St-Louis

St. Louis Bucket List: 10 Fun Things to Do in Missouri’s STL

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11 fun things to do in St Louis, Missouri

St-Louis

Are you ready to explore the vibrant tapestry of St. Louis, USA? Get set to embark on an exhilarating journey through the city’s captivating attractions and discover what makes this Midwest gem an extraordinary destination. From the iconic Gateway Arch offering panoramic vistas to the soulful rhythms of the city’s blues music scene, St. Louis beckons with a diverse array of experiences.

Step into a world steeped in history and modern charm as we unveil the top 10 Things to do St. Louis, immersing you in the essence of what St. Louis is renowned for. Traverse through this bustling city, known as the ‘Gateway to the West,’ where historical landmarks, cultural treasures, and delectable culinary adventures await.

Unveil the secrets of Forest Park, a sprawling urban oasis teeming with museums, a zoo, and scenic paths, offering a peaceful retreat from city life. Delve into the interactive art playground of the City Museum, a whimsical wonderland of creativity housed in a repurposed shoelace factory.

Brief Overview of St. Louis in the USA

St-Louis

Nestled along the rivers of the mighty Mississippi River in Missouri, St. Louis is pivotal in American history and culture. Known as the “Gateway to the West,” the city played a crucial role in expanding the United States during the 19th century.

St. Louis is steeped in historical significance, notably serving as the launching point for the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition. This expedition, commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, embarked on a journey from St. Louis to explore the vast territory acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.

One of its most iconic symbols is the Gateway Arch, an architectural marvel that is a tribute to the pioneering spirit of westward expansion. This soaring stainless steel monument is a prominent feature of the city’s skyline and offers breathtaking panoramic views of St. Louis and the majestic Mississippi River.

The city’s population reflects a vibrant mosaic of cultures and ethnicities, contributing to a diverse tapestry of traditions, languages, and customs. This cultural blend permeates various aspects of life in St. Louis, from its arts and music scene to its culinary offerings and festivals, making it a melting pot of experiences.

St. Louis is not only historically significant but also boasts a dynamic sports culture. The St. Louis Cardinals, a storied baseball franchise, holds a special place in the hearts of locals, drawing passionate support from devoted fans at Busch Stadium.

Beyond its historical landmarks and sports enthusiasm, the city embraces its musical roots, particularly in blues and jazz. This vibrant music scene adds depth to St. Louis’s cultural identity, with numerous clubs and venues showcasing talented musicians and preserving the city’s musical heritage.

How to Get there?

By Air:
St. Louis is served by Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL), which is located about 14 miles northwest of downtown. The airport offers domestic and international flights, connecting St. Louis to various cities across the United States and beyond. Travelers can find direct flights to major hubs and cities from Lambert Airport.

By Car:
Major highways, including Interstates 70, 64, 44, and 55, intersect in or near St. Louis, making it accessible by car from various directions. The city’s central location in the Midwest allows for convenient road travel, whether arriving from neighboring states or major cities within the region.

By Train:
Amtrak provides rail service to St. Louis via the Gateway Transportation Center, located just east of downtown. Amtrak’s services connect St. Louis to cities like Chicago, Kansas City, and other destinations in the region, offering an alternative mode of transportation for travelers.

By Bus:
Several bus companies, including Greyhound and Megabus, operate routes that serve St. Louis, providing an affordable transportation option for travelers arriving from nearby cities or states.

Local Transportation:
Upon arrival in St. Louis, visitors can use various local transportation options, including taxis, rideshare services, rental cars, and public transit (MetroLink light rail and MetroBus), to navigate the city and reach their destinations.

What is St. Louis known for?

What is St. Louis known for?

St. Louis, Missouri, is famous for its iconic Gateway Arch symbolizing westward expansion, a rich historical background marked by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and a diverse cultural tapestry.

Known as the “Gateway to the West,” it embraces a vibrant arts scene, passionate sports culture centered around the St. Louis Cardinals, and a culinary identity celebrated for its unique barbecue.

The city’s green spaces like Forest Park offer a tranquil escape, while its strong community spirit fosters a welcoming atmosphere. St. Louis is renowned for its history, cultural diversity, iconic landmarks, sports enthusiasm, arts vibrancy, and unique culinary offerings.

