40 Best Things to Do in St. Louis, MO

This article is written by local contributor Susan Barclay and edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Things to Do in St. Louis, MO

Living right where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers converge, I'm surrounded by the pulsating energy and vibrant culture that's unique to my city, St. Louis.

Here, close to three million of us call it home, marking it as one of the most populous cities in the Midwest.

Our cityscape is a magnificent blend of the old and new.

We have grand edifices that echo tales of our rich history, standing tall alongside innovative and modern architectural wonders.

But it's not all about steel and concrete here.

We're blessed with beautiful, lush parks that provide us locals a peaceful haven amidst our busy city life.

Every heartbeat here in St. Louis feels like a warm embrace, every moment offers the thrill of something memorable waiting just around the corner.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the best things to do in St. Louis, Missouri:

Admire Gateway Arch's Architecture

Daytime view of the Gateway Arch
photo.ua / Shutterstock.com

The Gateway Arch, also known as ‘The Gateway to the West,’ is this city's most iconic historical monument.

It was designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1947 and opened publicly in 1967.

This monument is dedicated to the American people and is the world’s tallest arch and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.

A visit to St. Louis would be incomplete without visiting this majestic arch.

Looking up the Gateway Arch
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

I can't believe I've never shared my experience with the Gateway Arch!

It never gets old to walk by this iconic part of St. Louis.

The Arch is part of a large park system in Downtown St. Louis and symbolizes not only the city but also the Midwest in general.

It has such an incredible history, story, and it's a feat to have built this absolute behemoth!

It looks big in photos, but I promise, it feels even bigger in person.

Close view of the Gateway Arch
AG-PHOTOS / Shutterstock.com

You can visit the park and enjoy the view from below, or get the immersive experience by going up!

It's been a few years since I've been up, but it's quite the elevator ride and experience to view things from the top.

I remember visiting the Arch on the weekend, and the place wasn't too packed, so I didn't have to wait too long to go up and see the view from the Arch.

If you plan to visit, I recommend getting tickets in advance so you know you can get in - it can get busy and popular on weekends and in the summer!

Explore the Exhibits at the World Chess Hall of Fame

Exterior and sculpture of the World Chess Hall of Fame
RozenskiP / Shutterstock.com

World Chess Hall of Fame hosts world-class exhibitions highlighting the relationship between chess and art, history, and culture.

I remember when it first opened its doors in September 2011, right here in Saint Louis' thriving Central West End neighborhood.

The World Chess Hall of Fame is housed in an old home-turned-business with 15,900 square feet of space.

It features exhibits of items from the permanent collection, American and World Chess Halls of Fame displays, and seasonal exhibitions showcasing the great players, classic matches, and cultural significance of chess.

During my visit, I was particularly fascinated by the exhibit about Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky.

It was a great opportunity to learn about their interesting history.

The World's Largest Chess piece outside the museum is also a sight to behold, weighing over 10,000 pounds!

In collaboration with the Scholastic Center and the Chess Club, the World Chess Hall of Fame offers cutting-edge programs and engagement to local, national, and worldwide audiences.

I've even had the chance to participate in some matches, thanks to their membership option.

The World Chess Hall of Fame also has a pop-up bar called Jingle, which is beautifully decorated and a fun place to hang out.

The restrooms are located on all three floors and are always clean.

I've noticed that the third-floor restroom is probably the least used, so it's a good option if you're looking for some privacy.

Have Fun at the Ballpark Village

Exterior of the Ballpark Village
Joe Hendrickson / Shutterstock.com

As a sports enthusiast living in downtown St. Louis, I absolutely love spending time at the Ballpark Village.

Opened by the St. Louis Cardinals, this sports-themed district is always buzzing with excitement.

One of my favorite spots here is the Cardinals' hall of fame museum, which showcases an impressive collection of memorabilia.

But you don't have to be a basketball fan to enjoy Ballpark Village.

There are numerous restaurants, live entertainment, and the Budweiser Brewhouse to keep you entertained.

It's the perfect place to experience a true American atmosphere.

I recently spent an entire day at Ballpark Village, visiting the Gateway Arch and catching a Cardinals game.

Entrance arch of Ballpark Village
eurobanks / Shutterstock.com

There's plenty of Cardinals swag to be found here, and it's a fantastic way to spend an evening in St. Louis.

The vibe at Ballpark Village is fun and easygoing, and I always enjoy wandering around and taking in all the sights.

On my last visit, I had the pleasure of being served by Samantha and Matt, who were absolutely amazing.

I tried some delicious drinks like Skrewges Cocoa, Melonkelikimaka, and Christmas Graham, all of which were incredibly flavorful and beautifully presented.

