Trip Ideas: Missouri's Public Servants
Stops in Jefferson City showcase Missouri's National Guard, the inner-workings of the Highway Patrol, Missouri's Supreme Court, and the history of prisons and corrections in the Show-Me State.
Morning
Enjoy a big breakfast and 1950s style with a meal at Oscar's. Breakfast includes made-from-scratch biscuits with gravy, country fried steak and jumbo omelets.
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.
The Missouri Supreme Court Building opened in October 1907; it features French Renaissance architecture, stone pillars at each wing of the front facade, stone trim and a slate roof. The building houses the offices of judges; the Supreme Court clerk and the clerk's staff; two courtrooms; the two-story-high Supreme Court Library, and the office of the state attorney general. Free, half-hour tours are available during most business days.
207 W. High St., Jefferson City MO 65101, 573-751-4144
Hours: Tours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Evening
After a day of touring, unwind at Jefferson City's oldest continually operating tavern, which features an authentic Irish pub atmosphere. Casual evening dining options, including a wide assortment of appetizers, sandwiches and burgers, are available. There are 12 draughts on tap, including Guinness, Smithwick's, Harp, Kilkenny Cream Ale, Magner's Cider, microbrews and domestics.
700 West Main, Jefferson City MO 65101, 573-761-5900
Hours: Open: Tue.-Sat., 3 p.m.-1a.m.; Kitchen open: Tue.-Thur., 4 p.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Domenico's serves steaks, seafood, chicken, veal and pasta in a casual atmosphere. Located in the Capitol Plaza West Shopping Center, across from the Capital Mall.
3702 W. Truman Blvd., Jefferson City MO 65109, 573-893-5454
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Afternoon
When this prison opened in 1836, the Battle of the Alamo was going on in Texas. The prison was 100 years old when Alcatraz began taking inmates. In 1967, the Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) was named the “bloodiest 47 acres in America” by Time magazine. Before it closed in 2004, MSP was the oldest continually operating penitentiary west of the Mississippi River. The Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) was decommissioned in 2004. It is now open seasonally for public for tours, operated by the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). Visit cells of famous inmates such as heavyweight champion Sonny Liston and James Earl Ray (who escaped in 1967 and went on to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968). Because of the nature and subject of the tours, no children younger than 10 are permitted. Photographs are allowed, but no video may be taken. No smoking. No food allowed. Because of the age of the facility, these tours are not wheelchair accessible. Reservations are required for all tours. Every person on the tour must have a reservation. You may visit the website and call the CVB for details, schedules and reservations. Extended and paranormal (ghost) tours are offered. Special and group tours may be arranged.
115 Lafayette St., Jefferson City MO 65101, 866-998-6998
Hours: CVB Office: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Just two blocks away, 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.