List of 10 Best Things to Do in St. Louis USA?

1. The Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch

Address: The Gateway Arch is located in St. Louis, Missouri, specifically at 11 N 4th St, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA.

What is famous for?

  • Symbol of Westward Expansion: The Gateway Arch holds immense historical significance, symbolizing the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century. It commemorates the pioneers who pushed the frontier and explores new territories.
  • Architectural Marvel: As an architectural marvel designed by Eero Saarinen, the arch stands at 630 feet tall, making it the tallest arch in the world. Its sleek, curved stainless steel structure captivates visitors and locals alike, earning admiration for its unique and iconic design.
  • Tourist Attraction: Recognized globally as a must-see attraction, the Gateway Arch draws visitors from around the world. It offers not only historical insights but also stunning views and engaging experiences.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • Tram Ride: One of the key activities is taking a tram ride to the top of the arch. Visitors can board a unique tram system that takes them to an observation area, offering breathtaking panoramic views of St. Louis and the Mississippi River.
  • Visiting the Museum: Within the base of the arch, there’s a museum that delves into the history of westward expansion, Lewis and Clark’s expedition, and the construction of the arch. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the arch’s significance.
  • Outdoor Area: Around the arch grounds, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as picnicking, walking trails, and sightseeing. The area provides ample opportunities for photography and relaxation amidst the stunning surroundings.

Travel Tips:

  • Ticket Booking: To visit the Gateway Arch, it’s advisable to book tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to avoid long queues and ensure entry to the tram ride.
  • Accessibility: The arch is wheelchair accessible, and visitors with mobility concerns can use ramps and elevators for easy access to the various facilities.
  • Parking and Transportation: There are parking facilities available nearby, but it’s recommended to explore public transportation options as parking spaces might be limited. The MetroLink light rail system offers convenient access to the arch.

2. Forest Park

Forest Park

Address: Forest Park is situated at 5595 Grand Dr, St. Louis, MO 63112, USA.

What is famous for?

  • Urban Oasis: Forest Park stands out as an expansive urban park, renowned for its vast green spaces, scenic landscapes, and a wide array of attractions within its boundaries.
  • Cultural Hub: It holds immense cultural significance, housing several museums, a zoo, historical landmarks, and recreational facilities, making it a hub for cultural and leisure activities in St. Louis.
  • Historical Legacy: Forest Park holds a historic legacy, hosting the 1904 World’s Fair, known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, which introduced several innovations and cultural exhibits to the world.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • Museums and Cultural Institutions: Forest Park is home to various museums, including the St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, and St. Louis Science Center. Visitors can explore diverse exhibitions, art collections, and educational programs offered by these institutions.
  • St. Louis Zoo: The park hosts the St. Louis Zoo, one of the nation’s top zoological parks, offering an opportunity to witness diverse wildlife, interactive exhibits, and educational experiences for visitors of all ages.
  • Recreational Opportunities: Forest Park provides ample recreational opportunities such as walking, jogging, cycling trails, boating at Post-Dispatch Lake, and seasonal activities like ice skating during winters. The park also features tennis courts, golf courses, and playgrounds for families.

Travel Tips:

  • Accessibility and Parking: Forest Park offers multiple entry points with parking facilities available throughout the park. Visitors can use the park’s free parking lots or street parking near various attractions.
  • Free Admission: Most attractions within Forest Park, including the museums and zoo, offer free admission, making it an affordable destination for families and individuals.
  • Plan Ahead: Due to the park’s vastness and numerous attractions, it’s advisable to plan your visit beforehand. Checking attraction hours, and special exhibitions, and planning an itinerary can optimize your time spent in the park.

3. City Museum

City Museum

Address: The City Museum is located at 750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA.

What is famous for?

