St. Louis feels like a cup of hot coffee on a rainy day; its familiarity brings tourists to the understanding that they somehow have a connection to the city. It is this connection which defines the unique history of this place. St. Louis is not only known for its barbeque ribs but also for its love of baseball and beer. This city never forgets its past, and this is evidenced in the way they honor African-American natives who not only suffered but succeeded despite their suffering. Here are more than 30 best things you can do while you’re in St. Louis:
Admire the Architecture at the Gateway Arch
The Gateway arch also knows as ‘The gateway to the west’ is the most iconic historical monument of this city. It was designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1947 and was opened for the public in 1967. This is a monument dedicated to the American people and is the world’s tallest arch and the tallest man-made monument of the Western hemisphere. Simply put, your visit to St. Louis would be rendered incomplete without visiting this majestic arch.
Sports Lovers Unite at the Ballpark Village
If you’re a bona fide sports enthusiast then, a sports-themed district in downtown St. Louis is going to be on top of your list. This park was opened by the basketball team ‘St. Louis Cardinals’ and hence, houses a museum showcasing their memorabilia at their hall of fame museum. It is not compulsory to be a basketball fan in order to enjoy this place as it is bustling with numerous restaurants, live entertainment and the Budweiser Brewhouse. It does not get more American than this.
Feel Your Heart Pound at the Busch Stadium
The Busch stadium is one of the most loved areas of the city especially by the locals owing to the fact it is home to the Major League Baseball franchise. Here, you can enjoy a pint of beer and some classic hotdogs while watching a game which defines American sports. The Ballpark village is situated inside the stadium so you can imagine how much space it must occupy. The stadium has a seating capacity of around 45,000 people and has witnessed many historic sports moments.
Become a Wizard of Knowledge at the Magic House
The magic house is a wonderland for children and parents who can definitely pay a day’s visit to this wondrous place. Here, there are numerous activities which are performed with the help of the staff, such as the math path, nature play, an art studio and a children’s village. These activities will not only help spark their imagination and curiosity but also teach them that learning can be fun!
Nature Brought to You by St. Louis Zoo
The St. Louis zoo is home to more than 17,000 animals and uses innovation research and wildlife conservation methods in order to maintain the integrity of the animals housed in the gigantic zoo. Here, you can visit six zoo zones where you can see animals such as the grizzly bears, penguins, leopards, pumas, sea lions and otters. You will not get bored because of the wide variety, but you might be tired after walking around and are welcome to eat at one of their many restaurants, including the Ice cream oasis and the Safari grill.
Get a Peek at Countryside Life at the Grant’s Farm
The Grant’s farm is a historical area dating back to the nineteenth century when it was given to the former president, Ulysses S. Grant by his father-in-law as a marriage gift. This farm is home to numerous animals such as lemurs, elephants and kangaroos. Here, you can also frolic around the carousel ride and beat the heat with a snow cone. For thirsty adults, the farm has a beer garden. Don’t we all envy Mr Grant for having such a generous father-in-law?
Live Your Musical Dream at the Forest Park
The forest park isn’t just one location but numerous places to visit within one area and many of the spots mentioned in this list are part of the Forest Park. This area is the heart of the city and has one of the more culturally significant locations. The Muny is a St. Louis tradition which has been taking place since 1917. Here, Broadway musicals with big dance numbers are showcased in the summer accompanied by all the glamour and glitz. On the more somber side, you can also visit the grand basin which has eight fountains and a boathouse.
Become One With Nature at the Citygarden
The Citygarden is a sculpture and urban park in this city and was opened by the Gateway foundation which is a not-for-profit organization in the year 2009. A tourist can spend a lovely day roaming around the lush green gardens and surveying the breathtaking sculptures built by numerous artists. Botany holds a special place here as it contains many native plants and trees. It also provides a great dining experience because of the Terrace view restaurant and Death in the afternoon.
Calm Your Soul at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
This cathedral was built in the year 1914 and is the seat of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. In 1997, it was designated as a basilica by Pope John Paul II. Here, a visitor can either fulfil their religious sentiments or admire the stunning architecture from the 20th century, which includes arches, crypts and a museum. The cherry on top is the fact it is located along the Mississippi River, which adds calmness to the mesmerizing experience.
Experience the Extraordinary at the City Museum
The city museum of St. Louis is unlike any museum in the world owing to the unusual items which are on display for the public. Beginning with the life-size bow head Whale which is kept in a large water tank and then, a visitor encounters a skate park and a circus for all ages known as the Everyday circus. Things only get more bizarre with the world’s largest underwear and an old-fashioned Ferris wheel.
