Jefferson City was chosen as Missouris state capital in 1821 and was named after Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States of America. Jefferson City is nestled in the Ozarks on the banks of the Missouri River and is near the geographical center of the state. The city is located along Hwy 54, Hwy 50 and Hwy 63, is 30 miles south of Columbia, Missouri and almost centered between Missouris major cities of St. Louis and Kansas City. The City of Jefferson had a total of 39,636 residents, as of 2000 and the median age was 36 years.
Jefferson City has a deep historical background and illustrates a romantic atmosphere with many buildings dating back to the 1800s. The Lohman building was built in the late 1830s and is believed to be the oldest structure in the city. This three-story limestone treasure now exhibits transportation of the nineteenth century. Other historical attractions include the Missouri State Governors Mansion, the Carnahan Memorial Garden which was renamed in 2001 after the death of Governor Mel Carnahan, the Cole County Historical Museum and the Missouri Supreme Court Building. The city also embraces a long list of historical homes such as the Schmidt Apartments, Ivy Terrace, Towles-Buckner House, Oscar Birch House, Villa Panorama, Cole County Historical Society, Wendielin Buehrle House, Dix House, Upshulte House, Hugh Stevens House, Orchard Acres, Jefferson Female Seminary, Schroeder House, Oberman House, Parsons House and Sinclair-Hagner House that each add to the richness and ambiance found there.
Perhaps the most sought after attraction in Missouri is the Missouri State Capitol Building. The Capitols dome rises 238 feet about ground level and is perched on the bluffs of the Missouri River. The building creates a picturesque view of the city for travelers arriving from the north. Completed in 1918, the Capitol offers exhibits and tours that give a superb historical education of the State of Missouri as well as the building itself. Other museums and attractions in the city include the Missouri Veterans Memorial, Cole County Historical Museum, Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial, Missouri Veterinary Museum, Museum of Missouri Military History and Missouri River Regional Library.
Jefferson City sits on some of Missouris most beautiful terrain and offers an outdoor retreat with various parks and golf courses. Eagle Knoll golf course is ranked as the third best value in the nation and challenges all levels of play. Oak Hills Golf Center, Railwood Golf Course, Turkey Creek Golf Center and Redfield Golf Course are favorite places for visitors and residents alike. The City of Jefferson has numerous parks including Binder Park, Joseph C. Miller Park, Ellis Porter/ Riverside Park, McClung Park, McKay Park, Memorial Park and Family Aquatic Center, Miller Street Park, Washington Park and Cole County Park. Most notable is the citys portion of the famous Katy Trail.
Classic entertainment for the whole family can be found at the Marvic Skate Center, The Washington Park Skate Park, Washington Park Ice Arena, West Gate Lanes, Capital 4 Theatres and Capital 8 Theatres. The city also has a shooting range at the United Sportsman Club. City night life can be enjoyed at several night clubs such as Mikes Corner Pocket, Bones, Pitchers, College Club, Spectators and the Budweiser Inn Bar & Lounge.
The City of Jefferson appreciates fine art and is home to the Miller Performing Arts Center, Jefferson City Community Concert Association, Jefferson City Symphony, Little Theatre, Capital City Players and Stained Glass Theatre.
The Jefferson City Public School District operates Jefferson City High School. There is also a private school, Helias. Lincoln University is also a landmark institution and in 2004 was ranked fifth in diversity for graduates and seventh for having the most international students.
The shopping experience in Jefferson City ranges from quaint “Mom and Pop” specialty shops to chain stores as well as the Capital Mall. Downtown Jefferson City, on High Street, has been a focal point of the city for over 150 years and yet the city is continuously expanding to offer more to its residents and visitors.
Wildwood Crossing offers familiar stores such as Pier 1 Imports, Old Navy, MC Sports, Goodys, Petco, TJ Maxx, Shoe Carnival, Barnes and Noble, Cingular Wireless and more. Chain stores such as Best Buy , Lowes and Wal-Mart are also along Missouri Boulevard. The Capital Mall holds major department stores such as JCPenney, Sears and Dillards as well as stores like Victorias Secret, Bath & Body Works, Buckle, Tuesday Morning, Payless Shoe Source, American Eagle Outfitters, Christopher & Banks, Claires Boutique, Deb, Dollar Tree, EB Games, Foot Locker, Hot Topic, JoAnn Fabrics, Kay Jewelers, KB Toys, Maurices, Radio Shack, Rex TV & Appliance Center, Shoe Department, Things Remembered, Trade Secret, Zales and more.
Dining in Jefferson City ranges from fast food to fine dining and caters to every occasion. With restaurants like Madisons Caf?Arris Pizza Palace, Michaels Unforgetable BBQ, McDonalds, Roly Poly, Paddy Malones Pub, Capital City Steak House, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Subway, ODonoghues, Coltons Steakhouse, Applebees, Ruby Tuesdays, Dairy Queen, Fazolis, Taco Bell, El Jimador, China Garden, High Street Pub, Zesto Drive-In, Kate & Allys, Old Brick House Deli, Lees Famous Recipe Chicken, Alexandros and more, choosing just one place at a time will be the hardest part.
The City of Jefferson is a gracious host to travelers looking for the charm of a small town with the amenities of a city. It honors a rich past and embraces a prosperous future.
Written by Kamyar Shah
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