The 10 Best Things to Do in Saint Louis, United States

August 24, 2017 Concepcion Newsome

The history of St. Louis has been heavily influenced by Westward expansion and blues music. The big "must-see" in this region is the Gateway Arch, while other important sites include the Museum of Westward Expansion, the St. Louis Cathedral and the Anheuser-Busch factory tour. The city offers plenty for the whole family. Children will enjoy the local zoo and the Magic House, while family members will also want to unwind at Forest Park, home to the World's Fair almost a century ago.
Restaurants in Saint Louis

1. The Gateway Arch

11 N 4th St, Saint Louis, MO 63102-1810 +1 314-982-1400
Excellent
57%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

The Gateway Arch

The Museum of Westward Expansion closed, pending installation of all new museum exhibits. As of March 2, 2015, entry-only ticket or tram ticket required to enter Arch. The nation's tallest monument at 630 feet, the Gateway Arch has beckoned visitors since June 1967. The Gateway Arch commemorates Thomas Jefferson and the role St. Louis played in the westward expansion of the United States. A visit to St. Louis isn't complete without standing at the Arch's base and playing professional photographer, but the view from the outside is only half of the experience. Attractions within the Arch include the Journey to the Top (the last tram leaves one hour before closing); educational programs (will be housed at the Old Courthouse); award-winning documentary movie, Monument to the Dream; and a gift shop. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Note: the address shown is for the Old Courthouse which is acting as the Gateway Arch Ticketing and Visitor Center throughout construction. Pedestrian entrance to the Arch Grounds is at Walnut Street at Memorial Drive or via the Grand Staircase from the riverfront.

Reviewed By DMartin216 - Chicago, Illinois

Taking a road trip from Chicago to KC for a weekend BBQ Tour, we decided that it was time we finally visited the gateway Arch. Neither of us had ever been to the Arch, and as a Cubs and Blackhawks fan I had never even gotten out of my car while in enemy territory. We found the Arch to be an engineering marvel and enjoyed the tiny elevator cars that make you feel like you’re riding in a dryer drum. The view from the top extends for miles, but unfortunately, the Mississippi River has to be one of the least photogenic bodies of water in the world—despite St. Louis’ efforts to build a nice park along the river’s edge. Beyond the river, one is treated to a view of East St. Louis, a panorama easily forgotten, but the view to the west includes the entire city of St. Louis and points beyond. As the Gateway to the West, this is clearly the view Eero Saarinen had in mind. The Arch itself is also very photogenic, and we between us we took more than 50 artsy shots of it. All in all, we found the Arch itself to be more attractive than the views it affords.

2. Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

4431 Lindell Blvd, at Newstead Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63108-2403 +1 314-373-8242
Excellent
88%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

The Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, the superstructure of the Cathedral was built between 1907 and 1914. The Cathedral's 100th Anniversary is being celebrated in 2014. It is known for its' beautiful interior mosaics, which took nearly 80 years to create using more than 41 million pieces of glass tesserae. The Cathedral is known for having one of the largest mosaic collections in the Western Hemisphere.

Reviewed By cowdogsmomma - Brazil, Indiana

Beautiful architecture!!! If you like Catholic Churches and appreciate art work this is the place to see. Hard to imagine the amount of money the have in it.

3. Missouri Botanical Garden

4344 Shaw St, Saint Louis, MO 63110-2291 +1 314-577-5100
Excellent
86%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 3 reviews

Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis was founded in 1859 by Henry Shaw. Today, the Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display - widely considered one of the top three botanical gardens in the world. It features 79 acres of horticultural displays, including indoor conservatories and demonstration, formal and international gardens.

Reviewed By AlexisZA - Indianapolis, Indiana

Unfortunately the Chihuli glass onion installation wasn’t there, but there there is still the entrance chandelier and a smaller flame lily installation in the climatron. The gardens are incredible. It was a cold day and we just hopped from the climatron to the houses and braved the open air in between. Such a fabulous way to spend a day

4. Forest Park

Concourse Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63110 +1 314-289-5300
Excellent
80%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

Forest Park

The site of the 1904 World's Fair, America's second largest urban park is a prime St. Louis recreation spot.

Reviewed By Pam H - Saint Louis, Missouri

So much is here! The Saint Louis Art Museum, History Museum, The Planetarium and adjacent Science Center, The Muny (outdoor summer theater), two golf courses (9 and 18), bike path, ball parks,and the wonderful Zoo made famous by Marlin Perkins! There are bike rentals, paddle boats and food at the Boat House, great playgrounds and a lovely lagoon that anchored the 1904 World's Fair. Special events occur all year long so check local schedules. If you want to sit and watch or be the action, you can't go wrong in Forest Park. Did I mention that museums, the zoo, the and many activities are FREE?
This place deserves a rating of 5 WOWS. Start at the Visitors Center near the History Museum.

5. St. Louis Zoo

1 Government Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63110-1332 +1 314-781-0900
Excellent
79%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 7 reviews

St. Louis Zoo

Visitors are wowed by this zoo that has 6,600 animals and 15 major exhibit areas.

