St. Louis attractions are some of the most iconic in the world. From the famous Gateway Arch to the gorgeous Missouri Botanical Gardens, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you’re a local looking for a unique experience or a visitor from out of town, this ultimate guide will help you create a bucket list of experiences that you won’t soon forget. Located on the Mississippi River and just a hop over to Illinois, get ready to explore all the city has to offer! Check out this ultimate guide to St. Louis attractions to add to your bucket list.
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The Ultimate Guide to St. Louis Attractions
Gateway Arch National Park
One of the most iconic landmarks in St. Louis, the Gateway Arch is a symbol of the westward expansion of the United States. Located in downtown St. Louis and standing at 630 feet, it is the tallest monument in the country and offers a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the St. Louis skyline.
But the Gateway Arch is more than just a pretty sight. It has a rich history that tells the story of America’s westward expansion. The Museum of Westward Expansion, located beneath the Arch, explores the impact of this movement on the native peoples who lived there, as well as the explorers who led the way. Visitors can learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which was launched from St. Louis in 1804 and was instrumental in mapping out the western territories. The museum also highlights the role of St. Louis as the gateway to the west, as thousands of pioneers passed through the city on their way to new horizons.
Of course, the highlight of any visit is the journey to the top of the gateway arch. The journey takes place in a futuristic tram system that brings visitors up to the observation deck. From here, the views are truly spectacular, with vistas stretching for miles in every direction. The experience of being so high up, and looking out over the city below, is truly unforgettable.
Another fascinating aspect of the Gateway Arch National Park is the Old Courthouse, which is also part of the National Park Service. The courthouse, which dates back to the early 19th century, played a significant role in shaping American history, serving as the site of many landmark court cases, including Dred Scott v. Sandford, which challenged the constitutionality of slavery in the United States. Today, the Old Courthouse is closed due to a major renovation project with new and updated exhibits exploring its fascinating history.
All in all, the Gateway Arch National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting St. Louis. Its blend of history, natural beauty, and modern engineering make it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Union Station is one of the most historically significant landmarks in St. Louis. The station was first built in 1894 and served as the largest passenger train station in the country at the time. The station was designed by renowned architect Theodore Link and has an iconic Grand Hall, complete with a 65-foot barrel-vaulted ceiling and impressive stained glass windows.
Recently, Union Station has undergone a transformation, and now visitors can enjoy new attractions that make it a must-visit destination. The St. Louis Wheel is a 200-foot tall observation wheel that provides stunning panoramic views of the city. With climate-controlled gondolas, you can enjoy a ride on the wheel any time of the year.
Another popular attraction in Union Station is the St. Louis Aquarium. This aquarium is home to thousands of marine animals and features interactive exhibits that let visitors get up close and personal with sea creatures.
But that’s not all. Union Station also features a hotel that combines modern amenities with historic charm. The hotel features elegant rooms, a rooftop pool, and an excellent restaurant that serves delicious local cuisine. And at night, the Grand Hall comes to life with a spectacular light show that will take your breath away.
Whether you’re looking for history, fun, or relaxation, Union Station is the perfect destination for your St. Louis visit. Make sure you add it to your list of must-visit attractions.
If you’re looking for an outdoor oasis in the heart of St. Louis, Forest Park is the place to be. At 1,371 acres, it is the largest urban park in the city and boasts a rich history that dates back over a century.
In 1904, Forest Park played host to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also known as the World’s Fair. The event attracted millions of visitors from around the globe and put St. Louis on the map as a cultural and industrial center. Today, the park still bears the marks of the fair, with landmarks like the Missouri History Museum and the Saint Louis Art Museum housed in buildings that were once part of the exposition.
The Missouri History Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the state, with exhibits ranging from the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the civil rights movement. Meanwhile, the Saint Louis Art Museum boasts an impressive collection of more than 34,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from across the world.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Forest Park also boasts several outdoor attractions, including tennis courts and a golf course. And for animal lovers, the Saint Louis Zoo is a must-visit. The zoo is home to more than 12,000 animals representing 500 species, making it one of the largest and most diverse collections in the country.
Finally, science buffs will love the Saint Louis Science Center, which offers hands-on exhibits and interactive experiences designed to spark curiosity and wonder. From exploring the human body to exploring the cosmos, there’s something for everyone at this amazing attraction.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Forest Park is the perfect place to explore, relax, and enjoy all that St. Louis has to offer. So grab your walking shoes, pack a picnic, and get ready for a day of fun and adventure in one of the most beautiful and historic parks in the country.
Missouri Botanical Garden
Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the United States. Originally, it was founded to provide resources for the medical community in St. Louis to study plants for their medicinal properties.
Today, the Missouri Botanical Garden is known for its beautiful grounds and wide variety of plant collections. One of the highlights of the garden is the Japanese Garden, which was first established in 1977. This serene garden features a koi pond, a pagoda, and a tea house. The Japanese Garden is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the bustling city and is the perfect place to unwind.
Another noteworthy feature of the Missouri Botanical Garden is the Tower Grove House. This historic home was built in 1849 by Henry Shaw, the founder of the botanical garden. The Tower Grove House is a museum that provides a glimpse into life in the 19th century. Visitors can take a tour of the home and learn about the history of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
In addition to the Tower Grove House, the Campbell House Museum is also located on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden. This museum was the former home of the Campbell family and showcases life in St. Louis during the late 1800s.
Visitors to the Missouri Botanical Garden can easily spend an entire day exploring the various gardens and museums on the grounds. From the tranquil Japanese Garden to the historic Tower Grove House and Campbell House Museum, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting St. Louis.
