Things to Do in St. Louis
Whether you call it “River City,” Gateway City,” or “Baseball Heaven,” you’ll be surprised to find that St. Louis is an extremely livable city with entertainment to suit most any interest. Washington University and Olin are located just minutes away from recreational facilities, including art and history museums, a science center, a skating rink, a world-class zoo, and symphony orchestra. St. Louis boasts Major League sport teams as well as great restaurants, shopping, music, and nightlife. Here’s a preview of some places we think you’ll like.
Get a taste for our country's brewing heritage right here in the hometown of the country’s largest brewer. Tours include the Brew House, Bevo Packaging Plant, and stables for one of three magnificent traveling Budweiser Clydesdales teams. Drive through the grounds during the winter holidays to see the spectacular lights.
Home to the St. Louis Cardinals, the new Busch Stadium opened at the beginning of the 2006 season – “bringing baseball's best ballpark to baseball's biggest fans.” It's a great venue for a club that has won 11 World Championships and 18 National League pennants. The late sportscaster Jack Buck said it best: “Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!”
Originally the home of International Shoe Company, the museum is a zany, brilliant combination of playground, funhouse, and architectural wonder. It's the brainchild of the late sculptor and entrepreneur Bob Cassilly, and it's built from the city's reclaimed materials – including old chimneys, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, miles of tile and two planes.
Sports fans can watch the St. Louis Blues hockey team at the Scottrade Center, which also hosts Saint Louis University Billikens basketball, the St. Louis Steamers indoor soccer, and RiverCity Rage indoor football.
We’re noted for the Gateway Arch, which symbolizes St. Louis’ role as Gateway to the West. At 630 feet, it's 75 feet taller than the Washington Monument. Part of the National Park Service, the Arch attracts more than 3 million visitors each year. Designed by architect Eero Saarinen, it commemorates the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and includes the Museum of Westward Expansion. Take a tram ride to the top of the Arch and overlook the city in full.
Named for former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, whose log house remains on the property, the 281-acre farm is operated by Anheuser-Busch Companies. It includes more than 100 species of animals from six continents, representing the Busch family's commitment to wildlife conservation and preservation. It also includes the famous Budweiser Clydesdales stables. Enjoy the animal shows, bratwurst, pretzels, and complimentary samples of Anheuser-Busch products.
Laclede’s Landing, a multiblock industrial area, features some of the most eclectic restaurants and sidewalk cafes in St. Louis. The cast-iron façade buildings along cobblestone streets are photographable. Located between 1-70 and the Mississippi River, gaming boats, the Gateway Arch, and nightly entertainment venues encompass beautiful Laclede’s Landing.
It's one of the top three botanical gardens and research facilities – and is a National Historic Landmark. The garden's 79 acres include a Seiwa-en, or Japanese strolling garden, and the Climatron, an enclosed tropical rainforest microclimate and the world's first geodesic dome. The Herbarium contains more than 5 million plant species and attracts scientists from across the globe. Experience Chinese Culture Days in April, the Whitaker Musical Festival during the summer months, and the Japanese Festival in September.
Designed by Beaux-Arts architect Cass Gilbert, the Saint Louis Art Museum contains more than 30,000 works of art from almost every culture and time period. Notable collections include Oceanic art, pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes, and European and American art of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Visit the website for special exhibitions and events.
Dedicated to promoting interest in science and technology, the multi-building facility has interactive exhibits on ecology and the environment, space, human awareness and a variety of other interesting topics. Special attractions include the OMNIMAX® Theater, Boeing Space Station/Planetarium and Discovery Room for young children. Check out the traveling exhibits and roaring T-rex.
Founded in 1880, the St. Louis Symphony is internationally renowned for its musical excellence. David Robertson is music director of the orchestra, which has been honored with six Grammy Awards and 56 Grammy nominations. Attend an entire season or select special performances.
Plan on spending a day at the zoo; there's a lot to see. Highlights include the River's Edge exhibit, with elephants, cheetahs, and hyenas; Jungle of the Apes; the Insectarium; the Penguin & Puffin Coast; the Children's Zoo; the Living World interactive museum; and the 1904 Flight Cage that was built during the 1904 World's Fair and contains 16 species of North American birds. Ride the Zooline Railroad, watch the Sea Lion Show and eat at the Painted Giraffe.
Get out of town and explore the area. You can hike, bike, swim, sample wine, shop for antiques, and enjoy beautiful scenery. All of these locations are less than a day’s drive from St. Louis.
Named for an American Indian city located on the Mississippi floodplain and the earthen structures – or mounds – created by the Mississippian people, Cahokia Mounds is a National Historic Landmark and a World Heritage Site. One of St. Louis’s nicknames is "Mound City."
The park's name comes from its large outcroppings of crystalline red granite, formed from hot magma that erupted and cooled on the earth's surface 1.5 billion years ago. The boulders resemble elephants' backs. Explore the maze of giant elephant rocks, view the granite boulders from the one-mile Braille Trail, or picnic at anyone of the 30 picnic sites.
Following the tracks of the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT or Katy) railroad, the trail runs alongside the Missouri River through approximately 225 miles of forests, prairies, pastures, and fields. Bike or hike the trail. Many towns along the way offer hospitality services and overnight accommodations.
About an hour west of St. Louis, you'll find many small towns with a German heritage and 150 years of winemaking experience. Augusta and Hermann are the best known towns. Missouri winemakers win international and national awards for varietals like Cynthiana/Norton, Vignoles, Seyval, and Chambourcin. Spend a weekend at one of the area B&Bs (bed and breakfast inns).
The site of Missouri's first state capitol, St. Charles is a historic city on the Missouri River. On historic Main Street, a variety of year-round activities take place, including the Lewis and Clark Rendezvous, Fourth of July Festival, Civil War Reenactment, Octoberfest, and the St. Charles Christmas Traditions. The Frenchtown District is populated with a plethora of fine restaurants, tea rooms, wineries, and charming antique shops for visitors to enjoy. This bustling city also has riverside parks, beautiful architecture, and dinner theatres. Gamble on the Ameristar riverboat casino or listen to music at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
Shaw Nature Reserve is the rural research center for St. Louis's Missouri Botanical Garden. It's a 2,500-acre botanical laboratory and conservation project, restoring native tall grass prairies, glades, wetlands, savannas, and woodlands. Enjoy 14 miles of hiking trails.