2023 St. Louis Vacation Guide
Referred to as the Gateway City, St. Louis does offer the symbolic corridor of expansion to the west. Nicknamed the “Gateway City” due to the construction of the living memorial to the nation’s westward expansion in the Gateway Arch structure, St. Louis itself maintains an exciting array of activities and living options to excite those visiting or considering making a move to the city.
St. Louis is an independent city, which means that it exists without being a part of a county, which is rare for most American cities west of Virginia.
The city of St. Louis has a love for music and history is long and rich. Fans with musical tastes ranging from the symphony, blues, ragtime, jazz, and more will be delighted with the variety and availability of musical experiences. A few of the music venues in St. Louis include Old Rock House, Beale on Broadway, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, Peabody Opera House, and Off-Broadway.
In addition to music, St. Louis’ information on the performing arts is bustling with a large assortment of ways for visitors and residents to feed their taste for the arts. A classic movie theatre where film buffs can visit is the Tivoli Theatre in Midtown St. Louis.
The city is brimming with nightlife and clubs to satisfy the single adult population, but the city also has its attention set on youth and family-friendly attractions and activities. A weekend visit to the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Children’s Museum are great treats for the entire family.
Sports fans will enjoy the presence of three professional sports teams. Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals, football’s St. Louis Rams and the recently formed St. Louis Blues ice hockey team offer plenty of options and variety for sports fans.
St. Louis Visitors Guide
St. Louis information about neighborhoods reveals the city’s rich history and its cultural diversity as well as its other diversities such as single residents, couples and larger families in the city. There are many exciting and beautiful communities that lie outside of the downtown area including Forest Park, Grand Center, Cherokee Street, Kimmswick and many others.
Some of the things that visitors and new residents should do include visiting the top of the Gateway Arch, visiting Six Flags Amusement Park or taking in a professional sports game. With still plenty of other options, visit the urban Forest Park that was the site of the 1904 World’s Fair, tour one of St. Louis’ tasty breweries, and enjoy some of the exciting dining offerings that St. Louis has to offer.
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St. Louis Downtown
Downtown St. Louis has not always been as memorable as it is today. When exploring the city, people can now find many great attractions that the downtown area is home to. From a large variety of small businesses to fine dining and hot nightlife, downtown St. Louis has it all! One of the must-see downtown attractions would be the Gateway Arch. The huge stainless steel arch is one of a kind. It is located in the heart of downtown St. Louis and it gives individuals an opportunity to view the scenery from over 300 feet above the ground. For those beer lovers visiting the downtown area, the Anheuser-Busch brewery is a great place to visit. The tours are fun and engaging, while also educational. During the holiday season, the brewery puts on a magnificent display of lights which are enjoyed by all. Downtown St. Louis is a great place to have a great time. With many choices of activities to participate in, it is no surprise that the city is always bustling with tourists and natives of the city.
About Downtown St. Louis
The area of downtown St. Louis serves as the main business district for this Missouri city. The boundaries of downtown St. Louis include the Mississippi River, which is the eastern border, Jefferson Avenue, considered the western border, Highway 40 on the southern border, and Cole Street on the northern side. The headquarters of many corporations are found in downtown St. Louis.
Old Post Office Square in the Central Business District has a large number of restored old buildings, shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. The Loft District is one of the most memorable areas of downtown, and it contains everything from corporate offices, resident lofts, boutiques, cafes, galleries, nightclubs, and storefront businesses. Cupples Station and the Ball Park District feature hotels, dining spots, and sports bars.
Another district of the city is known as Downtown West, which is further inland and does not border the Mississippi River. There are a number of attractions in this region that tourists exploring the city may want to see. These include the Peabody Opera House, an Art Deco-style building that hosts concerts, operas, and special events, the Scottrade Center Arena, home of the city’s ice hockey team, and the national historic landmark known as Union Station, which functions as a shopping arcade and hotel complex. Within the Downtown West region is the Washington Avenue Historic District, which used to function as part of the city’s garment district, and is now a residential and entertainment area with lofts, coffee shops, and taverns. It has also become a hub for creative professionals, photographers, advertisers, and graphic designers setting down their professional roots in this region.
