Top 10 Places to Visit in St. Louis: Must-See Attractions and Hidden Gems

Unleash your inner explorer as we journey through St. Louis – a charismatic city bursting with illustrious history, captivating architecture, and vibrant neighborhoods. From world-class museums boasting breathtaking exhibits to serene parks nestled in the heart of the city, and unique eateries offering gastronomical delights, experience an unforgettable exploration through this dynamic urban landscape. Get ready to venture beyond the picket lines of traditional tourism; this guide presents you with our top 10 destinations in St. Louis comprising both renowned landmarks and clandestine treasures that will leave you longing for more!

There are a variety of must-see attractions when visiting St. Louis, including the Gateway Arch, Six Flags St. Louis, Forest Park, and the City Museum. Other popular options include the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, the St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. For a unique experience, visitors can also explore the historic Cherokee neighborhood or South Grand for international cuisine options.

Places to visit in St. Louis

Unforgettable Landmarks in St. Louis

St. Louis, often referred to as the Gateway to the West, is a city that boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, this vibrant city has something for everyone. Let’s explore some of the unforgettable landmarks in St. Louis that you must visit during your time here.

One of the most recognizable symbols of St. Louis is the Gateway Arch. Standing at a height of 630 feet, it majestically graces the skyline and serves as a testament to the pioneering spirit that propelled westward expansion. An architectural marvel designed by Eero Saarinen, the arch represents America’s westward expansion during the 19th century.

To truly appreciate the magnificence of the Gateway Arch, I highly recommend taking a tram ride to its observation deck. As you ascend through the sleek stainless steel interior, prepare to be awed by breathtaking panoramic views of St. Louis and its surrounding areas. The arch offers a bird’s-eye view that will leave you speechless, allowing you to grasp the vastness and beauty of this remarkable city.

Aside from its awe-inspiring view, there are other fascinating aspects to explore at the Gateway Arch grounds.

  • In 2019, approximately 26 million people visited St. Louis, making it one of the top travel destinations in the Midwest.
  • The Gateway Arch, one of St. Louis’ most iconic landmarks, saw over 2 million visitors in 2019.
  • Forest Park, housing several world-class museums and a renowned zoo, spans over 1300 acres and attracts approximately 12 million visitors per year.

The Gateway Arch: A Spectacular View

At the base of the Gateway Arch lies an on-site museum that educates visitors about Lewis and Clark’s historic expedition and showcases artifacts from that era. It provides valuable insights into America’s westward expansion and highlights the significance of St. Louis in shaping our nation’s history.

As you immerse yourself in this educational journey, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for how pivotal St. Louis was during those transformative times.

Continuing your exploration, consider embarking on a paddle-wheel boat cruise along the Mississippi River. This leisurely riverboat excursion offers a unique perspective on both the Gateway Arch and the city itself. Feel the gentle river breeze as you take in the sights and sounds of St. Louis from the water, capturing a different angle of its beauty.

Additionally, for those seeking an elevated experience, consider taking a thrilling helicopter tour that provides an aerial perspective of St. Louis and allows you to witness the grandeur of the Gateway Arch from above. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure promises breathtaking views that will leave an indelible mark on your memories.

The Gateway Arch stands tall as both a magnificent monument and a symbol of American history. Its observation deck, museum, riverboat cruises, and helicopter tours offer multifaceted experiences that will undoubtedly enrich your visit to St. Louis.

Saint Louis Art Museum: A Cultural Dive

Located in beautiful Forest Park, the Saint Louis Art Museum is not only a must-see attraction but also a cultural dive into the world of art. As you step inside, prepare to be captivated by the stunning collection of over 34,000 artworks spanning across centuries and continents. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern masterpieces, this museum offers a truly enriching experience.

