Getting to Know St. Louis, MO
Situated on the western bank of the Mississippi River, St. Louis offers a spectacular outdoor recreation scene with picturesque trails ideal for hiking and biking alongside the river. The largest city in Missouri, St. Louis also offers amazing cultural experiences through its historic parks and museums, many of which are free to the public.
Did You Know?
St. Louis is a city of innovators! Iced tea and the ice cream cone were invented and first served in St. Louis at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also known at the 1904 World's Fair. St. Louis made aviation history in 1912 when the first successful parachute jump made from a moving airplane happened over the Jefferson Barracks Military Post.
St. Louis Neighborhoods
St. Louis is home to many family-friendly and historical neighborhoods. Check out our picks for the top neighborhoods in St. Louis:
- Downtown West: Known for its industrial architecture, this centrally located neighborhood is home to many repurposed historical warehouses.
Central West End: This neighborhood is set apart by historic turn-of-the-century homes, including the former abode of Tennessee Williams.
The Ville: A hotspot for many St. Louis professionals and performers, The Ville neighborhood has a rich cultural history and a strong creative presence.
Creve-Coeur: Home to St. Louis Bread Company and Missouri Baptist University, Creve-Coeur also boasts seven parks, a golf course and an ice arena.
Pet-friendly Attractions in St. Louis
The St. Louis area's oldest and largest dog park is still its most pooch-friendly spot. Pack up your furry pal's favorite toys for an afternoon of off-leash fun at Southwest City Dog Park in Wilmore Park.
Free Things to Do in St. Louis
From hands-on science centers to world-renowned art museums, there are dozens of top-tier attractions to explore in the city. Here are our top picks for the best free things to do in St. Louis:
Saint Louis Zoo: Visit this famed zoo to see more than 600 species of animals, including giant anteaters, puffins and jaguars. Admission to the zoo is free, although some attractions carry a small cost.
The Magic House: Head to this popular children's museum every third Friday of the month between 5:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. for free admission.
Saint Louis Art Museum: From Contemporary and European paintings to 15th-century armor and serene sculpture gardens, this museum displays more than 33,000 artworks.
Missouri Botanical Garden: Visit the botanical gardens every Wednesday and Saturday morning, when St. Louis residents are able to tour the grounds free of charge.
Laumeier Sculpture Park: This eclectic park boasts 60 large-scale sculptures scattered across 105 acres of green space and several beautiful hiking paths.
Saint Louis Science Center: Explore over 700 interactive exhibits at this attraction, including Mission: Mars where guests can construct a robotic rover to simulate exploring life on Mars.
Top Five Adventures In St. Louis:
Anheuser-Busch Brewery: Take a tour of the largest brewery in the country. See the packaging plant and the historic brew house, and don't miss the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses!
Saint Louis Zoo: Though admission to the zoo is free, guests can opt for additional attractions at a low cost, including feeding stingrays, watching a film in the 4-D theater and going on a safari tour.
Forest Park: Celebrated as the site of the 1904 World's Fair, Forest Park is a 1,300-acre park that is now home to the World's Fair Pavilion, museums, outdoor concerts and jogging trails.
Gateway Arch: Take in breathtaking views of the city and the Mississippi River atop the 630-foot Gateway Arch. Visible from all points in the city, the arch stretches across the sky and is the tallest man-made monument in the United States.
Purina Farms: Dog lovers shouldn't miss this spot which offers tours of the facility and teaches guests about the proper care of cats, dogs and farm animals.
St. Louis for Families with Kids
The City Museum, a life-size playground with Enchanted Caves and treehouses for exploring, is a must-see for families. For more chills and thrills, head 30 minutes west of downtown to ride the roller coasters at Six Flags St. Louis or splash in Hurricane Bay.
The St. Louis area is home to several schools that have won the National Blue Ribbon for academic excellence. Standouts like Kennard Classical Junior Academy draw families to neighborhoods like Northampton, and suburbs like Chesterfield win accolades farther to the west.
Lake Getaways near St. Louis
Less than half an hour from St. Louis, Creve Coeur Lake State Park is home to the city's best beach, with plenty of sand and sun, plus kayak, canoe and bike rentals. You can also drive just over 2.5 hours to enjoy an afternoon of sunbathing at Osage Beach or a round of 18 at one of several golf courses.