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St. Louis Travel Guide

USA

Best Things To Do in St. Louis

With its cache of vibrant museums, gardens and parks, you'll find plenty of reasons to meet in St. Louis. Families will enjoy visiting the Saint Louis Zoo, The Magic House and the Saint Louis Science Center. Meanwhile, artsy types can't pass up a chance to check out the City Museum and the Saint Louis Art Museum. Wherever you start your expedition, save time to marvel at the iconic stainless steel Gateway Arch rising from the city center.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in St. Louis

Free
This monument to the country's westward expansion is also an engineering marvel, which St. Louisans remain proud of more than 50 years after its construction. The stainless steel Gateway Arch, which was designed and submitted by Eero Saarinen during a national competition, rises 630 feet into the air and spans 630 feet from leg to leg. Visitors can learn more about the history of the arch at the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Gateway Arch Visitors Center. Opened in July 2018, the building sits below the arch and includes six new galleries that detail the history of the West. What's more, the park now boasts more than 5 miles of walking and biking paths.
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Monuments and Memorials Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Gateway Arch
This monument to the country's westward expansion is also an engineering marvel, which St. Louisans remain proud of more than 50 years after its construction. The stainless steel Gateway Arch, which was designed and submitted by Eero Saarinen during a national competition, rises 630 feet into the air and spans 630 feet from leg to leg. Visitors can learn more about the history of the arch at the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Gateway Arch Visitors Center. Opened in July 2018, the building sits below the arch and includes six new galleries that detail the history of the West. What's more, the park now boasts more than 5 miles of walking and biking paths.
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#2

#2 in St. Louis

Free
Forest Park is huge. If you want to get an idea of how large, consider this: It's about 500 acres larger than New York City's sprawling Central Park. As such, this "forest" holds nearly 1,300 acres of things to do. You'll find everything from a zoo to summer concerts to museums to a fish hatchery to a golf course inside its borders. You can also jog its trails, boat its waterways and swing your racket on its tennis courts, among other activities. Just glance at this map; you'll see it takes effort to become bored here.
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Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Forest Park
Forest Park is huge. If you want to get an idea of how large, consider this: It's about 500 acres larger than New York City's sprawling Central Park. As such, this "forest" holds nearly 1,300 acres of things to do. You'll find everything from a zoo to summer concerts to museums to a fish hatchery to a golf course inside its borders. You can also jog its trails, boat its waterways and swing your racket on its tennis courts, among other activities. Just glance at this map; you'll see it takes effort to become bored here.
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#3

#3 in St. Louis

Free
Although this beautiful, neo-Byzantine Roman Catholic cathedral was completed less than a century ago in the early 1900s (long after many of the churches in Europe), the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis enjoys worldwide renown for its mosaics collection on its walls and ceiling. Nearly 42 million glass tesserae pieces comprise the installation, making it one of the largest in the world.
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
Although this beautiful, neo-Byzantine Roman Catholic cathedral was completed less than a century ago in the early 1900s (long after many of the churches in Europe), the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis enjoys worldwide renown for its mosaics collection on its walls and ceiling. Nearly 42 million glass tesserae pieces comprise the installation, making it one of the largest in the world.
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#4

#4 in St. Louis

Free
Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! The Saint Louis Zoo does house these three types of mammals, but it also boards armadillos, sloths, swans, penguins, turtles, gators and tarantulas, along with many other kinds of creatures. And over at the Caribbean Cove, you can run your hands over an assortment of stingrays (clipped of their stingers).
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Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Saint Louis Zoo
Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! The Saint Louis Zoo does house these three types of mammals, but it also boards armadillos, sloths, swans, penguins, turtles, gators and tarantulas, along with many other kinds of creatures. And over at the Caribbean Cove, you can run your hands over an assortment of stingrays (clipped of their stingers).
... more

#5

#5 in St. Louis

Free
Grant's Farm was built by Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, who settled on the land in 1854 to farm and raise cattle. Eventually, the namesake would gain fame for his service in the Civil War, which helped the leader become president in 1869.
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Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Grant's Farm
Grant's Farm was built by Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, who settled on the land in 1854 to farm and raise cattle. Eventually, the namesake would gain fame for his service in the Civil War, which helped the leader become president in 1869.
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#6