Getting around to the various attractions is easy. The city has a light rail system known as the MetroLink, which can take visitors between the airport and the downtown area, in addition to many other stops in between. There is also a bus system that runs under the name MetroBus. Visitors will also find that new signage in the city that designates areas as popular tourist attractions to be helpful.
St. Louis Weather
One of the cities that serves as a bridge between the Eastern and Western United States, the weather in St. Louis is not for those who aren’t willing to adapt to changes as they come along. The climate in the St. Louis Metro area can be downright temperamental and difficult to predict, regardless of the season, so visitors and residents alike know to always be prepared for the unexpected. Yet, it remains one of the country’s most beautiful cities, with lush greenery and flowers in the warmer months, and colorful foliage in the cooler parts of the year. Without the unpredictable storms, such natural beauty might never exist.
St. Louis has four distinct seasons, and unlike much of the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions, they do not blend seamlessly into one another. December and January have temperatures that hover around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while June and July are typical summer months, with an average temperature of 89. Spring and Autumn tend to be comfortable but vary widely from year to year. Temperatures typically hover in the 50s and 60s for five months out of each year, making the area an extremely enjoyable one for those who prefer to spend time pursuing outdoor activities.
However, one of the things that set the climate of St. Louis apart is the high relative humidity. In the Spring months, it is comparable to what you’d find in Southern cities with short winters and frequent precipitation, such as Atlanta, Raleigh, Jacksonville, and New Orleans. In the summer months, the weather more resembles that of cities such as Philadelphia and New York City, which typically have highs in the 80s, but very high relative humidity. The levels of humidity begin to drop off during the Autumn months, leading to Winter being one of the driest seasons, an anomaly for the area. This unusual pattern of weather is only found in a relatively narrow band of the country, frequently labeled “Tornado Alley”.
St. Louis experiences particularly strong thunderstorms in the Spring months, and hail damage is common. On average, the city will see fifty days of thunderstorms per year, putting it on par with cities on the Gulf Coast. Tornado activity is common in both the Spring and Autumn. Unlike other cities where precipitation occurs one-third of the year, St. Louis will see two weeks of storms, followed by a dry spell. Residents have learned to travel with an umbrella in tow.
St. Louis also has frequent Indian Summers, where the warm weather extends into November. On occasion, flowers may still be in bloom during December. The unpredictable nature of the area’s weather makes it a beautiful place to visit or to call home, but it certainly keeps residents on their toes!
St. Louis Transportation
The major airport in St. Louis is the St. Louis International Airport. Other smaller airports that can be found in the area are the Spirit of St. Louis Airport and St. Louis Downtown Airport. The St. Louis International Airport currently services 14 airlines. These airlines include popular options like AirTran, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and US Airways. The airport is known for providing a smooth travel experience for visitors. It is not necessary to arrive at one’s flight hours in advance of one’s flight due to the ease of travel at this airport.
St. Louis provides an excellent public transportation service that visitors can enjoy at a low cost. The public transportation system is known for being very reliable and on time. The system is made up of a light rail and bus service. The MetroLink light rail provides transportation for visitors throughout over 48 miles in Missouri to Illinois. There are a total of 37 station stops between this distance. During the day, visitors can expect a train to stop at a station approximately every seven minutes. During peak times, the wait may extend to 15 minutes. The MetroBus system provides service to all of the popular attractions throughout St. Louis and residential areas.
There are many taxi cab companies with taxi services throughout St. Louis. For visitors who are new to the area, it is easy to find a taxi stand inside of a hotel and to request a taxi from that location. The concierges at most hotels are very friendly and willing to help a stranded traveler who needs a taxi cab. The popular taxi companies in the area include Go Best Transportation and Laclede Cab Company. There are airport shuttle services available to and from the airport too. Visitors can save money by traveling in an airport shuttle with other travelers.
At the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center, travelers can find an Amtrak bus system and light rail system. Travelers should be sure to buy their tickets in advance and to double-check the times of service for the Amtrak Station. It is not unusual for the light rail to be falling behind schedule. Guests who are on a tight schedule should avoid using the Amtrak station for traveling unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.
