What’s new: An eight-foot-wide pedestrian bridge has been added to the existing U.S. Route 54 bridge, making it safer and easier to cross the Missouri River and reach the Katy Trail, a 237-mile trail that stretches across the state. In the last several years, a number of new local restaurants have opened downtown, among them the new sports bar J. Pfenney’s Sports Grill and Pub, and Yo Yums, a yogurt shop. Sidewalk dining has become popular, with a dozen or so dining establishments offering outdoor seating. Tours of the old Missouri Penitentiary have drawn thousands to the city.
Rooms: 1,300 guest rooms.
Location: Jefferson City is on the Missouri River, about midway between St. Louis, 129 miles east, and Kansas City, 148 miles west. The state capital is 25 miles south of Interstate 70 on U.S. Route 54, the highway that leads to the Lake of the Ozarks, a vacation destination.
Getting there: The nearest major airport, Columbia Regional, is 25 miles north on U.S. Route 63. The local airport, Jefferson City Memorial, serves private, corporate and military aircraft. Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner, with service from Kansas City to St. Louis, travels through Jefferson City each day. The Amtrak station is in walking distance of downtown.