  • Interactive Art Playground: The City Museum stands out as a unique attraction, renowned for its immersive and interactive art installations spread across a repurposed century-old shoe factory.
  • Playful Exploration: It is famous for being part playground, part museum, featuring miles of tunnels, bridges, slides, and climbing structures, crafted from recycled and reclaimed materials, offering an adventurous experience for all ages.
  • Quirky Exhibits: The museum’s exhibits include the 10-story spiral slide, Museum Caves, outdoor castle turrets, and various artistic installations, captivating visitors with its creativity and unconventional approach to art.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • Exploration and Play: Visitors can engage in playful exploration by crawling, climbing, and navigating through the diverse maze of tunnels, bridges, and surreal installations. The museum encourages interactive participation and hands-on exploration.
  • Special Attractions: Highlights include the 10-story slide, providing an exhilarating experience, Museum Caves offering mysterious and intriguing pathways, and the outdoor castle turrets allowing panoramic views of the city.
  • Artistic Discoveries: The City Museum showcases artistry through unconventional means, featuring sculptures, architectural marvels, and artistic creations crafted from industrial and recycled materials, stimulating creativity and imagination.

Travel Tips:

  • Comfortable Attire: Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes suitable for climbing and exploring the various structures and tunnels within the museum.
  • Safety Measures: While the museum encourages adventure, it’s essential to adhere to safety guidelines and instructions provided within the premises to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience.
  • Group and Family Visits: Consider visiting in groups or as a family to fully appreciate the interactive nature of the museum and share the joy of discovery and exploration with others.

4. Busch Stadium

Busch-Stadium

Address: Busch Stadium is located at 700 Clark Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA.

What is famous for?

  • St. Louis Cardinals: Busch Stadium is renowned for being the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, an 11-time World Series Champion Major League Baseball team, adding to its historical and sporting significance.
  • Baseball Tradition: The stadium boasts a rich baseball tradition, offering visitors a chance to experience world-class baseball games in a vibrant and electric atmosphere.
  • Cultural Experience: Beyond baseball, Busch Stadium offers a cultural experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the enthusiasm and camaraderie of sports fans in St. Louis.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • Baseball Games: Attending a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game is the primary attraction. Visitors can witness the passion and energy of the games, enjoy classic ballpark food, and experience the thrill of America’s favorite pastime.
  • Stadium Tour: The stadium offers guided tours, providing insights into the stadium’s history, behind-the-scenes areas, and the opportunity to walk on the field or explore the dugouts and press box.
  • Ballpark Village: Adjacent to the stadium is Ballpark Village, a lively district offering dining, entertainment, and sports-themed experiences before or after a game.

Travel Tips:

  • Game Tickets: Purchase tickets in advance, especially for popular games or during peak seasons, to secure seats and enjoy the best views of the game.
  • Arrival Time: Arrive early to soak in the pre-game atmosphere, explore Ballpark Village, and witness pre-game rituals such as the Clydesdale horses’ parade.
  • Parking and Transportation: Consider using public transportation or parking in nearby lots as stadium parking may fill up quickly on game days. Additionally, familiarize yourself with parking options and transportation routes to the stadium in advance.

5. Soulard Farmer’s Market:

Address: The Soulard Farmer’s Market is located at 730 Carroll St, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.

What is famous for?

  • Historic Market: The Soulard Farmer’s Market is famed for its rich history, being one of the oldest public markets in the United States, tracing its roots back to 1779. It has transformed from a livestock trading center to a bustling open-air market.
  • Local Produce and International Flavors: The market is renowned for its diverse offerings, showcasing a plethora of fresh produce, meats, baked goods, spices, and international foods from various vendors.
  • Cultural Hub: It serves as a cultural hub where locals and visitors converge, offering a vibrant atmosphere, live music, and a bustling environment brimming with community spirit.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • Shopping: Visitors can explore the stalls, perusing an array of goods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal products, flowers, spices, and international cuisine offerings.
  • Sampling Local Delicacies: It’s an excellent opportunity to sample local flavors and specialties. Recommended highlights include Juan More Tamale’s seasonal specials and Pekara Bread’s homemade pastries.
  • Immersing in the Atmosphere: Beyond shopping, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere, enjoying live music performances, engaging with vendors, and experiencing the bustling energy of the market.

Travel Tips:

  • Operating Days: Plan your visit on Wednesday through Saturday when the market is at its liveliest, with a larger number of vendors and a wider variety of products available.
  • Peak Hours: It’s advisable to visit during the morning hours to experience the market at its freshest and most bustling, avoiding the crowds that tend to build up later in the day.
  • Parking and Transportation: Parking can sometimes be challenging, so consider public transportation or rideshare options, especially on busier days.