Disabled travelers in the St. Louis area can receive travel assistance by contacting the Office of the Disabled. The Office will locate a transportation service for a person who has a disability of any kind.
St. Louis Attractions
Nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River, St. Louis has long been a popular spot for visitors. Home to millions of residents, along with several iconic companies, St. Louis is one of the most exciting destinations in the Midwest. Whether looking to interact with wildlife, hoping to catch a glimpse of the city’s art scene, or instead hoping to take in a sports game, there is plenty to see and experience in the city of St. Louis.
The Gateway Arch is perhaps St. Louis’ most iconic landmark. Standing 630 feet tall, the arch gives visitors the opportunity to experience the view of the city below from the summit. A visitor center and small boutique are located underneath the arch itself, allowing arch visitors to learn more about the structure’s history and take home a piece of memorabilia to remember their trip to the top of this beautiful landmark.
The Gateway Arch is a must-see during your trip to St. Louis, MO. This architectural wonder recognizes early pioneers and the impact the city played in the move to the west. You’ll take a tram 630 feet to the top for magnificent views of the city and historical landmarks. Once you arrive at the observation deck you’ll have unlimited time to view the Old Courthouse, Busch Stadium, Ballpark Village, and the Edward Jones Dome. You’ll also be able to see several unique bridges and a train trestle that connects Missouri to Illinois. The Gateway Arch Ticketing & Visitor Center has relocated to the Old Courthouse at 11 N. 4th Street. EACH guest planning to enter the Gateway Arch facility must have a timed ticket. Buy tickets online or at the Old Courthouse Ticket Center.
After seeing the wildlife that lives in the zoo, visitors may want to take in a game at Busch Stadium. Home to the St. Louis Cardinals, the stadium can welcome more than 40,000 spectators. In addition to serving as the home field for the Cardinals, various special events are held at the stadium throughout the year.
When you’re in St. Louis, MO be sure to catch a game at the Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. This retro-style downtown ballpark opened in 2006. Check the schedule to see when your favorite team is playing, or to just experience an MLB game. There’s nothing like it. Busch Stadium Tours are open year-round and create life long memories for your family or group. The tours include views from the Radio Broadcast Booth, and the Champions Club, where you’ll see the St. Louis Cardinals World Series Trophies. You’ll even get a chance to act like a big leaguer in the Cardinals Dugout.
For those feeling adventuresome after climbing the arch, the St. Louis Zoo is a fantastic outlet to explore. The zoo is home to more than 18,000 different animals, encompassing some 700 species. Various attractions within the park itself include several different exhibits, the Zooline Railroad and safari tours.
Enjoy a day at Delmar Loop. You’ll find hip bars, unique restaurants, an array of live music, and boutiques. There is even a walk of fame showcasing St. Louis celebrities. The Planet Walk exhibit will educate you on our solar system. When you’re hungry, fill your craving at one of the local restaurants or outdoor cafes featuring national cuisine and American favorites.
For those interested in the arts, St. Louis has a vibrant community of performers and artists who offer exhibits, performances, and much more to the public. The city’s iconic Fox Theatre is an attraction all on its own, having once served as a movie palace. Today, the theatre welcomes touring productions of the hottest Broadway shows, along with local theatre groups and musicians.
Whether looking for a taste of the great outdoors, hoping to catch a concert of play production or the hunt for a spectacular view of St. Louis, there is something for everyone in this dynamic city. St. Louis continues to grow and change, as more people discover the hidden gems within the walls of this historic community. Whether only spending a day in St. Louis or instead enjoying an extended stay in the city, St. Louis is certain to impress with all of her various attractions.
St. Louis Dining
Each city has its own unique restaurants. For many travelers, finding a great restaurant can be a fun and potentially satisfying vacation experience. One city that has its own unique blend of restaurants that cater to a variety of different tastes in St. Louis, MO. For those travelers who want to find the best restaurants to dine in while visiting this fun Missouri city, know that there are many to choose from. Out of all St. Louis restaurants, here are five of the best.
Five Of The Best Restaurants In St. Louis, MO
Home Wine Kitchen
Home Wine Kitchen is one of the newest restaurants in St. Louis. At Home Wine Kitchen, diners can enjoy a constantly changing menu of fine foods. The atmosphere inside Home Wine Kitchen is hip and comfortable, and they have a wine to accompany all meal options.
