St. Louis Travel Guide


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St. Louis Area Map


Situated about halfway between Kansas City, Missouri, and Indianapolis, St. Louis overlooks the Mississippi River on the Missouri-Illinois border. Inside its 79 neighborhoods, visitors will find everything from historical buildings to top-notch restaurants to eclectic shops and galleries.

Accessible via Metro's Red and Blue MetroLink lines at Laclede's Landing, Convention Center and 8th & Pine stations.

Originally the site of St. Louis' garment and shoe manufacturing factories, downtown now features various boutiques, eateries, nightclubs, lofts and offices for companies large and small. It's also home to the city's most famous sight – the Gateway Arch – as well as sports complexes like The Dome at America's Center and Busch Stadium. Accommodation options are plentiful, too. Top-rated properties include the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis and The Westin St. Louis.

Accessible via Metro's Red and Blue MetroLink lines at Union Station and Civic Center station.

This appropriately-named neighborhood offers fewer shopping and dining venues than its eastern counterpart. However, its main sights are worth checking out. At the Scottrade Center, you can cheer on the St. Louis Blues hockey team or watch performances by big-name acts like Maroon 5 and Elton John. Just north of the arena lies the Peabody Opera House, which regularly welcomes comedians, politicians and more. And by Cole Street (the area's northern border), you'll find the City Museum, a quirky attraction dreamed up by American artist Bob Cassilly.

Accessible via Metro's Red and Blue MetroLink lines at Central West End station.

Less than 5 miles west of the city center sits Central West End, an area known for its sidewalk cafes, galleries and boutiques. Offering a laid-back atmosphere with a hint of European and New York City flair, the neighborhood is a prime spot to people-watch and relax. One of the city's most ornate attractions – the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis – resides in the heart of the district. The region is also home to the World Chess Hall of Fame, where you can learn more about the sport and see the world's largest chess piece.

Accessible via Metro's Red and Blue MetroLink lines at Central West End and Forest Park-DeBaliviere stations and Metro's Blue MetroLink line at Skinker station.

St. Louis' sprawling Forest Park is a must for nature lovers, history buffs and families. Occupying 1,293 acres, this lush region – which hosted the 1904 World's Fair – is where many of the city's top attractions are located. Creative types will enjoy perusing the exhibits at the Saint Louis Art Museum, while history enthusiasts can learn more about the state's past at the Missouri History Museum. For families, there's the Saint Louis Zoo and the Saint Louis Science Center, plus little ones can run around the turtle-themed playground or try ice skating at Steinberg Skating Rink. Visitors who arrive during the warmer months can also take advantage of a bike and pedestrian path, catch a show at The Muny outdoor amphitheater or attend the free Shakespeare festival in June.

Accessible via Metro's Red MetroLink line at Delmar Loop station.

Head a few blocks north of Forest Park and you'll discover the West End neighborhood. Though mostly residential, West End does feature one of the city's most popular thoroughfares: The Loop. This area of Delmar Boulevard that stretches between Hodiamont and Trinity avenues boasts an eclectic mix of restaurants, live music venues, coffee shops and boutiques. Accommodations are limited in the district, but if you're keen on hanging your hat here, you can stay at The Loop's four-star Moonrise Hotel.

Accessible via Metro's No. 14, 31, 90 and 95 MetroBus routes.

If you're craving authentic Italian cuisine, venture a mile south of the Saint Louis Science Center to The Hill. Filled with family-owned delis, bakeries, trattorias, grocery stores and Italian joints, this neighborhood is where you should go to try toasted ravioli, a local delicacy. Sports fanatics will also love The Hill's ties to baseball greats Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. Both men grew up here on Elizabeth Avenue.

Accessible via Metro's No. 8, 10, 14, 30, 70, 73, 80, 90 and 95 MetroBus routes.

Composed of three residential neighborhoods – Shaw, Tower Grove South and Southwest Gardens – St. Louis' Tower Grove region can't be missed if you enjoy nature. Tower Grove Park, its main green space, offers 289 acres of trails for jogging, walking and biking, as well as 11 picnic pavilions, a seasonal farmers market (on Saturdays) and lawns for playing soccer, Frisbee and more. What's more, Tower Grove is where you'll find the National Historic Landmark-listed Missouri Botanical Garden, which was established by philanthropist Henry Shaw in 1859.

Accessible via Metro's No. 8, 10, 20, 30, 40X and 73 MetroBus routes.

This area approximately 2 miles south of downtown is a must-see for travelers seeking historical charm. Named after Antoine Soulard, who surveyed the region when it was a French colony, Soulard still embodies its old-world roots. Red brick townhomes line its streets, and 19th-century structures built by brewers now house nightclubs, shops and restaurants. From January through March, the neighborhood hosts St. Louis' annual Mardi Gras event, which is one of the largest outside of New Orleans. Soulard also offers a free summer concert series and a year-round farmers market. For more substantial fare, visitors can dine at one of the district's plethora of ethnic restaurants.

Though the Kirkwood and Grantwood Village suburbs of St. Louis are roughly 15 miles southwest of the city center, both are worth visiting if you have little ones in tow. At Grantwood Village's Grant's Farm, kids can get an up-close look at camels, zebras and wallabies, among other exotic animals. Select species are even available for feedings and rides. Meanwhile, Kirkwood – which is 5 miles northwest of Grantwood Village – is home to The Magic House, a children's museum with interactive exhibits about art, math, music, construction and more. Multiple budget-friendly hotels are available in Kirkwood and neighboring Sunset Hills as well.

St. Louis is relatively safe to visit, but like other metropolitan areas, it's best to exercise caution while visiting, especially in areas north of Delmar Boulevard and across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis. Explore St. Louis recommends several tips for staying safe during your trip, including keeping valuables in parked cars hidden and walking with others at night. For more safety suggestions, consult Explore St. Louis' website.

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