St. Louis Travel Guide

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St. Louis is best-known to most Americans for its landmark arch. But residents appreciate their hometown for its many parks, greenspaces and easily enjoyed entertainments: the city ranks second only to Washington, D.C., for highest number of free things to do among U.S. cities.

 

Sights

You might guess it's the Washington Monument but, in fact, the Gateway Arch is the tallest manmade national monument in America. Nearby is an open mall (as in plaza, not shopping mall) with a lovely reflecting pool. 15th Street is where to find the City Museum with its multitude of attractions, including Tiny Train Town, World Aquarium, Enchanted Caves, Toddler Town and an interesting collection of architectural relics. The place is one of visitors' most popular stops, because it's like a playground for young and old.

 

You can also spend some quality family time at Forest Park, a large, central public space where the outdoor activities include boating, fishing, picnics, golf and ice-skating. While there, make sure to try the park's hotdogs and ice creams, which are a point of St. Louis pride.

 

One of the best times to visit the city is from May to June, when the St. Louis Renaissance Faire takes place on weekends. A lot of these fairs absorb a good deal of flack, ridiculed as the exclusive domain of nerds, but this one is different. It features excellent food, drinks and entertainment, and locals dress up and decorate their houses as if it were the 16th century.

 

If you enjoy performing arts, St. Louis has one of the two Fabulous Fox Theatres in existence. It has a variety of entertainment year-round. In summer, you can enjoy outdoor musical concerts at the Muny. In late spring, take in a free show during the Shakespeare Festival.

 

Shopping and Dining

Downtown St. Louis has been undergoing improvements and the site is now seeing the arrival of many new hotels and arenas, domes and stadiums, along with plenty of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. But outside the city center there are neighborhoods with their own appealing attractions. Historic Soulard, located southwest of downtown, has a great farmers market (it's the oldest west of the Mississippi). The surrounding blocks are filled with trendy dining places, including Lafayette Square with its charming tree-lined streets.

 

If you're looking to shop and dine in a more cosmopolitan environment, the Central West End is where art galleries and antique shops are. After shopping, you can relax in one of the many coffee houses in the area. Visitors who enjoy Italian food will love the Hill, also known as Little Italy. Apart from Italian restaurants, you'll discover a wealth of Italian bakeries and shops.

Where to Go in St. Louis

TOP PICKS BY OUR LOCAL EXPERTS

St. Louis Marriott West

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Busch Stadium

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700 Clark Street

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Sameem's Afghan Restaurant

3191 South Grand Boulevard

True Afghan Experience

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

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718 North Grand Boulevard

St. Louis Symphony with National Audience

St. Louis Blog Posts

UPDATES FROM OUR TRAVEL TEAM

The Paddle Boats are Back
Want to impress your date, spin off your dinner or pedal your pooch?  Head to The Boathouse at Forest Park.  Situated on the recently restored and expanded Post-Dispatch Lake, you can rent a boat and paddle the lagoons all the way to the Grand Basin at the foot of  Art Hill.   Part Venice, part... Read more

Party Your Way Through St. Louis
The Grove Burlesque shows, music acts and every other imaginable live act you can imagine can be found every night of the week at the Atomic Cowboy. Located in The Grove neighborhood, the best part about this eclectic bar is the laid back and old school rock ‘n roll atmosphere. Locals from all walks... Read more

Find Cravable Cuisine in Every St. Louis Neighborhood
The Hill Craving authentic St Louis style food? Head over to St. Louis’ traditional Italian neighborhood, The Hill, for mouth-watering toasted ravioli and St. Louis thin crust pizza. For over half a century, restaurants like Charlie Gitto’s and Rigazzi’s On the Hill have become synonymous with... Read more


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