For those who want to dine in a restaurant with a view, there is Three Sixty. Three Sixty is a modern restaurant with tables that provide a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River. While Three Sixty is well known for its spectacular views, they are also known for their in-house-smoked salmon tips.
The Tavern Kitchen And Bar
The Tavern Kitchen And Bar is an award-winning restaurant that offers fine dining in a bar-like atmosphere. While dining at The Tavern Kitchen And Bar, diners are encouraged to try The Tavern burger with bacon jam.
For those St. Louis visitors who want to dine at a great Chinese restaurant, there is Shu-Feng Restaurant. Not only is Shu-Feng known for their fine Chinese-American menu, but they are also known for their warm and welcoming environment.
No St. Louis vacation can be complete without tasting the local pizza. Pi serves up great pizza in a fun environment, and it is a must-visit restaurant for those visitors of St. Louis who want to enjoy tasty pizza.
There are a variety of unique and exciting restaurants in St. Louis, MO. Because St. Louis is home to so many different types of dining establishments, it can be overwhelming to choose the best ones. For those who want to enjoy some of the best food in St. Louis, there are five restaurants that are highly recommended. Whether it be the tasty pizza of Pi, the authentic Chinese taste of Shu-Feng Restaurant, the award-winning fine dining of The Tavern Kitchen And Bar, the breathtaking view of Three Sixty, or the variety of wines offered at Home Wine Kitchen, hungry St. Louis visitors must-try dining in one of these restaurants.
St. Louis Events
St. Louis Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is undoubtedly the hottest event of the year in St. Louis. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people travel to St. Louis to celebrate the parades and throwing of beads that have come to be known as Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras takes place in the Soulard Neighborhood. Experts estimate that over 500,000 people travel to St. Louis to enjoy Mardi Gras every year. Individuals should be sure to indulge in all of the pastries at local bakeries throughout St. Louis on Fat Tuesday. There are often a dozen places that will provide free paczkis to the public. Visitors should be aware that bars in downtown Soulard still close quite early on Mardi Gras. Promoters and the police force work to ensure that the event is a safe and enjoyable time for people of all ages.
The St. Louis African Arts Festival is an event that every traveler should take some time to enjoy during a stay. The event is four days long, and it is hosted by the African Heritage Association of St. Louis. The event takes place in the World’s Fair Pavilion at Forest Park. Visitors will enjoy viewing the paintings, sculptures, and jewelry at the vendor outlets located throughout the park. Face painting is also something the kids will enjoy at the event. The St. Louis Arts Fair is another fabulous event to attend for its large draw of artists. The competition is one of the most competitive in the nation and draws 181 artists every year. Over 1,500 artists apply to be part of this juried art show. There are also street performers and fun activities for the family to enjoy at the art show, such as the chalk drawing competition.
There is no better event to enjoy national blues artists than the Budweiser Big Muddy Blues Festival. At this festival, national blues musicians take the stage and perform all sorts of jazz and blues pieces. The performance takes place at the St. Louis Riverfront, and visitors can be assured that there is no shortage of Budweiser beer available for guests to enjoy.
For travelers who enjoy wine, it is essential to attend the St. Louis Wine Festival. The St. Louis Wine Festival provides individuals with over 150 wines available for tasting. Every visitor with a ticket gets to take home free wine glass and attend wine seminars. He or she will get to try 10 different wines with a ticket. Another popular food event to attend is the Saint Louis Strassenfest. This German festival features some of the best German food that one has ever tasted in his or her life. The festival wouldn’t be complete without traditional German music.
Family Fun near Downtown St. Louis
Saint Louis Zoo
The Saint Louis Zoo is considered by many to be one of the most outstanding zoos in the United States. The Saint Louis Zoo began in 1910, and today, the zoo is home to over 18,000 animals. The zoo is grouped into several distinct sections including Discovery Corner, Red Rocks, and River’s Edge. Big Cat Country is a popular area at the zoo where visitors can see Amur tigers and jaguars among the other big cats on display. The River’s Edge area has a 33,000-gallon aquarium containing fish native to the Missouri River. There is also a special children’s zoo section. The daily Sea Lion Show is one of the highlights of any zoo visit. The Saint Louis Zoo is open every day except Christmas and New Year’s Day.