Imagine standing before Van Gogh’s “Olive Trees” and getting lost in the artist’s vibrant brushstrokes, or being moved by Monet’s “Water Lilies” as it transports you to a serene garden oasis. The sheer diversity of artistic styles and genres on display is a testament to the museum’s dedication to providing visitors with an immersive cultural journey.

Immerse yourself in the stories behind each artwork; take a moment to appreciate the skill and creativity behind every brushstroke or sculpted form. Engage with interactive exhibits that invite you to explore different mediums and techniques firsthand. The museum offers guided tours and informative exhibitions that serve as gateways into understanding art history and the context in which these pieces were created.

Beyond the captivating artworks, the Saint Louis Art Museum itself is a masterpiece of architecture. Designed by celebrated architect Cass Gilbert, this Beaux-Arts style building will leave you in awe as you wander through its grand halls and elegant galleries. The museum also features beautiful outdoor spaces where you can relax amidst lush gardens or enjoy panoramic views of Forest Park.

Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply looking to broaden your cultural horizons, the Saint Louis Art Museum is an unmissable destination in St. Louis. It’s a place where beauty, history, and creativity intertwine, inviting visitors to appreciate art from around the world and across different time periods.

Now that we have explored the cultural depths of St. Louis through the Saint Louis Art Museum, let’s venture into the breathtaking nature attractions that this vibrant city has to offer.

  • The Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park is a captivating cultural attraction that offers visitors an enriching experience with its vast collection of over 34,000 artworks spanning centuries and continents. The museum’s dedication to providing visitors with an immersive journey into art history and context through guided tours, interactive exhibits, and informative exhibitions is commendable. In addition to the impressive artworks, the museum’s architecture is a masterpiece itself, designed by celebrated architect Cass Gilbert in the Beaux-Arts style. The museum also features beautiful outdoor spaces for visitors to relax amidst lush gardens or enjoy panoramic views of Forest Park. Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply looking to broaden your cultural horizons, a visit to the Saint Louis Art Museum should be on your list when visiting St. Louis.

Breathtaking Nature Attractions

While St. Louis is known for its impressive architecture and rich cultural scene, it also boasts a plethora of breathtaking nature attractions. From expansive parks to serene riverside views, nature lovers will find plenty to explore and enjoy in this bustling city.

One such gem is Forest Park, an urban oasis that spans over 1,300 acres and is often referred to as the “heart” of St. Louis. Imagine strolling along scenic trails, with towering trees providing shade and tranquility. Or perhaps you’re drawn to the shimmering waters of Post-Dispatch Lake, where you can rent a paddleboat and leisurely navigate its calm surface while taking in the surrounding beauty.

Forest Park also houses several other notable attractions within its bounds, including the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri History Museum, and the Saint Louis Science Center. These attractions allow visitors to delve into the natural world, uncover local history, and explore scientific wonders all in one place.

Another must-visit nature attraction in St. Louis is the remarkable Citygarden. This vibrant downtown park seamlessly blends art, landscaping, and water features into a mesmerizing outdoor gallery. Take a leisurely stroll along its winding paths adorned with sculptures by renowned artists or simply relax on one of the many benches surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens.

Whether you prefer exploring lush green spaces or seeking artistic inspiration in nature-infused settings, St. Louis offers an abundance of breathtaking outdoor experiences that will leave you rejuvenated and inspired.

Forest Park: An Urban Oasis

Nestled in the heart of St. Louis, Forest Park offers an enchanting escape from the bustling city life, making it a must-visit attraction for both locals and tourists alike. This expansive urban park spans over 1,300 acres, making it one of the largest of its kind in the United States. As you enter the park, you’ll be greeted by lush green spaces, tranquil lakes, and picturesque landscapes that invite you to explore and unwind.

Picture yourself strolling along the tree-lined paths as the golden rays of sunlight filter through the leaves above. The sounds of birds chirping and gentle rustling of leaves create a soothing symphony. Whether you’re seeking solitude or quality time with loved ones, Forest Park offers something for everyone.

