as a park, garden, and landmark site. It’s a place to enjoy a good stroll. Beautiful historical arts and culture are also on display.
Ensure you take a tour with your family and friends for every trip to this site. It is worth the precious time and should be on your list of things to do in Jefferson City.
It is located at 100 Jefferson Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States.
#4. Collection County Historical Museum
Cole county historical museum is a museum that unwraps the historical gem of cole county. With the mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the history of cole county. This museum is built in 4 storey building which can be reached through an elevator.
This is one of the best places to spend quality time on educational and recreational exhibits. Explore its collections featuring furniture, painting, pictures, records, documents and other artifacts related to Cole county history.
On the other hand, educational activities involve researches which can be carried out in the museum library.
The Cole County Historical Museum is quite a great place to add to the list of things to do in Jefferson City, Mo, for a memorable vacation. The staff are very amazing and will help you achieve your goals.
It is located at 109 Medison St, Jefferson City, Mo 65101, United States.
#5. Lewis and Clark Monument
Lewis and Clark’s monument is a great iconic sculpture built in honour of state explorers. It was made very close to the Missouri state capitol.
Lewis and Clark’s monuments have a stunning landscape of which the statues, several waterfalls, walkways, and benches built in the arena added to its beauty. It is a lovely place for tourist attractions and entertains thousands of visitors annually.
Lewis and Clark’s monuments serve as a good sight which should include the things to do in Jefferson City, Missouri, for a memorable vacation.
The sculptured statues include captain Meriwether Lewis and Williams Clark, York (Clark’s manservants), George Drouillard (French Canadian Shawnee Hunter and interpreter), Seman (Lewis dog) telescope, guns, and journals.
Visit Lewis and Clark monument and enjoy the freshest trail.
It is located at 101 w Capitol Ave, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States.
#6. Museum of Missouri Military History
This museum tells about the history of the military in Missouri. It highlights the military experience, artifacts, photographs, and other military documents.
The Museum of Misery Military History offers indoor and outdoor exhibits, where you will see all types of machinery used by the Missouri military. It is a place to get a close look at military vehicles & airlines such as the F-15, Eagle Fighter, Sherman Tank and so on.
This is a very nice place worth exploring, rendering both educative and fun. Museum of misery military history is among the top things to do in Jefferson City, Mo.
It is located at 2405 logistics Rd, Jefferson City, Mo 65101, United States.
Looking for more thrills around Missouri? You can check out the Best and Fun things to do in Chesterfield (Missouri)
#7. McKay Park
Mckay park is one of the fascinating parks in Jefferson City. It was built in 1979 and named after Neil McKay, who donated handsomely towards the project.
It features a lake, playground, an asphalt basketball court and 10 picnic grounds. Buh Mckay Park was famous for its amazing picnics arena, fishing, and kid’s play area.
The park remains one of the best ways to catch fun with family members. It welcomes and entertains its guest to their fullest.
Location: 1700 Southridge Dr, Jefferson City, MO 65109, United States.
#8. Jefferson City Museum of Modern Art
Jefferson City Museum of Modern Art is more like an educational museum and gallery in Jefferson City. It was built with the mission of inspiring young artists for the advancement of arts regardless of their status.
Jefferson City Museum of Modern Art is a fascinating place to tour, especially for art lovers. It offers all kinds of art galleries and educates more on the young artist, and it remains one of the best places for group tours, especially with youths and should be included in things to do in Jefferson City, Missouri, for your every trip.
Location: 220 E High St a, Jefferson City, Mo 65101, United States.
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#9. State Historic Preservation Office
This is a governmental firm built to protect the national historic preservation in Missouri, located in Jefferson City. They work tremendously in identifying/safeguarding the history of architectural and archaeological resources of Missouri State. The Federal government funds the state’s historic preservation office.
It is one of the best places to visit, offering both pictorial and oral education on the state’s historic preservation.