No trip to St. Louis would be complete without a visit to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, the largest beer-making facility in the world. The brewery has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s, when German immigrants Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch first established the business. Today, Anheuser-Busch produces a variety of beers, including Budweiser and Michelob.
Visitors to the brewery can take a tour of the facility, where they can see firsthand how the beer is made. The tours are available daily and include a guided walk through the brewing process, from the brewing kettles to the packaging lines. Guests will also learn about the history of Anheuser-Busch and the company’s commitment to sustainability.
One of the highlights of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery is the beer garden. Situated in the heart of the brewery, the beer garden offers guests a chance to sample some of Anheuser-Busch’s most popular beers, while enjoying views of the brewery’s historic buildings and grounds. The beer garden also features a restaurant, where visitors can grab a bite to eat.
Whether you’re a beer lover or just interested in learning about the history of one of America’s most iconic brands, a visit to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery is a must-do when in St. Louis. So grab a cold one and toast to a great day of exploring all the city has to offer.
If you’re a history buff or simply fascinated by the Busch family, Grant’s Farm is the place to go. This farm-turned-attraction was originally owned by Ulysses S. Grant in the 1850s, but it was later acquired by the Busch family in 1903.
Since then, Grant’s Farm has become one of the top St. Louis attractions, boasting more than 900 animals and various attractions for all ages. Visitors can enjoy tram rides, animal shows, and even feeding sessions with the goats and Clydesdale horses.
But what makes Grant’s Farm truly unique is the beer garden. Located on the property, the beer garden serves up Busch family brews as well as other local craft beers. It’s the perfect spot to relax after a long day of exploring the farm.
So if you’re looking for a fun and educational experience that also includes beer, Grant’s Farm is definitely worth a visit.
For sports fans, Busch Stadium is a must-visit destination in St. Louis. The home of the St. Louis Cardinals, this ballpark is packed with history and excitement. The original Busch Stadium opened in 1966, but was replaced with a new stadium in 2006.
The new Busch Stadium boasts a seating capacity of over 45,000 fans and offers stunning views of the Gateway Arch and downtown skyline. It’s not just a place to catch a game, but also a destination for events like concerts and charity walks.
But let’s not forget about the main event: baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals have been a beloved part of the city for over a century, with 11 World Series championships to their name. The energy and excitement of game day at Busch Stadium is unparalleled. From the first pitch to the seventh inning stretch, there’s never a dull moment.
But even if you’re not a die-hard baseball fan, a trip to Busch Stadium is still worth it. Take a tour of the stadium and learn about the history of the Cardinals and the stadium itself. Check out the statue of legendary player Stan Musial, or grab a bite to eat at one of the many food vendors throughout the stadium.
Overall, Busch Stadium is an unforgettable experience for anyone visiting St. Louis. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, a game day or tour at this iconic stadium is a bucket list-worthy experience.
One of the most popular attractions in St. Louis, the City Museum is a must-visit for anyone traveling to the area. The museum was created in 1997 by the late artist Bob Cassilly and his wife Gail. It was designed to be a place for visitors to explore and play while learning about the history and architecture of St. Louis.
The museum is located in the former International Shoe Company building and spans over 600,000 square feet. It features a variety of attractions, including a massive jungle gym, caves to explore, and an aquarium. The museum also has exhibits on art, science, and history.
One of the most unique features of the City Museum is the rooftop attractions. Visitors can climb up to the top of the building and enjoy a variety of rides, including a Ferris wheel, a slide, and a school bus hanging over the edge of the building.
Overall, the City Museum is a fantastic experience for visitors of all ages. It’s a great place to explore, play, and learn about the history of St. Louis in a fun and interactive way.
The Magic House
The Magic House is a children’s museum that was founded in 1979 by two women who wanted to provide a safe and fun place for kids to learn and explore. It has since become one of the most popular attractions in St. Louis, welcoming over half a million visitors each year.
The Magic House is home to dozens of interactive exhibits and play areas designed for children of all ages. Younger kids will love the make-believe town of Wonder Works, complete with a grocery store, bank, and doctor’s office. They can also explore a miniature house and learn about different household tasks, from doing laundry to cooking meals.
Older kids will enjoy the three-story slide, the ball pit, and the outdoor playground. They can also learn about science and technology in the Star-Spangled Center or experiment with different art materials in the Art Studio.
The best ages for kids to visit the Magic House are between 3 and 12 years old. Children under 2 are free, but they may not be able to participate in all the exhibits. However, older kids and even adults will find plenty of fun things to do and learn at the Magic House.
Whether you’re visiting St. Louis for the first time or you’re a local looking for a great way to spend the day with your family, the Magic House is definitely worth checking out. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best attractions in town.
World Chess Hall of Fame
The World Chess Hall of Fame is a must-visit destination for chess enthusiasts and history buffs alike. This St. Louis attraction is home to an impressive collection of chess memorabilia, including chess sets from around the world and exhibits that showcase the evolution of the game.
The history of the World Chess Hall of Fame dates back to 1984 when it was first established in New York City. However, in 2011, it moved to its current location in St. Louis, Missouri. The museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the game and honoring the individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of chess.
One of the most iconic features of the World Chess Hall of Fame is the giant chess piece standing outside the building. This larger-than-life chess piece, the king, is an impressive 14 feet tall and was created by artist Georg Schmerholz. Visitors are welcome to take photos with the enormous chess piece, making for a unique and memorable experience.
Located in the heart of the Central West End, the World Chess Hall of Fame is surrounded by a vibrant community filled with shops, restaurants, and other attractions. Whether you’re a seasoned chess player or just curious about the game, a visit to the World Chess Hall of Fame is a must-do when in St. Louis.