#6 in St. Louis

Downtown West's City Museum is hard to describe, so maybe we should use its own words: "an eclectic mixture of children's playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects." Attractions include "Toddler Town," an exhibit with tunnels and a ball pit for tots, and "Enchanted Caves," where visitors can explore tooth-like stalactites and deep caverns.
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Museums Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
City Museum
Downtown West's City Museum is hard to describe, so maybe we should use its own words: "an eclectic mixture of children's playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects." Attractions include "Toddler Town," an exhibit with tunnels and a ball pit for tots, and "Enchanted Caves," where visitors can explore tooth-like stalactites and deep caverns.
... more

#7

#7 in St. Louis

Free
Whether you enjoy art or are just looking for a way to pass the time while exploring Forest Park, travelers suggest checking out the Saint Louis Art Museum. Home to more than 34,000 works of art, the museum showcases pieces from Europe, Asia and ancient Egypt. You'll find a mix of paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles and more displayed here.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Saint Louis Art Museum
Whether you enjoy art or are just looking for a way to pass the time while exploring Forest Park, travelers suggest checking out the Saint Louis Art Museum. Home to more than 34,000 works of art, the museum showcases pieces from Europe, Asia and ancient Egypt. You'll find a mix of paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles and more displayed here.
... more

#8

#8 in St. Louis

Free
Just south of Forest Park's Oakland Avenue border lies the Saint Louis Science Center. At this free museum, travelers can check out more than 700 hands-on exhibits about animals, space, weather and skyscrapers, among other topics. Complimentary science experiments and live demonstrations are available as well.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Saint Louis Science Center
Just south of Forest Park's Oakland Avenue border lies the Saint Louis Science Center. At this free museum, travelers can check out more than 700 hands-on exhibits about animals, space, weather and skyscrapers, among other topics. Complimentary science experiments and live demonstrations are available as well.
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#9

#9 in St. Louis

One of the more unique things about the Missouri Botanical Garden is that kids love it. And why wouldn't they? The Doris I. Schnuck Children's Garden features a limestone cave (to explore), the Spelunker's Slide (to hurtle down), a treehouse (to climb) and a steamboat (to board), among other attractions.
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Missouri Botanical Garden
One of the more unique things about the Missouri Botanical Garden is that kids love it. And why wouldn't they? The Doris I. Schnuck Children's Garden features a limestone cave (to explore), the Spelunker's Slide (to hurtle down), a treehouse (to climb) and a steamboat (to board), among other attractions.
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#10

#10 in St. Louis

If you're traveling with little ones, save time for a visit to The Magic House. This children's museum in Kirkwood, a southwest suburb of St. Louis, offers a variety of interactive exhibits for younger kids to enjoy, including an area for budding builders, a bubble room and a "Jack and the Beanstalk"-inspired climbing structure. On sunny days, your children can also run around the Outdoor Play Garden, which features a circular stream, hopscotch courts, a garden kaleidoscope and more.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum
If you're traveling with little ones, save time for a visit to The Magic House. This children's museum in Kirkwood, a southwest suburb of St. Louis, offers a variety of interactive exhibits for younger kids to enjoy, including an area for budding builders, a bubble room and a "Jack and the Beanstalk"-inspired climbing structure. On sunny days, your children can also run around the Outdoor Play Garden, which features a circular stream, hopscotch courts, a garden kaleidoscope and more.
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#11

#11 in St. Louis

Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals are much beloved by their hometown. A visit to Busch Stadium will prove that, as you see the ballpark bathed in swaths of red-shirted fans. Even if you're not a baseball fan, a visit to this iconic St. Louis stadium cannot be missed. Baseball aside, the venue offers stunning views of the St. Louis skyline and the iconic Gateway Arch, according to past guests. Families were also impressed with the Family Pavilion, a facility renovated in 2017 that offers a multilevel play structure, a virtual reality experience, a suite for nursing mothers and more. What's more, this stadium offers escalators, which eliminate some of the walking you'll have to do to get from the concession stands to your seat.
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Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Busch Stadium
Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals are much beloved by their hometown. A visit to Busch Stadium will prove that, as you see the ballpark bathed in swaths of red-shirted fans. Even if you're not a baseball fan, a visit to this iconic St. Louis stadium cannot be missed. Baseball aside, the venue offers stunning views of the St. Louis skyline and the iconic Gateway Arch, according to past guests. Families were also impressed with the Family Pavilion, a facility renovated in 2017 that offers a multilevel play structure, a virtual reality experience, a suite for nursing mothers and more. What's more, this stadium offers escalators, which eliminate some of the walking you'll have to do to get from the concession stands to your seat.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

Entertainment and Nightlife Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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