You can also learn more about the historic site from this place. It remains one of the top things to do in Jefferson City, MO, making it an excellent choice for memorable vacations.
The state historic preservation office provides the most up-to-date information on historic preservation.
It is located at 1101 Riverside Dr, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States.
#10. Clarks Hill / Noron State Historic Site
Clarks hills/Norton state historic site is the hill where Lewis and Clark once camped. It is one of the great historic sites in Jefferson City. This site covers 13 acres of land.
It is a place to have a clear view of the confluence of the Missouri river and Osage river. Clarks hill/ Norton State Historic site features other natural habitats to explore, which include the woodpecker, herons, butterflies, stinkhorn mushroom etc.
Wow, what a great site to explore and virtually among the top things to do in Jefferson City.
Not to worry about the educational value of this historic site because signs describe the area and things that happened there a long time ago.
This is a must-see place, and it offers archaeological, natural history, geology, American history and other fascinating views to brighten your trip.
It features good hiking and biking trails which are the common activities on the site.
Location: 8838, 1816 Osage hickory St, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States.
#11. Governor’s Mansion
A tour of the historic Governor’s Mansion gives you a glimpse into the state’s rich history and offers insight into how life was for our forefathers.
Visitors will have the chance to travel back in time and discover the history of our state inside the Governor’s Mansion in Missouri. One of the few executive homes in the country accessible to the general public is the Governor’s Mansion in Missouri.
Volunteers provide free guided tours due to the Friends of the Missouri Governor’s Mansion Docent Program’s assistance. Please read all material before booking your visit to comprehend the Mansion rules.
All guests must make bookings for tours, which must be done at least a day in advance. Due to the distance between the Missouri State Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion, it is advised that you plan some extra time between your visits.
Address: 100 Madison St, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States
#12. The Capital City Players
You’ll have a good time at The Capital City Players. This is the perfect place for a fun evening with your significant other. The theatre has been delighting audiences since 1991.
Rob Crouse, President of Capital City Players, established this not-for-profit community dinner theatre organization. It initially assembled local talent to play “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” in the dinner theatre at the Truman Hotel and Convention Center in Jefferson City.
You’ll enjoy live performances of both classic and modern plays. Shows are put on year-round, so there’s always something new to see! Theatregoers can choose from productions that include comedies, mysteries, dramas and classics such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet or Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Located in the heart of Jefferson City on the beautiful campus of Stephens College, it is easy for travellers with interest in theatre to make this one of their stops during a visit to our city.
Address: 719 Wicker Ln, Jefferson City, MO 65109, United States
#13. Binder State Park
Binder State Park is one of the best places to visit in Jefferson City, MO. Its most popular park in the state, this park is a must for people who love to hike. It is filled with winding trails and scenic views. One of the best trails is the two-mile trail that loops through the forest with no elevation change.
This family-friendly walk offers many viewing opportunities for wildlife, such as deer and birds. The park has camping sites and offers different fishing experiences.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, try your hand at fishing from a canoe or kayak. If you’re lucky enough to get there early enough in the morning, you’ll be treated to an amazing sunrise over Lake Glenda Sue, which sits on one side of the park.
#14. Miller Performing Arts Center
Jefferson City is home to the Miller Performing Arts Center, a beautiful 5-story building that hosts concerts and other performances. There is a theatre on each level of the center with tiered seating for seating up to 1,600 guests.
The Miller Performing Arts Center, first used as the Jefferson City Junior College in 1926, has housed several educational institutions, including Jefferson City High School, Jefferson City Junior High School, and the Instructional Resource Center.
The Jefferson City Public Schools, located in Jefferson City, Missouri, are the only ones that own and run the Miller Performing Arts Center.
With its capacity for 1,600 people and tiered seats, this center is perfect for any occasion. It also houses a museum store where visitors can purchase t-shirts, CDs and DVDs from performers who have previously performed at the venue.
Address: 501 Madison St, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States
#15. Scene One Theatre
What do you get when the best theater company in the state of Missouri moves into a building that’s been vacant for more than 20 years? A lot of space and some serious artistic drive.
