In Cape Girardeau, residents can enjoy short commute times, an array of education, entertainment, and cultural options, set upon a beautiful backdrop all with a reasonable cost of living and a welcoming small-town feel.

Cape Girardeau is the right-size alternative to big city living. As the regional destination for healthcare, education, entertainment, shopping, and employment, Cape Girardeau’s population swells to 100,000 daily.  

Two state-of-the-art hospitals sit within city limits. Together, the hospitals serve more than one million people from five states. Southeast Missouri State University welcomes more than 10,000 students from the region and across the world every day.  

Entertainment options include the area’s largest shopping mall and a GolfWeek Top 100 course, Dalhousie. Cape Girardeau has a thriving arts and performance community offering something for every taste. Local artists host a monthly art walk inviting connoisseurs and tourists alike to view their latest work. Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus offers concerts, performing arts and other events.  

From state fairs to ballet, Cape Girardeau is the place for quality entertainment. The City of Cape Girardeau also maintains 23 individual parks that offer biking, fishing, sports, and other activities. Cape Girardeau is also just 10 miles south of Trail of Tears State Park. 

What's Great About Cape? 

At Southeast Missouri State University, we love our hometown of Cape Girardeau. The places, the history, the food. It all makes up our favorite place to live. Parked alongside the Mighty Mississippi River, Cape is filled with shops, restaurants, historic sites, walking/hiking trails, farmers markets, a water park, and so much more! And, did we mention Cape Girardeau was named the prettiest city in Missouri by Architectural Digest? Here, you won't just find things you like to do, you'll feel at home.    

Good Eats 

Restaurants abound in Cape Girardeau. From food trucks to fine dining and cultural cuisine, to chain restaurants and drive-thrus, whatever you crave, you'll find it here. There's plenty of delicious food options close to campus and around town to fit anyone's taste. 

Explore Downtown 

Downtown Cape Girardeau is full of fun things to do and the best part is, you can walk around and pop into shops as you please. Go on a treasure hunt in your favorite antique stores, grab an ice cream cone from a boutique creamery, run up the Common Pleas Courthouse steps à la Rocky Balboa, or just sit and relax by the Mississippi River, enjoying the breeze. 

Enjoy Nature 

Cape Girardeau is home to 23 parks. Capaha Park, the oldest park in Cape Girardeau, opened in 1914. It's been home to the Capaha baseball team since 1894, the longest running baseball team in the United States. It's also home to our very own Southeast Missouri State University Redhawks baseball team, and the Cape Catfish prospect baseball team. Tailgate at a ball game (all Redhawks games are FREE!), play a round of disc golf, fish in the 3.5 acre pond, or literally stop and smell the roses in the Capaha Rose Garden. Don't miss the Cape LaCroix Recreation Trail which measures 5.67 miles end-to-end and is perfect for walking, running, or cycling. The trail passes through the Osage Center Park and the Cape Woods Conservation Area, where you’ll likely see deer, birds, and other wildlife. The trail also stretches through town, giving you access to shopping and restaurants. 

Events and Entertainment 

Home of the SEMO District Fair, Tunes at Twilight, and First Friday with the Arts, Cape Girardeau's calendar is full of annual and special events you won't want to miss. Check out the Show Me Center for Redhawks Basketball, concerts, and theatrical performances. And, don't forget to visit the River Campus for over 100 different events from theatre, dance, music, and art! 

Hotels and Lodging 

If you are looking for a place to stay while you are here for First STEP Orientation, look no further than the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitor's Bureau or the Jackson Chamber of Commerce for a listing of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other lodging options. 

Please note that the Drury Suites – Cape & Jackson, Drury Lodge, or Pear Tree Inn all offer a Southeast family discount. Please provide the following promotional code if you will be staying with one of these hotels: 317573

Cape Visitors Bureau

Are you ready to call Cape Girardeau home? Cape has all of the large-city amenities with that small-town feel. From chain restaurants to local bistros and boutiques, the area has something for everyone. Cape also provides local transportation options for students to get away from campus. Come visit and see why SEMO is at the heart of Cape Girardeau.

Old Town Cape

Learn about downtown Cape Girardeau and all it has to offer. Right along the Mississippi River, the old town feel of Cape's downtown boasts multiple shopping destinations, as well as bars and restaurants for residents of all ages. Take a yoga class by the river or stroll along Main Street and check out the beautiful buildings. Downtown has an inviting feel and a little something for everyone.

Driving Directions 

From the North 

  1. Take Interstate 55 south to Cape Girardeau.
  2. Take the Cape Girardeau exit (Exit 96).
  3. Turn left at the top of the exit ramp onto William Street (Route K).
  4. Continue on William. 
  5. At the sixth stoplight, turn left onto Kingshighway.
  6. Continue on Kingshighway. 
  7. At the second stoplight, turn right onto Broadway andcontinue on Broadway through four stoplights.
  8. Past the fourth stoplight, turn left on Henderson Street.
  9. Take Henderson Street toward Normal Avenue.
  10. Please access the (campus map) for further campus directions and marking areas.       
    1. The primary visitor’s lot for prospective and admitted students is located at 373 N. Henderson, adjacent to the University Center and Campus Bookstore. 
    2. A GPS using a campus address may encourage you to take Exit 99. There is significant construction at this interchange scheduled to run through Winter 2021. 

From the South 

  1. Take Interstate 55 north to Cape Girardeau.
  2. Take the Cape Girardeau exit (Exit 96).
  3. Turn rightoff ofthe exit ramp onto William Street (Route K). 
  4. Continue on William. 
  5. At the fifth stoplight, turn left onto Kingshighway.
  6. Continue on Kingshighway. 
  7. At the second stoplight, turn right onto Broadway andcontinue on Broadway through four stoplights.
  8. Past the fourth stoplight, turn left on Henderson Street.
  9. Take Henderson Street toward Normal Avenue.
  10. Please access the campus map for further campus directions and marking areas.
    1. The primary visitor’s lot for prospective and admitted students is located at 373 N. Henderson, adjacent to the University Center and Campus Bookstore. 

From the East (Illinois) 

  1. Arriving on Illinois Route 146, cross the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge (Route 146 turns into 74) and continue straight to West End Blvd.
  2. Turn right onto West End Blvd.
  3. Continue through several stoplights and make a right onto Broadway.
  4. Continue onBroadway to Henderson Street. 
  5. Turn left on Henderson Street.
  6. Take Henderson Street toward Normal Avenue.
  7. Please access the campus map for further campus directions and marking areas.
    1. The primary visitor’s lot for prospective and admitted students is located at 373 N. Henderson, adjacent to the University Center and Campus Bookstore. 

From the West 

  1. Take Missouri Route 60 east to Interstate 55.
  2. Take Interstate 55 north to exit 96.
  3. Turn right at the top of the exit ramp onto William (Route K).
  4. Continue on William. 
  5. At the fifth stoplight, turn left onto Kingshighway.
  6. Continue on Kingshighway. 
  7. At the second stoplight, turn right onto Broadway andcontinue on Broadway through four stoplights.
  8. Past the fourth stoplight, turn left on Henderson Street.
  9. Take Henderson Street toward Normal Avenue. 
  10. Please access the (campus map) for further campus directions and marking areas.      
    1. The primary visitor’s lot for prospective and admitted students is located at 373 N. Henderson, adjacent to the University Center and Campus Bookstore.