For food, I ordered the Mistletots and The North Hole.

The Mistletots were crispy tots topped with Budweiser brisket chili, poblano queso, diced onion, green onion, and sour cream – a perfect combination of flavors.

The North Hole was a maple bacon delight I couldn't get enough of.

Enjoy the Music of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

One of the greatest orchestras on the planet is the Grammy Award-winning St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Stéphane Denève.

They are praised for their appealing music, extensive and well-regarded record, frequent domestic and international touring, and notable dedication to charitable, civic, and educational initiatives.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has provided the musical score for significant moments in the development and history of the St. Louis region for more than 140 years.

They have consistently brought their viewers happiness, inspiration, and relaxation.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra aspires to artistic quality, a positive educational influence, and community involvement.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a tribute to Whitney Houston night at the symphony, and it was quite an elegant experience.

My husband surprised me with the date, and I loved every moment.

The location was great, with parking conveniently located right across the street.

Upon entering Powell Hall, I felt like royalty.

They provided fans in case it got too warm, a booklet of the night's events, and a coat check for our coats.

The singer was fantastic, and the music was incredible.

Feel Your Heart Pound at the Busch Stadium

The field of Busch Stadium
Frank Romeo / Shutterstock.com

Busch Stadium is one of my favorite places in the city, especially because it is home to the Major League Baseball franchise.

Here, I can enjoy a pint of beer and some classic hotdogs while watching a game that 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.

I absolutely loved seeing the home opener here this year, even though I'm a Jays fan!

Getting into the stadium was seamless, and I loved all of the events happening outside too.

Exterior of the Busch Stadium
Hendrickson Photography / Shutterstock.com

The staff was friendly and helpful, and sitting in the Red Bird Club seats had an incredible view.

There are tons of food and drink options (at expected stadium prices), and considering the lines, the staff is super efficient.

I must say, "Let's go Birds!" (As a Jays fan, respectfully!).

If you're in STL, whether you're a Cardinals fan or not, I highly recommend taking in a game – I always have a blast!

I went to my first Cardinals game on a Saturday, and while I'm not a Cardinals fan, this is a great stadium.

Baseball players in the Busch Stadium
Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock.com

Become a Wizard of Knowledge at the Magic House

Exterior of the Magic House
Dtjrh2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Magic House is a wonderland for children and parents, and as a local, I can't help but pay a visit to this wondrous place every now and then.

Here, numerous activities 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 help spark their imagination and curiosity and teach them that learning can be fun!

I recently took my youngest daughter here, and she absolutely loved this place.

We even got the family plus annual membership.

Aerial view of the Magic House
Dtjrh2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Even though it was a Saturday evening, I still managed to find a parking spot at the Magic House parking lot.

It's a great place to be, especially when it's cold outside.

See the Animals at St. Louis Zoo

Elephants at St. Louis Zoo
youngryand / Shutterstock.com

The St. Louis Zoo is home to more than 17,000 animals and uses innovative research and wildlife conservation methods to maintain the integrity of the animals housed in the gigantic zoo.

As someone who lives nearby, I can't help but visit the zoo frequently, and I even became a member to support their amazing work.

Here, you can visit six zoo zones where you can see animals such as grizzly bears, penguins, leopards, pumas, sea lions, and otters.

I never get bored because of the wide variety, but I do get tired after walking around.

A rhinoceros at St. Louis Zoo
Logan Bush / Shutterstock.com

Thankfully, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, including the Ice Cream Oasis and the Safari Grill.

The employees and volunteers at the zoo are always helpful and seem to always have smiles on their faces.

If you happen to come across one while they are taking care of the animals, they are usually able to take the time to give you a quick lesson on the animal and how they're taking care of them.

They're always happy to answer any questions you might have.

Get a Peek at Countryside Life at the Grant’s Farm

The grounds of Grant’s Farm
Logan Bush / Shutterstock.com

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?

I recently attended the 120th Anniversary celebration at Grant's Farm with my husband, and we had the BEST TIME EVER!

A horse at Grant’s Farm
Logan Bush / Shutterstock.com

The DJ was definitely a great touch, and we loved laying back on our blanket and listening to the music.

The fireworks display was absolutely beautiful, making it the best date night ever!

Grant's Farm is my favorite St. Louis attraction, so when they offered a Holiday Lights walk-through event, I knew I had to go.

When purchasing tickets for the walk-through, you also need to purchase parking.

Once you've parked and crossed the street, your tickets will be scanned, and you'll get in line for the event.

The Holiday Lights event was a fantastic way to experience the farm in a new light (pun intended).

The festive atmosphere and beautiful light displays made it a memorable outing for the holiday season.