As you wander through the park’s meandering trails, you’ll come across notable attractions such as the Saint Louis Art Museum, where you can admire an extensive collection of art spanning centuries and civilizations. Immerse yourself in cultural experiences at the Missouri History Museum, which showcases captivating exhibits detailing the rich history of St. Louis and beyond.

For nature enthusiasts, a visit to the lush Jewel Box is a must. This stunning greenhouse boasts a myriad of vibrant flowers and exotic plants throughout the year, creating a delightful sensory experience. And don’t forget to visit the Boathouse, where you can rent paddleboats or enjoy a leisurely meal overlooking Post-Dispatch Lake.

From tranquility in nature to marveling at botanical wonders, let’s now explore another gem in St. Louis – the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Missouri Botanical Garden: Flora and Fauna

Step into a world of natural beauty at the Missouri Botanical Garden, affectionately known as Shaw’s Garden among locals. This 79-acre oasis showcases an impressive collection of plant species from around the world, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts, horticulturists, and anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the wonders of flora and fauna.

As you wander through the garden’s meticulously maintained pathways, you’ll encounter breathtaking landscapes at every turn. The Japanese Garden transports you to a serene Zen-like atmosphere with its tranquil ponds, graceful bridges, and vibrant foliage. Marvel at the vibrant colors of the Climatron, a geodesic dome housing a tropical rainforest ecosystem complete with exotic plants, cascading waterfalls, and even a small creek.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is also home to the iconic Victorian-style Linnean House, which holds the distinction of being one of the oldest continually operating greenhouses in the United States. Inside this architectural marvel, you’ll find an exquisite variety of blooming plants that are sure to captivate your senses.

Exploring the Missouri Botanical Garden is akin to embarking on a botanical adventure where each step unravels new delights and discoveries. Take your time to appreciate the intricacies of nature and be amazed by the diverse plant life thriving within this urban sanctuary.

Whether you’re an avid gardener who revels in horticultural displays or simply someone seeking solace in natural surroundings, a visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden promises an enriching experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

Thrilling Sports and Recreation Centers

St. Louis is not only a city renowned for its cultural attractions but also a hub for thrilling sports and recreation centers that cater to all types of enthusiasts. Whether you’re a sports fan or an adventure seeker, St. Louis has something in store for you.

One of the most iconic landmarks in the city is Busch Stadium, home to the beloved St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. For sports enthusiasts, this stadium is nothing short of a paradise. Stepping into Busch Stadium is like entering a world of dreams and passion for baseball.

As you walk through the gates, you’ll be engulfed by the energetic atmosphere that permeates the air as fellow fans cheer on their favorite team. The spacious seating areas offer excellent views of the field, allowing you to witness every pitch, catch, and home run up close.

But Busch Stadium offers more than just a place to watch baseball games; it provides an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. From interactive exhibits celebrating the history of the Cardinals to guided tours that take you behind-the-scenes, there’s something for everyone.

Imagine immersing yourself in the rich history of this storied franchise at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, where you can explore exhibits showcasing legendary players and relive some of the team’s greatest moments. Or perhaps take a guided tour that grants you access to areas typically off-limits to the public, such as the dugout, broadcast booth, or even stepping onto the field itself.

And let’s not forget about the food! Just like hot dogs are synonymous with baseball games, Busch Stadium offers a delectable array of culinary delights that will satisfy any craving. From classic ballpark fare like hot dogs and nachos to local specialties like toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake, there’s no shortage of treats to indulge in during your visit.

So, whether you’re a die-hard Cardinals fan or simply someone looking to immerse themselves in the excitement of America’s favorite pastime, a trip to Busch Stadium is an absolute must when in St. Louis.

Now that we’ve explored the sports enthusiast’s paradise that is Busch Stadium, let’s turn our attention to another thrilling recreational center in St. Louis – Six Flags St. Louis.