Gulp Down Your Worries at the Breweries
St. Louis is experiencing a resurgence of craft breweries and pubs with a vigorous enthusiasm only seen in the 1800s. Visitor can choose from a number of spots including the cozy atmosphere of the civil life brewing company, the handcrafted on-site production of Morgan street brewery and the unconventional urban chestnut brewing company among many others. You can also choose from numerous pubs such as Blueberry Hill and Three Kings public house.
Beat the Heat at Ted Drewes
Ted Drewes is a local St. Louis gem which despite its popularity is not a nationwide franchise. It was started by Ted Drewes, Sr. in the year 1929 and is a family-owned frozen custard company. The days leading up to Christmas, Ted Drewes also sells Christmas trees. Their famous frozen dish is called the ‘concrete’ which is so thick with custard; it is presented to the customer upside down which is also the way you might have to sit after eating it in order to speed up the digestion process.
Religion and Art Meet at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (Mocra)
This museum was opened in the year 1993 and is the world’s first interfaith art museum which means it houses numerous artworks by people of different religious backgrounds. It is not only unique in its approach, but it is a place for people to explore different religious and spiritual themes. It is a museum, unlike any other for its liberality and is an example of tolerance in a time of hate.
Feel the Power of the Law at the Old Courthouse
The Old courthouse used to be a federal and state courthouse for the Missouri state from 1864 to 1894 but was later converted into a museum and monument under the Gateway arch national park. It houses historical exhibits, memorabilia and events all year round. With the help of several renovations, the old courthouse is known for its history which can sometimes be a reminder of darker times such as the slave auctions held here in the year 1861.
Admire the Life of a Legend at the Scott Joplin House
The Scott Joplin house has been designated as a National historic landmark by the American government and is also known for its beautiful architecture built-in 1860. This was the residence of composer Scott Joplin and is a hallmark of African-American heritage. Scott Joplin is known as the King of ragtime and wrote some of his greatest hits in this residence including ‘The entertainer’ which earned him recognition and remains a timeless classic.
Feel Fresh and Fine at Soulard
Soulard is a neighborhood in the city which sells fresh produce, hot foods and has a festive feel in its air. Thanks to the King of Spain, in the year 1770, two of his countrymen came to America to survey the land for him and ended up establishing the city’s first grocery market. Soulard is not only famous for its fresh greens but is also home to mouth-watering food served in its many restaurants including Bogart’s smokehouse and Capitalist pig BBQ.
Remember the Past at the Jefferson Memorial
The Jefferson memorial is also known as the Gateway arch national park which was built as the starting point of the expeditions by Lewis and Clark from 1804 to 1806 when they became the first people to cross the Western portion of the country. It is a beautiful open area which commemorates the first civil government west of the Mississippi River and the debate over slavery which was sparked by the Dred Scott case. History merged with nature, at its finest.
Soar High at Six Flags
The Six flags at St. Louis is a definite family favorite. It is one of the biggest theme parks in the country and offers a range of amusements for children and parents alike. This park was built in the year 1971 and has eight themed locations including the Studio backlot, DC comic’s plaza and a French-themed Chouteau’s market. After a tiring yet fulfilling day, you can calm your hunger pangs by visiting the Mooseburger lodge or Primo’s pizzeria among many others.
Missouri Botanical Garden, Nature at Its Finest
The Missouri botanical garden is the oldest botanical institution in North America having been founded in 1859 by philanthropist Henry Shaw and is also known as Shaw’s garden. It includes a Japanese strolling garden, a children’s park, a fountain and a water locking system. It has a preserved plant collection with a total of 6.6 million species making it the second-largest botanical garden in North America.
Breath in the Art at the Laumeier Sculpture Park
An open-air sculpture park located right outside the city at Sunset hills has over 60 sculptures and a walking trail. This is a way to review the relationship between contemporary art and the natural environment it is put in and later, becomes a man-made part of it. The Laumeier sculpture park is a unique initiative which not only educates someone about art but gives them a breathing space to admire it freely.
Get Inspired at the Campbell House Museum
This museum is dedicated to the family of Robert Campbell who were immigrants but through hard work and perseverance built a successful business in the 19th century. The museum houses all the original architecture, fixtures, furniture and clothing. It also contains more than 1,000 photographs as well as numerous original documents of the family. The Campbell house museum may inspire anyone who believes in the American dream and wants to be a successful entrepreneur.