6. St. Louis’ Free Museums

St. Louis' Free Museums

Address: Various free museums are located throughout St. Louis, including Forest Park and downtown areas.

What is famous for?

  • Cultural Wealth: St. Louis boasts a collection of free museums that offer diverse cultural, historical, and artistic experiences, showcasing the city’s rich heritage.
  • Artistic Treasures: The St. Louis Art Museum, for instance, is famous for its world-class art collections spanning various periods and styles, including works by renowned artists like Van Gogh.
  • Historical Insights: Museums like the Missouri History Museum and Soldiers Memorial Military Museum provide valuable insights into the city’s history, from the Mississippi River’s significance to stories of local soldiers’ bravery.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • Art and Exhibits: Visitors can explore a wide array of art, artifacts, and exhibitions, from ancient civilizations to modern art movements, offering educational and immersive experiences.
  • Educational Programs: Many of these museums offer educational programs, workshops, and special events catering to diverse audiences, making them suitable for families, history enthusiasts, and art lovers alike.

Travel Tips:

  • Check Operating Hours: Each museum has different operating hours and may have specific days when admission is free. Plan your visit accordingly.
  • Guided Tours: Some museums offer guided tours or audio guides, enhancing the visitor experience by providing in-depth information and context to the exhibits.
  • Donations and Support: While admission is free, consider making a donation to support these museums’ continued operations and future programs.

7. Delmar Loop

Delmar Loop

Address: The Delmar Loop is located in the University City neighborhood in St. Louis, MO, USA.

What is famous for?

  • Cultural Hub: The Delmar Loop is renowned for its vibrant and eclectic atmosphere, featuring an array of stores, restaurants, galleries, live music venues, and cultural landmarks.
  • Walk of Fame: It’s famous for its St. Louis Walk of Fame, honoring prominent personalities like Chuck Berry and Yogi Berra, who have left a significant mark on the city.
  • Live Entertainment: The Loop is a hotspot for live music, offering diverse entertainment options from small clubs to larger venues like The Pageant.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • Shopping and Dining: Visitors can explore a plethora of stores offering unique items, from vintage clothing to specialty boutiques, and enjoy diverse dining experiences, including local eateries and international cuisine.
  • Cultural Exploration: Stroll through the St. Louis Walk of Fame to learn about the city’s cultural icons, and catch live performances at iconic music clubs like Blueberry Hill or catch a show at The Pageant.

Travel Tips:

  • Pedestrian-Friendly Area: The Delmar Loop is pedestrian-friendly, encouraging visitors to walk and explore its various attractions comfortably.
  • Parking and Transportation: Multiple parking options are available, including street parking and parking lots. Consider using public transportation or rideshare services for convenience.
  • Events and Performances: Check for events, concerts, or festivals happening in the area during your visit to enhance your experience

8. Anheuser-Busch Brewery

Anheuser-Busch Brewery

Address: The Anheuser-Busch Brewery is situated at 1200 Lynch St, St. Louis, MO 63118, USA.

What is famous for?

  • Historical Significance: Anheuser-Busch Brewery holds significance as the original and largest brewery of the iconic American beer manufacturer, dating back to 1852.
  • Brewery Tours: It is renowned for offering engaging brewery tours that provide insights into the brewing process, the history of Anheuser-Busch, and a chance to meet the famous Clydesdale horses.
  • Beer Tasting and Pairing: Visitors can indulge in beer-tasting sessions and savor finely curated food and beer pairings at the onsite Biergarten, offering a delightful culinary experience.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • Brewery Tours: Engage in the free guided walking tour to witness the brewing operations, learn about the brewing process, and interact with the iconic Clydesdale horses.
  • Beer Tasting: Enjoy the complimentary beer tasting session offered at the end of the tour, sampling a variety of Anheuser-Busch beers, accompanied by knowledgeable insights.
  • Biergarten Experience: Relish the delightful menu offerings at the Biergarten, where beer enthusiasts can explore unique beer flavors paired with delectable food items.