St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium: A Sports Enthusiast’s Paradise

As a passionate sports fan, there’s nothing quite like experiencing the electrifying atmosphere of a live game. And in St. Louis, that experience is taken to new heights at Busch Stadium, home to the illustrious St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

From the moment you step foot into this iconic stadium, you’ll be immersed in a sea of red-clad fans whose enthusiasm and love for their team are palpable. The energy is contagious as spectators cheer on every pitch, swing, and catch with fervor and devotion.

Picture yourself settling into your seat as anticipation builds up around you. The perfectly manicured field stretches out before your eyes, adorned with vibrant green grass and awaiting the skillful players who will grace it. You can almost feel the magic in the air as the sounds of cracking bats and roaring crowds fill every corner of the stadium.

But attending a game at Busch Stadium is about more than just watching baseball; it’s about embracing the rich history and tradition of this storied franchise. Take some time to explore the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, where you can delve into the team’s impressive legacy through interactive exhibits and displays honoring legendary players.

However, Busch Stadium offers even more ways to enhance your sports enthusiast experience beyond just watching games or touring museums.

Six Flags St. Louis: An Adventure Seeker’s Dream

Attention thrill-seekers and adrenaline enthusiasts! Look no further than Six Flags St. Louis for an unforgettable adventure. This renowned amusement park is a must-visit attraction in St. Louis, offering a plethora of thrilling rides, captivating entertainment, and endless fun for visitors of all ages.

Imagine your heart racing as you soar through the sky on exhilarating roller coasters like the Batman: The Ride or the Screamin’ Eagle, feeling the wind rush past you and experiencing that spine-tingling sensation of excitement. The park boasts a wide range of roller coasters, from intense and loop-filled to family-friendly options, ensuring there’s something exciting for everyone.

But Six Flags St. Louis offers more than just adrenaline-pumping rides. Dive into Hurricane Harbor, their massive water park, perfect for cooling off during hot summer days. Experience the rush of plunging down towering water slides or relax in lazy rivers – there’s no shortage of watery adventures to enjoy.

For those seeking milder thrills or simply looking to take a break between exhilarating rides, explore other attractions such as live shows, interactive experiences, and family-friendly areas like Bugs Bunny National Park. You can even meet beloved characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck while creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

With its diverse array of attractions, Six Flags St. Louis truly lives up to its reputation as an adventurer seeker’s dream. So grab your friends or family and get ready to make unforgettable memories at this thrilling amusement park!

After an action-packed day at Six Flags St. Louis, you’ll undoubtedly work up an appetite. Luckily, St. Louis is also known for its delightful food scene and breweries that will satisfy any craving.

Appetizing Food and Breweries

Whether you’re a food connoisseur or simply looking for a satisfying meal, St. Louis has a wide range of culinary delights to offer. From classic American comfort food to international cuisine, you’ll find something to tantalize your taste buds in this vibrant city.

For those seeking a true St. Louis dining experience, don’t miss out on trying the famous St. Louis-style pizza. Known for its distinctive thin and cracker-like crust topped with Provel cheese (a unique blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone), this local specialty is a must-try. Head to renowned spots like Imo’s Pizza or Pi Pizzeria for an authentic taste of this delicious pie.

If you’re in the mood for some barbecue, you’re in luck. St. Louis boasts fantastic BBQ joints where you can savor smoky ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and mouthwatering burnt ends. Places like Pappy’s Smokehouse and Sugarfire Smoke House are beloved by locals and visitors alike for their finger-licking good meats and flavorful sauces.

Just like a symphony with different melodies blending harmoniously together, St. Louis’s culinary scene also offers an excellent selection of craft breweries to complement your dining experience.

Stroll through neighborhoods like The Grove or Soulard, and you’ll discover an abundance of breweries offering unique and flavorful beers crafted right in the city. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing wheat beers, there’s a brew for every beer enthusiast’s palate.

