Happy Trails and Summer Spooks in Jefferson City

Katy Trail

What better way to spend a beautiful afternoon than to bike or walk along the Katy Trail? The nation’s largest rails-to-trails project offers fun for all ages to explore the scenic majesty of Missouri’s river bluffs, spacious fields, and quaint farmlands. The Katy Trail attracts families who like outdoor activities as well as exercise enthusiasts. Just a couple miles from the pedestrian bridge you’ll find a local favorite, Central Dairy Ice Cream. Stop by and try some of their delicious flavors, such as Banana, Strawberry, Moose Tracks, and Jamocha Almond Fudge.

Photo provided by Chris Hollaway.
Central Dairy, photo provided by Chris Hollaway.

Wind down your evening by enjoying the ambiance of the beautiful State Capitol building as the sun sets, listening to the tranquil sounds of the fountains, and taking in all of its rich history. Craving more culture? Take a stroll through downtown Jefferson City and you’ll be in awe over the beautifully preserved historic buildings and architecture.

After a day full of site seeing, dine at Canterbury Hill Winery where you’ll enjoy a delicious meal, live music, and maybe even a little wine on their gorgeous outdoor patio with striking views of the sun setting over Jefferson City. A day like that is sure to leave a smile on your face.

We are just getting started with the exciting activities Jefferson City has to offer. After dark, witness one truly unique and terrifying aspect of the Capitol City: Ghost Tours at the Missouri State Penitentiary. Not afraid of ghosts? Come explore what Time Magazine referred to as the Bloodiest 47 Acres in America and see first-hand the paranormal activity taking place behind the walls. Operating from 1836 to 2004, the prison sentenced 40 inmates to death in the gas chamber, witnessed several murders, and survived the infamous prison riot of 1954. Pretty eerie right?

Missouri State Penitentary ghost tours. Photo provided by the Jefferson City CVB.
Missouri State Penitentary ghost tours. Photo provided by the Jefferson City CVB.

The oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi is filled with historical value and is gushing with rumors of ghost sightings. The infamous prison has attracted National television shows such as Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures and even hosted an American horror film, Apparitional (recently renamed Haunting of Cell Block 11). Perfect for any thrill seeker, adrenaline junkie, or scary movie lover. You might even experience inexplicable sounds, ghostly figures, and haunting stories lurking within the decommissioned prison. Missouri State Penitentiary offers a variety a ghost tours (available in July 2014) with tickets as low as $25. Choose from ghost tours, hunts, and even overnight investigations that are sure to give you goose bumps. For more information and tickets visit 100 E. High Street in Jefferson City, or purchase tickets online at MissouriPenTours.com.

Where else can you explore museums, ride bikes on an iconic nature trail, try local flavor and ghost hunt all in one day? Visit Jefferson City and let the Show-Me State show you an unforgettable time!

For additional information on all the spectacular things to see and do in Jefferson City call (800) 769-4183 or go to www.VisitJeffersonCity.com to start planning your trip.

Written by Jordan Rowles, intern at the Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau

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