A cabin at Grant’s Farm
Logan Bush / Shutterstock.com

Live Your Musical Dream at the Forest Park

Sunset at Forest Park
STLJB / Shutterstock.com

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 that 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.

I've been living in St. Louis for years, and I can't get enough of Forest Park.

It's reminiscent of the giant parks of Europe with statues, follies, water, bridges, museums, venues, and more.

Pavilion and fountain at Forest Park
Malachi Jacobs / Shutterstock.com

I've walked and run around 5.5 miles around the park, and I still feel like I've only seen a portion of it.

I need to come back to see the museums as well as the zoo.

This park is immaculately maintained and also has two golf courses, a boat house, and tons of other things I haven't even mentioned.

If you're visiting St. Louis, you absolutely must spend a day exploring Forest Park.

Forest Park is the ultimate park in all of MO and, dare I say, most other states as well!

This park houses the Zoo, the Muny, the Boathouse, Museums, a golf course, walking trails, and more.

It's a great place for a family day, date day, or exploring by yourself.

Aerial view of Forest Park
Steve Jett / Shutterstock.com

Celebrate the Past at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

Exterior of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum
Malachi Jacobs / Shutterstock.com

As a huge Cardinals fan, I absolutely love visiting the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.

It has one of the world's biggest team-specific holdings of artifacts and collectibles, including stadiums, players, and championship events.

The seven exhibits of the museum send you on a chronological tour through the Cardinals' amazing history.

I always enjoy engaging with the fantastic displays while learning about the franchise's beginnings and revisiting iconic moments.

One of my favorite parts is seeing the unique models of the Redbirds' stadiums, including Sportsman's Park and the present Busch Stadium.

In the "Holding History" section, I've had the chance to hold an actual bat used by a legendary Cardinals player, which was such a thrilling experience.

And in the "Championship Gallery," I love commemorating the Cardinals' 11 World Series victories.

Become One With Nature at the Citygarden

Night scene at the Citygarden
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Citygarden is a sculpture and urban park in my city, and it was opened by the Gateway Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, in the year 2009.

I love spending 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.

I recently visited Citygarden with my partner, and we had a fantastic time.

It was a beautiful and sunny, warm day out in the city - the park is very well maintained and clean, with greenery everywhere, flowers, and benches for sitting throughout.

Multiple sculptures of different types adorn the garden, including even Pinocchio with his Cards scarf!

Pond at the Citygarden
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

The park is located very close to the Gateway Arch, within walking distance, as well as the old courthouse.

Citygarden is very tranquil and relaxing to walk through and makes for a very nice stroll.

It's also free! I would definitely recommend visiting Citygarden while you're in town.

Participate in a Food Trip with EAT Saint Louis Food Tours

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a EAT Saint Louis Food Tours and it was simply perfect!

As someone who loves The Hill, I was excited to explore more of the neighborhood and try new foods.

The tour was a gift from my son, and I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

The delectable food and drink sampling was mixed with walking excursions led by local guides.

Our tour guide, Bart, was a fantastic storyteller and provided an insider's perspective of the neighborhood.

I learned so much about the architecture and background of the area during the 3-hour walking tour.

EAT Saint Louis Food Tours are designed to provide residents and tourists with an unmatched opportunity to explore artisan producers and restaurant owners.

I was thrilled to discover new businesses on The Hill, having only visited two out of the four featured on the tour.

I especially loved Guido's pizza and will definitely be going back.

Calm Your Soul at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

Exterior of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Philip Rozenski / Shutterstock.com

Built in 1914, Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis serves as the seat of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and was designated as a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

Whether you're here to fulfill your religious sentiments or simply admire the stunning 20th-century architecture, including arches, crypts, and a museum, the Cathedral Basilica never fails to impress.

Plus, its location along the Mississippi River adds a sense of calmness to the mesmerizing experience.

Interior of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

I remember the first time I visited the Cathedral Basilica, I was struck by the beauty of the Byzantine art style and the interior cupola.

It reminded me of the cathedrals I had seen in France, and I couldn't believe that such a treasure was right here in St. Louis.

As an organist, I was also fascinated by the instrument in the loft, although I couldn't access it during my visit.

What really sets the Cathedral Basilica apart, though, is its collection of mosaics.

In fact, it contains one of the largest mosaic installations in the Western Hemisphere.

I've always been a fan of Byzantine-style mosaics, so seeing these intricate and touching depictions of distinct stories and figures was truly awe-inspiring.

Ceiling of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Malachi Jacobs / Shutterstock.com

Take in a Performance Held at The Dome at America's Center

In the heart of St. Louis, Missouri, lies a multi-use stadium called The Dome at America's Center.

