1. Get a bird’s eye view from the Gateway Arch
Take a 630-foot ride to the top of this world-famous stainless steel monument for the finest view in the Gateway City. Then stop by the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial to get a glimpse of where Lewis and Clark set out on their historic expedition! Visitors can also hop aboard a 19th century paddle-wheel boat replica for a narrated cruise down the mighty Mississippi.
2. Get your head in the game
Sports fans rejoice! During the spring and summer seasons, you can cheer on our 11-time World champions the St. Louis Cardinals at the new Busch Stadium. If you’re visiting in the fall or winter, you can catch the St. Louis Blues heating up the ice at the Scottrade Center. No matter what time of year, visitors can get a taste of true team spirit in this bona fide sports town.
3. Take a thrill ride (or two) at Six Flags St. Louis
Visit this exciting Midwest theme park that’s fun for the whole family! Visitors can loop the loop on Batman the Ride, soar at speeds of up to 62 mph on the Screaming Eagle wooden coaster and get soaked on the whitewater rapids adventure of Thunder River. Guests of Six Flags St. Louis can also see live shows and concerts, meet their favorite cartoon characters and have tons of fun in the sun at Hurricane Harbor Water Park. There are plenty of hotel amenities just minutes from the park, and visitors can take advantage of group discounts for youth groups, company outings, family reunions and much more!
4. Spend a night out on the town
“Looking for a fun night out? Check out the new sports-anchored entertainment district in the heart of downtown Ballpark Village St. Louis! Jump a few block north to Washington Avenue or Laclede’s Landing and take your pick of some of the hottest bars and dance clubs in St. Louis (most are smoke free and open till 3 a.m.). Visitors can also go for dinner, drinks and a show at Westport Plaza’s 42-acre entertainment district, or check out the trendiest boutiques and upscale dining establishments in Clayton and the Central West End. If live music is your thing, Soulard boasts some of the best blues venues in town.
5. Check out a creature feature at the Saint Louis Zoo
Get up close and personal with the furry, the flying and the fishy creatures of the Saint Louis Zoo. One of the city’s many free attractions, the Saint Louis Zoo has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading zoological parks. Take a ride on the Emerson Zooline Railroad and get a guided tour of some of the most exciting animal exhibits in the park, or venture on your own through attractions like Big Cat Country, Penguin & Puffin Coast or the Interactive Stingray Pool. Kids will enjoy the children’s petting zoo, and dining and souvenirs are available at one of the many boutiques and restaurants located around the park.
6. Let your imagination loose in the Magic House
Visit the region’s first interactive children’s museum, built in a sprawling Victorian mansion in suburban St. Louis. Kids will enjoy all sorts of fun and educational activities at the Magic House, including sitting at the president’s desk in a spot-on recreation of the Oval Office and performing patriotic karaoke. In a miniature town, kids can play grownup for a day as they change the tire on a wooden car, stock shelves in a model grocery store or serve pizza in a pretend kitchen. Visitors can even climb a three-story beanstalk, spin a giant kaleidoscope or perform a puppet show! Enjoy special events that include magical story time, free family nights and fitness first Fridays.
7. Immerse in the culture of Forest Park
Once home to the 1904 World’s Fair, Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It attracts 12 million visitors a year with world-class attractions and scenic walking and biking trails. Other points of interest include the Jewel Box, a beautiful greenhouse filled with magnificent floral displays, the golf courses and the World’s Fair Pavilion, a perfect site for a company picnic or private party.
8. Experience art in the fresh air
Enjoy a fusion of sculpture and landscape architecture at Citygarden, an urban oasis featuring works of modern and contemporary art, native plants, six rain gardens and a café overlooking the beautiful scene. Or discover the stunning Laumeier Sculpture Park with over 70 outdoor sculptures, a music amphitheater for special events and a traveling series of exhibitions. Chesterfield boasts an impressive collection of outdoor art including the recently added sculpture “The Awakening,” a 70-foot statue of a giant embedded in the earth.
