You’ve got to explore St. Louis!
St. Louis offers many activities, from attending Cardinal games to climbing the Arch Gateway, the nation’s tallest monument.
From the historic landmarks that chronicle its role as a gateway to the West to the cultural institutions that inspire and entertain, St. Louis offers a tapestry of experiences that will leave you enamored.
I’ve selected these 25 things to do for the best time in St. Louis:
Get a bird’s eye view from the Gateway Arch
You can take a 630ft climb on this famous stainless steel monument with stunning views over Gateway Town. During this trip, be sure to take some time to explore the museum, which contains six themed exhibits and covers nearly 300 years.
The Arch was completed in 1965 as a tribute to the pioneers who ventured westward during the 19th-century expansion of the United States.
Its sleek, stainless steel exterior reflects the sun’s rays, creating a shimmering spectacle that is visible from miles away.
Gateway Arch National Park
How to reach top tourist destinations in St. Louis? Take a look at Gateway Arch National Park. Perched near St. Louis Riverfront this historic landmark was the beginning point of the 1804 Civil War and the beginning of Westward expansion.
This gateway arch is considered the smallest national park in the U.S. Get ready for the eerie skies! It is the highest building in the United States, and twice as tall as Liberty Statue.
Meet leopards and lemurs at the Saint Louis Zoo
The highly-loved St. Louis Zoo has 12,000 animals and attracts young people. Make a new friend and wander around this park for a while. There can be anything from a leopard or elephant to a puma or an Arctic bear waiting to welcome you into their world.
The King of the rainforest is certainly the biggest star, so be sure to visit him.
You can also take one of the immersive behind-the-scenes tours to experience life as a zookeeper, meet the penguins, feed giant tortoises and take a selfie with Sea Lion.
Browse the Saint Louis Art Museum
The St. Louis Art Museum, based at Forest Park in the center of St. Louis, is an important city player in tourism. This collection of art carries some of America’s best-preserved artwork, paintings, sculptures and other objects.
Art aficionados can browse galleries in which ancient Egyptian tombs are decorated with contemporary glass sculptures. Several pieces date from a long time ago. There are plenty of Greek ceramics, as well as classic oil paintings, that are worth looking for.
Stroll through the Missouri Botanical Garden
Explore 79 acres of lush garden landscapes, greenhouses and conservatories in America’s oldest botanical garden. Wander through botanical gardens between beautiful fountains and statuaries.
Visit Climattron and have a true rainforest experience. A few other attractions include the tranquil Japanese Garden and the interactive educational garden.
Be wowed by mosaics in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
It will appeal to history lovers or those who enjoy the best architecture. The Saint Louis Cathedral Basilica has its own grand site on the west side. It is fairly newly built and construction began in 1907 and is named a cathedral in 1999.
It was designed by the architect Thomas P. Barnett and the architectural style is primarily Byzantine and Romanesque, with influences from the Italian Renaissance. The exterior of the cathedral features intricate detailing, towering spires, and a magnificent central dome that reaches a height of 226 feet (69 meters).
Enjoy an Artsy Day at Citygarden Sculpture Park
Visit City Garden, a lively sculpture park in downtown St. Louis. Follow these paved streets and stroll through 24 beautiful sculptures and 6 beautiful rain gardens stretching across two full streets!
Let the soothing sounds of water flowing out of this picturesque pool of 180 feet soothe your heart.
Discover your inner child at City Museum
The City Museum is not your typical museum—it is an ever-evolving, immersive playground that challenges traditional notions of art, architecture, and museum experiences. It exemplifies the spirit of St. Louis as a city that embraces innovation, creativity, and a sense of wonder.
Housed in a former shoe factory, the City Museum is the brainchild of the late artist Bob Cassilly. Cassilly transformed the building into a wonderland of creativity, repurposing salvaged materials and architectural elements to construct an imaginative world within its walls.
See a Game at St. Louis CITYPARK
It is magical to witness soccer matches at St. Louis City Park. Since it began as the original owner of the city, St. Louis City SC – under the leadership of Carolyn Kindle – has made history for the first majority female ownership of the MLS.
This exciting venue will give you access to some of the most dynamic sporting activities.
Journey back in time at the Campbell House Museum
In 1851 Immortal Campbell House became the first house built in secluded upscale Lucas Place. This was owned in 1838 by Robert Campbell and his surviving family.
Campbell House Museum consists of several collections of family possessions including original paintings, period furniture and some carriages. The collection provides an interesting peek into life in St. Louis during the 19th century and 1000 images of Sepia show face to the names that you’re sure you have seen in the neighborhood.
It’s the most significant historical property museum in the country and a very good way to fit into a busy schedule.
Visit the historic gardens of Tower Grove Park
The tower grove park provides a stunning and ornamentally beautiful park with many green areas in the town. The urban beauty created by philanthropist Henry Shaw represents the most intact garden site of the 19th century in the US.
The landscape is formal with a winding path and long trees creating an enviable path into the past.
Many areas have an arrangement that shows you how gardening has been built centuries ago. Follow the 7-mile trail and you will find the imposing Victorian pavilions and gates.