It was once known as the Trans World Dome and the Edward Jones Dome over the years.

Major conferences, trade exhibits, concerts, motocross competitions, and other events have all occurred at The Dome at America's Center.

Additionally, the venue has hosted several major professional and recreational athletic events.

The Dome at America's Center can be easily converted into an exhibition space, field, concert hall, and event space thanks to its innovative engineering, architectural layout, and physical connectivity to the rest of America's Center convention facility.

Additionally, it has two permanent special event halls that can host a range of galas, parties, and receptions.

I recently attended the Joyce Meyer Conference at The Dome, and it was a really fun experience!

There was ample seating, a huge stage, large screens, and words on the screen for sing-alongs.

During musical performances, it really gave off a nice 'concert go-ers' experience.

I also come here every year, sometimes twice a year, for NASCAR or Dirt races.

The venue is so big, with plenty of seats all around.

The concessions are great, and there are tons of booths with cool merch.

People from all over come to these shows, and they're well worth it.

The fire pyrotechnics are even better this year than before!

Experience the Extraordinary at the City Museum

Exterior of the City Museum
Philip Rozenski / Shutterstock.com

The City Museum of St. Louis is unlike any museum in the world owing to the unusual items on display for the public.

Beginning with the life-size bowhead whale, which is kept in a large water tank, I was amazed by the unique exhibits.

As I continued exploring, I encountered a skate park and a circus for all ages known as the Everyday Circus.

Things only got more bizarre with the world’s largest underwear and an old-fashioned Ferris wheel.

I had such a fun and fabulous time at this freaky, frenzied, and foolish funhouse!

A ferris wheel at the City Museum
Jon DeJong, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It's a converted 10-story building, and there's always something new and exciting to discover.

One thing to keep in mind, especially if you're visiting with kids, is that the tunnels can be a bit confusing.

I saw a few parents searching for their children who had climbed into a tunnel on one level and emerged on another.

To avoid any concerns, I'd recommend giving your kids a phone, a watch with calling capabilities, or some sort of tracker.

Alternatively, you can always climb through the tunnels with them if you can stomach the tight spaces.

Grab Some Beers at the Many Breweries around the City

Interior of Budweiser Brewery
Andru Goldman / Shutterstock.com

St. Louis is experiencing a resurgence of craft breweries and pubs with a vigorous enthusiasm only seen in the 1800s.

I've had the pleasure of visiting several spots around the city, and I can't get enough of the unique flavors and atmospheres each one offers.

One of my favorite places to grab a beer is the cozy atmosphere of The Civil Life Brewing Company.

Their American Brown Ale is a must-try, and the friendly staff always makes me feel welcome.

Plus, their outdoor patio is perfect for enjoying a pint on a sunny day.

Another great spot is Morgan Street Brewery, where they handcraft their beers on-site.

I love their Golden Pilsner, and the historic building adds a touch of charm to the experience.

The food is also delicious – I highly recommend the fish tacos!

For something a bit more unconventional, check out Urban Chestnut Brewing Company.

Anheuser-Busch brewery at St. Louis
RozenskiP / Shutterstock.com

Their unique brews, like the Schnickelfritz and the Zwickel, always keep me coming back for more.

The brewery also hosts fun events, like their annual Oktoberfest celebration, which is a blast.

In addition to these breweries, there are numerous pubs around the city that are worth a visit.

Blueberry Hill is a classic spot with a great beer selection and an eclectic atmosphere.

The walls are adorned with pop culture memorabilia, and they even have a room dedicated to The Beatles.

Don't miss their famous darts room, where you can challenge your friends to a game while enjoying your favorite brew.

Another favorite of mine is Three Kings Public House.

With an extensive beer list and a diverse menu, there's something for everyone here.

I love their house-made pretzels with beer and cheese, and their patio is a great spot to relax with friends.

Beat the Heat at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Exterior of Ted Drewes
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is a local St. Louis gem that, despite its popularity, is not a nationwide franchise.

I've been going there for years, and it never disappoints.

It was started by Ted Drewes, Sr., in 1929 and is a family-owned frozen custard company.

In 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 to speed up the digestion process.

I find myself taking a trip to Ted Drewes multiple times a week or a month, especially since it only closes a few months out of the year.

People lined up outside Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
RozenskiP / Shutterstock.com

One of my favorite concoctions is the Muddy Mississippi Concrete with added chocolate.

It's perfect for anyone who loves peanut butter and chocolate.

And if you have kids, their milkshakes are the best for toddlers and a clean way to enjoy Ted Drewes.

I remember when my husband's family insisted that Ted Drewes was one of the "must do" or "must have" things while they were in the city for my step-son's graduation.