St. Louis’ children’s museum
The Magic House is the name of Saint Louis’ children’s museum founded in 1979. The goal of the museum’s founders was to provide interactive learning to inspire children’s imaginations. One of the highlights is the Children’s Village exhibit that allows children to work on a pretend car, catch fish, and work in a grocery store. The Kid’s Construction Zone lets children build small buildings with a variety of safe building materials. In addition to the permanent exhibits, there are several special exhibits held throughout the year. The Magic House is open every day except in the summer when it is closed on Mondays.
St. Louis Art Museum
A nice place for a family outing is the Saint Louis Art Museum. Since its founding in 1879, the museum has continued to add to its collection which now includes over 30,000 pieces. The Ancient Art Collection contains sculptures and artifacts dating back to 3,000 BC. The work of George Caleb Bingham is a highlight of the American Art Collection. The museum is closed on Mondays.
American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog
Dog lovers in the family will enjoy the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog. The museum is home to many works of art including paintings and sculptures. Prominent in the collection is the work of Sir Henry Edwin Landseer and Stephen Hubbell. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays.
St. Louis Science Center
People of all ages will want to visit the Saint Louis Science Center. Among the permanent exhibits is the Flight Gallery. A highlight of this gallery is the flight simulator. The Ecology and Environment Gallery is the home of an animatronic T-Rex. The center also has a planetarium. The Saint Louis Science Center is open every day.
Shopping near Downtown St. Louis
St. Louis is home to eight major malls. For malls with typical retail chain stores, visitors can check out the Chesterfield Mall, West County Center, St. Louis Mills, South County Centre, Jamestown Mall, and Crestwood Court. These malls all feature major department stores like Sears, Macy’s, JC Penny, and Dillard’s. For visitors who are looking for a more luxurious shopping experience, they should check out the Plaza Frontenac or the St. Louis Galleria. The St. Louis Galleria features stores like Nordstrom and Dillards. At the Plaza Frontenac, visitors will find high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Other high-end stores that can be found at the Plaza Frontenac are Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Burberry. The mall also has a Tiffany & Co. store.
There are quite a few vintage stores to be found in downtown St. Louis. Most of these vintage shops specialize in the sale of used clothing. At the Avalon Exchange, one can find discounted clothing from typical retail stores like Target. The store becomes very crowded on the weekends, so travelers should be sure to arrive early or just go to the store during the week. Retro 101 is the place to go for vintage finds that are from 1950, the 1960s and 1970s. The store owner at Retro 101 is willing to work with customers who are on a tight budget. Ruth’s Vintage Clothing is the best place to go for finding vintage designer clothing. Ruth’s Vintage Clothing is the type of place where a traveler can find a $400 dress for only $15. The store also has a great selection of jewelry and accessories. The Vintage Haberdashery is another vintage store in downtown St. Louis that sells used designer clothing that can be a bit pricey. Locals enjoy visiting The Vintage Haberdashery for the unique vintage clothing, purses, earrings, and shoes that it sells.
The major place to go for outlet shopping in St. Louis is the St. Louis Outlet Mall. It is one of the branches of the Premier Outlets. Major factory stores like Coach, Nike, and Ann Taylor can be found at this outlet mall. Ross is another low-price store that visitors can enjoy at the St. Louis Outlet Mall. There is also a Forever 21 store located in the outlet mall. The mall also features a food court where visitors can find selections like Sbarro Italian Eatery, Starbucks, and Panda Express. Fast food restaurants like Burger King and Dairy Queen can also be found in the mall.
Map of Hotels in Saint Louis
- Lambert-St. Louis International Airport – Find hotels Near Overland and Northwoods
- Saint Louis Downtown – Find hotels Near Washington Park and Caseyville
- Saint Louis University – Find hotels Near University City and Pagedale
- Missouri Botanical Garden – Find hotels Near National city and Sauget
- Forest Park – Find hotels Near Clayton and Richmond Heights
- Castlewood State Park – Find hotels Near Valley Park and Twin Oaks