A Midwestern city with lots of flair and plenty of history, St. Louis could easily entertain you for at least a week. If you only have two or three days to see the sights, though, don’t miss these attractions.
Mistakenly known to many as the St. Louis Arch because it’s so iconic to the city, the Gateway Arch should be the first stop on your list. Sure, you’ll want to snap a photo, but you can also travel 630 feet to the top of the Arch to take in the magnificent views of the city. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can opt for a helicopter tour. There’s also an on-site gift shop and cafe.
St. Louis Zoo
This zoo is home to more than 15,000 animals, all of which you can observe at absolutely no charge. That’s right — the St. Louis Zoo is completely free. Reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, mammals, fish, and birds can all be found here, along with a designated children’s section and several dining options that range from snack bars to sit-down restaurants. When it’s warm out, guests can relax poolside at Lakeside Crossing.
Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden, also known as Shaw’s Garden, offers 79 acres of conservatories, plant collections, and gorgeous gardens. Take a mini trip around the world at the International Gardens, and marvel at the amazing Climatron, a year-round greenhouse conservatory that houses more than 2,800 plants. Check the garden’s website for visiting exhibits as well.
St. Louis Science Center
Fun for all ages, this museum and planetarium explores everything science, from space to chemistry, through hands-on exhibits and demonstrations, as well as an IMAX theater. Make sure to check out GROW, which is dedicated to the journey of food, or Mission: Mars, where you can play NASA Engineer for a day.
This vast and bustling expanse in the heart of the city is perfect for taking a stroll, having a picnic, or just taking it easy. Located within the park are both the St. Louis Zoo and the Science Center, along with the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, and a handful of restaurants. There’s plenty of space to spread out on grassy knolls, but outdoorsy types should make sure that they check out Flegel Falls, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest, and the Nature Reserve Prairie.