Must-See In Jefferson City

The season for exploration is upon us. It's time to get out there and discover what else lies beyond the horizon. And this year, you’re finally embarking on that state capital tour you’ve always dreamed of. Your first stop? Jefferson City, the seat of government for the great state of Missouri.

If you’re having trouble figuring out where to go, what to do, and how to get there, there’s no better place for such information than Visit Jefferson City.  Take a few minutes to explore our website to find all the things our beautiful city has to offer. History museums and nature centers. Government buildings and haunted cell houses. It’s all here. Happy road-tripping!

Missouri State Penitentiary
 Once the oldest operating prison west of the Mississippi, the Missouri State Penitentiary holds an incredible amount of history within its walls. The prison decommissioned in 2004 after 168 years of operation and still stands as an incredible facility that you need to see for yourself.

You’ll love exploring the nearby museum located in the Col. Darwin W. Marmaduke House. There is all sorts of memorabilia from the old prison and even a replica cell. This ghostly stone behemoth is a must-see. Guide-led tours of the prison operate March through November and can be booked at, while the museum is open year-round.


Missouri State Capitol
You can’t go to the capital of the Show-Me State without seeing the Missouri State Capitol. The pinnacle of JCMO's signature skyline, the Capitol houses multiple murals by Thomas Hart Benton in addition to the Missouri State Museum. Snap a selfie on the steps in front of the statue of Thomas Jefferson before venturing inside. Sign up for a capitol tour and learn everything there is to learn about the historic building. After your tour, head across the Bicentennial Bridge to Deborah Cooper Park and enjoy the sunshine as you take in a stunning and unique view of the Missouri State Capitol.

Missouri State Capitol

Jefferson Landing State Historic Site
A visit to the Capitol Complex is not over after you visit the Missouri State Capitol and Bicentennial Bridge. Just a block east is the Jefferson Landing State Historic Site, one of the oldest buildings in the city. Check out the 1850s general store inside the Lohman Building to see how legislators and businessmen were greeted as they exited travel on the Missouri River and entered Jefferson City.

lohman's landing

Museum of Missouri Military History
The state of Missouri has a rich military history and there’s no better place to learn about it than the Museum of Missouri Military History. They have present-day exhibits and artifacts dating back to the Revolutionary War. But the main attractions here are the machines on display outside. Check out the F-4 Phantoms, Sherman tanks, a C-130 Hercules, and many more.

museum of missouri military history

Runge Nature Center
Discover the natural beauty of America’s 24th state at the Runge Nature Center. With over 3,000 square feet of space to explore, you won’t have a problem finding something interesting to do. It’s lined with miles of trails to be hiked, a discovery center with a wildlife viewing area, and exhibits. Be sure to climb the 60-foot fire tower for perfect views of the capital city. Have your camera ready!

runge nature center


If we gave you a longer list of places to check out, we’d only just delay your departure. And since you should’ve left yesterday, we stopped at five. That’s good because the rest we leave up to you. Heck, it wouldn’t be an adventure if we told you everything!