Reviewed By nannymomma - Atlanta, Georgia

I don't see what other people see in this zoo. Many of the exhibits were behind glass that, because of the weather, were completely foggy and needed to be wiped. Many of the other habitats were unappealing and often, empty. I'm sure the animals were in enclosures somewhere. We did enjoy the hippo and rhino exhibits. Birds were in tiny cages. What we thought would be an all day visit was less than 2 hours. And most time was spent looking at nothing.

6. The Fox Theatre

527 N Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63103-1006 +1 314-534-1678
Excellent
84%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 803 reviews

The Fox Theatre

The Fabulous Fox Theatre first opened in 1929 as a movie palace in William Fox's motion picture empire. The theatre was reopened in 1982, and today it is one of the most exquisite venues in the country to enjoy live touring Broadway shows, concerts, and comedians. We hope you'll visit us for an upcoming show or one of our guided tours!

Reviewed By AdventuresofNomNom - Saint Louis, Missouri

Stunning theater. Every time I visit, I notice something new and beautiful in the details. The seats are not the most comfortable but it's an old theater and it's not distracting. If you are on the upper level, there are more beautiful treasures to be seen.

If you have club seats you can enter through the club entrance at the back, but I highly suggest you see the main entrance if it's your first time.

7. Campbell House Museum

1508 Locust St, Saint Louis, MO 63103-1816 +1 314-421-0325
Excellent
86%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 118 reviews

Campbell House Museum

Since opening on February 6, 1943, the Campbell House Museum has served the greater St. Louis area as one of America's premier historic property museums. The Museum not only preserves the Campbell's house, but also their collection of original furniture, fixtures, paintings, objects and thousands of pages of family documents. Included in these documents is a unique album of 60 photographs of the interior of the house taken in about 1885. In 2005 the Museum completed a meticulous five-year restoration that returned the building to its opulent 1880s appearance, when the house was one of the centers of St. Louis society.

Reviewed By Kitsaattheshore - in NJ

Walked on over from the City Museum, it is the last remaining home from the former neighborhood of Lucas Place. It is the height of Victorian opulence, lovingly restored. Our docent was very knowledgeable & let us take as much time as we needed to soak it all in. This home had as guests, President & Mrs. Grant, General Sherman & Chief Red Cloud for starters. On the one wall in the hallway you can see where they meticulously copied the decorative wall trim. Check out the ice cream molds in the kitchen, & the smallest sewing machine I have ever seen in the housekeepers room. There is a nice gift shop in the basement, a pretty garden & a carriage house. 8.00 for adults for the guided tour, children 12 & under free. Closed Monday Tuesday Open by appointment only in January & February. Photographs are permitted.

8. City Museum

701 N 15th St, Saint Louis, MO 63103-1925 +1 314-231-2489
Excellent
82%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

City Museum

Don't take the name so literally. We're about fun. Not your white walls, walk around, and be quiet museum. If you want to climb around, get active with your kids or are a big kid at heart, we're the place. If you get freaked out easily, you might not want to come. We're four floors filled with miles of tunnels, a full cave system, over 30 slides, a circus, an arts area, a large outdoor climbing space, Architectural Museum, a Cabin that serves adult beverages, a Museum of Mayhem, Mirth and Mystery, and a ton more. Also, there's the roof with a Ferris Wheel and a bus hanging off its edge.

Reviewed By mpotter13 - Fayetteville, GA- outside of Atlanta

There's not much more I can say, and I am fully aware that no words can convey the awesomeness of this place. It defies the imagination (& logic!)

There are nooks & crannies , stairs & slides absolutely everywhere. My daughter is on the less-than-daring side, but even we all enjoyed a good 5 hours in this place!

Pictures cannot do it justice. You just have to go! If you can deal with stairs & crowds (but really, it's a giant place & the crowds are managed well because there are SO SO MANY OPTIONS). It's an absolute marvel!

Dress comfortably!

9. Saint Louis Art Museum

1 Fine Arts Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63110-1380 +1 314-721-0072
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Saint Louis Art Museum

Dedicated to Art and Free to All. Located in beautiful, historic Forest Park, the Saint Louis Art Museum hosts a world-class collection of art works and artifacts in one of the most impressive buildings in the city. The Museum recently completed a major expansion project, adding 21 new galleries for both collection and temporary exhibitions. Admission to the Museum is free every day, and admission to special exhibitions is free on Fridays.

Reviewed By lirwin13 - Beverly, Massachusetts

I'm not typically an art museum person, but I had an enjoyable visit to the St. Louis Art Museum. It holds an incredible and varied collection of artwork with several special exhibitions in addition to the permanent collection. I spent an enjoyable hour or so wandering around and enjoying the art. Well worth a visit, especially with the free admission!

10. Busch Stadium

700 Clark Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63102-1727 +1 314-421-3060
Excellent
76%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Busch Stadium

This stadium is one of the most visible symbols of St. Louis' success.

Reviewed By Nyormirror - Bay City, Michigan

My son and I enjoyed about just over an hour guided tour of the ballpark where we saw the champions club, the Radio Booth, the dugout and several other behind the scene places. The players club house (locker room) is not included in the tour. Nicely kept baseball park. The tour was about 1 mile of walking and included stairs and elevators. Tickets were reserved online and in advance. Your ticket will also get you entry into the museum and 10% of your gift shop purchase (the day of the tour only).

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