So whether you’re exploring the thrilling rides at Six Flags St. Louis or indulging in the mouthwatering cuisines and brews the city has to offer, your visit to St. Louis is sure to be filled with adventure, excitement, and satiation.

Anheuser-Busch: An Exciting Brewery Experience

If you’re a fan of beer and want to immerse yourself in the rich brewing traditions of St. Louis, a visit to the legendary Anheuser-Busch brewery is an absolute must. Known globally for iconic brands like Budweiser and Michelob, Anheuser-Busch has cemented its place as one of the largest and most influential breweries in the world.

Stepping foot onto the sprawling campus feels like entering a beer lover’s paradise. The vibrant atmosphere buzzes with energy as visitors are greeted by knowledgeable tour guides who lead you through the fascinating brewing process. From learning about the selection of quality ingredients to witnessing the impressive machinery responsible for creating those perfect brews, every step is a captivating experience.

As you stroll through the facilities, you’ll be taken aback by the sheer scale of production housed within these walls. Gleaming copper kettles, towering tanks, and rows upon rows of neatly lined bottles create an awe-inspiring sight. The aroma of hops fills the air, enhancing your senses and giving you a true appreciation for the craft that goes into making each sip so enjoyable.

One highlight of the brewery tour is undoubtedly seeing the famous Clydesdale horses up close. These majestic creatures have been an integral part of Anheuser-Busch’s heritage and are a symbol of strength and tradition. Marvel at their breathtaking beauty as they gracefully pull beautifully decorated wagons, bringing a touch of nostalgia and charm to this already enchanting experience.

Of course, no visit to Anheuser-Busch would be complete without enjoying some samples. In their tasting room or Biergarten, you can savor a wide range of beers crafted with precision and expertise. Whether you prefer light lagers or robust ales, there’s something to suit every palate. Take your time exploring different flavors and discovering new favorites.

After indulging in the delights of Anheuser-Busch, it’s time to shift gears and explore another delectable experience St. Louis has to offer: the famed toasted ravioli at Anthonino’s Taverna.

Toasted Ravioli at Anthonino’s Taverna: A Taste of Authentic Cuisine

When it comes to iconic St. Louis culinary creations, few can rival the beloved toasted ravioli. And there’s no better place to indulge in this mouthwatering treat than Anthonino’s Taverna, a family-owned gem nestled on The Hill, one of St. Louis’ historic neighborhoods.

As you step into Anthonino’s Taverna, you’re instantly embraced by a warm and inviting atmosphere. The aroma of sizzling Italian flavors fills the air, drawing you in with its tantalizing allure. Every corner is adorned with charming photographs and memorabilia, sharing glimpses of the rich heritage and culinary traditions that have shaped this restaurant over the years.

The star of the show, without a doubt, is their famous toasted ravioli. Each bite offers a symphony of flavors – crispy on the outside with a delicate pasta shell that gives way to a savory filling bursting with cheese and seasoned meat. These bite-sized wonders are typically served with marinara sauce for dipping, creating a harmonious contrast of textures and tastes that will leave you craving more.

The story behind Anthonino’s Taverna adds an extra layer of charm to this already delightful experience. Featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” their toasted ravioli gained nationwide recognition for its deliciousness. What started as a family recipe passed down through generations has now become an iconic dish celebrated by locals and visitors alike.

Every plate served at Anthonino’s Taverna tells a tale of dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to authentic Italian flavors. In fact, their jarred marinara sauce gained popularity during the pandemic when the restaurant partnered with Schnucks to share this culinary delight beyond their restaurant walls.

St. Louis is a city filled with vibrant cultural experiences and delectable culinary treasures. As we’ve explored the exciting brewery experience of Anheuser-Busch and savored the mouthwatering toasted ravioli at Anthonino’s Taverna, get ready to discover more hidden gems and must-see attractions that make St. Louis an unforgettable destination. But first, let’s continue our journey through the diverse offerings this city has in store for us.