St. Louis County is a vibrant destination in eastern Missouri, boasting a wide variety of leisure and recreational activities.
The area is steeped in history, tracing its origins to the French-Spanish regime in the 18th to early 19th centuries.
These first French settlers named the area after King Louis IX of France.
The county is home to wonderful nature spots, offering plenty of opportunities for both outdoor recreation and quiet, rejuvenating getaways in nature.
Its nature parks and wildlife facilities highlight the area’s conservation efforts.
It is also exciting to explore its rich heritage and culture, with museums and entertainment establishments to visit.
If you're planning to visit the state, take a look at some of the best things to do in St. Louis County, Missouri below:
Explore the National Museum of Transportation
See historic trains, planes, and cars at the National Museum of Transportation.
Founded in 1944, the museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of transport vehicles.
With over 190 exhibits to explore, I learned about North America’s transportation history.
I toured around and saw important rail artifacts, historic planes, and watercraft.
Its automobile building houses hundreds of vehicle items, including a Chrysler Turbine Car!
Don’t miss out on stopping by the train yard, where the largest tank car in the world is on display!
If you’re visiting with kids, the museum also hosts children’s playtime events.
The National Museum of Transportation is located along Barrett Station Road, Keyes Summit.
Visit the Laumeier Sculpture Park
Explore the trails and paths at Laumeier Sculpture Park and admire its collection of fascinating sculptures.
Established in the 1970s, this 105-acre outdoor park is home to over 70 large sculptures.
I found three art walking paths and hiking trails within the park, featuring various sets of sculptures.
A few of the sculptures are open for interaction and play, but most are on display for you to admire.
Bring your camera along to capture the lovely sight of these pieces!
In addition to the works of art, I also enjoyed the sight of native plants, flowers, and wildlife in the park.
The Laumeier Sculpture Park is located along Rott Road in the city of Sunset Hills.
Spend a Lovely Day at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park
Head for a nice day out by the lake at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park.
This sprawling recreation area is St. Louis’ first county park, offering plenty of leisure opportunities centered around the beautiful 320-acre lake.
This natural lake was formed out of the Missouri River thousands of years ago.
It has an ecological area, miles of hiking and biking trails, picnic sites, and play areas.
As I explored the park’s 6-mile water trail, I learned about the area’s history and enjoyed nature views.
If you’re looking to get active, I found that the park has sports courts where you can play tennis, disc golf, or archery.
Or just enjoy a slow day, have a picnic with family, and take in some fresh and lovely outdoor views.
The Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park is located along Streetcar Drive in Maryland Heights.
See The Frank Lloyd Wright House - Ebsworth Park
Designed in 1951, this former residence of Russell and Ruth Kraus is one of Wright’s last Usonian homes.
I find the hour-long tour informative, learning not only about the iconic house's history and design but also stories about its owners' creativity.
With its beautiful structure and architectural integrity, the house is a joy to photograph.
This architectural landmark was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
I recommend getting tickets before your trip to avoid the hassle of a sold-out tour of The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park on your preferred schedule.
Take a Tour of the Historic Grant's Farm
Enjoy the season’s farm experiences at Grant's Farm.
This historic farm’s origin goes back to 1820 when Colonel Dent, President Ulysses Grant’s father, purchased the land.
In 1903, the Anheuser-Busch family purchased the property and has since kept it running for over a century.
The farm offers various family-friendly experiences around the property.
I took a tour of President Grant's cabin home and learned about the history of the Anheuser-Busch family.
You can also experience the farm with your kids and watch them interact with deer, cattle, and other animals at the deer park.
On a spring visit, I admired the beautiful blooms across the property; in fall, you can enjoy the cool weather and the season’s colors.
Grant's Farm is located along Grant Road in the town of Grantwood Village.
Learn about Conservation at the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Nurture your connection with nature at the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center.
This nature center is home to an aquarium, interactive exhibits, a beehive, and a wildlife viewing area.
The center features three paved trails with interpretive signages along the way, making a visit both relaxing and informative.
I found the stroll through the beautiful oak forest a welcome respite from the city’s busy environment.
Don’t hesitate to visit if you’re traveling with kids—there’s a kiddie corner where your young ones can discover the beauty of nature themselves.
Stop by the gift shop for some souvenirs to take home.
The Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is located along Cragwold Road in Kirkwood.
Go Mountain Biking at Castlewood State Park
Spend a quiet day outdoors exploring Castlewood State Park.
This beautiful area has long been a weekend destination in St. Louis, providing an escape from city life since the early 20th century.
As I explored the park’s trails, I saw mountain bikers out for a ride.
You can reconnect with nature as you ride through the forest, wooded uplands, meadows, valleys, and farmlands.
I enjoyed the scenic views of the Meramec River and the oak forest and spotted some of the park’s wildlife.
The park’s amenities include picnic areas and a playground.
Castlewood State Park is located along Kiefer Creek Road in Ballwin.