Learn to Be Practical at the St. Louis’s Science Center
The science center at St. Louis was founded in 1959 and is home to more than 700 exhibits including models of T-Rex and triceratops as well as a fossil lab. The planetarium was opened in 1963 and is named after James Smith McDonnell where you can virtually travel into space and have your own adventure. You can also visit the Center stage where you can view experiments and get practical knowledge about science. Learn while you travel and help your mind expand with information.
Admire the Greats at the St. Louis Art Museum
This art museum dates back to 1879 when it was started as the St. Louis school and museum of fine arts and is currently situated inside forest park. The museum is a landmark site of St. Louis as it contains more than 30,000 artworks by various well-known artists including Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Picasso among many others. Here, a visitor gets a taste of everything from Mesoamerican and Islamic to Contemporary works of art.
Fly Away at the Adventure Valley Zipline
With the help of universal zipline technology; this adventure park has recently been set up in the city. It has ten zip lines for a visitor to enjoy and for an adventure enthusiast, a 1,100 feet long zipline which travels at 50 miles per hour. Accompanying the thrill of zip lines, the adventure valley also has a paintball field to add fun to your trip. After all, a little bit of adrenaline never hurt anybody.
Get a Little Tipsy at the Missouri Wine Country
The major credit here goes to the German immigrants from Rhine river valley that planted vineyards and created a culture where the only solace after a long day lies in a forgiving glass of wine. You can choose from the many wineries present around St. Louis such as the little hills winery and stone hill winery among many others. Here, you can enjoy live music with a glass of red or white.
Visit the Pulitzer Arts Foundation
This is a contemporary art museum which was started by Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., and his wife Emily who commissioned it to the self-taught Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It is situated in the Washington Boulevard area of the city and contains artwork by Kiki Smith, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Andy Warhol. While this museum was being constructed, Mr Pulitzer lost his life to cancer, but his vision was taken forward by his wife. Temporary art exhibitions also take place here from time to time.
Read a Book or Two at the Public Library
The most special aspect of the St. Louis public library is its history where a woman named Ira Divoll in 1865 believed a subscription library should be created which should work in tandem with the public education system. This idea went on to develop into 17 locations of the public library system, including the central library. This library is expanded by generous donations over the years and is home to more than 4 million books.
Follow the Beat at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
The Hollywood casino amphitheatre may look like an average concert venue at first glance but in reality, it has witnessed some very iconic music moments such as the time Axl Rose from Guns and Roses tackled a member of the audience for clicking pictures of the concert, and the band was subsequently banned from playing in St. Louis until 2017 or the time the band Kings of Leon had to stop their concert because of pigeon faeces. Like I said, iconic.
Watch a Play at the Fabulous Fox
The fabulous fox theatre was built in 1929 by William Fox for showcasing the films of the Fox movie corporation. At the time, it was the second-largest theatre built in the United States. The Fox theatre was shut down in 1978 and was renovated in 1982 after which; the Broadway musical Barnum was performed there. Since then, the fabulous fox theatre is reserved for live performances and is no longer used to showcase feature films.
Party the Night Away at Delmar Loop
The nightlife of St. Louis can be found in the eclectic area of Delmar Boulevard known as the Delmar Loop. Here, you can satiate your taste buds from a wide of variety of eateries including BBQ restaurants, cocktail lounges and pubs. There is also a local hall of fame which includes the African-American author Maya Angelou as well as Chuck Berry. A night out in the city will definitely include the strip of Delmar loop.
Visit Nature’s Monument, the Meramec Caverns
Many of you might not know this, but Missouri is known as the Cave state because of the 6,000 caves found in the region. One of the caves is perfectly persevered and presents mineral formations which are unique and striking. This is a must-visit area recommended by the St. Louis Cardinals, and after visiting, you will know why. The Meramec Caverns are situated beneath the hills of the Meramec valley and have taken thousands of years to form.
Test Your Luck at the River City Casino
the only way to end this memorable trip would be to dress fancy and enjoy an evening putting your luck to test at the River city casino. This was opened in the year 2010 and has 2,000 slots along with 55 gaming tables, plenty of space to win some easy money. It also includes a large velvet lounge and a sports bar. No place is complete without food joints, and this casino has some of the best in the city, including the 1904 steakhouse and the great food exposition.
St. Louis is a city full of joy, glamour and festivities. No one who visits this place leaves disappointed, and after reading this list, I hope you know why. The city’s hospitality as well as history enhance its beauty and make it one of the most unique places in North America.