The park is located near the Missouri Botanic Gardens, so combining these two will be the right choice.
All aboard at St. Louis Union Station
The St. Louis Union Station was once a major passenger rail station that helped transport passengers from the East Coast to western parts of the U.S. The aquarium at the Union Station has more than 16,000 animals, including an 18-hole minigolf course, a Mirror Maze, a rope, and a train track.
While you are here, do not miss the grand Hall Light Show which runs every morning between 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
Immerse yourself in the culture of Forest Park
It opened to the public in 1876 and hosted the 1904 World’s Fair, it is one of the biggest urban parks in the USA. This historic gem attracts more than 12 million visitors a season to the world, with world-class facilities.
Forest Park is operated by St. Louis City government and funded by Zoo Museum District, ensuring there are a number of free institutions — St. Louis Zoo and St. Louis Art Museum.
Fly planes and play with fire at Saint Louis Science Center
What do you think will inspire kids and parents? The scientific museums and planetariums at the Forest Park will entertain for hours. It is an interesting way of learning how our world works.
Give yourself a look at the 700 exhibits at Missouri State University. There is also a scientific live show that ignites curiosity through fire and electric power.
View open-mouthed learning about Antarctic dinosaurs on OmniMax Theaters. Similarly, aspiring pilots will be able to fly in flight simulation and perform aerial maneuvers like pros.
Visit Budweiser Brewhouse in Ballpark Village
Ballpark Village has a number of restaurants to suit every taste. The city offers many indoor and outdoor events for everyone to enjoy. Budweiser Brewing House guests will have incredible beer brewed on-site as well as classic American food that was specially crafted.
The hotel has an indoor patio on the roof overlooking Busch Stadium. This truly is a place you shouldn’t miss while visiting St. Louis.
Grab a Sweet Treat from Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
St. Louis has great flavors and they have been called Ted Drewes Frozen Custard! Ted Drewes has a long history of creating quality custard, attracting visitors to the area as well as local residents. They celebrate the fruit of their trees, wreaths and flowers too!
The quality Christmas items offered by Teds have been favorites in our home for over 50 years. And naturally, you need to test what influenced Ted Drew. What does the frozen custard taste like?
Take a thrill ride (or two) at Six Flags St. Louis
The exciting theme parks offer lots of fun for children to explore! Visitors are free to fly as Bat on Batman’s Ride. They have a 16-story flight experience at Catwoman Whip and soar at speeds exceeding 62 mph on the Screaming Eagle wood coasters.
In addition to watching live performances and concerts, guests can meet their favorite loony toon cartoon characters and have lots of fun in Hurricane Harbor water park.
Many hotels are only a few minutes away and visitors have the opportunity to use discount packages for young groups, business visits, family meetings and much more!
Enjoy Drinks at 4 Hands Brewery
4 Hands is a renowned craft distillery and craft beer company based in LaSalle Park near St. Louis. With its extensive year-round offering and seasonal and limited release, 4 Hands has really helped locals with their city-wide beers.
For every sale, a person is given one cent for support of the local community and since 2016 the group has collected over $100K through 25 different charities.
Find Goodies at the Soulard Farmers Market
Bring the history to Soulard Farmers’ Markets! Since 1779, St. Louis’ landmark provides the local residents with a spectacular shopping experience as well as many things they’ve never found before.
Located on an H-shaped stoop, the market features 147 colorful market booths that are filled with colorful colors in the morning.
Shop for the best seasonal produce in the area, succulent meats and seafood, delicious cakes and sauces, gorgeous floral arrangements, and even cuddling dogs. When planning dinner, you can always find something delicious to savor at the Soulard Farmers Market.
Take a spin on the Saint Louis Wheel
How can a visitor get a better view of the place? You can then fly in the air and ride this 200ft tall observation wheel. From your comfortable spot on a 42-meter enclosed gondola, you will climb over city skylines and see some interesting sights from a rather unique perspective.
Almost every ride is 15mins with up to 4 rotations enabling maximum camera angles. If you want to stop all that magic on the fairgrounds, head to the St. Louis Union Station Carousel and remember those childhoods. During riding your horse or animal ride, enjoy the delight of an ancient period of relaxation.
Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site
What is an inside view of America’s legends of all times? Put this site on the list of places you must see before visiting this historic monument. The site is situated just southwest of St. Louis in Grantwood Village commemorating America’s famous life and career.
Grant was recognized by many as the Civil War General whose service saved America’s Union – becoming the 18th President.
White Haven National Park was once the headquarters of Grant’s descendants. There are currently five historic buildings, including White Haven Family Residency.
Visit the World Chess Hall of Fame
Explore the hidden facets of chess in an internationally renowned museum. In the World Chess Hall of Fame, you will find out this popular game has much more in common with other games that can be played in competitions! It has links with other worlds which are impossible to imagine.
This exhibition charts its history and its immense impact on the society outside the borders of Europe. Please do not miss this display of chess set sets from all over the world. Aside from being the world’s tallest chess piece, this impressive piece will reach 20 feet in height.