9. Taste the tradition of St. Louis breweries
Take a tour of the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery, where you can visit the Budweiser Clydesdales and sample a variety of premium brands, or check out a variety of breweries with Brewery Tours of St. Louis. For more local flavor, stop by Schlafly Bottleworks for a free brewery tour and to try a few of the 50 different styles of beer. Enjoy live music and dining at both the Bottleworks and the Schlafly Tap Room. For a taste of something new, stop by one of St. Louis’ many microbreweries such as the Square One Brewery & Distillery, which opened in 2006 as the first micro-distillery restaurant in Missouri.
10. Have an animal encounter
Go on a private expedition through Grant’s Farm for an up-close and personal feeding experience with buffalo and goats. Stop by and visit the majestic Budweiser Clydesdales and take a ride on the Grant’s Farm carousel. Or explore the family-friendly Purina Farms where you can get up close and personal with barnyard animals and everyday pets like dogs and cats. See exciting performances by rescued dogs and attend special dog-friendly events open to all dogs and their owners.
11. Discover your inner child at City Museum
Explore the City Museum’s unique all-ages playground filled with caves, slides and climbing apparatus made from recycled and found objects. Visitors can interact with over 10,000 sea creatures in the World Aquarium, venture through the Museum of Mirth, Mystery and Mayhem and wander through the Elmslie and Sullivan architectural exhibit. Stop in for circus-themed food, parties and educational circus classes and workshops held daily. Create your own masterpiece in Art City, take notes with the world’s largest pencil and enjoy the view while grabbing a bite at The Roof Top Cantina.
12. Eat your heart out
Don’t miss the opportunity to try some of the city’s tastiest (and unique) treats. Munch on a slice of delectable St. Louis-style thin crust pizza smothered in Provel cheese and then pick up a mouth-watering gooey butter cake (the most delicious accident ever created). Snack on scrumptious deep-fried toasted ravioli at one of the many dining establishments on The Hill, a quaint St. Louis neighborhood famous for Italian cuisine. And to top it all off, satisfy your sweet tooth at Ted Drewes with some signature frozen custard.
13. Embrace spirituality through creative expression
Visit Saint Louis University’s Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA), a venue committed to peaceful interfaith dialogue and understanding. Take in the beauty of one of the largest mosaic collections in the western hemisphere inside the spectacular Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis or see the historic Old Cathedral and St. Ferdinand Shrine, both constructed in the early 19th century with ties to the oldest Catholic congregation in St. Louis. Across the river, attend mass, walk the grounds and have a delicious meal at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.
14. Go on a journey of scientific discovery
See what’s new at the Saint Louis Science Center. Find out what it’s like to venture out into the wild, journey under the sea or fly high up in the air at the four-story Omnimax Theater, a film experience unlike any other. See a thrilling space show at the Planetarium, one of nation’s leading space education facilities. Younger children will enjoy the Discovery Room filled with interactive exhibits and experiments, and visitors of all ages can explore over 700 hands-on displays including a life-sized animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex. At Myseum, kids learn science through fun and unique exhibits like a dino-dig, vet clinic, video wall, radar slide, magnetic ball wall, giant UFO maze, plus a whole lot more.
15. Indulge your inner gearhead
Tour a collection of rare and vintage motorcycles at the Moto Museum, or explore the history, mechanics and design of the cart and buggy, planes, trains or anything else with wheels at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation. If you want to get behind the wheel don’t miss Pole Position Raceway for some world-class indoor carting action. And if you’re visiting in the late winter, be sure to stop by the St. Louis Auto Show and Boat Show at America’s Center.
16. Appreciate art from the classics to contemporary
View a collection of art ranging across centuries and cultures from sculpture and oil paintings to charcoal drawings and photography at the St. Louis Art Museum. Enjoy the works of newly established artists both locally and internationally at the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis. In addition to innovative exhibitions, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts features concerts by the Saint Louis Symphony, panel discussions and educational programs. A more permanent collection of contemporary art resides in the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.
17. Have an outdoor adventure
Take a two-wheel excursion through the Gateway City on one of our many biking trails (contact TrailNet for maps). Set up camp at one of Missouri’s beautiful state parks and choose from a variety of al fresco activities ranging from fishing and hiking to swimming, horseback riding and much more! Journey underground at Onondaga Cave State Park look for Jesse James hideout and discover buried treasure at Meramec Caverns or stay the night at a comfy bed and breakfast in famous Missouri wine country while sampling some of the regions finest varietals.