The Scene One Theatre is now one of the most exciting destinations in Jefferson. With the main stage that seats 250 people and an intimate black box theatre with seating for 80 guests, Scene One has something for everyone.
They have a full-time professional theatre company with classic and innovative productions. So whether you’re looking for comedy, drama or anything else under the sun, you’ll find it at Scene One Theatre.
Address: 623 Ohio St, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States
#16. Capital Arts
Capital Art is a lovely place to visit if you are looking for what to do in Jefferson City. This non-profit organization focuses on teaching art and music classes to children of all ages. The building is full of studios and classrooms where kids can go to explore their talents.
There are also spaces for adults who want to learn or teach something new. They offer everything from pottery classes, dance lessons, and painting workshops with always on hand with professional instructors. Classes are offered at different times throughout the week, so there’s always something for everyone!
Whether donating funds to a local artist’s project, buying musical instruments for low-income families, or providing scholarships for students who may not otherwise be able to afford an art education, Capital Arts makes a difference in our community. We’re proud to support them.
Address: 1203 Missouri Blvd, Jefferson City, MO 65109, United States
#17. Prison Brews
If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path on your Jefferson City adventure, stop by the prison and sample some of their brews. It’s a unique experience that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Two blocks from the former Missouri State Penitentiary, on Jefferson City’s historic east side, lies a unique brewpub called Prison Brews. Their calming, nostalgic atmosphere calms your thoughts as their extensive meal menu, and various handmade beers tempt your senses.
The food is surprisingly good too! A three-course meal consisting of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and cornbread is included with the price of admission. I’d recommend taking advantage of this opportunity if you have a chance because it was one of my favourite things we did while visiting Jefferson City.
The expansive patio outside and the bocce courts offer a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of a gorgeous Missouri day. Escape the routine and head to Prison Brews!
You can also check out the best restaurants in Jefferson city.
Address: 305 Ash St, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States
#18. Missouri Boulevard Antique Mall
Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of life is so easy that you forget about the importance of taking some time for yourself. Not just for your health but your sanity as well. This is where a trip to the antique mall can be a welcome escape from reality.
The Missouri Boulevard Antique Mall is full of treasures waiting for you to find them! You’ll be amazed at the items that fill this 5 story building. Whether you’re looking for furniture, home decor pieces, or antiques, there’s something here for everyone!
Some of my favourite finds include glassware and china sets, antique books with leather covers, unique jewelry pieces, rustic metal lamps and much more. There are even toys for those who have children in tow.
With such an expansive selection, it will take hours to see everything! I guarantee you’ll feel better once you leave the Missouri Boulevard Antique Mall than when you arrived – no matter what mood you were in before!
Address: 1415 Missouri Blvd, Jefferson City, MO 65109, United States
#19. Scuba Adventure
Jefferson City is home to some of the best scuba diving in the Midwest. The diverse terrain and underwater topography make for a unique experience every time. One of the most popular scuba adventures. The City is home to the only inland scuba diving facility in the US.
The JeffCo Dive Center offers scuba courses from beginner to master divers and provides certification testing for dive instructors. People of all ages can learn how to scuba dive at the JeffCo Dive Center, with programs tailored for children as young as nine.
Students will enjoy a variety of classes, including water safety, ocean ecology and marine life identification. Safety is always an important priority at the JeffCo Dive Center, and students must complete 12 hours of classroom instruction before they enter open water.
Once finished with their lessons, students have access to unlimited dives on our local reefs! Add this to your list of things to do today in Jefferson City, Missouri.
#20. Turkey Creek Golf Center
If you’re looking for a great day out with the family, Turkey Creek Golf Center is the place for you! The facility boasts 27 holes on two courses- one for beginners and one for more advanced players.
There are plenty of fun things to do at Turkey Creek Golf Center- from pony rides and a petting zoo to an expansive driving range and short game area.