Explore the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
How can you explore a unique and ancient indigenous civilization in Mexico? The Cahokia Mounds Historic Area is an exceptional destination for adults traveling to St. Louis!
Approximately 2.2 acres are surrounded by archeological remains that take you back in time to discover how Native Americans lived. Explore the fascinating old town of Cahokia by exploring the unique cultural artifacts and monuments of the region.
Take some time and walk around the mounds, there are also remnants from ancient earth pyramids. You can buy souvenirs from the Interpretative Center gift shop and learn more about this ancient city!
Step Back in Time at the Missouri History Museum
Take a deep look at St. Louis’ historical past and present. The Museum offers visitors an immersive and interactive experience by using the coloring STL exhibition where they can color the incredible selection of architectural structures which populate the town right on its walls.
The entrance is also totally FREE! Learn about St. Louis’s rich history with creative walks from See St. Louis.
Engaging narration and informative curated tours make your town alive and new! You also have the opportunity to step away from traditional discoveries and discover new discoveries that transform our society.
Discover the Laumeier Sculpture Park
Give your schedule an opportunity to visit Laumeier’s unusual sculptural park. The 105-acre property sits in Sunset Hills, just 10 minutes drive from Missouri State College. This is an enjoyable two-day vacation. Laumeier’s largest art museum in America has more than 60 sculpture installations on view.
My favorites are the gigantic bronze tulip statue, the carpet-covered cat’s cuddle seat, and a kinetic iron boat. The annual festival runs a recurring exhibition, and several trails around the grounds offer popular sculptural pieces.
Check Out the Contemporary Art Museum at St. Louis
Do people enjoy their travels to and from St. Louis? Check out Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis! Their goal is to engage in meaningful dialogue on contemporary art for free. The program is designed with the goal of creativity and learning and is sure to enrich your life and stimulate curiosity about you.
The museum offers many contemporary art offerings, including abstract paintings to sculptures which are intended to challenge visitors of all ages. Visitors can see exhibits at their own pace, without spending money at the same time.
Play at The Magic House in Saint Louis Children’s Museum
The magical atmosphere is the ideal place for children to spend time learning and playing. Definitely one of the most popular family activities in St. Louis.
This home is striking. It is Victorian architecture draws people into this place. But once you enter the doors, you’re thrown into fantasy and excitement.
Take an Adventure at Grant’s Farm
Grant’s Farm is an extraordinary adventure rooted in centuries of tradition and love! Invest in Busch family stories from 1903 to today. Visit one of Grant’s most famous sites during his career and visit their homestead.
Find the Dent family home in 1838 built with great affection for the family. Explore ancient buildings hidden within the walls and discover mysteries hidden inside. You can also sample free brews and pretzels!
Learn about business at the Economy Museum
What is the most accurate information on economics? If you want to understand how these businesses operate, then enter the Economic Museum and discover their mechanics. It’s located at the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis which makes them aware of what is going on.
The museum is accompanied by dozens of fascinating exhibits to show the true nature of economics in the real world. Explore how you contribute and how seemingly tiny things can affect global society.
Explore the Miniature Museum of Greater Saint Louis
This delightful little museum is the ideal getaway point for young visitors or hobby lovers looking for memories to go back to. The Mini Museum of Greater St. Louis focuses entirely on urban living on a small-scale scale. All the doll houses display rustic cabins or beautiful mansions.
You will observe meticulously crafted interiors that depict everyday life. See cluttered attics and historic kitchens before moving to model shops and pocket-sized streets. There may be haunted houses in there! Are you thinking about creating miniature kingdoms?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I spend a day in St. Louis?
To make the most of a day in St. Louis, consider visiting iconic attractions such as the Gateway Arch, exploring the historic neighborhoods of Soulard or the Central West End, exploring the City Museum, visiting the St. Louis Zoo or the Missouri Botanical Garden, and enjoying the vibrant dining and nightlife scene in areas like the Delmar Loop or the Laclede’s Landing.
What is St. Louis most known for?
St. Louis is most known for its iconic Gateway Arch, which symbolizes the city’s role as the “Gateway to the West” during the westward expansion of the United States.
It is also recognized for its rich baseball history, being home to the St. Louis Cardinals, as well as for its cultural contributions, including the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Art Museum.
Is St. Louis MO worth visiting?
Yes, St. Louis is worth visiting. It offers a variety of attractions and experiences, from its iconic architecture and historical landmarks to its vibrant arts and entertainment scene. The city boasts numerous museums, parks, gardens, and a diverse culinary culture.
Additionally, St. Louis is known for its friendly residents and affordable prices, making it an attractive destination for travelers.
What is unique about St. Louis Missouri?
St. Louis has several unique features. It is home to the Gateway Arch, the tallest man-made monument in the United States. The city also has a rich baseball history, with the St. Louis Cardinals being one of the most successful and beloved teams in Major League Baseball.
St. Louis is renowned for its distinctive cuisine, including the invention of the St. Louis-style pizza and toasted ravioli.
Moreover, the city has a vibrant blues music scene, with influential musicians like Chuck Berry and Miles Davis having roots in St. Louis.