18. Shop ’til you drop!
Update your style with a fabulous shopping spree. Find vintage-inspired clothing, trendy and unique furniture and accessories at specialty boutiques. Couture and designer brand name fashions are available at dozens of high-end shops throughout the city. Hunt for one-of-a-kind treasures at many area antique shops and independent bookstores, or get it all under one roof at one of the many area malls and shopping centers.
19. Take an interactive history lesson
Walk the halls of the Old Courthouse featuring restored courtrooms and galleries that depict significant moments in St. Louis history. Take an exciting and educational trip through the past at the Missouri History Museum where guests can also join a local excursion to various historical points of interest in the city. Visitors can see the home of Ragtime legend Scott Joplin, walk through a world heritage site and ancient civilization at Cahokia Mounds and pay their respects at the resting place for many St. Louisians at Bellefontaine Cemetery. Visit the century-old Central Library – St. Louis Public Library, a magnificent building designed by world-famous architect Cass Gilbert in 1912 and restored for its 100th anniversary. The building’s classic beauty, now complemented with 21st century technology means visitors can find Civil War battle maps, learn a new language or create their own high-quality recording.
20. See a rockin’ live show
Get your live music fix at The Pageant, ranked one of the top five concert venues in the world by Pollstar. For larger multi-band tours and festivals, travel to the outdoor Hollywood Casino Amphitheater or the concert club at Scottrade Center. Visit Blueberry Hill, the landmark restaurant and music club for touring acts as well as St. Louis’ top bands including regular performances by rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry. For a more intimate venue, check out the award-winning Jazz at the Bistro or one of St. Louis’ famous blues clubs like BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups and Broadway Oyster Bar.
21. Stroll through the Missouri Botanical Garden
Explore 79 acres of lush gardens, landscape architecture, greenhouses and conservatories at the oldest Botanical Garden in the United States. Wander through collections of botanical and horticultural plants among beautiful fountains and statuary. Visit the Climatron for a real rainforest experience featuring magnificent waterfalls, tropical birds and exotic plants like bananas, cacao, coffee trees and orchids. Other points of interest include the serene Japanese garden and the interactive and educational Children’s Garden.
22. Try your luck at one of St. Louis’ area casinos
In addition to all your favorite video poker games and classic table games like craps, blackjack, roulette and baccarat, each casino has something special to offer visitors. Take in an intimate show at the luxurious Lumiere Casino theatre or dance the night away in Judy’s Velvet Lounge at River City Casino. All have excellent hotel amenities, delicious restaurants and top-notch entertainment.
23. Enjoy the magic of live theater
There’s no place finer than the Fabulous Fox for dazzling live theater, where you can catch the Broadway bug with a play, concert or dance troupe. Hear your favorite classical music performed by the renowned St. Louis Symphony at Powell Hall, or see an award-winning musical at Stages St. Louis. Immerse yourself in operatic drama at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, or experience classic and modern playwrights at the Repertory Theater or the newly renovated Peabody Opera House. Bathe in moonlight during an outdoor show at Forest Park’s The Muny, the nation’s largest outdoor amphitheater dedicated solely to musical theater.
24. Attend a fair or festival
In February you can join a Mardi Gras celebration second only to New Orleans, and May brings the Rib America Festival and delicious BBQ to town. Summer visitors can get patriotic at Fair St. Louis, which features fireworks, air shows and free live concerts. If you’re visiting in the fall, attend the International Film Festival and see some of the world’s most innovative and cutting-edge features at each of St. Louis’ independent landmark theaters. Fall guests can also attend the St. Louis Art Fair and celebrate German culture with authentic food and live music at Soulard Oktoberfest. Before your visit, check out a full list of the city’s events.
25. Walk down the Delmar Loop
Make a day of it at the Delmar Loop. This six-block entertainment and shopping district is packed with hip bars, eclectic restaurants, live music venues, vintage clothing boutiques and a Hollywood-inspired walk of fame featuring St. Louis celebrities. Catch a show at the historic Tivoli Theatre or learn about our solar system along the outdoor Planet Walk exhibit. Shop for quirky gifts or souvenirs and grab a bite to eat at one of the dozens of restaurants and outdoor cafés, from Turkish and Thai delights to Mexican and American classics.