There’s even a full-service restaurant on site! Make your way to Turkey Creek Golf Center today and enjoy some time on the links.
Address: 1616 Oilwell Rd, Jefferson City, MO 65101, United States
#21. Riversong Spa & Salon
Whether travelling with your family or looking for a time out of the rat race, Riversong Spa & Salon offers the perfect retreat. With its tranquil location right on Table Rock Lake and an extensive menu of spa services, it’s easy to find your zen at this luxurious spa.
The staff is trained in all aspects of massage therapy, and they offer everything from hot stone massages to aromatherapy treatments. They also have a full-service salon, so you can always get your hair done before or after your treatment.
Secluded on 10 scenic acres, this destination spa boasts various features, including indoor and outdoor whirlpools, heated mineral pools and an expansive deck overlooking Table Rock Lake for ultimate relaxation. Treatments include European facials, soothing body wraps and honey scrubs.
Address: 2014 William St, Jefferson City, MO 65109, United States
#22. Studio 573 Fitness
Studio 573 offers various classes and training programs, but their specialized program is TRX Suspension Training. This class provides a full-body workout that improves strength and balance while strengthening core muscles.
TRX Suspension Training also helps improve flexibility, a common weakness for many people. The instructors are knowledgeable and will provide a personal training session to help you meet your goals.
These sessions can be customized so the trainer can see what you need to work on most. They offer one-time workouts or memberships where it’s just $20 per month.
If you are looking for something more intense than TRX suspension training, try Crossfit Level 1 Certification Course at Studio 573 Fitness. You’ll be able to do multiple types of fitness, such as running, gymnastics, weightlifting and more, all at once, which is great if you want a well-rounded fitness routine.
Address: 3600 Country Club Dr #530A, Jefferson City, MO 65109, United States
What to Pack for a Trip to Jefferson City
We advise you to carry the following items with you:
Comfortable Walking Shoes: Make sure to have good walking shoes because you’ll be doing a lot of walking throughout the city. I’ve cherished the Brooks brand shoes I’ve worn for years. For guys, I’ve linked them here, and for women, see it here.
Power bank: When exploring, we always have a power bank with us that is completely charged. In this manner, we can plug in our phone and recharge it on the road if the battery is becoming low. For navigation and photography, we rely extensively on our phones. Thus, this device is essential for us.
Bottle water: We prefer to take an insulated, reusable water bottle when exploring.
Travel journal: Making a list of the locations and activities you wish to accomplish while travelling is possible with a travel journal. This saves time and ensures that you make the most of your journey. You might look up interesting and hidden locations to visit!
Backpack: Whether planning a trip to North America or just going on a day hike, backpacks are necessary. Backpacks allow you to carry your items in one easy-to-manage location. They also allow you to keep your valuables close and safe.
Is Jefferson City, MO worth visiting?
Jefferson City MO is an exciting place that’s full of history. From the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse to museums, zoos and parks, you’ll have plenty of things to do here.
One of the best ways to see all that our city has to offer is by taking a bike tour or walking tour through the city. You’ll be able to learn about the architecture and history from your guide as you take in all that this great city has to offer.
What is Jefferson City MO known for?
Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, is known as Missouri’s First Town with a rich history. The city has many destinations perfect for short- and long-term stays. Here are some places you may want to visit while you’re here. There are a few city landmarks that you shouldn’t miss while in town.
Plan Your Trip To Jefferson City
Jefferson city is a very wonderful place for vacation in the United States. It is known for several good records and sight of Missouri State prison. Jefferson city is known for many diversified manufacturing industries, including electric appliances, automotive seating, transformers, cosmetics, etc.
As much as Jefferson City might not be the best of States, it has its endowment, making it a great place for adventure/ vacations and the best area to explore with kids.
The best way to experience all that Jefferson City offers is by picking up a car from Enterprise CarShare. The city has many museums and outdoor activities for people of all ages and preferences. We hope this list helps you find the best things to do in Jefferson City!