Jefferson City is the capital of the U.S. state of Missouri and the fifteenth most populous city in the state. It is also the county seat of Cole County and the principal city of the Jefferson City Metropolitan Statistical Area.
If you love architecture and art you absolutely have to tour the Capitol Building. The building is modeled after the nation’s Capitol in D.C. The rotunda is simply amazing. Take a guided tour and have them take you to the artwork that changes as you walk past it.
I could have spent a lot of time walking back and forth in front of it. As much as I loved the inside of the building there are also great sculptures and works of art outside as well.
Plan at least 2 hours so you can fully soak up the experience here in Jefferson City, Missouri. There are all kinds of hidden gems here. Take the time to enjoy them. This may not be at the top of your teen’s list, but Emma survived the tour and even learned a thing or two.
This prison was established in 1836 and decommissioned in 2004. It has 180+ years of history lying within its prison walls. A guided tour brings all that history to life.
We visited the oldest building still standing on the site, the dungeon, the upper yard and the housing unit. Our guide provided insight into infamous inmates (did you know that Martin Luther King’s assassin escaped from here?), the 1954 riot and so much more.
I highly recommend taking a historical tour and then taking a ghost tour of the prison. Sadly, there wasn’t a ghost tour available on the day that we visited, but that just gives Em & I a reason to go back. By the way, Em loved the prison tour so it’s definitely teen approved.
If you are unable to make it to the Missouri State Penitentiary (there are limited, seasonal hours) you definitely need to visit the Missouri State Penitentiary Museum in the Col. Darwin W. Marmaduke House. The museum shares an insider look at prison life inside the cold stone walls.
In addition to historical facts, there is an actual prison cell with bars, bunk bed and graffiti wall to show size and living conditions. The museum highlights the following four categories: Prison Industries, Contract Labor/Private Industries, Inside the Walls and Control & Counter Control (ie: riots). Plan an hour to completely absorb all that the museum has to offer.
Learn about Missouri’s habitats and the fish, forest and wildlife that call Missouri home. There is hiking, bird watching and 3,000 square feet of exhibits showing off Missouri’s nature.
The trails are self-guided and there is even a trail that is accessible to people with disabilities. The center offers educational opportunities throughout the year. Be sure to check their special events calendar to see what is happening while you are visiting Jefferson City, Missouri.
Great eats can be found at Prison Brews, a unique brewpub located in the historic east side of Jefferson City two blocks from the old Missouri State Penitentiary. In addition to having a delicious brew and great food Prison Brews is the only place in Jefferson City that you can play Boece Ball.