We stopped in on a cloudy, somewhat chilly Tuesday mid-day, so there was no line at all, and it was easy to get to the window and order.

The staff was friendly, and they had a ton of flavors on the window for the day/month to choose from.

My husband ordered a chocolate banana concrete, which was delicious as well.

Neon sign of Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
Logan Bush / Shutterstock.com

Wander around the  Museum of Contemporary Religious Art

The Museum of Contemporary Religious Art was opened in 1993 and is the world’s first interfaith art museum, which houses numerous artworks by people of different religious backgrounds.

It is a museum unlike any other for its liberality and is an example of tolerance in a time of hate.

I found this gem hidden away on SLU's campus and was pleasantly surprised by the experience.

The exhibit rotates alongside a permanent collection of their own.

As a very Catholic town, I think we should really get the word out on MOCRA, especially when they get interesting exhibits to come to St. Louis!

See the Old Courthouse

Exterior of the Old Courthouse
STLJB / Shutterstock.com

The Old Courthouse used to be a federal and state courthouse for Missouri from 1864 to 1894.

Still, it 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.

I've been to the Old Courthouse several times, and I always find something new and interesting to learn.

Interior of the Old Courthouse
Hendrickson Photography / Shutterstock.com

The museum is well-maintained, and the dome is a beautiful architectural feature that adds to the overall experience.

I remember visiting the museum with my six-year-old nephew, Sammy, who was fascinated by the exhibits and the building's history.

One of the most significant events that took place at the Old Courthouse was the Dred Scott decision, which is an essential part of American history.

The decision essentially stated that the US Constitution did not include rights of citizenship for peoples of African descent, neither slave nor free.

This ruling had a catalytic and enflaming effect, leading the nation into the Civil War.

Some historians consider it the worst decision ever made by the highest Court in the land.

Aerial view of the Old Courthouse
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Admire the Life of a Legend at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site

Exterior of the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site
Kevin Saff, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scott Joplin House State Historic Site has been designated 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.

I recently visited the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site and had a fantastic experience.

Although the website said it was closed, I called just in case and found out it was open!

I took an hour-long tour starting with a video.

The tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.

I learned a lot not only about Joplin but also about life and musical life in the early 1900s AND about the history of this particular neighborhood.

Pay a Visit to Soulard

Aerial view of Soulard
MeinPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Soulard is a neighborhood in the city that sells fresh produce and hot foods and has a festive feel.

I always enjoy stopping by the Soulard Farmers Market every other week to pick up some items.

The bakery has always been my favorite spot with the BEST focaccia I've ever tasted, but the last two times I was there, they were closed.

Not sure if that means they are closed for good or just for the season.

A market at Soulard
Whitebox at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to the King of Spain, in 1770, two of his fellow citizens came to America to survey the land for him and established 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.

There are several aisles of vendors at the market offering fruits and vegetables, beef, poultry, baked goods, and plants.

If you're hungry, there's no shortage of food vendors.

You can find Cajun, seafood, burgers & sandwiches, and even Asian cuisine.

Prices range from incredible to "well aren't you proud of your veggies," but most vendors offer beautiful produce for less than what you'd pay at your local market.

Remember the Past at the Jefferson Memorial

Grounds of the Jefferson Memorial
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock.com

Jefferson Memorial is also known as the Gateway arch national park.

It 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 country's western portion.

It is a beautiful open area commemorating the first civil government west of the Mississippi River and the debate over slavery sparked by the Dred Scott case.

History merged with nature at its finest.

I recently had the chance to visit the park again, and I must say, the security lines were always quick and easy, and the staff was super friendly.

Exterior of the Jefferson Memorial
Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

I went to the Arch and even had time for a boat ride close by.

They won't let you bring soda up the Arch, but bottled water is okay.

The Arch tram was amazing, and the views were incredible as well.

It can be a bit cramped, so if you're claustrophobic or just don't like tight spaces, the tram ride-up may not be for you.

All in all, it was a great experience to enjoy with everyone.

Experience the Fun at Six Flags St. Louis

Thunder river ride at Six Flags St. Louis
Jeremy Thompson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Six Flags St. Louis is a definite family favorite.

As someone who lives nearby, I can say that 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 1971 and had eight themed locations, including the Studio backlot, DC comic plaza, and a French-themed Chouteau market.

I recently visited the park with my family, and we had a fantastic time.

Rollercoaster at Six Flags St. Louis
Chris Hagerman from New Port Richey, FL, US, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We were able to ride several thrilling attractions, and the employees we encountered were mostly friendly and motivated.

The park was bustling with excitement, and it was evident that everyone was enjoying themselves.