Observe the Wildlife at Lone Elk Park
Spend a slow day in nature at Lone Elk Park.
Opened in 1971, this lovely park is a wildlife management area with trails and picnic shelters.
On an early morning visit, I saw the park’s bison and elks roaming around.
The park’s deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl can be spotted along the trails.
I enjoyed nature’s beauty as I explored the area’s rolling hills.
If you visit in the fall, you'll also be treated to the beautiful display of the season’s colors.
The park also offers catch-and-release fishing access by reservation.
You can find Lone Elk Park along Lone Elk Park Road near the city of Valley Park.
Go on a Winter Adventure at Hidden Valley Ski Resort
Get your snow gear ready and experience the season’s adventures at Hidden Valley Ski Resort.
Opened in 1982, this resort offers a great venue to enjoy winter sports and other seasonal activities.
I spent an exciting weekend on the slopes, where you can go skiing, snowboarding, or tubing.
The resort’s thrilling tubing hill is the biggest in the state!
At the end of the day, a warm, hearty meal was waiting at the main lodge, and I got drinks to celebrate the nice day in the snow.
The resort hosts various events during the season, such as festivals, live music, and parties.
Hidden Valley Ski Resort is located in the city of Wildwood.
Go Shopping at Saint Louis Galleria
Get your travel shopping done at Saint Louis Galleria.
This huge mall in Richmond Heights features over 100 shops, dining spots, and service establishments.
I stopped by and checked out the clothing, accessories, and shoe stores.
There are plenty of good deals to find!
The mall has cafés around so it’s easy to grab a bite and a coffee.
There’s also a cinema in Saint Louis Galleria, in case you’re looking to catch a movie screening.
Visit the Fascinating Birds at the World Bird Sanctuary
Go for a drive to the hardwood forest and meet the feathered residents of the World Bird Sanctuary.
Originally set up in 1977 as a hospital for raptors, the 300-acre sanctuary has since served as home to over 60 animal species.
A guided tour of the facility takes you through the aviaries.
I got to see birds from around the world and even met their cute parrot and heard it mimic some words.
You can also get up close and personal with emus as you feed and take pictures with them.
The sanctuary also hosts various programs and shows that you can enjoy while learning more about the animals.
The World Bird Sanctuary is located along Bald Eagle Ridge Road in the city of Valley Park.
Have Fun with Your Kids at The Magic House
Take your curious kids to The Magic House for a fun day of learning and play.
Opened in 1979, this children’s museum features hundreds of interactive exhibits and fun educational programs to entertain your young ones.
At the children’s village, they can explore various occupations and learn about community life.
I was able to see the kids discover their artistic side at the art studio, where they can paint and make a sculpture.
Outside, kids can enjoy playing games in the garden and learning about nature.
After hours of play, treat your kids to a basket of healthy snacks made from fresh ingredients.
You can find The Magic House along South Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood.
Soar above the Trees at Go Ape Zipline
Take the family on an exciting treetop adventure at Go Ape Zipline.
This adventure park features an outdoor course with up to 500-foot zip lines, tree-to-tree crossings, and over 30 obstacles to overcome.
I experienced a unique adventure in nature as I made my way across the trees and cross suspension bridges.
Of course, I got to appreciate the spectacular nature views up above.
The park also offers other thrilling experiences, such as after-dark treetop adventures and forest escapes.
You can find Go Ape Zipline in Maryland Heights.
Meet the Residents of the Endangered Wolf Center
Visit and appreciate the wildlife education efforts of the Endangered Wolf Center.
Established in 1971, this center highlights the important role of wolves and similar species in nature.
The center offers a variety of family-friendly tours and programs.
On the guided tour, I learned about the center’s resident wolves, which include the Mexican wolves, African painted dogs, and the rare red wolves.
You can also check out the various seasonal events at the center, such as festivals and a holiday boutique.
The center has nurtured over 400 pups, a crucial effort towards saving endangered species.
The Endangered Wolf Center is located in the city of Eureka.
Go on Exciting Rides at Six Flags St. Louis
Treat the family to a thrilling summer day at Six Flags St. Louis.
Located in Eureka, this theme park’s St. Louis location features adventure rides, family-friendly attractions, special events, and dining and shopping areas.
I made new memories with family and friends as we went on exciting rides and enjoyed the park’s entertainment.
You can also watch a show and take photos with your favorite Looney Tunes characters.
If you’re looking to beat the heat, check out the cool attractions at the waterpark.
There are plenty of dining options inside Six Flags St. Louis, so I was able to quickly grab a bite and indulge in some classic amusement park treats.
The lovely St. Louis County is a destination worth exploring for its exciting range of activities—there’s an activity or an attraction for everyone.
From serene nature parks, museums, historic landmarks, and recreation spots, this county offers plenty of places to visit and activities to enjoy on your vacation.
Plan your Midwest getaway now and check out some of the best things to do in St. Louis County, Missouri.