Trip Ideas: A Day at the Capital
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.
Morning
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.
2118 Schotthill Woods Drive, Jefferson City MO 65101, 573-659-0006
Hours: Tue.-Thur., 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
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.
330 Commerce Drive, Jefferson City MO 65109, 573-526-5544
Hours: Visitor Center: Tue., Wed, Fri., Sat., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ~ Thu., 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
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.
201 W. Capitol Ave., Jefferson City MO 65101, 573-751-2854
Hours: Capitol: Daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tours: Mon.-Sat., given hourly (except noon); Sun., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
Evening
Madison's Cafe, a 30-year Jefferson City tradition, offers casual yet elegant dining, with a focus on northern Italian and American cuisine. The menu offers everything from mouthwatering appetizers, to salads, soups, sandwiches, pasta, steaks, seafood and veal, with a variety of signature dishes.
216 Madison St., Jefferson City MO 65101, 573-634-2988
Hours: Mon.-Thur., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
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.
124 E. High St., Jefferson City MO 65101, 573-632-2675
Hours: Tue.- Fri., 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Afternoon
Enjoy a comfortable atmosphere and a quality meal for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday. Serving a variety of sandwiches, salads and wraps.
2421 West Edgewood, Jefferson City MO 65109, 573-893-4242
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Arris' serves Greek-style pizza, using house-made dough to form a thin crust, smeared with private recipe sauce, loaded with meats and veggies (more than 30 choices, with hundreds of combinations); then it is topped with sliced cheese- the cheese goes on top. Greek specialties, Italian foods, panini, salads and sandwiches also are on the menu.
117 W. High Street, Jefferson City MO 65101, 573-635-9225
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Just a few blocks away at 100 E. High St., the Missouri State Penitentiary Museum gives Jefferson City 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 at the Missouri State Penitentiary. Also, the Museum has a number of large displays featuring photographs of the Missouri State Penitentiary through time. Several display cases are filled with artifacts and memorabilia on loan to the Museum. There is a separate entrance to the Museum off Jefferson St. through which visitors can access the Museum by either stairs or elevator. Groups of 10 or more can contact the Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau to make an appointment.
100 E. High St., Jefferson City MO 65101, 866-998-6998
Hours: Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-3 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
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. After the death of Gov. Mel Carnahan, the garden was renamed the Carnahan Memorial Gardens. The garden can be reserved for special events.
101 Jefferson St., Jefferson City MO 65101, 573-751-3249
Hours: Dawn-dusk