Jefferson City, population 39,000 is the center of government for Missouri. This capital city is a great starting point for exploration of the state's history and the Missouri River valley.
The city has many historically and architecturally significant buildings, homes and churches. The domed capitol building rises above the Missouri River on a bluff. Tours of the building feature Thomas Hart Benton murals and the Missouri State Museum. The renaissance revival style Governor's Mansion is also open for tours throughout the year and during the holiday season candlelight tours are offered.
The Missouri River holds its own history. Native Americans, steamboats, traders and Lewis and Clark paddled the river. Jefferson Landing State Historic Site provides a glimpse into the city's steamboating past. The best views of the river and valley are by barge, boat, bike, foot and railway. The Katy Trail State Park, open for hiking and biking, follows the river east past bluffs and farmland. By railroad, explorations of Missouri wine country are easy.
Jefferson City is located 30 miles south of Columbia and 40 miles northeast of the state's premiere water sports venue, Lake of the Ozarks. It is accessible via U.S. Highways 50, 54 and 63 and by Amtrak. There are a dozen hotels and several bed and breakfasts in the area.