Living in a place your whole life can either be a great thing, meaning you know everything there is to know, or a bad thing because your view on the area is jaded by only knowing what you were taught.
Having always lived in the Jefferson City area, I thought I knew it all, including where the best places to spend my time were. But, I have to say that even though I love to travel and experience new places, I have never experienced downtown Jefferson City to its full potential.
I recently got the chance to show a friend visiting from out-of-town the downtown Jefferson City district, and I will have to say I shocked myself. I thought I knew so much about the area, but turns out I was jaded to what I had come to know as Jefferson City, and I had not yet explored some great places.
As we were strolling down the street, we came across Coffee Zone, a café that not only offered an array of great food choices, but quenched my needs for tea and to be in a distinctive atmosphere. Not only did I find they were open for breakfast, but that they offered gyros, my favorite food, as well. Let’s just say I found a café that I will be frequenting often for my morning coffee and my lunchtime craving for Middle Eastern food.
Everyone knows an outing with a friend isn’t complete without shopping, right? We ran into The Snob Shop Exchange, which held a huge selection of gently used clothing at a fraction of what I would pay in stores; being a college kid, I am always on the lookout for great deals.
The store has those great deals and will buy your clothes, too. That is always a plus, seeing as I run through clothes like no one’s business; my mom calls it an addiction, I call it a passion. The store is a one-stop shop for finding new clothes and taking clothes I no longer wear out of my wardrobe rotation.
While shopping, we ran into Southbank. Neither of us having ever been, we wanted to look inside to do some browsing. We found this to be a great store, especially if you’re hunting for special gifts for a friend, mom, sister, or, best of all, yourself. They had things ranging from home decor to jewelry and even had the Vera Bradley line. My days of driving to St. Louis to get my Vera Bradley fix are over!
Being social butterflies, the next spot on our list included one with a great night life and good food. (If you haven’t noticed, I love food.) We spotted J Pfenny’s Sports Bar and Grill and went in to check it out. This bar and grill had everything our hearts desired, from huge booths and a large menu, to more than enough TVs and an outdoor patio. J Pfenny’s is definitely a place to catch a great game with some friends, or if you are on the lookout for a great view, they have a fabulous patio as well. And for those of you who are 21 and looking for a watering hole, they have great selection of brews on tap.
Obviously with it being the summer, we were on the lookout for a place where you could enjoy frozen treats and relax in a nice environment. We found it. Yo Yums, a frozen yogurt shop, is a great place to beat the heat and indulge in a frozen treat that will still keep you looking trim in your bathing suit. Yo Yums offers a unique atmosphere, where you can not only have tie dye parties, but can customize your frozen goodies to fit your cravings; from fruit lovers to those addicted to chocolate, you can find toppings that will satisfy everyone’s appetite.
For all of you looking for something new to do in Jefferson City, or wanting to pursue an activity different from the norm for yourself, be on the lookout. While we were wrapping up our day, we noticed Capitol City Cork and Provisions is renovating the former Chez Monet store into an independent movie theater! If any of you are like me and always on the lookout for something different and fun to do, you should be excited about this new opportunity. The movie theater will hopefully be open and operating in October, giving us something to look forward to in the fall.
Needless to say, I thought I knew all there was to know about Jefferson City, but sadly I am no expert. As hard as it is for me to say this, I was proven wrong; there is so much more to do than I thought. If it takes a friend to come into town for me to start seeing new places, I sure hope all of you start visiting soon because there are some great hidden gems in Jefferson City that I need to hunt down.
Written by Brittney Mormann, summer intern for the Missouri Division of Tourism.