After a tiring yet fulfilling day, we calmed our hunger pangs by visiting the Mooseburger lodge.

The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was cozy and inviting.

We also stopped by Primo’s pizzeria for a quick snack, and the pizza was a hit with the kids.

The boss ride at Six Flags St. Louis
Chris Hagerman from New Port Richey, FL, US, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the Nature at Missouri Botanical Garden

Pond at Missouri Botanical Garden
Rob Neville Photos / Shutterstock.com

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 of 6.6 million species making it the second-largest botanical garden in North America.

A beautiful waterfall at Missouri Botanical Garden
RN Photo Midwest / Shutterstock.com

Every time I visit, I find the garden absolutely gorgeous, regardless of the time of year.

The prices are reasonable for both the gardens and the café, and the gift shop has plenty of cute plant-themed items too.

One of my favorite parts of the garden is the Japanese garden, which is a must-see!

It's incredibly beautiful and serene.

See Art at the Laumeier Sculpture Park

Playground sculptures at Laumeier Sculpture Park
Cranach52, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Laumeier Sculpture Park is an open-air sculpture park located outside the city at Sunset Hills and has over 60 sculptures and a walking trail.

The park offers a unique perspective on the relationship between art and the natural environment, as the sculptures become an artificial part of the landscape.

As a local, I find Laumeier Sculpture Park to be an excellent educational resource and a relaxing space to admire art freely.

I recently attended the 36th annual Laumeier Art Fair, which takes place every Mother's Day weekend, and it was a "Don't Miss" event!

There were so many talented artists displaying and selling their work, and I was thrilled to see many of them were from the local area.

The art fair also featured live musicians, many of whom were performing their own music rather than cover bands (yay to local music artists!).

I made sure to come hungry and thirsty, as there were plenty of local beer and food vendors.

Some of my favorites included HiPointe, Chicken Out, Steve's Dogs, Sugar Fire, Grace Meats, Pretzel Boys, a local coffee roaster, local shaved ice, local lemonade vendor, and local popsicles.

I even bought my mother a beautiful piece of art as a gift!

One of the things I appreciate about the park is that the sculptures change from time to time, so there's always something new to see.

Some sculptures have been there for years, while others are more recent additions.

It's a great place to visit once in a while, as you never know what you might discover.

Get Inspired at the Campbell House Museum

Exterior of Campbell House Museum
Philip Rozenski / Shutterstock.com

Campbell House Museum is dedicated to the family of Robert Campbell, an immigrant who built a successful business in the 19th century through hard work and perseverance.

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.

As someone who believes in the American dream and wants to be a successful entrepreneur, I found the Campbell House Museum truly inspiring.

During my visit, I took a guided tour that lasted about an hour.

The tour guides are volunteers and are passionate about what they do.

I learned that for much of the 2nd half of the 19th century, this was THE place to be in town if you had money and were "in society".

Because of some quirks to this family, as all the other fancy houses fell into disrepair and were demolished as the wealthy of St. Louis moved west, this one ended up getting preserved.

I was amazed to find out that over 90% of the furniture is original!

Explore the Saint Louis Science Center

Exterior of St. Louis’s Science Center
planet5D LLC / Shutterstock.com

Saint Louis Science Center 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, which opened in 1963 and was named after James Smith McDonnell, was an incredible experience.

I virtually traveled into space and had an amazing adventure.

At the Center stage, I watched experiments and learned practical science.

T-Rex sculpture in Saint Louis Science Center
chettarin / Shutterstock.com

It was a great way to learn while having fun and expanding my mind with information.

During my visit, I noticed that admission is free, but there are additional costs for rides, omnimax, and VR experiences.

Parking cost me $12, but it was worth it for the experience.

I also tried the food at the center, which was a bit expensive but made to order and very delicious.

I ordered a 7-inch pizza and a medium salad, which cost over $30.

I would recommend starting the visit on the third floor (where the theater is) and working your way down.

Ceiling sculptures in Saint Louis Science Center
chettarin / Shutterstock.com

Admire the Greats at the St. Louis Art Museum

Exterior of St. Louis Art Museum
STLJB / Shutterstock.com

St. Louis 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 a forest park.

The museum contains more than 30,000 artworks by various well-known artists, including Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Picasso, among many others.

As a frequent visitor, I get a taste of everything from Mesoamerican and Islamic to Contemporary works of art.

I'm always impressed by the Saint Louis Art Museum, especially since it offers free admission!

There is a garage where you can pay to park, but I usually opt for the free lot nearby.

The museum itself is large, with multiple levels and lots of different collections to view.

Interior of the St. Louis Art Museum
John Dorsey / Shutterstock.com

The staff behind the information desk near the entrance are always very nice and helpful.