Travel Tips:

  • Tour Reservations: While the walking tour is complimentary, reservations are recommended, especially during peak times or for specific paid tours that provide deeper insights.
  • Opening Hours: Plan your visit within the operating hours, considering the tour duration and tasting session.
  • Souvenirs: Explore the gift shop for brewery-themed souvenirs, merchandise, and exclusive beer-related products as a memento of your visit.

9. St. Louis-style Barbecue

What is St. Louis-style Barbecue known for?

  • Distinctive BBQ Style: St. Louis-style barbecue is renowned for its unique flavor profile, characterized by its sweet and tangy sauce, typically applied to meats like ribs and briskets.
  • Local Pitmasters: The city boasts numerous smokehouses and BBQ joints where local pitmasters craft delicious, smoky, and tender meats using traditional techniques and secret recipes.
  • Variety of Meats: St. Louis-style barbecue offers a variety of meats beyond the usual pork ribs, including beef, chicken, and even turkey, catering to diverse meat preferences.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • BBQ Joints Exploration: Indulge in a culinary adventure by visiting renowned smokehouses like Bogart’s, Adam’s Smokehouse, or Pappy’s Smokehouse, known for their exceptional barbecue offerings.
  • Signature Dishes: Taste signature dishes such as Bogart’s pastrami sandwich, Adam’s caramelized ribs, or Pappy’s Memphis-style barbecue, each offering a distinct and flavorful experience.
  • Savor Local Flavors: Experience the authentic St. Louis-style barbecue sauce, known for its sweet and sticky texture, coating succulent meats, providing a unique taste sensation.

Travel Tips:

  • Peak Hours: Visit smokehouses early or during off-peak hours to avoid long queues, especially on weekends when they tend to get crowded.
  • Local Recommendations: Engage with locals or seek recommendations to discover hidden gems or lesser-known BBQ joints that offer exceptional culinary experiences.
  • Variety and Sampling: Consider ordering a variety of dishes to experience the diverse range of flavors and specialties each BBQ joint has to offer.

10. St. Louis Blues Music Scene

St. Louis Blues Music Scene

What is the St. Louis Blues Music Scene known for?

  • Historical Significance: St. Louis has a vibrant blues music scene that played a crucial role in the evolution of blues music during the 1950s.
  • Diverse Music Influences: The city’s music scene embraces diverse musical influences, owing to its history as a melting pot for various musical traditions brought by migrants.
  • Live Music Venues: St. Louis hosts various iconic blues clubs and music venues where talented local musicians perform, preserving the essence of blues music.

Activity and Things to Do:

  • Blues Club Exploration: Visit renowned blues clubs like The Beale on Broadway, BB’s Jazz Blues & Soups, or Blues City Deli, known for their lively ambiance and exceptional live music performances.
  • Unique Music Experience: Enjoy the distinct piano-heavy St. Louis blues-style music, characterized by its rhythm and soulful melodies, often found in intimate and authentic settings.
  • Musical Diversity: Explore venues offering diverse blues variations, from traditional St. Louis blues to New Orleans influences, showcasing the rich tapestry of blues music.

Travel Tips:

  • Live Performances Schedule: Check the schedule for live performances or special events at blues clubs beforehand to catch your favorite musicians or discover new talent.
  • Appreciating Local Talent: Engage with local musicians, soak in the vibrant music culture, and support the city’s music scene by attending live performances or purchasing albums.
  • Music Heritage: Consider visiting museums or historical landmarks associated with St. Louis’ blues music heritage, providing deeper insights into its cultural significance.

Conclusion

St. Louis, Missouri, is an eclectic and vibrant city renowned for its rich cultural heritage, diverse attractions, and unique experiences that cater to every traveler’s preference. From the iconic Gateway Arch offering breathtaking views to the soulful rhythms of the blues music scene, St. Louis encapsulates a blend of history, entertainment, and culinary delights.

At the heart of St. Louis stands the towering Gateway Arch, symbolizing the city’s role as the ‘Gateway to the West.’ This iconic monument offers visitors a chance to admire panoramic views, delve into history, and immerse themselves in the picturesque surroundings. Forest Park, another gem, boasts a lush expanse perfect for leisurely strolls, diverse museums, and family-friendly attractions.

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