Planning a trip to St. Louis, Missouri? This midwestern city is packed with amazing things to see, do, and eat! This post covers 9 fun things to do in St. Louis, Missouri that you won’t want to miss!
A few summers ago, I drove 11 hours across the country to visit a friend in her hometown of St. Louis. It was my first time visiting the city and she made sure to show me all of her favorite St. Louis attractions. With a local guide by my side, we spent two fun-filled days sightseeing, exploring, and of course, eating!
Original post published October 2016, Updated March 2021
About St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis Missouri is located along the Mississippi River on the eastern side of the state, right on the Illinois border. It’s known for the famous Gateway Arch, a 630-foot tall archway that was completed in 1965. The city was also the site of the 1904 World’s Fair and today is home to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and the Anheuser Busch brewing company.
9 Fun Things To Do In St. Louis, Missouri
- Visit Forest Park
- Tour the Free Museums
- See The Gateway Arch
- Stroll through the City Garden
- Explore the Central West End
- Catch a game at Busch Stadium
- Visit St. Louis Union Station
- Take a Brewery Tour
- Try Local St. Louis Cuisine
Visit Forest Park
Visiting Forest Park, a 1,300-acre green space in the heart of St. Louis, was definitely a highlight of my trip. You could easily spend days exploring Forest Park. In addition to offering rolling hills, wooded areas, fountains, and gardens, Forest Park has golf courses, museums, reflecting pools, and even a zoo!
Forest Park was the main location of the 1904 World’s Fair and it’s totally free to visit.
Side note, but did you know that in Forest Park, some of the fire hydrants had water fountain attachments on them!? That’s right, you could drink straight from the hydrant! How cool is that?
Tour The Free Museums
Inside Forest Park, you’ll find several museums and attractions that are also totally free to visit. Some attractions require a reservation to visit, which you can make using the links below.
Visit the Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch is an iconic structure in the heart of downtown St. Louis. While it’s pretty impressive from the ground, you can also take a tram ride 630 feet up into the air to get a view from the top.
You can take a riverboat cruise from the base of the arch to see the monument from another perspective. There’s also a museum, visitors center, and documentary where you can learn more about its history.
Walk Through The Citygarden
Just a few blocks away from the Gateway Arch is a charming little park called Citygarden. I’m a big fan of outdoor sculptures and installation art, and the Citygarden doesn’t disappoint.
Even though it’s tiny, Citygarden has 24 sculptures, a play fountain for kids, rain gardens, and dozens of varieties of plants. It’s open all day and admission is free. Learn more about Citygarden here.
Explore the Central West End
Central West End is a popular neighborhood of St. Louis located next to Forest Park. Equal parts trendy and timeless, Central West End offers an endless supply of delicious restaurants, hip music venues, local boutiques, and beautiful houses.
Catch a game at Busch Stadium
Busch Stadium is home to the St. Louis Cardinals and is easily accessible from downtown. Attending a Cardinals game is a quintessential thing to do in St. Louis. The Major League Baseball season usually runs from around April to October, and you can check the game schedule and ticket availability here.
If the Cardinals are away when you visit, there are plenty of Cardinals-themed diners and sports bars nearby to catch the game on TV and cheer like you are in the stadium!
Visit St. Louis Union Station
Union Station used to be a busy train station in central St. Louis. Now, the breathtaking building has been transformed into a multi-use space with restaurants, activities, and more! There’s a Ferris wheel, mini-golf, a carousel, a ropes course, and an aquarium.
There’s also an indoor lights show and an outdoor fire and light show, all set on the backdrop of a beautiful historic train station.
Take A Brewery Tour
St. Louis is known for being a beer city, and what better way to sample the local brews than with a brewery tour? Luckily, in St. Louis, you’ll have plenty to choose from! Here are some of the most popular St. Louis Breweries you won’t want to miss!
Try Local St. Louis Cuisine
No trip to St. Louis is complete without tasting some of the local delicacies. Have you ever heard of toasted ravioli? I hadn’t either until I tried it in St. Louis! And it’s every bit as decadent as it sounds. Taste it for yourself at Lombardo’s Trattoria or Mama’s On The Hill.
Next, enjoy some frozen custard at Ted Drewes. There is a reason this place has been in business since 1929! Order one of their “concretes” and the server will flip your dessert upside down without it falling out of the cup before handing it to you.
Finally, you simply must try the classic St. Louis dessert of gooey butter cake. My friend had told me about this creation before, and I’ll admit, I was intrigued. But it wasn’t until I tried a sampling of her dad’s homemade varieties that I truly understood the St. Louis obsession that is a gooey butter cake. Give it a try at Little O’s Old Time Soda Shop or Hartford Coffee Company.
Where To Stay In St. Louis
St. Louis has some amazing places to stay right in the heart of the action. I’d recommend staying near Forest Park, the downtown St. Louis area, or in the Central West End neighborhood so you’re close to many popular attractions.
- Drury Plaza St. Louis at the Arch: Located downtown close to the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium. Breakfast included!
- The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis: Located next to Forest Park and the Central West End with a swimming pool and several restaurants on site.
Final Thoughts: Things To Do In St. Louis
Have extra time? St. Louis, Missouri is in the perfect location to explore nearby cities and national parks! With attractions like Blue Spring, Missouri, and Shawnee National Forest just a few hours from town, you won’t have a hard time planning the perfect weekend trip from St. Louis!
St. Louis has so much to offer! Sports fans, foodies, history buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts will all have plenty to do in this vibrant city, so it’s definitely worth adding to your USA travel bucket list!
Have you ever visited St. Louis? What’s your favorite thing to do there?