One of my favorite things about the museum is that it has tons of galleries to get lost in.

I've seen well-known artists and obligatory nude statues with little bitty p3nises.

I'm not sure I'll ever understand why sculptors did this, but it's always a fun conversation starter.

Personally, I'd make them the size of baseball bats, so if a statue tipped, it would catch it like a tripod. It's just a funny thought!

Experience the Adventure Valley Zipline

With the help of universal zipline technology, Adventure Valley Zipline 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 that 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.

I recently took my son to Adventure Valley Zipline and we had an amazing time!

They have nine lines that wind their way through the mountainside of Jefferson County.

The guides are thorough and make sure that you understand the safety aspects of being on the line, as well as making sure you are comfortable by easing you into the experience before shooting you across a hillside!

I found their presentations from platform to platform amusing.

My son is six and had no problems riding on his own.

He picked everything up pretty quick and we were flying before we knew it.

Our trip was full of laughter and smiles, I can't say enough good things about this place!

Visit Missouri Wine Country

Plantation at Missouri Wine Country
LanaG / Shutterstock.com

I have to give significant credit to the German immigrants from the Rhine river valley who planted vineyards and created a culture where the only solace after a long day lies in a forgiving glass of wine.

I often choose from the many wineries present around St.

Louis, such as the Little Hills Winery and Stone Hill Winery, among many others.

At these wineries, I've had the pleasure of enjoying live music with a glass of red or white.

The atmosphere at Little Hills Winery is always lively and welcoming, and their wine selection is fantastic.

I particularly love their Chambourcin, a medium-bodied red with a smooth finish.

Stone Hill Winery, on the other hand, offers a more historic experience.

I've taken their guided tour, which showcases the winery's rich history and the process of making their award-winning wines.

Their Norton wine is a must-try, with its bold flavors and rich, velvety texture.

Read a Book or Two at the Public Library

Interior of the Public Library
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

I remember the first time I visited the St. Louis Public Library , and I was immediately struck by its rich history.

I learned that back in 1865, a woman named Ira Divoll believed that a subscription library should be created to work in tandem with the public education system.

This idea eventually developed into 17 locations in the public library system, including the central library.

Over the years, I've seen the library expand thanks to generous donations, and now it's home to more than 4 million books.

I love spending my weekends there, browsing through the vast collection of books and finding new favorites to read.

The staff is always friendly and helpful, making my visits even more enjoyable.

One of my favorite sections in the library is the children's area, which is filled with colorful and engaging books for kids of all ages.

Exterior of St. Louis Public Library
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

I often bring my nieces and nephews here, and they always have a great time exploring and reading.

The library also offers various programs and events for children, which I find to be a fantastic way to encourage a love for reading and learning.

Another aspect of the library that I appreciate is the quiet study areas.

As a student, I often come here to focus on my assignments and research.

The library provides a peaceful and comfortable environment, making it the perfect place to concentrate and get work done.

I also enjoy attending the various events and programs that the library hosts, such as author talks, book clubs, and workshops.

These events not only provide an opportunity to learn and engage with the community but also showcase the library's commitment to promoting literacy and education.

Follow the Beat at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

The Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre may look like an average concert venue, but I can assure you it has witnessed some very iconic musical moments.

I remember when Axl Rose from Guns and Roses tackled an audience member for clicking pictures of the concert.

The band was subsequently banned from playing in St. Louis until 2017.

Another memorable incident was when the band Kings of Leon had to stop their show because of pigeon feces.

I've been to this venue a ton of times, and I've sat in various sections.

The lawn is an incredible feeling with others, and the pit is also wonderful!

I even had the chance to be in the Bud Light VIP tent, which was a lot of fun.

The bottom line is anywhere you sit here, you're guaranteed a good time!

They used to sell country series tickets, which would get you into all the country concerts for the year - with some artists excluding this.

Watch a Play at The Fabulous Fox Theatre

Interior of the Fabulous Fox Theatre
Amy Kerkemeyer / Shutterstock.com

The Fabulous Fox Theatre was built in 1929 by William Fox to showcase the films of the Fox movie corporation.

The Fabulous Fox Theatre was shut down in 1978 and was renovated in 1982, after which the Broadway musical Barnum was performed there.

Since then, the theatre has been reserved for live performances and is no longer used to showcase feature films.

I've been fortunate enough to work at Fox for five years, and now I have season tickets.

This place truly is the crown jewel of St. Louis, bringing world-famous theatrical performances for thousands to enjoy.

They also host concerts, game shows, and other performances!

The decor of the theatre is absolutely stunning.

Exterior of The Fabulous Fox Theatre
STLJB / Shutterstock.com

Vaulted ceilings, marble-style columns, statues, and designs cover every wall and ceiling.

A massive, intricate light fixture hangs in the main theater, making the atmosphere even more magical.

Every time I visit, I'm amazed by the beauty of this place.

The staff at the Fox are always friendly and genuinely seem happy to be there.

They're always ready to help and make sure you have the best experience possible.

On top of that, they have full bars on the main level and 3rd floor with snacks available, so you can enjoy a drink or a bite to eat during the show.

I've seen many shows at Fox, but one of my favorites was Wicked.

The performance was amazing, and I prefer sitting in the mezzanine or balcony where there isn't a bad seat.

The venue itself is a wonderful experience as a whole, and I'm always looking forward to my next visit.

Grand staircase in The Fabulous Fox Theatre
Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

Party the Night Away at Delmar Loop

Theatre at Delmar Loop
chettarin / Shutterstock.com

The nightlife of St. Louis can be found in the eclectic area of Delmar Boulevard, known as the Delmar Loop.

I love spending my evenings here, as there's always something to do and new places to explore.

Here, I can satiate my taste buds from a wide variety of eateries, including BBQ restaurants, cocktail lounges, and pubs.

One of my favorite spots is this clean and well-kept laundromat that offers free drying.

I don't go there often, but when I do, the staff is always helpful, and they even offer wash and dry services for a bulk weight rate.

There is also a local hall of fame, including the African-American author Maya Angelou and Chuck Berry.

Streetside Records at Delmar Loop
Matthew Black, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It's always inspiring to see the incredible talent that has come from our city.

A night out in the city will include the strip of Delmar Loop.

I absolutely love this area – it's the cleanest and most vibrant part of St. Louis that I've ever been in.

The staff at various establishments always greet me with a pleasant attitude, making me feel welcome and at home.

I didn't know that some places in the Loop offers free dry services, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out.

Now, I come here twice a week to do laundry, and it's inexpensive and convenient.

Visit the Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Exterior of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation
Garfield226, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pulitzer Arts Foundation 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 wife took his vision forward.

Temporary art exhibitions also take place here from time to time.

During my visit, I was amazed by the exceptional craftsmanship of the building itself.

The unpolished exterior and interior walls, natural light coming from the roof, a serene bamboo garden, and the peaceful water court create a unique atmosphere.

The Blue-Black art by Elssworth Kelly is the center point of the expansive main floor, and the mammoth spiral weathered steelwork by Richard Serra is one of a kind!

With regular changing exhibits, public lectures, and other events, I always look forward to visiting the Pulitzer Arts Foundation again and again.

The view of some of the surrounding old buildings can be appreciated from the courtyard.

Across the street from the main building is a small park-like urban green space, which is a nice place to relax after exploring the museum.

Test Your Luck at the River City Casino

Exterior of River City Casino
RamblingGambler, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The only way to end this memorable trip would be to dress fancy and enjoy an evening, putting your luck to the test at the River City Casino.

Opened in 2010, the casino has 2,000 slots along with 55 gaming tables, providing plenty of space to win some easy money.

I'm not a table person, so I was really glad to see so many slots!

I know they are never going to pay me big money and that they are really just a way to suck my time and money away, but it's okay to play them every once in a while.

The casino 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 excellent food exposition.

Other Things to Do Nearby

See the Meramec Caverns

Interior of the Meramec Caverns
Mia2you / Shutterstock.com

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 preserved and presents mineral formations that are unique and striking.

This is a must-visit area recommended by the St. Louis Cardinals, and you will know why after visiting.

The Meramec Caverns are situated beneath the hills of the Meramec valley and have taken thousands of years to form.

I recently took my 5-year-olds to the Meramec Caverns, and we had a fun experience!

We went on the tour, which lasted an hour, and then spent some time in the gift shop.

It appears this place gets busy, so I suggest going early or on a weekday.

We will have to come back when they are older so they can do the ropes course.

On another visit, I went on a guided tour from St. Louis and had a nice trip.

Colorful lights in Meramec Caverns
Mia2you / Shutterstock.com

We had the shortened tour through the caves, which was really nice, but there were a lot of older people in our group, and it was kind of dangerous with how wet the ground is with handrails only on one side in some places.

I really enjoyed the riverboat tour – it was a really nice way to see the river.

Next time, I'll make sure to bring the family and enjoy some of their other offerings.

The structure of the cave is really interesting.

You enter through these huge grand halls and get to see some gorgeous rock formations.

The lighting in many areas creates a beautiful atmosphere, making the experience even more memorable.

Final Thoughts

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 and history enhance its beauty and make it one of the unique places in North America.

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